Only one thing is impossible for God: To find any sense in any copyright law on the planet.~ Mark Twain
Mark Twain was onto something. But I think that copyright law is rather simple. The world however, not so much. The way we reason, rationalize, and apply copyright makes it a very difficult area of practice.
It can be hard to see where copyright protections fit into the hair industry. You can’t copyright a haircut or hairstyle. And brands and products are protected by trademark and patents. So where does copyright come in? Copyright material is all around you. As a hair company, hair stylist or barber, you are constantly creating copyrightable works. And those works can make you money, whether directly or indirectly.
So even if you don’t think you are creating copyrightable material, you are. Your portfolio of work, your photos on Instagram, your blog, your website, are all protectable by copyright. If you have created a sales manual for your salon or a promo video, that falls under copyright too. I own the copyright for this post. So I want you to understand that even if you are only creating things that are incidental to your business, such as training materials, copyright protection is available.
The two main concerns we have in regards to copyrights are to 1) protect and secure creations and; 2) ensure that you are not infringing on another person’s work. We want to take steps to protect our creations, especially if they have economic value to us and our business. We also want to make sure that we are not purposely or accidentally infringing on someone else’s copyright.
My General Rule: If it makes you money, you protect it. Because here’s a pocketful of truth–people steal. That said, I never want to push people toward spending on legal work that they don’t absolutely need. Ideally you want to protect everything but sometimes you have to prioritize. I suggest that you start by protecting the things that make you money. With copyright, this might be your educational video series, or a particular blog post that generates traffic, or photos that you license to a large hair products brand. If it brings in revenue, even indirect revenue, it gets protected