Whenever you’re selling digital products, you benefit from the absence of stock and shipping, however you get piracy as a relentless menace instead. It is remarkably simple for somebody to steal your mental property — music, designs, eBooks, software — and distribute it below their very own name.
The numbers related to piracy are staggering. Microsoft estimates that piracy prices the software business $491B each year. One other estimate pegs the loss between $200 to $250B within the US alone.
Regardless of the numbers, one thing is obvious: theft could be a major problem while you’re selling digital products.
Luckily, there are some ways you can make theft a lot, much harder. We’ll show you tips on how to shield your digital merchandise in this article.
Rethink Digital Protection
Before we dive into the small print of digital protection, it’s necessary that you just view it with the right body of mind.
Merely put, there isn’t any such thing as one hundred% foolproof protection in the case of digital goods. Hundreds of enterprise around the world have been attempting to resolve this downside, including huge software corporations like Microsoft, and they haven’t totally succeeded.
The reality of the internet is that if there is adequate demand for a product, somebody somewhere will determine a method to access it for free.
This doesn’t mean that you simply shouldn’t spend money on piracy protection at all. Instead, it means that it’s worthwhile to view digital merchandise by way of a different lens.
Preserve things in thoughts:
The harder a product is to steal, the less motivated people might be to steal it.
If it is substantially easier to purchase the product than to steal it, more individuals shall be keen to pay.
The second point is especially essential and is the reason behind the success of sites like Spotify. By making it much simpler to stream music legally, Spotify removed the motivation to pirate music. Little wonder that Spotify made over $2B final year.
So no matter safety tactics you select, make it possible for your product is a) harder to steal, and b) simpler to buy.
This might imply changing your distribution tactic. For instance, instead of making software and promoting it through downloads, attempt turning it right into a subscription mannequin the place customers pay a fixed fee to access the product every month (i.e. SaaS).
By making entry simpler, you’ll encourage more professional patrons and discourage theft.
Getting a copyright is not going to forestall theft, however it would make it simpler to seek redressal in case somebody steals your product. This primarily notes that you’re the rightful owner of a specific piece of intellectual property (IP), and thus, can take somebody to court for violating the copyright.
Since copyrighting is a authorized matter that varies from country to country, we recommend that you seek the advice of an area lawyer who makes a speciality of copyright law. If you happen to’re within the US, you may consult the Copyright Office as well.
Do take into accout the following factors earlier than you think of getting a copyright:
Copyrights are usually not common — a copyright in the US is not going to defend you from theft and distribution in China.
Not each product may be copyrighted. Within the US, for instance, titles, names, phrases, slogans, ideas, etc. cannot be placed beneath copyright. Literary works (including unique content), unique designs, software, etc. can be. Check your country’s laws earlier than you proceed.
Any distinctive you publish online is automatically placed below copyright as per the DMCA, even when it doesn’t have the copyright image (©).
Getting a copyright just isn’t all the time necessary. In lots of cases, it might even be wasteful, particularly if you’re producing loads of unique IP rapidly. In the event you’re publishing online, you could be already protected beneath DMCA.