Intellectual Property in Content Marketing for the Digital Agency

This is a guest post featuring the views and opinions of an industry professional, which may not represent those of Delphic Digital.

Creating content is the way a digital marketing agency forms relationships with the Internet generation. In the past, television and print advertising ruled the world. Today, people go online to socialize, watch movies, play games, find friends, read books and do their shopping. That means content marketing has a key role in brand development. Companies that fail to take part in this growing evolution will cut out a large portion of potential customers.

As this form of digital marketing agency increases in popularity, the concept of intellectual property rights becomes even more prevalent. Marketers want information that is both timely and eye-catching – that sometimes means treading vicariously on other people’s creative endeavors. How do responsible marketers manage to keep their content fresh without stepping on legal toes?

Let’s Discuss Intellectual Property

What does that term actually mean? Intellectual property is a creation that the legal community recognizes as belonging to another party. Disney does not own all images of mice but the concept of Mickey Mouse, and any marketing material that involves this character, is their property. Even though Mickey is an intangible object, it is still an asset. IP doesn’t have to be an image or character; it can be idea or concept, written article, trade secret or industrial design. Anything born out of the mind of another has the potential to be intellectual property.

How the Digital Marketing Agency has Changed the Face of IP

The Internet has challenged the very heart of intellectual property. The arrival of peer sharing sites really changed the focus primarily for artistic work, but the backlash was a need to modernize the definition of intellectual property as it relates to content marketing. In the digital age, IP is a balancing act between the rights of the inventor and the interest of society. This is what brings public domain into the digital marketing agency arena.

What is Public Domain?

Any creative work where intellectual property rights don’t apply is public domain. For example, plays by Shakespeare were the creation of one individual but are not technically owned by any person. This means a digital marketing agency is free to use this content without risk of violating IP laws. The same is not true for most modern literary works.

How Do You Avoid Stealing Property When Creating Content?

Content marketing is a unique presentation. The operative word here is unique. If you cut and paste something from another website, obviously that violates the “unique” criteria. A digital marketing agency that sees a fun article on a subject they wish to cover is not free to use that material at will.

By definition, content marketing involves already published information. The goal is to research different sources for a topic and create a new, distinctive piece of work. An author who writes about top-selling cars on the market does not own the concept, just that particular article. That means you can read that information and combine it with other resources to come up with a new, original view of the same topic.

It is easy to confuse intellectual property and content marketing. Ultimately, creating distinctive ideas every time you publish a piece is paramount. The role of a content marketer is to develop unique work. As long as what you write comes from your mind and not someone else’s, you are abiding by the rules of content marketing. When you do share, provide proper citation to the original creator to give credit where credit is due.

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