Copyright, Trade-marks & Social Media: A Primer Lorraine M. Fleck Podcamp Toronto 2011 February 26, 2011
Copyright Right to reproduce content and stop others from reproducing content. Means that you must get others permission to use their content (e.g. articles, photos, logos) unless your activity falls within an exception to infringement.
Copyright General copyright term = Life of the author + End of the calendar year in which the author died + 50 years after the year the author died. Usually, person who creates the content is the owner. Exceptions: employees, photographers.
Copyright Get written permission to use content (license) and keep permission on file in the event of a dispute. Includes material from the Internet!
Copyright For photos, need to consider beyond permission from photographer/ person who commissioned photo. E.g. If a person is depicted, publicity and privacy rights may apply. If artwork depicted, artist’s permission may be required. Consider stock photos from reputable sites.
Copyright Moral rights (right of author attribution and integrity of copyrighted work) can prevent you from altering content. Obtain a waiver of moral rights.
Copyright Exceptions to copyright infringement (“fair dealing”) under specific circumstances: 1. Research/private study. 2. Criticism/review 3. News reporting. Exceptions do not apply to advertising. Parody is currently NOT an exception in Canada; may change.
Copyright If you plan on using user generated content (UGC), you must obtain the right to use/modify the content. Two ways to do so: 1. Written transfer of ownership (assignment). 2. Perpetual, royalty free license.
Copyright Reform Copyright Modernization Act (Bill C-32). “You Tube” exception would allow mash ups for non-commercial purposes. New fair dealing exceptions under specific circumstances for: 1. Parody. 2. Satire. 3. Education.
Trade-marks Depending on the circumstances, displaying a trade-mark in social media may constitute “use”, meaning you could get sued for trade-mark infringement, passing off, or depreciation of goodwill. Using logos without permission can also be copyright infringement.
Trade-marks If using a trade-mark in advertising – obtain permission. If using trade-marks with permission, find out how the owner wants the marks used to avoid “genericide” (e.g. escalator) and do not alter logos!
Best Practices It’s often cheaper to ask for permission than forgiveness. Just because it’s on the Internet does not mean its free to use! There may be multiple stakeholders in a photo. Don’t forget about moral rights.
Best Practices Current copyright infringement exceptions do not include parody. Obtain the right to use/modify UGC. Be careful with trade-marks to avoid lawsuits and undermining the value of your business partner’s trade-marks.