Whenever you’re selling digital merchandise, you benefit from the absence of stock and shipping, however you get piracy as a constant threat instead. It’s remarkably simple for someone to steal your mental property — music, designs, eBooks, software — and distribute it under their own name.
The numbers associated with piracy are staggering. Microsoft estimates that piracy protection costs the software industry $491B every year. One other estimate pegs the loss between $200 to $250B within the US alone.
Regardless of the numbers, one thing is clear: theft generally is a major problem when you’re promoting digital products.
Happily, there are some methods you may make theft much, a lot harder. We’ll show you learn how to shield your digital merchandise in this article.
Rethink Digital Protection
Before we dive into the small print of digital protection, it’s necessary that you view it with the right frame of mind.
Simply put, there isn’t any such thing as one hundred% foolproof protection relating to digital goods. Hundreds of enterprise world wide have been trying to resolve this downside, including massive software corporations like Microsoft, they usually haven’t totally succeeded.
The reality of the internet is that if there is enough demand for a product, someone someplace will figure out a method to access it for free.
This doesn’t imply that you just shouldn’t invest in piracy safety at all. Instead, it signifies that it is advisable to view digital merchandise by way of a distinct lens.
Keep things in thoughts:
The harder a product is to steal, the less motivated individuals will be to steal it.
Whether it is substantially simpler to purchase the product than to steal it, more folks shall be willing to pay.
The second level is particularly necessary and is the reason behind the success of sites like Spotify. By making it much simpler to stream music legally, Spotify removed the motivation to pirate music. Little wonder that Spotify made over $2B last year.
So no matter safety techniques you choose, make sure that your product is a) harder to steal, and b) easier to buy.
This would possibly mean changing your distribution tactic. As an example, instead of creating software and promoting it via downloads, attempt turning it into a subscription model the place customers pay a fixed payment to access the product each month (i.e. SaaS).
By making access easier, you’ll encourage more authentic buyers and discourage theft.
Getting a copyright is not going to forestall theft, but it can make it simpler to hunt redressal in case someone steals your product. This primarily notes that you’re the rightful owner of a selected piece of intellectual property (IP), and thus, can take someone to courtroom for violating the copyright.
Since copyrighting is a legal matter that varies from country to country, we suggest that you simply seek the advice of a neighborhood lawyer who makes a speciality of copyright law. In the event you’re within the US, you’ll be able to seek the advice of the Copyright Office as well.
Do take into account the next points before you think of getting a copyright:
Copyrights are not universal — a copyright within the US will not protect you from theft and distribution in China.
Not every product can be copyrighted. Within the US, as an illustration, titles, names, phrases, slogans, concepts, etc. cannot be placed beneath copyright. Literary works (together with distinctive content material), unique designs, software, etc. can be. Check your country’s legal guidelines earlier than you proceed.
Any distinctive you publish online is automatically positioned below copyright as per the DMCA, even if it doesn’t have the copyright image (©).
Getting a copyright just isn’t all the time necessary. In lots of cases, it’d even be wasteful, especially for those who’re producing a whole lot of unique IP rapidly. When you’re publishing on-line, you may be already protected under DMCA.