Is Your Intellectual Property Protected?

I’ve recently started hearing “Nothing Compares 2 U” in a commercial. I like the song, and it’s always nice to hear different takes on good songs. But I know that Prince didn’t often authorize the use of his songs for advertising, so it made me a little sad that his heirs weren’t wasting any time profiting off his work.

After attending a lecture at the Rose City Romance Writers, though, I’ve changed my opinion.

M.L. Buchman spoke about how to prepare your heirs to control your intellectual property and benefit from your legacy. One of the biggest point he drove home was that once you’re dead, it’s not fair to say how your heirs can use your legacy.

I like to control things, so I bristle at this a little bit, but it makes sense. You’re dead — what do you care of your song is used in a commercial? And if it keeps your spouse, kids, or other next of kin in a house and well fed, then you’ve done your part to provide.

Buchman is a romance writer on the Oregon coast, and he is currently working on a book to help creatives prepare a document their heirs can use to access and manage their intellectual property. It’s an important part of estate planning that I’d never thought of. Here are a few highlights.

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