Lights, Camera, Copyright
Just as businesses are beginning to grasp the potential infringement implications of sharing text- based content, along comes the easy availability of films, TV shows and homemade videos. It’s a wrinkle guaranteed to frustrate even the most copyright-conscious organizations. By taking the right steps, however, companies like yours can both minimize the risks and realize video’s benefits.
Upsides and Downsides of Video
Video’s upside starts with its lively, visual nature. Workplace creativity has received a big boost from video’s versatility: Movie and TV scenes provide dashes of inspiration for presentations, and full-length versions screen well in employee trainings, not to mention in on-site movie nights for employees.
But movies and TV shows are copyright-protected, and as with text-based content, their unauthorized use can be costly to an organization. The tab for infringement has risen dramatically, and multimillion-dollar infringement lawsuits are a genuine risk.
Video use is here to stay. Nearly all (76%) employees agree that incorporating video into presentations adds value, according to a 2016 survey by Copyright Clearance Center. But more than half (55%) say employees use videos without ever considering rights.
To adapt, companies need to sharpen their attention to copyright requirements by adding review of multimedia content to their compliance training and putting protocols in place.
Here are ways your company can make the most of movies and TV shows and still minimize its infringement risks. Because, after all, who isn’t in favor of peppier conference presentations?
- EDUCATE, EDUCATE, EDUCATE.
Copyright compliance training is especially important when it comes to video because the Internet has made unintentional infringement so easy. In the wired workplace, employees often believe movie and TV scenes are there for the taking. It’s an employer’s responsibility to train staff on proper use of video in the workplace. Review employee-training materials to ensure they cover use of video, and add specific guidance to the employee handbook.
- ADD MULTIMEDIA CONTENT TO YOUR COMPANY’S COPYRIGHT POLICY.
With all respect to the power of video, nothing feels more official than reading rules set down in black and white.
Your company should already be updating copyright policies to cover use of third-party content, such as articles, newsletters, research papers, graphics, and images of all kinds. While you’re at it, add protocols for use of movie and TV content, too.
Employees’ need for information is intense: According to CCC’s recent survey, nearly three quarters (70%) of respondents say employees at their company don’t know how or where to obtain video rights. It’s critical that your managers inform workers about your company’s protocols for using movie, TV and other third-party content.
- GET A LICENSE.
Think a funny scene from The Office will liven the annual meeting? Find the candor of Modern Family inspiring for a team retreat? It’s no understatement to say that every corporate use of movie and TV content requires permission.
Fortunately, licenses come in different forms to suit different usages. Production studios offer permission for one-time uses. But survey data shows that it is more than likely your company is using videos much more frequently than on occasion. To minimize your potential for copyright infringement, consider a more comprehensive license that provides rights for your colleagues to use scenes or full-length movies and TV shows as often as needed and in many different ways.