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Protecting your work.

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Protecting your work.

This may be a ridiculous question, but what are the dangers of putting stuff of yours on Youtube. It is a nice way to share projects, or show them to people you know, but is there any risk to people stealing ideas or the project themselves by doing that?

I have also wondered the same thing with online portfolios. I was planning on getting one together, as I am starting to have enough work compiled to start really putting one together, but worry about protecting my work.

Should everything be watermarked in some way. How about animation, should animation be watermarked in some way. People do it all the time on images, but I've not seen it alot on video, except in maybe a title card or something.

What do most other people do concerning all this?

If you are concerned about this, put a watermark on the images.
Legally speaking, the copyright and trademark acts give you a measure of protection from the outset--just by creating the works at hand. Registering the works with the copyright office will protect your intellectual property in certain respects ( you cannot protect an idea, but you can, to a degree, protect the execution of an idea), but enforcing such protection depends upon your willingness to sue.

Do NOT fall prey to the bullshit that is the supposed "poor man's copyright"--that is mailing ( via regular or registered mail) a copy of the material to yourself, hoping that the postmark will stand as proof of the date of creation. It is a myth, and does not stand up in court, because such marks CAN be easily forged.

Protection comes down to one thing really......your willingness to counter infringement with a lawsuit. If you cannot afford litigation, and are adamant about protecting it, then never divulge the work to the world at all.

The best tool that you have is establishing that you created the work FIRST, and can support that claim by having items registered at the copyright office, or time-stamped via broadcast media like Youtube. Having your work archived in such a manner by a third party is usually considered to be the prima face' evidence of your ownership.

Also, with enforcement, keep in mind that the best you can usually hope for is deterrence. If someone infringes upon your copyright, the most you can usually do is prevent them from any further infringement by threatening losses upon them. Usually just a letter from a lawyer will let them know the jig is up--and the implied threat of further legal action from such a letter is usually enough to get them to stop. ( and a Letter can usually be had for not a lot of money, more than $50.
Word of advice: NEVER threaten to sue.........and then never follow up. You look like a toothless chump then.
Either do it, or not. Never broadcast that you are suing someone, spring the action on them as if you were dropping a bomb. The element of surprise doubles the shock value.
Most of the time, a letter from a lawyer does just that, again.......because of the implied idea that you have unlimited legal guidance and backing from that point on.
Most infringing parties don't have the stomach or the balls for a legal fight.

But if they do........or they simply flaunt disregard of the law in everyone's face......there's not a lot of punitive things you can do. A court order to pay restitution means nothing if the infringing party has no assets, and they continue to infringe in contempt of the laws and courts.

Finally, if you are really concerned about this......ignore every last word I said.
Go see a entertainment lawyer, pay a modest fee and ask for some consultation on creator rights. You will get honest answers from a professional--as opposed to the unqualified opinions of strangers on a internet forum--and it'll be the best money you ever spend ( if you get billed at all) because you get information that is literally guaranteed to be useful.
If you think your ideas and work are so valuable, why would you risk it otherwise?

"We all grow older, we do not have to grow up"--Archie Goodwin ( 1937-1998)

So really you are saying by "publishing" stuff on broadcast media places like YouTube you are partially protecting your work by declaring the time in which it was created and by whom. I would assume the same would apply with an online portfolio, or posting stuff on Deviant Art, etc. That makes since. Just something I've wondered about. I guess there is more risk by just sending someone in private examples of your work. So sounds like the online portfolio would be safer.

Just something I've wondered about. Not at all presuming my stuff is worth stealing lol.

The safer thing is "Go see a entertainment lawyer".