Social media offers businesses in Colorado a quick way to spread the news about your services, products and special events. It is an opportunity to share content, connect with users and convert leads. At Ciancio Ciancio Brown, P.C. we often provide legal guidance for intellectual property disputes and copyright infringement.
Business News Daily reports that understanding image usage and copyright laws is essential for small owners to protect themselves from potentially expensive litigation and embarrassment. Copyright law protects original creative work. By downloading images and posting them on your page or site, you may be liable for copyright infringement, even if you link back to the original post or page.
Only the original creator can hold an individual or business accountable for copyright infringement. If they do not care, decides not to act or does not notice the use, you may be clear. However, this is not a best practice as it leaves your business vulnerable to unnecessary risk. For original work with a registered copyright, the maximum penalty is $150,000 plus attorney and other legal fees.
Being smart about what and how you post online is the best way to avoid liability. Get permission to post user-generated content. There are also many sites that offer free-to-use and royalty-free images. Flickr and CreativeCommons.org have clear guidelines on editorial and commercial use. Whenever possible, use your own photos. Not only does it sidestep the copyright issues, but it also gives your posts and website a more authentic feel, which customers appreciate. Visit our webpage for more information on this topic.