Video Marketing and the Law – What you Should Know

Good article from Reel SEO about legal issues related to video marketing.

Mark Rosenberg was recently published in Affiliate Summit’s FeedFront magazine
with his article titled “Video Marketing and the Law.” We have the
article for you to read here and Mark shares with us the basic
proactive measures that all video marketers should be aware to to avoid
common legal pitfalls, including: right of publicity issues,
copyrights, licensing, contracts, and receiving proper consent.

Videos can be a very effective Internet marketing tool. Yet, this
tool comes with several hidden legal issues. These pitfalls can be
avoided if the video marketer is aware of them and takes proactive

Right of Publicity issues with online video

The most overlooked issue in video marketing is the right of
publicity. This right relates to a person’s ability to control whether
and how his or her name, likeness and voice are used. In order to avoid
right of publicity disputes, affiliate marketers should have all
persons appearing in their videos sign a release granting the marketer
the right to use that person’s name, likeness, image, etc. in
connection with the recording, display and distribution of the video.

Get consents in writing

These consents must be in writing. That is because some states do
not recognize oral consents even if the consent is recorded on video.
Everyone appearing in the video should sign a release, regardless of
whether the person is an employee, family or a friend. That way, if an
actor has a change of heart after the video is taped or after it begins
to be displayed, the marketer is protected. Otherwise, the actor could
potentially bring a lawsuit for a monetary award and an injunction
prohibiting the use of the video.

Copyright issues with online video

Copyright law also plays a major role in video marketing.
Preliminarily, in almost all cases, using video images copied from
YouTube or from a television network’s or a show’s Web site without
consent is a copyright violation. While the basics of copyright
infringement are usually obvious, the concept of copyright ownership is
not. As a result, affiliate marketers are often not aware that just
because they pay someone to create a video, they do not necessarily own
the copyright in that work.

In many cases, the person who actually creates the video is
considered the work’s author and the owner of its copyright. In fact,
everyone involved in the creation of the video, including the script
writer, the director and the production crew may own a portion of the
copyright in the finished video and possess the legal right to
determine whether and how the video can be used.

This issue can be avoided by having all persons involved in the
creation of the video sign a work-for-hire agreement before production
commences. These agreements are written contracts which specify that
entity which commissions the video owns the entire copyright in it.

Background music is an additional copyright issue in video
marketing. This issue is often overlooked. Unless the video uses only
original music created by the affiliate marketer, the marketer must
obtain consent to use the music. Otherwise, there is a potential
infringement issue.

By employing these basic measures, you can avoid many of the legal issues raised by video marketing.

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