Protecting Your Ideas In The Digital Age - Raindance

For many people, illegally downloading music, films or other content that belongs to others is perfectly legitimate. If they cannot afford it, or can but do not want to pay and can get it anyway, then why shell out the money?

If you have done this, then perhaps you should reconsider. If you have not, then you are supporting the huge number of creative people who need to be, and should be, paid because that is their living.

The digital age has thrown up many moral and ethical issues to do with ownership and copyright of ideas. It has also brought to the fore the safety of your own digital data and, perhaps more importantly, the safety of your children when they are online.

The internet is a vast repository of information, much of which is positively useful and helpful and much of which is thoroughly unpleasant and exploitative. Part of the problem in protecting your digital ideas is that there are plenty of people out there who would like to claim them for their own, copying and using personal blog material, uploading songs or films that are copyrighted, or trying to trawl for personal details that could be used for identity theft and emptying bank accounts, or other types of fraud.

Keeping protected

The fact is that your digital ideas can never be really secure and you should be aware of that. In the world of the web, nothing is sacrosanct, and there will always be someone, somewhere who will be looking to steal or discover ideas and information. It could, of course, be a government as well as a hacker, so you need to get a really good system of protection installed to minimise the possibility of your ideas being taken.

You also need to work with your children to explain the potential dangers of social media, incredibly useful as it can be. Here are some suggestions to help you think through what you can do.

Get high-level encryption

The hard drive of any device you use should have inbuilt encryption to the highest level you can find. It does not matter whether your device is for personal or business use, you need to protect your data aggressively. Operating systems differ, so you need to find the best encryption software for your specific device, but do not neglect it. You should also remember that if you are using public Wi-Fi it can be easy for personal or business details to be stolen, so be very careful what you say or do in that situation and look for software that will help prevent this from happening.

Prevent remote hacking

The right software protection package will make a big difference to what pirates and hackers might be able to access from your computer, mobile or tablet. Your digital media files could be gold dust for a determined hacker, so make it as difficult as possible to prevent them from getting access. Good software can prevent viruses from infiltrating your devices and taking or destroying data, and code breaches can be stopped with a comprehensive software package.

Child protection

It is every parent’s nightmare – what their children are getting up to online. Although the internet has been great for social interaction for kids who may be geographically distant from each other, there are both benefits and dangers when they are using social media.

As well as ensuring that your device protection software is operating properly, it is worth checking through IoE; you need to talk to children, whether they’re tweens or teens (or sometimes younger) and explain that what they post on social media, be it text or photos, have consequences.

It is usually not a problem if you have explained what is safe to post and what could be potentially dangerous, but they do need guidelines. You should make sure that their privacy settings are high because once something is out there it is very hard, if not impossible, to delete it.

You should encourage them only to post what they are comfortable with other people seeing and also to be careful about the language they use.

Creative protection

Imagine you are a film writer or composer whose scripts or music are kept digitally. If someone stole your work you would be devastated. Keep safe, encrypt at a high level and protect your work.

In the end it is up to you, with the help of professional software, to keep all your digital ideas safe.



Photo Credit David Martinez / BIFA 2018

Few people know more filmmakers and screenwriters than Elliot Grove. Elliot is the founder of Raindance Film Festival (1993) and the British Independent Film Awards (1998). He has produced over 700 hundred short films and five feature films: the multi-award-winning The Living and the Dead (2006), Deadly Virtues (2013), AMBER (2017), Love is Thicker Than Water (2018) and the SWSX Grand Jury Prize winner Alice (2019). He teaches screenwriting and producing in the UK, Europe, Asia and America.

Raindance BREXiT trailer 2019

Elliot has written three books which have become industry standards: Raindance Writers’ Lab: Write + Sell the Hot Screenplay, now in its second edition, Raindance Producers’ Lab: Lo-To-No Budget Filmmaking and Beginning Filmmaking: 100 Easy Steps from Script to Screen (Professional Media Practice).

In 2009 he was awarded a PhD for services to film education.

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