Can Marketing Thrive in this digital age without Copyright?

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The world has been growing at a tremendous rate lately. Economies are growing, countries are developing, and individuals are thriving. The market has grown for both producers and consumers giving rise to cut-throat competition. The goal of any business is primarily profit generation which can be achieved by maximising sales to wider number of consumers. That is where marketing comes into play. In simple words, marketing helps to make the product or service known to the consumers. Awareness being the first step, attracting consumers and creating interest is second. So it is very obvious that companies who want to survive in today’s market, must look for most creative ways to attract potential customers.

The question that now arises is: why do we need copyright in marketing?

To understand this connection, we need to be clear with the concept of copyright first. So, copyright is an intellectual property right that gives the author ownership of the content. Example: Novels written by the authors are subject to copyright which means that no other person can copy this content and publish it under their name without the permission of the original owner of the work. The importance of copyright is simply to let the original owner have full control of his work in terms of distribution and production. We can understand this better in following example. The movies produced by a certain production house are released in theatres or on OTT platforms which allows the producers to earn profit. However, when pirated versions are distributed from different sources without the permission of the owner, it is called copyright infringement, as the original producer does not make any monetary profit from this consumption and this is a loss for him.

Digitalisation has long been a threat to copyright. In this ocean of information available online, we can no longer differentiate between original and copied content. Moreover, it is really difficult to control every piece of content produced. We live in a digital age where both consumers and producers find it convenient to interact with each other digitally. That’s why producers nowadays mainly use digital platform for marketing. There is no website, page or OTT platform that does not have advertisement. But to protect your work from unauthorised use, there is not so much we can do in the virtual world.

Coming back to the question about the need for copyright in marketing. In marketing, slogans, taglines, jingles or logo are used in various ways and to prevent competitors from copying their work, copyright laws come into play. When two parties use same brand name or slogan to market their product, a state of confusion is created in the minds of consumers, and the original producer suffers a loss in terms of division among consumers. So, from this point of view, copyright is important for marketing to legally protect one’s creative work.

However, the critics believe that copyright hinders creativity and ultimately marketing. If there is No copyright issues, anyone can copy any content available and use it creatively. The best example of this is Reels on Instagram. Users use various audios and visuals to produce engaging and attractive content. So, the creativity loses all boundaries when there is no copyright issue. In fact, these original audios and visuals become famous through these reels and this actually works like marketing for the content.

From this, we can conclude that marketing can actually thrive without copyright in this digital age because there are various new patterns and ways that producers are using to market their products. They can hire influencers to market their product or even use many other platforms to promote their brand using ordinary people like vlogs, video reviews, etc. Copyright can certainly strengthen and protect your marketing efforts, but it does not guarantee the effectiveness of your work. It’s a completely different question whether the given marketing strategy attracts consumers or not, whether the copyright is there or not!

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