If you’ve never had your video stolen by someone else, you’ve been lucky.  Depending on your content, your videos can be used by other as a promotional tool without your consent.  For example, if you make a great educational video or a product marketing video, someone could simply use that on their website even though you were utilizing it on your website and didn’t want it anywhere else.  It was your way to get traffic to your site with this unique content.  Now someone has cropped your logo and is using the video as if they made it.  It happens more often than you think.

If you made a free video and wouldn’t mind people sharing it, then you don’t have to worry about copyrighting it too much.  Although if they take the credit for it, you still lose the advertising the video was bringing back to you.

So how do you protect yourself? Let’s look at the copyright law.

The law says if you created something in tangible form, then you own the copyright of it.  So video marketing, online video, product video and pretty much anything recorded with a video camera that you’ve made, you own the copyright to.

Here is the catch though.  Even though you own the copyright to the material, you cannot enforce the copyright if it’s stolen simply because you created it.  To do that, you need to go a step further.  You need to register it with the copyright office.  You can do so online at www.copyright.gov.  It’s pretty inexpensive at about $35 or $70 per case.  Click the link below if you’re ready to register your copyright video content.

What about The fair use act?

This act actually gives people permission to use your work without giving you credit; however, you can protect yourself here as well.  The Digital Millennium Copyright Act protects you and you can use it to get someone from using your content or have him or her stop using it if they already are.  If they refuse, you can contact a copyright lawyer to assist you.

 To copyright or to let it ride?

If you really created an online video and you want it to only exist on the pages that you intend, spending the $35 to be able to enforce the copyright is a good idea.  In most cases, people sharing your video will help you, but if they strip the credit and keep it as their own, no one will ever know if was your video.  In my opinion, after putting in all the time and effort it takes to create a great online marketing video or video education video or any other video production content, $35 to copyright it with the copyright office is a must.

We can do it for you.

When we produce marketing videos at New Slate Films, we offer the copyright option to our clients in order to protect their investment.  Send us an email to learn how our video marketing can help your company.