When you know better, you do better, create better, execute better, and yes, feel better. The epidemic catchphrase “you don’t know what you don’t know” actually has a cure- educate yourself on the topics so that you can move forward making educated decisions, rather than ones based on stress, frustration and fear of the unknown. Whether it’s life or business, there’s never been a time quite like this where access to free online educational resources is wide-spread, readily available and customizable.
Let’s keep it real, if you’re an artist, author, musician or other creative-type, how much money you earn, or lose, can be closely tied to your understanding of copyright law. I’m not suggesting you have to be a scholar, but a working knowledge is recommended, and the U.S. Copyright Office makes it easy to start closing the knowledge gap. It has a free library consisting of Circulars and Factsheets, which are short, easy-to-understand guides that are a great resource for learning the basics of, or brushing up on, copyright law. Want to know if your work is protected by copyright law? Start with Copyright Basics. Ready to apply for a copyright registration? Check out the fee schedule and registration guides specific to your work, e.g. computer programs, music, etc. Still need clarification about when it might, or might not, be fair to use of someone else’s copyrighted work? Search the Fair Use Index for real life examples from real cases.
One positive about not knowing something is you don’t have to stay that way! The information and answers you need to start, grow and legally protect a healthy business are all around you, if you know where to look. And now that you know better, the best is yet to come!
I’d love to hear what you thought about the resources mentioned in this post! Leave a comment and let me know if they were helpful, and how so? If not, what information would be helpful?