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4 Simple Ways to Stop Misuse of Your Digital Products

4 Simple Ways to Stop Misuse of Your Digital Products

Just recently as I was scrolling through Threads (my new preferred scroll hole platform of choice – see ya TikTok), I came across a creator stating that she started her morning enrolling in someone else’s program just to get proof that they were illegally reselling her digital products as a part of their program and claiming them as their own work.

Talk about a freaking sucker punch as a digital product creator and as a business owner as a whole.

I mean truly, as business owners. we’re all out here using our personal knowledge and expertise to create high quality products to make a living and have some fun while doing it, but THIS is the risk that we run.

It’s frustrating and can honestly feel so overwhelming, to the point where you might consider ditching your digital products altogether.

While I 100% understand this frustration, I for one am a HUGE proponent of digital products (hence my contract shop) and believe that there is a way to continue selling digital products without constant fear of someone stealing or copying your work. 

I’m not sure if it will ever be totally avoidable, but there are four simple things you can do as soon as today to STOP the misuse of your digital products and continue singing their praises all the way to the bank. 

Because let’s be real… when you create a digital product that your audience truly needs, it can do crazy good things for your income. 

So, let’s dive in. ⬇️

4 Ways To Protect Your Digital Products

1. Watermark Your Digital Content

If you create digital content of any kind, did you know that you can watermark that work?

Most of us are used to seeing watermarks on content from photographers, graphic designers, or other creatives who create visual content, but ANYONE can do this!

Adding a watermark is one of the most simple and straightforward ways to protect your work and can easily be done by using editing software or even platforms like Canva to embed a semi-transparent logo or your business name on your content.

For PDF style content, you can consider a watermark on each page or a header/footer that includes your copyright information.

2. Implement Terms of Purchase and Terms of Use Agreements

If you sell digital products of any kind, such as templates, courses, or other resources, it’s imperative that you implement the correct legal agreements, with the most important being Terms of Purchase and Terms of Use.

Terms of Purchase are often referred to as Terms and Conditions and essentially outlines the specific terms of a transaction and covers policies that are a part of the purchase process, such as refunds, chargebacks or cancellations.

Your Terms of Purchase will often include your Terms of Use as well, which outlines the rules and guidelines that users must adhere to while using the product or service, including restrictions on usage, intellectual property rights, user-generated content policies, privacy practices, disclaimers of liability, and any other terms relevant to the user's interaction with the product or service.

Both of these are legal agreements that can directly protect you and your products if or when you’re ever in an instance like I described above where someone is copying or straight up stealing your work to pass off as their own!

The KEY with both of these is that you make them incredibly clear when someone purchases from you, by going beyond the typical checkbox that you see at checkout.

While a clickwrap IS important to include, I suggest taking it a step further by including a downloadable PDF or something similar with the Terms of Use with every purchase, clarifying that the work cannot be resold or redistributed!

3. Implement Copyright Notices

Another simple way to protect your digital products is to implement a copyright notice and display it everywhereeee!

And yes, I truly mean everywhere, including your downloadable PDF’s, your Google Doc templates, on your workbooks, slide decks, training videos, etc.

Basically any kind of digital asset (free or paid!) needs to display a copyright notice that essentially says, “hey! I’m claiming the rights to this, so if you infringe my stuff, you’re doing it willfully.”

If you provide a copyright notice on your assets and someone does steal the content, that means they’re doing it willfully, which means YOU are entitled to greater damages (aka you can take real legal action and it could cost them big time). 

WITHOUT including that copyright notice on your course materials, proving that the person stealing your work knew it was yours and not in the public domain or “fair use”, now becomes another element that you have to prove, meaning more work for you. 

If you’re not sure how to implement a copyright notice on your digital products, CLICK HERE for a free guide.

4. Create a Value-Driven User Community

Lastly, I believe one of the best and possibly most overlooked ways to protect your digital products is to make it more than *just* your average digital product. 

The truth is, anyone can create a digital product these days thanks to platforms like Canva. It’s really not hard to do. But creating a digital product that actually stands out and provides an insane amount of value to your audience? That’s another story!

As a digital product creator myself, I believe one of the best things you can do to help your digital products stand out and possibly avoid misuse is by creating an exclusive community for those who purchase these products.

For example, you can offer incentives for buyers, such as access to a private forum, private Facebook group, bonus content, or regular Q&A sessions for customers who legitimately purchase your products.

This not only helps you promote your products in a unique way, but also allows you to ensure that the people purchasing your products receive value from what they’ve purchased beyond just the initial download. 

While this doesn’t necessarily protect your product from being copied or stolen, it DOES help you stand out in the market, which is often just as important!

Overall, it’s the unfortunate reality that most of us digital product creators have to face – there are copycats out there who will try to steal your content and use it for their own good without batting an eye. 

I’ll be the first to admit that yes it sucks, but that doesn’t mean it has to ruin the potential of what digital products can be for you.

By implementing these few things, you’ll be on your way to protecting yourself and your business legally AND be in a perfect spot to be able to take real legal action if or when it’s needed. 

For more on protecting your digital products as a business owner, give these a read:


If we haven’t had the chance to *virtually* meet yet, hey I’m Amber – not a regular lawyer, but a cool lawyer that helps online business owners sell without getting sued. 

If you like what you just read and want more cool lawyer things in your life, here’s a few ways to stay connected:

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Need something else? Send me a DM! Always happy to lend a legal hand when I can.