I’m honored to be profiled in Chapter 5 of David Meerman Scott’s 6th edition of his best-selling book, “The New Rules of Marketing and PR.” The chapter is titled, “Blogs: Tapping Millions of Evangelists To Tell Your Story” and frankly, it shares some of my favorite approaches to building your brand and creating global top-of-mind awareness and influence. I know you’re going to like all of the tips, information and stories found in David’s updated book!
To put the value of David’s book into context, it’s important to know that the first edition of “The New Rules of Marketing & PR” was published in 2007 and was six months on the BusinessWeek bestseller list. Since then the book has sold more than 375,000 copies in English in the various editions and is now available in 29 languages from Albanian to Vietnamese. Hundreds of colleges and universities around the world use it as a text in class and many companies require all marketing and PR staff to read a copy.
The newly updated 6th edition is out in the USA and will soon reach other countries around the world. It includes a dozen fresh new examples of success. Click here for more information and to place your order!
Update: I’ll be sharing the stage with David in Las Vegas later this month at the Tony Robbins Business Mastery Event. Look for our updates and livestreams during the upcoming event and click here or on the image below to watch a short live video of David sharing my newsjacking efforts at the recent Florida event 😉
Each of us must rededicate ourselves to serving the common good. We are a community. Our individual fates are linked; our futures intertwined; and if we act in that knowledge and in that spirit together, as the Bible says: “We can move mountains.”
My first website went up in 1996 and over the years, I’ve experienced good things on the Internet, social media, and digital platforms.
I’m a fan. I “get it” and enjoy the technology dance. The platforms we all use allow us to add value to others, build relationships, and show our human side. It’s an amazing time to be alive.
But during this same period of time, I’ve also personally observed a tremendous amount of online fraud, crime, and wrongdoing take place. And this bothers me.
Just over the past two years on social media I’ve watched more than one dishonest business person use his or her “fame” or “influence” to mislead others and take thousands of dollars from other people.
Over the past two years on social media I’ve observed the harm caused by a social media influencer (who at the time also happened to be a convicted registered sex offender with 300k+ followers on Twitter) and and his online “friends” by initiating and encouraging a misguided social media feeding frenzy resulting in false defamatory statements being made and harming the reputations of good hardworking people.
Over the past two years on social media, I’ve observed multiple people, including a well know Snapchat user, arrested for alleged crimes involving child pornography.
Over the past two years on social media, I’ve watched people steal other people’s ideas, clients, trade secret list, and even entire websites from hard working digital business owners.
And over the past two years on social media, I’ve watched and read about careless people causing harm and death to others because they tried to live stream or update their social media status while driving.
Speaking of distracted driving, during this same period of time, I’ve been retained to help numerous people harmed by the careless distracted driving of others. This included a family who’s grandmother and two-year-old granddaughter were both killed by a distracted driver. Even my own son, Garrett, lost two of his soccer teammates to reckless distracted driving.
Both of my kids have been hit from behind by distracted drivers. My daughter, AJ, had her car totaled and Garrett had major damage to his car. Both were injured but are doing better today. It’s because of these very personal experiences that Garrett and I started StopDD.Today.
Looking back on all of these situations, the careless and often times intentional conduct of these wrongdoers is inexcusable and pathetic. This type of conduct should never be permitted or condoned!
But too often it is. Too often people who know the facts simply look the other way.
That’s not OK.
Because there is no place in my life for people like this, I’ve already unfollowed, blocked, and stopped supporting what these people are doing. I’ve advised my clients to do the same. After you read this post, I hope you do too.
Online Community Neighborhood Watch
Nobody is perfect. We all make mistakes. I know I do. Maybe you do too.
But there’s a big difference between people who work hard, do their best and sometimes fall short and make a mistake and others, who intentionally try to harm and deceive other people. This is especially true when crimes are committed.
Some friends of mine have taken the position that we should live and let live when it comes to our social media communities. They tell me not to get involved. Just look the other way and forget about it.
I understand what they’re saying and normally this is my approach when it comes to the “little” things in life. I’ve got more than enough on my plate to keep me busy for many years to come.
Having said that, I think it’s important to appreciate who really benefits, and who is harmed, when there are no consequences and wrongdoers are not held accountable. I explore that last statement further below.
In the offline community we’ve lived in since 1991, we have a neighborhood watch. Our neighbors and friends all look out for each for each other and the system works pretty well.
Just two weeks ago I posted some pictures on Facebook of all of us hanging out in front of our homes during a Friday evening neighborhood block party (above). What I didn’t mention is that later that night one of our kids noticed a teenager from a party down the street try to steal a skateboard, speaker, and several other items from our neighbor’s open garage.
You’ve taken a great deal of time and in some cases, money, to create unique content to use on social media. Your user-generated content (UGC) belongs to you, and in most instances, it’s not OK for other people or companies to use your UGC without your permission.
What are your rights when you find out your UGC is being used, displayed and shared on other websites, blogs, and social media platforms? What steps can you take to protect your intellectual property rights including copyright violations? When should you simply just look the other way and move on?
First let me say that intellectual property rights and specifically, copyright laws, are complicated and constantly changing. This is especially true when it comes to digital UGC copyright issues.
In this short post, I’m going to share several legal principals and links that will help you understand your rights and, take steps to protect your rights. If you have questions, reach out to an experienced intellectual property rights lawyer in your state.
When you create original UGC and share it on social media, you have a copyright and are the owner of that content. To have copyright protection, you do not need to have your UGC registered with the U.S. Copyright Office. However, to seek statutory damages in a copyright lawsuit, registration is necessary. More details here.
Exception to Copyright- The Fair Use Doctrine
This doctrine permits limited use of copyrighted material without having to first acquire permission from the copyright holder. If you’re using someone else’s UGC for education, news, or commentary, then the use may fall under the protection of the Fair Use Doctrine. This is a very gray area so be careful. More details here.
What to Do When Someone Uses Your UGC Without Your Permission?
Develop a New Mindset
Social media encourages engagement and sharing. I believe there’s a difference between someone sharing your content to help others or amplify your efforts and, stealing it as though it’s their own UGC.
The first thing I tell clients is to consider whether the other person’s use of the UGC is helping build your brand, promote your services, or helping build your top-of-mind awareness to others. If so, then you may want to encourage this person, and others, to share your UGC.
Cease and Desist Letter
If the use is unacceptable (for any reason), then send the other person a cease and desist letter. Most of the time other person hasn’t thought things through and will remove the unauthorized UGC content.
DMCA Takedown Request
File a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) Takedown Request
The DMCA allows you to reach out to online services such as GoDaddy, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, LinkedIn… and demand that the service removes the unauthorized UGC content from their site or platform. You can learn more about the DMCA here, and the Social Media Examiner has an excellent post that will take you by the hand and walk you through all the steps. It’s titled, “How to Submit a DMCA Takedown Notice.”
Terms of Service Agreements (TOS)
Keep in mind that many social media and digital provider TOS contractually change your intellectual property law rights including copyright. For example, if you upload a video to Youtube and allow other people to share or embed your UGC, then in most instances, no copyright violation has taken place. The law is constantly changing in this area, but the take-a-way for you is to always review the TOS if this is something you’re concerned with.
Filing a lawsuit is expensive and time-consuming. If you haven’t formally registered your UGC with the U.S. Copyright Office, then you will not be entitled to statutory damages if you win your case. Usually, these damages are significant and the primary source of recovery.
What I’ve observed over the years is as follows. The easiest, least expensive and fastest way to get your UGC removed from another site is to (1) send the cease and desist letter mentioned above and (2) file a DMCA takedown request with the internet service provider hosting the unauthorized UGC.
If the person, company, or service provider is located in another country, and unless there are hundreds, if not millions of dollars involved, I would not recommend spinning your wheels litigating the issue. Try using the two-prong approach mentioned above under “Best Practice” and keep your fingers crossed. It’s almost impossible for a small business owner to hold an international violator responsible for UGC infringement.
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Mitch Jackson is an accomplished California lawyer who enjoys helping online entrepreneurs and business owners with their legal needs. Learn more here.