Let’s talk copyright.
As a fellow entrepreneur, I totally know how hard you work each and every day.
And as time goes on… you proudly realize:
YOU. DID. IT.
- You are the go-to business in your field
- New clients come your way EVERYDAY!
- You’re featured on podcasts, news feeds, and radio shows.
- You have a shelf overflowing with awards and accolades.
Your hard work, long hours and risks taken are paying off.
𝙄𝙩 𝙨𝙚𝙚𝙢𝙨 𝙡𝙞𝙠𝙚 𝙣𝙤𝙩𝙝𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙘𝙖𝙣 𝙙𝙖𝙢𝙥𝙚𝙣 𝙮𝙤𝙪𝙧 𝙚𝙭𝙘𝙞𝙩𝙚𝙢𝙚𝙣𝙩.
Until you see those three little words that you never expected.
COPYRIGHT CEASE AND DESIST
What?! You think to yourself.
You are being sued!
For HUGE amounts of MONEY!
Next thing you know your eyes glaze over.
What a disaster.
𝐘𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐫𝐞𝐩𝐮𝐭𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧, 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐟𝐢𝐧𝐚𝐧𝐜𝐞𝐬, 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐛𝐮𝐬𝐢𝐧𝐞𝐬𝐬 𝐚𝐫𝐞 𝐚𝐥𝐥 𝐢𝐧 𝐣𝐞𝐨𝐩𝐚𝐫𝐝𝐲.
After taking some deep breaths you pick up the cease and desist letter to see what exactly it says.
Maybe this is all just a horrible prank…
But as you read the letter it all starts to come together.
You suddenly remember that cute “Happy Holidays” post from December.
That little snowman and adorable reindeer picture you found online.
It was easy to download and repost.
That one click could cost you everything.
All for a couple of likes on Facebook.
WHAT DID YOU DO WRONG﹖
You see, before downloading and using those online photos it is important to understand your legal rights and risks.
As my many clients do.
- Copyright infringement is real.
- Copyright infringement is a danger you must avoid.
- It could happen to you.
When you are accused of copyright infringement, your business, your finances, and your reputation are jeopardized!
Is your heart pounding, trying to remember if you’ve put yourself at risk?
So here’s the good news.
You’ve got me by your side.
And I’m here to help you reduce your risk.
Today we’ll start with photos and images.
RIGHT NOW. RIGHT HERE.
FIRST LINE OF COPYRIGHT DEFENSE – USE YOUR OWN PHOTOS
It’s better to use your own photos even if you feel it’s B+ material than to risk being sued by an A+ creator.
And don’t forget to protect your own photos as well. (That’s a discussion for another day.)
SECOND LINE OF COPYRIGHT DEFENSE- BE SURE YOU HAVE PERMISSION TO USE ANYONE ELSE’S CONTENT
“I got it off the Internet.”
“The website said it was free.”
Does that sound familiar?
So here’s the deal: Just because it’s easy to download and use does not mean you can. Just because it says it’s free to use does not mean you can.
When you copy a photo or image, you MUST have permission from the owner.
You ALSO must have permission from any person and any brand in the copied image.
AND it’s not always easy to tell who that owner is or if you have permission.
But you must.
THIRD LINE OF COPYRIGHT DEFENSE – IF YOU DON’T KNOW WHERE IT CAME FROM OR WHO OWNS IT – REMOVE IT.
That’s right – remove it – delete it – from any and everywhere you used that photo.
Start with your social media and website.
Be sure you can identify the source of every image.
For anything that you aren’t sure about, delete it.
That’s right – delete the post – delete the photo – delete it all.
If you don’t, you could be the next to receive a cease and desist letter for something you posted months or even years ago.
If you do, at least you’ll minimize your risk.
Have I totally confused you? Made you nervous?
leave a comment on this post.