Intellectual property and internet coincide in the Digital Age. The Internet of Things (IoT) has been with us for a long time, even though many are just starting to see it, meaning the connected network of devices surrounding us is growing. We welcomed the first IoT device some time ago via the smartphone, a device where the functionality is based on its connection to the Internet or cellular network.

For instance, just picture the impact your phone has, with billions of connected smartphone devices, and you would get an idea of IoT’s projected scale. The unassuming IoT workhorses are gaining control of:

  1. Smart power grids
  2. Transportation systems
  3. Manufacturing processes

IoT helps us do the following:

  1. Travel in cars
  2. Manage homes
  3. Shop in a store
  4. Assist in various tasks

Gartner forecasts that there will be over 20 billion IoT devices around the world, amounting to roughly three IoT devices for each person. This explains Gartner’s other prediction regarding 2020, where the world will spend $3 trillion on IoT-related hardware. How you view IoT depends on your worldview.

Eventually, IoT will hit a critical juncture and explode as a high-stakes industry with tremendous potential to make huge profits. Moreover, it will be filled with unprecedented intellectual property complexities, but so will the chances for success. With constant technological innovation, the Internet makes information more readily available. With that, such information derives from certain creators and sources, especially pertaining to creative property. Therefore, you must know what you create on the Internet and what you can get out of it.

Creative property includes:

  1. Music
  2. Writing
  3. Drawings
  4. Film
  5. Photography
  6. Paintings

Internet Drawbacks

In previous times, it was fairly easy to protect such work, and the copying process was difficult. Even if a person copied a book or painting, it wasn’t based on profit, and it usually occurred as an isolated event. Due to the Internet, however, stealing intellectual property is easier and more popular. Creative properties are more available to the public and can be shared, downloaded, or copied. Some of the copying is also against the law. Regardless of whether users are aware of IP laws, they are breaking the law by copying material.

The illegal distribution and copying of protected material has had a negative effect on a range of industries, including:

  1. Television
  2. Publishing
  3. Games
  4. Software
  5. Music
  6. Film

Intellectual Property Law

IP law also pertains to materials created online. In essence, all materials in cyberspace are made of bits, which is the binary code that’s the core of the computer industry. In digital form, such areas as music and video can be reproduced perfectly at an infinite rate, with no value decrease as more copies are made. When it comes to digital media, the copy is also the original work.

The binary situation of digital media presents a variety of problems regarding how the works can be used and reused, including the rights and duties of consumers and producers under the law. One of the main features of the Internet is its wide reach, the ability to distribute digital material faster, and it being cheaper to get information. You can also find great value to communicate to millions of people around the world from the comfort of your own home.

However, there are downsides, as content owners have little to no control over the distribution over their properties. For many people unaware of how license agreements work, or the ones willing to ignore them, the Internet is a public forum where all works can be copied and used.

In recent years, however, a great deal of publicity has highlighted the illegal dissemination of IP that includes:

  1. Scripts
  2. Film
  3. Art
  4. Photos
  5. Software
  6. Music

Downloads without production permission are a violation of national copyright laws. Given the ease in which digital files may be copied, the unauthorized replication of such content has caused major problems that results in millions of dollars lost in revenue for producers. As an internet-based business, you should safeguard your IP rights online, and this can be accomplished in various ways.

IP Safeguards

First, you should identify your property clearly, either sending out a copyright notice, or any other ownership indication. You may also want to tell users what they can do with the content. Moreover, you should never disseminate or allow third-party downloads that do not relate to your business, and you should establish programs to ensure that your workers understand operating processes regarding this matter.

If you have more questions about intellectual property and Internet, submit your legal inquiry to our UpCounsel marketplace. UpCounsel’s attorneys have graduated from some of the top law schools in the nation and will help you safeguard your IP in the Digital Age. Moreover, they will help you enforce your rights in a court of law when necessary.