#43: Creating Valuable Copyrighted Content | Episode 45

Season #3

Have you ever put out content only to have no one read it or use it or notice it? You hear crickets as if you’ve spoken into a vast empty cavern to no one but your own thoughts?

In this episode, we talk about how to create copyrighted content that has value - content that impacts society and transforms lives - and which people want and need. You'll learn that having copyright over your content does not automatically give you an edge over anyone else. In fact, copyright does not give you anything other than a right to exclude others from copying and using your work. It's more important to create content that people want than it is to focus on getting copyright protection over your work. 

To get copyright protection:

1. You must create a work of original authorship i.e. the work has to originate from you so you cannot photocopy a book but you can read it and try to come up with an identical version and the book you wrote might be eligible for copyright protection (although I would not encourage that because that might infringe on the books copyright)
2. You must be expressive because the law protects expressions so if you have a bare bone idea, you probably would not be protected but if you take that idea and flesh it out with your own expression, your expression of it will be protected even when the idea remains free for everyone else to use.
3. You must fix your work in a tangible medium of expression i.e. you have to put your expression into a medium that can hold it for more than transitory duration. 

But, getting a copyright should not be your end goal. Your end goal should be to provide a transformative experience to your audience whether you educate, entertain, or inform them through your work. Here are the 5 questions to ask to create content that has value to your audience, which would make your work more impactful and easily monetizable:

1. Who is your audience?

Knowing who you’re creating content for and what they want is essential to producing impactful content. e.

2. What outcome do you want to have with your content?

Knowing the purpose of your content is important. If you don’t have a specific outcome you wish to achieve, you will create content that people pass by and do not stop to consider. 

3. What medium can you use to create the outcome you desire for your audience?

Knowing what type of medium you can use to hold your content and what makes sense to you and to your audience allows you to choose the most effective means of communication, whether it be audio, video, or text,

4. What is the actual content you will create?

Knowing what you will say and communicate is important once you’ve figured out your audience, outcome, and the medium. This is where you can be as creative as you want within the framework set by your audience, outcome, and medium.

5. What kind of transformation will your audience experience?

The true value of any work - content that makes an impact, moves people, gets them excited and willing to pay you for your content - is the transformation your audience experiences after they encounter your content.

Links to resources

§102 Copyright Act 1976 (United States)

§106 Copyright Act 1976 (United States)

Geraldine Brooks, People of the Book

PDF download of the 5 questions