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How online marketing can lead to expensive legal claims

On Behalf of | Aug 3, 2022 | Business Law

Social media is a powerful tool that helps businesses connect with the exact segment of the public that has an interest in their products or services. You can narrow your marketing efforts to target specific people that will respond to each advertising campaign.

If you share the right content, people reposting and commenting on your content will inevitably drive increased engagement with your brand and help you connect with other prospective customers.

However, social media is also like a bottomless pit. There is a constant demand for new content, and you have to keep your profile or page on someone’s feed if you want them to keep thinking about your brand. The push to constantly update with new and engaging content might eventually put your business in a position where it faces civil litigation from someone else.

There can be consequences if you share the wrong thing

Unless you have a designated social media team or someone creating unique marketing content for your company, at least some of what you share online will be original creations from someone else. For example, you might repost an original piece of visual art that you feel really captures your industry or your brand message.

You could also use popular songs or images while creating a video for social media marketing purposes. Sharing copyrighted images, videos or songs online could lead to litigation even if other people shared that content too.

What an intellectual property claim can do

If the owner of an original creation that you used online tries to take you to court, they can pursue two different solutions from the courts. The courts can issue an injunction essentially forcing your business to stop using the original works of that creator. They can also award the other party damages.

For there to be monetary consequences, the plaintiff usually will need to show either that your business derived profit from the use of their content or that you affected their ability to profit off of their own creations.

There are likely defense strategies available for businesses facing imminent intellectual property claims over their social media activity. Taking the right steps when you face business litigation, like learning about the laws that apply, can help you better protect your business.