Even when you are living a minimalist lifestyle, it’s important to have some sort of income to support you in your needs. While you might not need a lot of money as a minimalist, it can help to have something.
One way to secure some sort of income is to make use of your intellectual property.
What is Intellectual Property?
For the most part, intellectual property focuses on the legal rights that come with using the mind. If you have a good idea, or if you are involved in a creative endeavor, you might want to protect it in such a way that allows you to make a little money off of it — and avoid having someone else “steal” the fruits of your creativity and profit from it.
Intellectual property generally fall under such items as trademarks, copyrights, and patents. These are all legal designations that indicate “ownership” of a creative idea. So, if you create a piece of music, write a book, invent something, or if your company has a particularly logo, you are protected under intellectual property rights.
How are Intellectual Property Rights Enforced?
First of all, you have to realize that these rights are enforced depending on the country you are in. The laws only apply to specific areas. So, a copyright in the United Kingdom might not transfer to the United States; you have to meet the requirements in each region. The same goes for patents and other forms of intellectual property.
Once you meet the requirements, and properly register your intellectual property, it’s usually up to you to defend it. You have to be on the look out for infractions against your idea, and then prosecute them according to the laws in the country where you are protected. Most of the time, intellectual property rights are enforced civilly, rather than criminally. If someone has been making money off your intellectual property, you might be awarded compensation, and the other party has to stop their activities.
Do You Want to Make Money Off Your Intellectual Property?
One of the issues that many face is whether or not they actually want to make money off their intellectual property. In many cases, such as if you offer something like a book or a piece of art, the debate between making money off the property and offering it free to society isn’t a vital one. However, debates over life-saving drugs and procedures is one that rages on. Even though it’s your idea or invention, is it really ethical to hold society hostage so that you can enrich yourself?
For many, though, intellectual property provides a good way to earn recurring income. Ideas put out there on blogs (and money earned from affiliates or advertising), books, music, and other items provide income streams that can help you make a living without having to conform to society’s idea of a “real” job and a life that fits in with what you are “supposed” to be doing.
With a little planning and creativity, your intellectual property might be able to support your minimalist lifestyle without too much trouble.