I want to discuss a very important issue, which is copyright law. You need to understand this and you need to sit down and talk to your attorney to make sure you understand it. A lot of businesses run afoul of it all of the time. There are misunderstandings.
Some people think that just because you attribute a quote to somebody else that you can use the material. That is not necessarily the case. There’s a lot more complicated analysis than that. So, you cannot copy two pages of somebody’s book, put it in your book or your printed materials for a conference or event or internal company documents and say “oh, we just quoted and we attributed it to them.” It’s not that simple. We really have to look at things.
Copyright laws come up with pictures and other things online. We really need to be careful about yourself and your teams when you’re using the technology or intellectual property of other people. Who has rights to it? Do we have rights to it? Are we violating somebody else’s interests? It’s a very, very harsh issue. Some of these issues get very ugly on the threats and litigation side, so I just want to flag the issue and I want everybody out there in the business world thinking about copyrights, thinking about who owns this stuff. Who has the rights to it? And, can we utilize this. Are we paying the appropriate amounts and do we have the licenses we need?
Computer software, presentations, quoted materials, using videos at a conference or event, using videos in a bar or a restaurant . . . there are a lot of different ways this can come up in your business. I want you to be very careful and I want you thinking about it. I want you to talk to your lawyer to make sure they are working with you to make sure you have the rights in copyrights.
I’ve seen these issues from my clients. We’ve worked through them and brought in other experts as needed, and we’ve really worked through it. And, I want you doing the same thing. You got to spend some time on it, you got to understand the issues and you got to really make sure you understand your application – whose property are you using and how it all works together. This maybe something you and your teams are struggling with. Let us know if we can help.
This posting is intended to be a tool to familiarize readers with some of the issues discussed herein. This is not meant to be a comprehensive discussion and additional details should be discussed with your attorneys, accountants, consultants, bankers and other business planners who can provide advice for your circumstances. This article should not be treated as legal advice to any person or entity. Freeimages.com/Photographer Josephine Eber.
About the Author
Shawn McBride — R. Shawn McBride is the Managing Member of The R. Shawn McBride Law Firm, PLLC. Shawn works successful, private business owners in their growth and missions to make a company that stands the test of time. You can email R. Shawn McBride or call (214) 418-0258.
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