Before You Cut and Paste, Obey Copyright Laws
Digital media experts offer lots of advice to successfully market online, but rarely do they emphasize why it is important to obey copyright laws to avoid infringement.
That’s a shame. Website owners who are caught re-using blogs from other sites or publishing photos without appropriate permission and attribution can suffer legal and financial consequences. And thanks to special software that finds reproduced images, it’s also easier to get caught.
As I cover in my Leader’s Edge article, Making a Lasting Impression, the Council of Insurance Agents and Brokers (CIAB), which publishes the magazine, was reminded of why it’s important to obey copyright laws.
Stressed for time, an employee published a photo without getting permission, which goes against the CIAB’s policy. As a result, the photographer’s lawyer contacted the organization and offered a settlement fee much higher than the original cost of purchasing permission. CIAB enlisted an attorney to reduce the fee and settle the matter.
Imitation (or duplication) may be the sincerest form of flattery, but if it is not done legally, the compliment can be costly.
Kudos to CIAB President and CEO Ken Crerar, who wanted the story told to prevent the same thing from happening to others. I wrote the article to be helpful to readers, so it also offers tips on how to secure permission with or without licensing fees.
The important point to remember is that posting a photo online is a form of publishing and the same laws apply as with print publishing.
Anyone publishing online needs to take care that they do not copy someone else’s work without obtaining permission. Since there are creators who make the effort to find copyright infringers and sue them, it’s worth combing through all publications and web publishing to avoid copyright infringement.
Imitation (or duplication) may be the sincerest form of flattery, but if it is not done legally, the compliment can be costly. That is why it is important to obey copyright laws.