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How can developers properly protect their copyrights?

by Staff Writer
18 Nov 2020 at 12:56hrs | Views
It doesn't have to be THAT revolutionary - as long as you've created something original, you have the right to protect your work against someone else from altering, claiming, or selling it without your permission. In technical terms, you have intellectual property over it.

To ensure that you retain ownership of your work, it is important to know how you can legally protect your creations. This is where understanding how copyrights work can be highly beneficial. Make the time to experiment with our top suggestions - you can even automate them by consulting business process automation services.

First of all, what is copyright protection?
Copyright protection means that if you find out that someone claims ownership of something that's actually yours, you can sue them in the civil court. Examples of works that are commonly copyrighted are films, maps, musical compositions, novels, photographs, and more –including computer programs.

How to tell if something is copyrighted

Did you know that it's not necessary to indicate a notice in your work although it's actually copyrighted? To prove a copyright infringement case, however, you need to have a proof of ownership, which is why copyrighting your work is incredibly useful. Failure to include a valid copyright notice can make your case extremely hard.

According to the US Copyright Office, there are three elements you need to look for in finding a visual copyright notice:
  • Name of the copyright owner
  • Symbol - ©, "Copyright," or simply "Copr."
  • Year of its first publication

Seven Ways to Practice Copyright Protection for Software

Although a visual copyright notice is probably the most basic copyright protection method you've encountered, did you know that there are more options to choose from? Take a step ahead and check out these seven ways to practice copyright protection for your software.

Filing a copyright
Although all tangible works are automatically given copyright protection upon their creation, you need to register them to get a "registered copyright." By having your work registered under the US Copyright Office, you'll get the proper copyright protection fully-recognized in court – and is also noted for public record.

Filing for a patent
Let's say you're the pioneer creator of something that's never done before. As the "inventor," you can be granted property rights for that "invention" - which is what a patent is all about. Especially if your software has a unique feature that distinguishes it away from your competitors, you need a patent as protection of your own competitive advantage.

Have your co-developers sign an IP Assignment Agreement

Especially if you work with co-developers within a single company, it is important to have them sign an IP assignment agreement which ensures that all works developed inside the company belongs to the company.

Reviewing your source code licenses
If your software uses a source code license, think again. You're allowing a non-transferrable and non-exclusive license to your software, which means that you allow others to use and modify your software as they please. Not only this is a risky move since you basically allowed the source code to spread outside the organization, but can also possibly weaken your company trade secrets from remaining to be secrets.

Try encryption
Simply put, encryption works by keeping things "scrambled" until someone "unscrambles" or decrypts them. Encryption manages IP addresses by protecting their content against unauthorized modification or disclosure during transmission and while the data is stored. Copying these files will also be useless since you basically cannot access them without the decryption key.

Regulating access for open and bounded communities
Arguably the most essential form of technology that protects intellectual property is access control to information. Identities are tracked through an access control system - the identities of each member, of data objects, including the privileges each user has for these data objects. Such privileges include altering, executing, and reading, among others. This then answers the question whether a requester will be granted permission to access information or not.

The Key Take Away
Coming up with something that is both useful and original can take weeks, months, or even years - which is why creators (such as developers) should ensure that no one can claim credit or ownership of someone else's work. Not only will you have a well-protected work. You also keep your competitive advantage in your hands.

Source - Byo24News