“Intellectual property (IP) refers to creations of the mind, such as inventions; literary and artistic works; designs; and symbols, names, and images used in commerce.” – Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)
IP Rights are set in place to protect ideas and inventions of the human mind so that the conceptualist can protect and reap the full benefits of his/her creation.
Intellectual property in online courses is important because creating every single course demands a lot of time and effort. It requires extensive research to ensure that it is up to date. Then, creating the actual course content itself is a huge task on its own. You don’t want to wake up one morning and find someone else making money off your stolen course materials. You must protect what you have created.
In this post, let’s look at five features that are a must to protect the intellectual property of your online courses.
Stamp your course videos, slides, and other documents with your name, logo, or website URL. This makes it clear who created and owns the original content. Even if your content gets stolen somehow, you will still get praise, credit, and brand recognition when someone views them. It could even lead to subsequent business. Watermarks are important for protecting intellectual property in online courses because of the following reasons:
- Once your course contents are uploaded to a website or a public server, a simple right-click is all it could take for someone to save your precious assets on their local drives. What they decide to do with it afterward is their complete discretion.
- If you are creating online course materials in a partnership or as part of an organization, watermarking also prevents any unauthorized use and distribution.
There are four different types in which you can watermark your online course materials:
- Visible Watermarks: which are visibly layered on top of the content
- Invisible Watermarks: are not visible to the naked eye. They are embedded using steganography.
- Public Watermarks: that can be understood and modified by anyone using algorithms. This is not recommended because it’s relatively less secure.
- Fragile Watermarks: that can be destroyed by data manipulation. If you use this, there must be a system in place that can detect all changes in data.
In Learnyst, you can get the Watermarking feature if you subscribe to either of the Lite or Standard plan (Anti Piracy Pack Pricing Plan). But if you wish to customize the watermark, then you need to upgrade to the Standard plan.
Also whenever the learners watch a video or pdf lesson in your course in Learnyst, their details(verified mobile number) will be displayed as a watermark on videos whenever they watch the video or pdf lesson. This means, if they ever try to screencast the content, they can easily get caught.
Encryption (L1 DRM)
You need your course content to be protected using the best encryption tech available – preferably L1 DRM (Digital Rights Management). This is an organized approach to copyright protection for digital content, the purpose of which is to prevent their unauthorized redistribution and restrict the ways in which customers can use the content they’ve purchased. DRM makes it extremely difficult to near impossible for content to be stolen. The following is how DMR can help protect intellectual property in online courses:
- Course videos and other documents are encrypted (packaged) and can only be accessed using a secret encryption key
- This key comes with a digital license containing rules about using the course content
- Whenever a user requests to view the content (e.g., by clicking on a video), the DRM client checks the license
- If it is processed without fail, the user is given a token of validation
- This token notified the encryption key that it is okay to decrypt the content
At Learnyst, all the courses are DRM encrypted using private encryption keys. To add to the security, all the encrypted videos are stored in secure Amazon S3 servers which are accessible only to authorized users.
It is not a good user experience to ask your customers/students to log in to each and every application or webpage that is part of your course. A single login via means of SSO would suffice. SSO also aids in keeping your intellectual property safe by protecting your course content from falling into the wrong hands (or local drives). With a single set of credentials, you can enable or disable access to multiple systems, platforms, apps, and other course-related resources. The risks of lost, weak, or forgotten passwords are considerably reduced. You can centrally control requirements like password complexity and multi-factor authentication.
Parallel login restriction
There is no logical reason for the same user/customer to log in to their account from multiple devices or, worse, from multiple IP addresses at the same time. This is suspicious behavior. Some of your customers may intend to steal your content. Lucky for you, and thanks to technology, you can restrict customers to only be able to log in from one device at the same time.
In Learnyst, single mobile device restriction guarantees that users can only log in to their account from one mobile device at a time. Users are also restricted from logging in from multiple browsers or tabs.
If you’ve watched Netflix on your phone, you know that you cannot take a screenshot. Well, you can, but it’ll just be all black. Screenshare is also prohibited because they don’t want the content to be pirated. You can and should do the same for your online course materials. After all, they qualify as content too. Whether you choose to host your course on your own website or on a platform, make sure that screen-sharing is restricted across devices. This is a strong line of defense against potential theft of intellectual property. In Learnyst, Screenshots and screencasting are prohibited on the mobile app.
What are the other security features that Learnyst offers?
An industry leader in Learning Management Solutions (LMS) equipped with the latest in cybersecurity technology, Learnyst does the following above the 5 mentioned points to ensure that the intellectual property of your online course is protected:
- Signups and logins are authenticated using an OTP sent to the user’s mobile number.
- All of your links will be HTTPS, meaning that they are encrypted and secured compared to HTTP links.
- Users can only access paid courses once they’re paid for
- Private courses are be restricted to user groups.
- Track the number of times the learner has logged-in along with IP address details. This feature is available under the Anti-Piracy add-on pack.
All the time and effort you put into creating your online course should not go in vain because someone has stolen your content. The old saying “prevention is better than cure” holds true in this context too. Get in touch with us, and let’s give the intellectual property of your online courses the best protection it could get.
If you already have course contents ready, signup with us and get your online academy for free for 14 days.
You can create your own branded online academy, upload, sell, and get 100% course sales credited to your bank account during this 14 day trial period.
So, go ahead. Create and Sell Courses online and make 10X revenue within months.