On Wednesday Patsi and I hosted a teleclass with intellectual property attorney Jay Hollander. It was an eye-opener for us!
Jay covered trademarks, trade secrets and copyrights. He talked about what you can do and cannot do; how to protect your creative assets from others and how to avoid getting in trouble yourself. He debunked a lot of myths about copyrights.
Most of the content was presented in the context of people doing business on the web...people like you...people who are writing on blogs, writing articles, writing ezines and ebooks. Plus what you have to be concerned with if you hire freelance writers to create content for you! Did you know that just because you hire someone to write for you, it doesn't mean you own the copyright?!
We had quite a few authors on the call and a recurring question was about copyrighting book titles -- no, you can't copyright a book title, but there are circumstances when you can.
Our colleague Susan Kendrick of Write to Your Market, sent a link to a blog post about that very subject, after the class. Susan is an expert on book covers and addresses the issue here:
Did you know you can copyright the contents of your blog? I'm not referring to using Creative Commons, I mean actually register the copyright for all your blog content. You can. Blogs are considered literary texts and can be registered as such. But, what about the fact you're adding new content all the time? You can register new content every three months to protect it.
All in all, it was an excellent class. As a result, we've already had a consultation with Jay Hollander about some of our business trademark and copyright issues.
Our next public teleseminar is on Wednesday, November 14:
Packaging is Everything! How the Right Words Can Sell Your Book or Product in 15 Seconds or Less