The Official Kunvay Blog

Learn how to navigate copyright and intellectual property ownership smartly so you own your work, and own your future.

5 Questions VCs Ask Startups about Copyright & IP You’ll Need to Answer

Photo Credit: Zoosk Startup and VC Speed Dating at Tech Crunch Disrupt 2010 by Howard Greenstein

Photo Credit: Zoosk Startup and VC Speed Dating at Tech Crunch Disrupt 2010 by Howard Greenstein used under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Situations where potential venture capital investors are grilling start-up management always seems to bring the T.V. show “Shark Tank” to mind.

I don’t know how many times I watched as one of the “sharks” on that show told some poor business bait that money would be offered to invest based on a plan to market a license on an app program that showed great potential.

The shark sure sounds like he knows what he is talking about. Or does he.

Because we know that before licensing anything a startup manager needs to have procured a solid copyright.

Getting a copyright for a program associated with an app, website or any other computer program is no easy task regardless of whether venture capital has been secured. There is a fundamental flaw with Continue reading

Copyright & IP Assignment Explained: What Copyright Transfer and Assignment of Rights Really Means

Photo Credit: Copyright by Maria Elena used under CC BY 2.0

Photo Credit: Copyright by Maria Elena used under CC BY 2.0

A copyright confers on its owner a bundle of rights and interests.

But before that copyright interest or right can be validly transferred or assigned to another person or entity, the copyright owner must be sure that they presently own in part or in full the copyright interest that is to be transferred.

Determining copyright ownership means going back to the very origins of the creation or work and tracing all the facts concerning copyright ownership going forward to the present in a “chain of title” search that is similar a real estate title search used to validate land ownership.

If the copyright has never been assigned or licensed or if a previous licensing agreement has expired then the copyright owner is free to assign or license his rights in his work.

Copyright Assignment vs Copyright License

The transfer of a copyright assignment and a copyright license differ greatly in measure and in finality. A copyright assignment occurs when Continue reading

3 Lessons You Can Learn about Copyright & IP from a Startup Founder Who Got Screwed Over by Innovation Exchange (IX) & The Clorox Company in a $45K Open Innovation Challenge

Innovation Exchange Logo FinalClorox FinalYou might think the founder of a startup that helps creatives, freelancers and their clients transfer copyright and intellectual property ownership online would have no problem when it comes to transferring IP rights to his own work to someone else, but you would be wrong.

As Kunvay’s founder, I know exactly what it’s like to run into problems transferring ownership of my work to someone else while getting paid fairly for my contributions.

Transferring and acquiring ownership rights to knowledge work is complex and can be frustrating to administrate.

In this post, you’ll learn three important lessons I learned from a recent experience that could be of benefit to you as well.

So let’s begin . . .

I’ve always been a fan of open innovation and crowdsourcing ever since reading Dan Tapscott’s book, Wikinomics.

No matter how big your organization is (whether you’re a boutique creative studio or Procter & Gamble), there are more smart people outside your organization than inside your organization so why not benefit from ideas and perspectives from the outside?

Today many companies routinely acquire solutions to business problems created by people outside their organization giving rise to intermediary companies like Innocentive and Innovation Exchange (IX) that provide a platform to outsource business challenges to the proverbial crowd.

These intermediaries consult with companies on business problems and then present those business problems in the form of sponsored challenges to solvers like you and me to solve. If a company likes your solution they award you a prize, and you transfer IP rights to your solution to the company. Continue reading

Is Copyright the New Black?

Photo Credit: Copyright Symbols by MikeBlogs used under CC BY 2.0

Photo Credit: Copyright Symbols by MikeBlogs used under CC BY 2.0

There’s something special about the color black.

In the fashion world, it’s come to enjoy a sort of legendary status, expressing an authentic mix of poise and practicality that’s completely essential for every wardrobe.

Could it be that copyright, the supposed refuge for creators and authors, has also achieved similar status?

It’s an issue well worth addressing. In today’s technology-driven era of ubiquity and proliferation, our airwaves are ever awash in torrential downpours of information.

The combination of capable hardware and widespread social networking makes it convenient, entertaining and even rewarding to select and share, share, share. Herein, lies the crux of our issue.

Transcending the Copycat Norm

The non-commercial copying and pasting, digitizing and downloading, forwarding and freely sharing considered so normal these days often leaves one key player completely out of the loop: the original creator, not to mention her compensation and credit.

This means creative work is routinely shared illegally, and our culture simply accepts it.

The protection of originality in creation lies at the heart of copyright law – mostly so that artists, writers and other creators can keep Continue reading

Top 10 SXSW Panels to Check Out or Follow at Home If You Care About Copyright & IP

SXSW LogoCreativity and copyright reign supreme this week in Austin, Texas where over 32,000 creatives from around the world have converged for the annual South By Southwest (SXSW) Festival.

The festival continues to deliver on its goal to “create an event that would act as a tool for creative people and the companies they work with to develop their careers, to bring together people from a wide area to meet and share ideas.”

We’ve put together our Top 10 favorite panels to attend or follow at home on Twitter if you want to learn more about cutting-edge copyright issues facing the creative community.

Given our mission here at Kunvay to make the world safe for creativity, we were bowled over by the impressive number of conference sessions addressing copyright and intellectual property – subjects of great importance to creatives everywhere.

Follow our Storify feed to find out what people are saying about copyright and IP at the festival, or use these Twitter hashtags to follow the panel conversations directly.

  1. DIY IP: Protect Yo Self, Don’t Wreck Yo Self     #swsw #diyip
  2. The Artists’ Copyright Conundrum      #swsw #crightcon
  3. Copyright & Disruptive Technologies      #sxsw #copytech Continue reading

The Media File that Could: Why Obtaining Full Copyright and Intellectual Property Ownership Matters

Your mother may have told you that sharing is caring, but sharing isn’t always caring when it comes to copyright and intellectual property law.

With the growing popularity of social media platforms, people are sharing images more than ever.

Unfortunately for the creators of the shared media files, few people understand that they are violating copyright law when they upload and post creative work without the authorization of the creator.

Sharing Isn’t Always Caring

One needs only log into Pinterest to find numerous copyrighted images that others have “pinned” or uploaded to the Pinterest website without permission from the image’s owner.

Innocent though it may seem, every time an image is shared without the creator’s permission, a blogger, artist, photographer or graphic designer loses credit for her work and possible income that she could have generated from that work.

This proliferation of copyright infringement can understandably leave a creative feeling a bit down and discouraged.

After experiencing infringement of her work, a freelancer may even wonder whether she can continue to make a profit when her time and hard work easily become mute at the hands of copyright infringers.

After all, a creative can easily put in hours, if not weeks, of thought, work, and editing into a single creative work.

That photo, logo, or written content represents the freelancer’s professional image, work ethic, and indeed, livelihood. Nobody knows better than a freelancer that the widespread violation of an artist’s work equates to theft.

Creating the Media File that Could: How to Protect Your Work

Creatives may feel like they are constantly fighting an uphill battle against technology and social media. But Continue reading