Are You a Freelance Writer? 4 Steps to Safeguard Your Work Against Intellectual Property Violations

When you're a writer, you're the owner of every creative thought you have in your mind. If you work for a company, that ownership can change once you put your thoughts on paper. But, if you're a freelance writer, you maintain that ownership until you sell your work. This is where intellectual property rights become so important. Unfortunately, your intellectual property can be difficult to protect, especially when you're a freelance writer.

Every time you submit samples to prospective clients, you run the risk that those samples might be stolen. Once they're stolen, someone else can make money off of your intellectual property, which is why you need to take steps to protect it. Here are four steps you can take to protect your intellectual property when you're a freelance writer. 

Do Your Due Diligence

If you're a freelance writer, you need to protect your intellectual property. That's not always easy to do, especially when it comes to submitting samples and proposals. That's where doing your due-diligence comes into the picture. Before you submit samples and proposals, take the time to research the client that you intend to work with. Pay close attention to freelance forums. That's where you'll learn everything you need to know about prospective clients. If a prospective client has a history of violating intellectual property rights or has stolen work from freelance writers in the past, it's best to look elsewhere for work. If that's impossible, use the steps below to increase your protection. 

Insist on Non-Disclosure

If you're going to be submitting sample writing pieces, or proposals, and you want to protect against intellectual property theft, insist on a non-disclosure agreement. This is especially important if the client you're working with has a questionable history with other freelance writers. A non-disclosure agreement is an easy way to ensure that a prospective client won't discuss your ideas with other people, or use them as their own. 

Give Your Documents a Unique Mark

If you're a freelance writer, and you want to protect your intellectual property, start watermarking your documents. Watermarking allows you to monitor your writing samples and proposals. You might think that watermarking is only available for hard copy submissions, but that's not the case. You can use computer apps to create watermarks for the work you submit electronically, as well. 

Hire an Intellectual Property Attorney

Finally, if you're a freelance writer, and you want to make sure that your intellectual property is well-protected, hire an attorney. An intellectual property lawyer can help you with trademarks, patents, and copyrights; all important ways to protect your work. They can also provide you with the help you need for your contracts, and non-disclosure agreements.

About Me

The Internet Makes Learning about Law Easier than Ever

Unlike many children growing up today, I am old enough to remember what life was like before the internet became popular! Many years ago, I ended up in a messy legal situation that stemmed from a simple misunderstanding. It turned out that I actually did not break the law, and finding that out in court was a great relief! While I had a great lawyer who helped me during that time, reading some legal information for myself about the laws surrounding my incident could have greatly eased my worries during the stressful time. I have since dedicated myself to learning more about the law, so I never have to deal with a legal mess again. I thought I would make a blog to share some legal knowledge I have acquired along with some general legal tips. I hope I can help many people!



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