All you need to know about the copyright and how to protect your freelance work
Published on 2022-01-25 by Ching Chieh Li.
Copyright might sound like a very complicated legal term. It is hard to understand it and makes you feel tired from reading. For the freelancers who work in the creative fields, such as copywriters, ghostwriters are vital to learning it. With this knowledge, you will know how clients can use your work, what you should do to protect yourself, and how to protect your intellectual property rights. We conduct comprehensive research into copyright. This guide covers all you need to know about copyright and how to secure your freelance work.
This article is for providing general guidelines about copyright. We recommend that you consult a lawyer for legal advice.
What is copyright
Copyright is one kind of intellectual property that offers the right for its owner to copy and distribute a creative work within a given time. In simple terms, the law protects your original works and the authority to reproduce them. In fact, copyright protects the creative piece until 70 years after the author’s death, according to the copyright law of the European Union. The time frame is similar to the copyright law of the United States. The law is especially designed to protect creative work. Also, ensure that no one can public it without you. The moment when you produce original, scientific, and artistic work such as poems, articles, films, songs, and more. It is automatically covered by the regulation without undergoing any process. In general, the law allows you to have the following benefits.
- Economic rights: You have control over your work and receive the remuneration for using it via selling and licensing
- Moral right: You have the right to claim authorship and refuse modification of your work
Why you should know it
When you may not be the owner of your work
In most cases, you have control over the work. But you may lose it in other situations. For example, when you work under a work-for-hire contract. With it, the project belongs to the employer instead of the creator, according to the United States Copyright Act of 1976. This way, you cannot decide how the project will be used! You may lose the ownership if
How to secure your work
A written contract is a simple way to protect your rights. You will save a lot of discussion time with the employer if you sign a contract with them in advance. The freelance contract should contain the essential details besides the general terms. You can ask yourself the following questions while forming it.
- How can the client use your work?
- Do they need your written permission before using it on other forms?
- Do you offer the work for one-time project? Or for using it within a certain period of time?
- Should they give credit to your work and add descriptions such as all rights reserved when they need it?
- Is it possible to show that you took part in this project in any other form?
How to correctly transfer the copyright
Some projects, such as ghostwriting projects, will ask for transferring the copyrights. You lose the possibility to resell the work, borrow it, or duplicate it from the second you sign it. You can transfer the copyright in the following ways.
- Copyright transfer agreement: This document transfers the copyright from the owner to the other party.
- License: The license offers permission to use the work.
As a creative writer, you have exclusive rights and ownership of your work. You have the freedom to use your file in any way. Useme offers an even safer way to secure your freelance work and receive payment quickly. With us, the client can only download the file after paying the invoice. You can also choose the way to transfer copyright during the process. Get a new client? We will have a special path for protecting your new project.