As a creative entrepreneur, you can use intellectual property rights to protect your creativity and make money while you sleep.
Creativity is all about ideas and creative enterprise is about making money from those ideas. The main assets of most creative businesses are intangible – ideas and know-how in the form of intellectual property (IP). So creative entrepreneurs need to know how to protect their IP and use it to generate income streams.
Ideas themselves cannot be protected legally, only the expression of those ideas in some recorded form. Intellectual property can be defined as “the product of creative ideas expressed in works” and intellectual property rights (IPR) can be described as “the legal powers associated with the ownership, protection and commercial exploitation of creative ideas expressed in works”. Most intellectual property rights are protected through copyright, designs, trade marks or patents.
Copyright automatically arises as soon as an original work is created; it does not need to be registered. Copyright applies to writing, music, films, artwork, designs, photos, computer programs, broadcasts, etc. Normally, the first owner of a copyright work is its creator, the main exception being an employee creating something in the course of their employment. Of course copyright can be sold or given away, by agreement in writing. It is important to note, though, that until there is an agreement in writing to the contrary, copyright remains with the creator. This has implications for terms of trade with clients. Although registration of copyright is not necessary to achieve legal rights, it is nevertheless useful to keep records in case of any disputes in the future. For example, copies signed and dated by an independent person should be kept, along with notebooks, sketches, drafts and other evidence.
Designs are protected automatically by copyright but designs can also be registered, giving stronger legal protection in the event of a dispute over ownership. A design could be a logo, illustration, vase, book cover, wallpaper or other form of design. Registered Designs apply only to the appearance and form of things, not their functionality, which is the realm of Patents.
Trade marks distinguish the goods and services of one trader as distinct from another and so can be described as a ‘badge of origin’ to inform customers about the source of those goods or services. Trade marks are usually words or symbols, but can also be jingles, smells or colours. Having invested creativity, time energy and money in making your goods and services, and having built a reputation for your work, you should consider protecting your brand through a trade mark, either registered or unregistered. An unregistered trade mark can be denoted using the ‘TM’ symbol, whereas registered trade marks are denoted by the ® symbol
Registration of Designs, Trade Marks and Patents in the UK takes place at the UK Intellectual Property Office (UK IPO) – formerly known as the Patent Office – which publishes very helpful information online.
The first concern of most creative entrepreneurs is how to use intellectual property rights defensively to avoid being ‘ripped off’ by others, but there are also more positive aspects to intellectual property rights. ‘Renting’ intellectual property through licensing can generate ongoing income streams. It’s important to be clear about the position of intellectual property when charging customers and clients for goods and services. Who ends up owning the IP? What are the permitted uses of the IP?
This approach to using IP to develop a creative enterprise offers you a model of business which is not solely based on your ability to continue working. In this way, intellectual property rights can be used to generate income ‘while you sleep’, to transform you from being a ‘creative labourer’ to a ‘creative entrepreneur’. This model is also ‘scalable’ in that further income can be generated without being limited by your personal capacity and availability. For example, a musician or performer can only work in one place at a time, but through recordings or videos they can entertain many audiences simultaneously and generate multiple income streams.
By creating works protected by intellectual property rights, creative businesses can grow their income without necessarily having to grow in terms of employees, premises or other overheads.
Various licensing arrangements are available by using Creative Commons licences to permit limited use, perhaps for publicity purposes, and organisations such as ‘Own It’ can give advice on commercial licensing for creative enterprises.
Intellectual property is at the heart of the creative industries and as such it needs to be an important part of any successful business strategy in the creative sector.
Make money while you sleep
David Parrish inspires and empowers creative entrepreneurs world-wide as an international creative industries speaker, consultant, trainer and author.
Business Adviser – Creative and Digital Industries
Creative and digital businesses grow with the help of David’s expertise in creative entrepreneurship. He shares his expertise through his speeches, training workshops, coaching and books on business growth.
He helps clients by drawing on his own direct experience as an entrepreneur as well as his work helping hundreds of creative, digital, cultural and arts businesses around the world. His direct experience is backed up by academic qualifications and professional accreditations in business strategy, marketing and leadership. He is a Chartered Institute of Marketing ‘Chartered Marketer’. David has an MBA (with distinction). In addition, he is a Fellow of the Institute of Leadership and Management (FInstLM). He is also honoured to be a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.
David is a UK expert and international creative industries speaker. He has helped hundreds of businesses in more than 50 countries to achieve greater success on their own terms. This is achieved by using smart business development techniques that fit with their creativity, ambitions and values. His creative industries consulting focuses on the needs of creative industries businesses, cultural enterprises and arts organisations.
Successful creative enterprises integrate creativity and business. David’s T-Shirts and Suits® approach helps creative people (‘T-Shirts’) use smart business thinking (‘Suits’). His entertaining and inspirational speeches illustrate ways in which businesses can use creative business models and powerful business techniques to achieve greater success. His creative industries consulting with individual businesses guides them to success by combining their creative passion, strengths and goals with a winning business strategy tailored to their own needs, values and circumstances.
Creative Business Books, eBooks and Audiobooks
David has written two books and several other publications especially for creative businesses. He brings his own experience of setting up and growing businesses in the creative and cultural industries. David is actively involved in the creative and digital industries as a company director and management consultant. He also shares the learning he has gained from working with hundreds of successful creative enterprises around the world. His books are available in paperback, eBook and Audiobook formats. They have been translated into several languages and published in various countries in several continents.
What they say about David Parrish…
Here are a few examples of what people say about David Parrish. His clients worldwide say how they have benefited from David’s creative industries keynote speeches. They also recommend his business advice, training, presentations, lectures and books:
“It was a pleasure to invite David to give the keynote speech at the Third International Creative Industries Conference in Novi Sad, Serbia. His speech about ‘Creative Business in the Digital Economy’ was enlightening. It was ideal for our audience that included startups, government officials, investors and agencies from Serbia and other countries. David’s speech was also broadcast on TV to reach an even wider audience. We were delighted with the positive impact that David made on the creative industries here in Serbia.”
Tatjana Kalezic. Creative Industries Cluster of Vojvodina KVIK.
“The choice to work with David was definitely the right one. In less than two days time we had crafted a cohesive short term and long term strategy that provides for desired growth, protects our IP, enables investment, and allows us to retain creative control of our technology. David’s ability to listen to your situation, to understand it, and then determine a course of action based on your specific needs and goals is rare and a makes David a joy to work with.”
– Aric Wanveer. Zero Gravity Creations LLC, Baltimore, USA
“David Parrish was a special guest of Creative Industries Summer School held in Moscow. Creative entrepreneurs from all over Russia said that David’s presentation was very inspiring, entertaining and very useful for them. His presentation “Creativity and Business: How to Succeed as a Creative Entrepreneur” was amazing and I am sure it will help develop creative entrepreneurship in Russia. David is a very bright and powerful expert.”
– Olga Kizina. Director. Creative Industries Agency. Moscow. Russia.
“Workshop participants were very impressed and inspired by David’s speech and book because he avoided using jargon, gave clear illustrations to describe what creative business is about and explained the general principles of running a creative business. He talked about some important issues, such as intellectual property, business formulas, knowing your competitors, knowing your market, and being prepared to say No.”
– HsinYi Ku. British Council, Taiwan
“David writes about creative business better than anyone I know.”
– Wayne Morris. The Creative Edge. New Zealand.
“David Parrish is a very inspirational speaker. The way he illustrates his points is excellent. He makes you laugh and instantly you start to think about your own ideas and projects.”
– Eli Folkestadaas. British-Norwegian Chamber of Commerce. Oslo, Norway.
Read more testimonials about David’s work as an international creative industries speaker, consultant, adviser, trainer and author of two books, other publications and many articles.
David’s Background, Experience and Expertise
Dave Parrish has been directly involved in the creative economy and cultural economy for more than 20 years, as an entrepreneur, manager, company director, management consultant, business adviser, coach, mentor, trainer, writer, and international creative industries speaker. For an insight into his personal background, business experience, values and his own perspective on creativity and business, read his story.