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Copyright issues and adopting Content Licensing in Digital PR

Blog post   •   Mar 31, 2015 11:36 +08

On 11 March 2015, about 50 communicators and brand decision makers were gathered at the seminar, "Leverage on Content Licensing for Better Digital PR".

Speaking at the seminar were Cheah Yew Kuin, Local Principal of Baker & McKenzie, Wong & Leow, as well as our Head for Asia, Julia Tan.

Covering the topics on copyright law, Yew Kuin received many burning questions about copyright issues. 

Here are some frequently asked questions:

My company has been featured in the news. Can I share the story on our website?
Any of form of expression reduced to physical form is protect under the copyright law. This includes news articles. In this case, those who make copies of the work without asking for permission will infringe the copyright of the owner, i.e. a news publisher like Singapore Press Holdings.

How can I use the story then? 
Seek permission from the copyright owner to license or assign the right to reproduce the content. Most of the time, this might involve a fee.

Does the copyright of work produced by an employee belong to the company, or the employee?
The author is usually the copyright owner. However, if the work was made by the author in pursuance of the terms of his employment under a contract of service or apprenticeship, the employer will own the copyright.

How about in the event that a work was commissioned to an agency or freelancer?
In the case of commissioned visuals, the copyright in such works is deemed to be owned by the person who commissioned the work.

However, it is always open to parties to agree on how the rights will be allocated, depending on the agreement between the parties. So even though a work is commissioned by the company, it does not always mean that the copyright in the work automatically will belong to the company.

Julia discussed the use of licensed content in the brand content strategy. There are two ways to approach content, Create or Curate. Licensed content comes under the umbrella of curated content. 

Using licensed curated content could be part of a bigger media strategy, as one could include content from media coverage, media buys and industry voices. 

Addressing the issue that most communicators face, which is the lack of time & resources, she advocates, "Curation helps you to save time. Also, tap on your influencers like customers, employees and subject matter experts. It is an opportunity to leverage on your industry knowledge and share useful information to your audience."

Interested to refresh your content strategy for maximum results? Get in touch for a free consultation.

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