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Intellectual Property Rules for Digital Film

Being able to easily share your DSLR film over the Internet also means that someone can use it without your permission. Intellectual property rules are in place to protect you and your creation. There’s not much difference between physically being robbed and having your content stolen online. Both are violations and threaten what you’ve worked hard to accomplish.

Remember, you are the creator of your work, and when someone uses it without permission, it's not just frustrating. It’s also stealing. Although putting your work in the public domain presents some challenges, you can take some steps to both lessen the chances of theft and go after the people who take it if it does happen.

Here are a few ways to protect your video:

  • Monitor where you send it. Don’t just upload video to every place that tickles your fancy. Instead, limit where you send video and keep a log of the time and place.

  • Use a watermark. Sometimes it’s distracting, but a watermark may discourage content thieves from using it in the first place, and it lets you confirm that it’s your content. For serious parties — like those acquiring movies or administering competitions — you can send a “clean” version upon request.

  • Periodically scour the web. You’d be surprised how many users purloin content and retain your original filename. Regardless of whether they're brazenly ripping you off or just being ignorant, when you find they’ve done it, you must let them know. Measures range from sending them a cease and desist letter to taking legal action.

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