Intellectual property can be defined as a number of diverse
kinds of ideas or creations of the mind for which a set of exclusive rights are
acknowledged and can be legally protected.
With the great strides in technology over the years, the
internet has made information constantly and readily available. Creative
materials such as music, poems, articles, picture etc. can now be easily found
in the internet, but the ease in which they can be copied or downloaded
illegally or without authorization has led to owners of these properties
counting lots of losses from their works.
The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), an arm
under the United Nations was tasked with the obligation of setting up laws to
protect intellectual property all over the world. World Intellectual Property
Organization, established that, intellectual property shall include but not
Works of performing artists, broadcasts and
Discoveries in all fields of human ventures.
Pieces of literature, scientific and artistic
Trademarks, commercial and service names and
names of designations.
Intellectual property laws are divided into several
Copyright: Basically, includes legit creative
e.g. music, poems, works of art, computer programs etc.
Trademark: This includes patents, industrial
designs, logos, names that are used to identify a business product or service.
Image Rights or Right to Publicity: This refers
to a person’s image or name. The image rights ensure that an individual’s name
or image cannot be used to commercially promote a product or service without
the owner’s consent.
Right of Privacy: Even though it is a bit slack
in relation to intellectual property, right of privacy can be used to protect
against republishing online content e.g. blogs that may say contain private
Trade Secrets: This involves business secrets or
sensitive information about a business that if leaked out could give other
competitors an edge over them.
In the electronic world it is always wise and important to
protect your intellectual property. This can be achieved in a number of ways:
Clearly label your works or content for easy
identification, either through a copyright or some notice that you own it.
Do not distribute or allow third parties access
to download or acquire property that does not belong to you. Place in
guidelines or company policies.
Take the initiative to legally pursue individual
who infringe your copyrights.
Always remember to cite accordingly if borrowing
literary information and also credit sources of digital content.