Consulting with expensive lawyers has never been high up on any creative’s agenda. Indeed, when their work is stolen or copied, creatives have traditionally done nothing for two simple reaons: firstly because its more hassle to seek legal help than it is not to and, secondly, because many creatives don’t actually know what their rights are.

In the world of digitization, file sharing and online publication however, the widespread copying of creative work has become a big issue, and one that can sometimes cost creatives their livelihood. Creatives need to be proactive about their rights in order to protect their work from unscrupulous idea pirates.

Times are changing for a better sharing of legal information

The problem is that, traditionally, legal information and knowledge has been kept under lock and key – reserved for a select profession (namely: lawyers). However with the advent of the internet and the realization by many that legal information is no different to other types of information online, there is a new trend emerging whereby legal information and knowledge is becoming more accessible to the common man (non-lawyers).

This is great news and it comes at a time when they need this information more than ever. To protect their work online, creatives need access to quick, user-friendly legal guidance on what their rights are and how to enforce and protect them. With access to this information, they can empower themselves to take certain preliminary steps themselves, and if that doesn’t work, when and how to engage specialist outside help. Legal information without the complexity and legalese will also result in the spread of more jargon-free, helpful and relevant advice to other creatives. This, cumulatively, will contribute to a culture of respect for copyright and the protection of creativity online.

Knowledge of copyright laws is power

Having the knowledge on what steps can be taken to protect their work online will assist in avoiding long, impractical court battles with infringers. A number of these steps can be taken online from the creative’s own desktop. Take myows.com for instance – a new online app which not only provides creative’s of all types with third party verification of their date-of-creation but also assists in pursuing their legal rights against unlawful copying. Creatives can also use tools such as Tineye.com or Fairshare to search for copies of their work online.

Be prepared for your copyright cases

Even in more serious cases which need to go to court, you can now confidently present your cases in court without having to worry about not being prepared. The prospects of winning the case always favour the better prepared party.

The delivery of legal services in the new economy is changing rapidly with the use of new technologies. One-to-one consultations are being replaced with online forums and legal information sites. Proactive dispute resolution is replacing expensive litigation in the courts.

Most importantly, more creatives can now have access to legal protection without unnecessary hassle and expense. It seems times are changing for the resourceful creative… and clearly for the better. Whilst our copyrights have always been our rights – we are moving closer to a world in which these can be enforced without incurring unbearable expenses and wasting precious time. The first step to the creative freedom that this provides is simply spending a few moments searching the web to find solutions that will work for you.