Understanding internet dangers for businesses

Anthony Wooding with some of the work that he is exhibiting in Ipswich Town Hall

Anthony Wooding with some of the work that he is exhibiting in Ipswich Town Hall

Small business association networking event

Understanding legal rights, when using free images, is the subject of the ISSBA networking event, the first of 2016, at the New Wolsey Theatre on Thursday January 28.

Using an image from the internet without permission could leave you with a hefty bill – and even bankrupt.

Sadly, it is a common and dangerous misconception that images widely available on the internet are free to use.

A nightclub in Nottingham learned this lesson the hard way when they used a photo of popstars Kesha and LMFAO in promotional material. They said the image had been freely available on the social network site tumblr.

The photographer asked for a £1,500 fee, but the club only offered £250. The matter went to court and the photographer was awarded £20,000.

The Copyright, Designs and Patents Act gives the creators of literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works the right to control the ways in which their material may be used. This applies to work available online.

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There are exceptions, such as fair dealing, which may include reviews of the said works. The EU Copyright Directive also gives 20 exceptions, including use for libraries and museums which are non-commercial.

Creative Commons licences provide a standard way for content creators to grant someone else permission to use their work. This can be seen on YouTube, for example, where videos can be made accessible to users, even for commercial purposes.

Other sites, like Shutterstock, provide royalty free images for a fee. It is important to follow their terms and conditions; or this too could prove costly.

A breach of copyright is generally a civil matter, but deliberate infringement can sometimes be a criminal offence too. The penalties include seizure of the infringing materials, an injunction to stop further breaches and paying damages.

Compensation may include any sales which could have been lost by the claimant as a result of the infringement and any royalties they should have received.

Most businesses recognise the benefits of using images in their marketing and social media. But it is vital to so legally.

Kerseys solicitors managing partner and local artist Anthony Wooding will join Soo Smart of Double S Design to explain how you can safely use images for promotional purposes.

Anthony will look at some famous copyright infringement cases, explaining some dos and don’ts when using images.

The event takes place at the New Wolsey Theatre on Thursday January 28, meet at 9.15am for a 9.30am start.

The cost of the event is £5 for members and £10 for non-members.

Non-member will have to log in to book their visit at: issba.co.uk

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