Do authors think about intellectual property enough?
Authors don't have a 'thing' to sell. What we own is much less tangible, and the boundaries are less clear. We might think about copyright - but few know precisely how it works (and the differences internationally). Authors using pseudonyms face greater complications. If you get really successful, then trademarks often come into play - for novel names, characters and authors.
How much do you know? Here are ten statements on intellectual property. Keep going until you hit one you can't say is true for you, then let us know how far you got.
1. I know my work is copyrighted automatically.
2. I am aware that I can register my copyright (and know the benefits of doing so).
3. I am aware how long copyright lasts.
4. I know what a trademark is.
5. I have considered a trademark for my brand.
6. I have applied for my trademark, in appropriate classes and had it approved.
7. I know what the benefits of incorporating a self publishing company are.
8. I actively enforce my intellectual property via DCMA take down requests.
9. I pro-actively think about intellectual property when branding a new series or pseudonym.
10.. I have thought about estate planning - I know who will inherit my IP when I die.
Who got to 10? Honestly?
Anyone get to 7?
Intellectual property is EVERYTHING. Who has consulted an intellectual property lawyer? More pertinently, who hasn't?
You don't sell eBooks, you sell licences. You can sell copyright, but it's unwise to do so. A licence is a little bit of intellectual property - the right to read a copy, the right to distribute as an eBook in the UK, the right to translate and publish in China, the right produce an audio copy, the right to aggregate content (a la smashwords or draft2digital), the right to film, to gaming rights, to make a stage adaptation, to right a screenplay for television etc, first publication rights in magazines...
Now, hands up again. How many of you are actively exploiting all your intellectual property rights?