Trademark and Copyright Issues
Marketing firms need to protect their own trademarks, copyrights, and brand reputation, along with those of the clients they are actively promoting. Inadvertent use of copyrighted content and images has always been a potential problem for marketers, but with the explosion of digital content, it’s much easier to infringe on intellectual property and disseminate copyrighted material with just a few clicks or swipes.
- Monitor social media platforms to ensure your intellectual property, and that of your clients, is not being used without permission. Many social sites have procedures for reporting copyright infringement, which can help to remove the content and possibly suspend the abuser’s account.
- Have processes in place, such as work-for-hire contracts and statements of work, that define and ensure that content provided to you by third party vendors and creative firms is original.
- Pay for the rights to use photos and illustrations, or get written releases, rather than grabbing images from Google image searches. It’s easy to paste entire blocks of text into Google’s search window to see if it’s been lifted from another source.
- Get insurance. At a minimum, it is prudent for any small business to have a Business Owner’s Policy. However, because there are unique risks that come with promoting other individuals or businesses, marketing firms would be wise to consider additional coverages, such as Errors & Omissions (E&O) insurance coverage. This Coverage Identifier can help you learn about the types of insurance marketing firms typically use to protect their businesses.