How To Not Break The Law While Marketing Online
Marketing your products and services online is a thoroughly rewarding activity due to its tremendous reach. Digital marketing involves sharing of media and text to attract the attention of prospective customers, and that’s where things get murky. Not all material you see online is reusable for your own purposes. Using Google images at random, for instance, could land you in trouble because most of those images are protected by copyright. And that’s only one facet of online marketing that you need to be aware of. There are also other guidelines to consider while you are marketing your services online in a risk-free manner.
Use Free Material
The use of images or pictures is a common practice in today’s world of online marketing. However, this is a potentially dangerous activity if the images are copyright protected. A company engaging in copyright infringement could face legal consequences for the practice. Furthermore, there is a misconception that simply crediting or providing attribution in the form of a link is sufficient to safeguard against a possible legal notice. However, that’s not the case. The owner of the original material could still decide to take legal action if they decide to do so.
In order to use images or media legally, either rely on public domains such as Creative Commons or consider buying material from outlets like Shutterstock to engage in fair online marketing. This is less expensive than paying legal fees when confronted with a lawsuit. There is also the option of asking the owner of the original material for permission to use their material. Intellectual property law governs copyright infringement; consider reaching out to an experienced legal team to help you safely navigate copyright issues online.
Avoid Ungrounded Claims
Immoral or deceptive advertising can lead to legal trouble. In order to prevent immoral marketing, it’s important for online marketers to back-up their claims with legitimate research. It’s important for the advertisers to provide ‘reasonable bases’ for the claims that they make. This also includes misleading or deceptive advertisement tactics.
Avoid Misleading Endorsement Tactics
The classic example of dishonest endorsement was unraveled in 2014 when employees of Sony’s advertising agency were found to create excitement about their key product – the PlayStation. Under normal circumstances, there is little wrong with the practice. However, the employees withheld information about their affiliation with their company, and that’s considered an incomplete disclosure of information – misleading and inappropriate.
Your case could fall under the umbrella of intellectual property litigation or general litigation depending on its specific details. It's best to approach an experienced law firm in order to gain more clarity about your position and understand the options available to you.