As businesses begin to reopen and promote themselves online, it is important to make sure that you are following the proper copyright laws and regulations. In the past couple of years, businesses have seen a rise in lawsuits over illegally used photos due to face recognition technology that enables people to search the entire web to see who is using their face or likeness. As President and CEO of Hospitality Insurance, Dick Welch, says, “as the owner of a bar or a restaurant, anything you put on your website, social media, or any of your promotional materials should be legally owned”.
If you hire an outside promoter or an outside social media expert, make sure that they are properly sourcing any materials that they may use, including: photographs, video clips, and any voice overs or music. It is also important to have a contract in place so that if your outside promoters or experts do not follow proper copyright laws, they will be held responsible instead of you or your business. Do not let anything be posted to your website or social media without approval.
Any business that has entertainment and promotes that entertainment through photos or videos could be at risk for copyright infringement. If you haven’t checked your promotional materials in the past, it is possible that you may be using illegal content on your website and social media pages. You should scan your content to make sure you have the ownership and if you don’t, remove it immediately. The last thing you want is a lawsuit over copyright infringement which can be both expensive, as well as time consuming.
If you are worried that your business could be using copyrighted material, the easiest way to deal with it is to contact an independent insurance agent from the Hospitality Insurance Group.