Sure, we see fewer physical newspapers being read at the airport, but the media industry is still here — it has just taken on a new form. New media outlets (like blogs and podcasts) tackle subjects like food, design, religion, and politics. Speaking of blogs, the “Era of Pinterest” has DIY and lifestyle blogs poised to take over the Internet with beautiful photographs, innovative content, and sponsorship opportunities. And podcasts? This form of new media seems to be today’s preferred way to consume information and stories. Media outlets like these have the potential to be buried in contracts or, perhaps worse: operating without them. Like many other creatives, bloggers and podcasters would rather not think about the “legal stuff.” They’d rather focus on creating the hot, shareable content that makes them thrive. Enter Spear IP.
Want to get your legal ducks in a row? Here are some basic legal items for brands in the blogs and new media industry to consider.
|Get important contracts with freelancers, sponsors, and licensees in writing (making things like deadlines, ownership of content, usage guidelines, and applicable kill fees clear from the start).|
|Have a style guide and policy manual on hand (to inform staff about your policies on the use of stock photos and fonts, defamation, copyright, and trademark usage guidelines).|
|Have a regimen in place for registering your blog or magazine issues with the Copyright Office (to strengthen your position if your work is ever infringed upon).|
|Be sure you can use your brand name (and, if it's available and protectable, register it with the Trademark Office).|
|Make sure your contests, e-mail marketing, and other promotional activities comply with applicable law.|