Lots of designers, bloggers, and influencers have questions about the structure and format for agreements to license their creative content. This post will provide some basic information that will set the stage. Please remember that while the issues discussed below are important, there are many other considerations, depending on the specific details of the parties in the transaction and the type of content being licensed. Also remember that licensing and assignment are very different things so we are only talking about licensing here.
Attack of the ADA Trolls!
WHAT’S UP WITH THE ADA?
Many influencers and content publishers, particularly in the DIY video space and lifestyle bloggers, are being threatened with expensive lawsuits over the Americans With Disabilities Act (“ADA”). I’ve been contacted recently by a number of clients who are increasingly concerned about their potential liability.
In this post, I’ll provide some basic information about the current trends in ADA compliance for websites that may help you understand what’s going on and how you can prevent or minimize the potential damage if you become a target. This is a bit longer than most of my posts and the information is rapidly changing so stay tuned for updates.
Cover Your Assets
I’ve received some questions from a number of influencers over the past few weeks on the subject of insurance coverage. In addition, there have been some discussions in some Facebook groups where this topic is getting some interest. It seems like there’s an emerging trend in many influencer contracts where the brand/sponsor requires some level of liability insurance coverage in the contract.
The reason why having appropriate insurance coverage is so important is that you’ve worked hard to build a valuable business. You don’t want a misstep or mistake to strip the value out of your business. Additionally, since many contracts may now require insurance coverage, it’s a good idea to keep up with the changes. Given that many people don’t really understand or speak the language of insurance, this can get pretty confusing pretty fast. Although this post is a bit long and has a lot of “legal” like stuff going on, it will help you get up to speed on what kinds of insurance coverage you may want or need.
As a blogger, controlling your creative content is a very important element of your business. Many bloggers sign contracts that will transfer ownership of their content to someone else, even when that’s not what they intended.
This embedded graphic provides a quick overview of a complicated subject and may be useful when you need a quick refresher.
Remember – Be Smart. Be Legal.
Disclaimer – Yes, I’m a lawyer, but I’m not your lawyer. All information in this post is provided for educational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice for any specific person or any specific situation.
Work for Food? Work for Hire?
What is a “Work Made for Hire?”
If you’ve been around the block more than once, you’ve probably heard the phrase “work made for hire.” It’s pretty common in the blogging world and a lot of bloggers think they understand it. Chances are they’re wrong. Few people, even lawyers, really understand what the “work made for hire” doctrine is, what it covers and, most importantly, what it does not cover. Most people think that “work made for hire” is a legal rule that can automatically transfer ownership of creative content from one person or company to another. While that is true in a few cases, it is not true for many, many situations – including the ones you are most likely to encounter.
So, buckle up, it’s going to get a little tricky but if you stick with me, you’ll be glad you did.
Bueller? Bueller? Anyone?
Update on FTC Disclosure Rules For Sponsored Posts
Several years ago, the FTC issued some updated guidelines for influencers, bloggers, and sponsors regarding sponsored posts. The rules were not terribly specific, but the intent was clear. If a post is sponsored, it must be clear to a reader that the post is sponsored. I wrote a blog post about at the time and you can read about it here.
Apparently, some people didn’t get the memo or at least are pretending that they didn’t get the memo.
Photo credit elhombredenegro. License by Creative Commons.
Has this ever happened to you? You’ve spent hours creating the perfect blog post. You have the perfect picture, perfectly cropped, with the perfect lighting. Everything is perfect! You post it to your blog and *sigh* as you bask in the glow of the wonderfully glorious perfection that is your latest blog post.
Then, a few days later, while surfing Pinterest, you see your picture. “Cool!” you think, “Someone pinned my post!” However, when you check it out, you see that the pin is actually linked to a different blog, where your picture and your content have been posted without your permission and without even a link back or any acknowledgement whatsoever!
&!#$#% @#!&*@!# $#%@#!
Name Calling For Fun and Profit!
I get a lot of questions about trademarks and, based on the type and quantity of questions I get, I suspect there is a need to clear up some basic issues that are common to trademarks in general. While this post is a bit longer and more detailed than some or my other posts, I hope you find it useful as you contemplate what a trademark might mean for you and your social media presence. Enjoy.
Don’t Use My Picture! Or Else!
Like many of you, I enjoy going to Chipotle for a burrito every once in a while. It’s a fast casual restaurant and, if you ignore the occasional food borne illness, it’s a pretty good place to eat.
So, what exactly does eating at Chipotle have to do with taking pictures you ask? Good question. Here’s the answer. Last year I published a short post about using photographs in your social media. Sadly, at least for one photographer, the information in my blog post was not available for review when he made a serious mistake.
In the past, I’ve provided some examples of what not to do in the world of copyright and exposed some common copyright myths. In this post, I’ll present a more proactive view of copyright law and help you understand a few of the basics so that you can better appreciate this important area of the law for the blogging community.
Here are some rules to live by.