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How to Share Content Responsibly and Avoid Putting Your Organization at Risk

by Rachel Foster  |  
June 9, 2014
  |  3,568 views

As content marketers, we get excited about sharing content. From articles and videos to blog posts and photos, we live to spread content love.

Many of us, however, are unaware that the content we share is protected by copyright. In fact, every time someone creates a piece of content, it automatically gets a copyright. That's why we need to be careful about what we share and how we share it. 

According to the 2013 Information Consumption and Use Study conducted by research and advisory firm Outsell Inc., more than 40% of the information employees use and share comes from outside sources.* Over half of those surveyed in the same study either didn't know whether their organization had a copyright policy or didn't know what was in it.

Spreading copyright-protected material across the Internet and even within your own organization can increase your organization's risk of infringement.

So, how exactly are we sharing copyrighted materials? According to the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs B2B Content Marketing: 2014 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends—North America study, marketers use a number of tactics to build awareness and generate leads:

  • Social media
  • Articles on your company's website
  • E-newsletters
  • Blogs
  • In-person events
  • Videos
  • Articles on other sites
  • Whitepapers
  • Online presentations
  • Webinars or webcasts
  • Infographics

Although those tactics are popular, and everybody employs them, you still need to consider the source of the content fueling each of them.

Is the content produced in-house? Are you working with freelance writers, designers, or photographers? If you hire freelancers, make sure they grant you the right to use their work as you see fit. That right may seem obvious, since you're paying them for their work; but, just in case, have them put a permission clause in their contracts.

And whenever you take materials from a third-party source—such as excerpting an article from a journal in your blog post or placing an image that you found online in your webinar slide deck—you should get copyright permission from the rightsholder, whether that's a publisher, author, photographer, or other holder of the copyright. 


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Rachel Foster of Fresh Perspective Copywriting is a B2B copywriter who who helps her clients improve their response rates and clearly communicate complex messages.

Twitter: @CopywriterTO

LinkedIn: Rachel Foster

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Comments

  • by Mike Dennett Mon Jun 9, 2014 via web

    I am thoroughly engaged with the article Rachel and may I take this opportunity to congratulate you on the same, however I must also add that for myself, being an expert in the impact and effect of digitization upon copyright within the music industry, it must be reinforced that any business, company or sole trader transmitting data globally must be made aware of National Laws Governing copyright, not merely US laws and those of WIPO. Plagiarism is a serious offence. Mike P Dennett LL.B (Hons) Pgc,res

  • by Rachel Foster Mon Jun 9, 2014 via web

    Hi Mike,

    Thank you for sharing your expertise. That's an excellent point.

    I'd also recommend that Canadian marketers check out the Canadian Intellectual Property Office for more information.

    Rachel

  • by Rachel Foster Mon Jun 9, 2014 via web

    Here's clarification on how much of a piece of content you can share and still have it be considered fair use. @DTG_Magazine said, "Several legal decisions some years ago established "fair use" as under 20% of the work. (Not photos of course)".

  • by Kimmy Burgess Wed Jun 11, 2014 via web

    Suitable content can easily make your website and marketing strategies more successful.Check whether the content building is OK or not.......It really effects. Thanks Rachel.

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