Many people have chosen to establish a presence on social media to make a living. They do so through the monetization of content which they create and upload to social media platforms. A career as a social media content creator should no longer be seen as a gimmick, but as a legitimate profession.
Just like any other line of work, social media content creators can make use of intellectual property for their own benefit. One type of intellectual property often utilized by these creators is the trademark. Since the content they create and distribute is replicable and accessible to millions of Internet users, social media content creators should consider using trademarks to protect their intellectual property. Doing so provides them with legal recourse if their intellectual property rights are violated.
Items Which Social Media Content Creators May Trademark
Social media content creators may apply for trademark registration to protect various elements of their content and profile on the Internet. These elements include usernames, channel names, slogans, names of series created, logos, and hashtags. As is the case with other trademarks, these can be legally enforced following the completion of the registration process.
Some social media content creators may choose to go a step further by trademarking their real names. This may be possible if intellectual property authorities consider the creator’s real name to be in use for the purposes of advertising, promotion, or entertainment. Social media content creators are generally advised to prioritize their usernames and channel names during trademark registration. They should do so as soon as they begin using them on social media in a way which allows the names to be trademarked.
Types of Trademark Protection for Social Media Content Creators
For most social media content creators, the most appropriate types of trademark protection to seek are those pertaining to entertainment. This is because according to most intellectual property authorities as well as some legal definitions, social media content creators are classified as entertainers. Examples of the entertainment-related trademark protection they may seek cover entertainment services as well as any assets related to their online persona.
In most cases, social media content creators do not pursue protective strategies until they gain significant followings and amass considerable income as a content creator. This is because at this point, creators are more likely to have business opportunities allowing them to make use of their online identity as a trademark. By doing so, they also preserve the online personas which they have developed. This in turn allows them to expand their marketing capabilities as content creators.
Protection Against Trademark Infringement of Social Media Content
It may sometimes be the case that another entity violates a social media content creator’s trademark rights. When such is the case, the creator may file a lawsuit against the alleged infringer. If the accused is found guilty of trademark infringement, the content directly related to the violation will have to be taken down from the Internet.
Every social media platform has its own policies on all forms of intellectual property including trademarks. Therefore, social media content creators ought to familiarize themselves with all the intellectual property policies of the platforms to which they upload their content. Armed with this knowledge, they will be more able to guard their content against the actions of potential infringers because they would have more understanding about what each platform permits.
Financial Benefits Provided by Trademarked Social Media Content
Social media content creators who have trademarked their content stand to receive considerable financial benefits. Statistics show that over 20% of any brand’s net worth can be traced to its trademarked brand identity. In the case of social media content creators, their username and online persona serve as their brand. Therefore, social media content creators can generate revenue through registered trademarks.
Additionally, the existence and enforcement of a registered trademark fosters trust within partners and investors. These partners and investors will then be more inclined to make significant financial contributions which will benefit the content creator. Trademark registration makes complications far less likely to arise, allowing financial stability to become more likely.