Having a strong internet presence is crucial in today’s digital world. But, differentiating yourself or your business from the multitude of social media sites, websites, and blogs can be quite a challenge. One technique is to capture your audience’s attention with visual images or sounds. Using search engines, the possibilities are endless and simply a click away. And, if you find an image or music through a Google search, it’s in the public domain, so it’s free to copy and use for your own purposes, right? Well, not exactly.
Like other search engines, Google is an on-line tool that locates information on the internet and returns a set of results based on key words specified by the user. Google itself doesn’t own the legal rights to the images; the original author of the work does. And just because it’s on the internet does not mean it’s in the public domain.
Ensuring that the images or sounds you use on-line or in your printed materials are legally available for use is critical. Otherwise, you could be at risk for copyright infringement with the potential for hundreds or even thousands of dollars of damages, and you could find yourself the victim of copyright trolling by a company whose sole business is to find unwitting users of images or music that they are not entitled to use.
At Hymson Goldstein Pantiliat & Lohr, our experienced team of attorneys can guide you through the intricacies of protecting your rights when it comes to intellectual property and making sure you use only what you are entitled to use. At Hymson Goldstein Pantiliat & Lohr, Our Business is Your Peace of Mind ®.