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.
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.
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.
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!
&!#$#% @#!&*@!# $#%@#!
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.
Photos are an important part of the social media experience. Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, and other social media sites are largely built on sharing photos with other members.
This past week I got a question from a blogger that I was introduced to. She wanted to know if there were any rules on posting pictures to her social media accounts. These were pictures that she had taken personally so this was not a case of trying to use photos that belong to someone else (that’s a post for another day).
Copyright Myths That Refuse to Die.
I’ve been attending the Snap! conference this week and it looks like a bunch of scary copyright myths are walking among us. These copyright myths are like zombies that refuse to die. While they may not eat your brains, they can certainly muddle your thinking and expose you to some serious danger. Personally, I believe all zombies deserve to die so here’s my attempt to put them in the grave, once and for all.
Help! Someone Stole my Pictures/Video/Blog Post/Logo!
Lately I’ve noticed a bunch of bloggers on Instagram and Facebook talking about the growing plague of competitors and other people taking blog posts, pictures, logos, etc. and re-posting them. This is usually done without permission and without linking back to the original blogger’s post or providing any credit to the original blogger. Infuriating? Absolutely. Unethical? Certainly. Illegal? Possibly. It’s important to note that your material is protected by copyright law even if you’ve not registered it. In other words, the DMCA can be a great tool, if you know how to use it.