Avoiding Copyright Infringement in Your Marketing Campaign

Avoiding Copyright Infringement in Your Marketing Campaign


Developing a digital marketing campaign requires meticulous planning and attention to detail. It also requires a deep dive into legal issues that can hamper a campaign’s performance. 

Copyright infringement represents a legal problem that can hamper a digital marketing campaign’s success. With a clear understanding of copyright infringement and the risks associated with it, digital marketing professionals can avoid this problem. 

Copyright Infringement and Its Dangers 

Copyright infringement refers to the unauthorized use of copyrighted work. It occurs when an individual reproduces, performs, or publicly displays work someone else has created.

For digital marketing professionals, copyright infringement represents an intellectual property (IP) issue. A copyright is classified as an IP that protects works of authorship. As such, if a digital marketer uses copyrighted material during a marketing campaign without the owner’s permission, this individual could face legal ramifications. 

In the aforementioned scenario, the copyright owner can file a lawsuit against the digital marketer and their business. Meanwhile, the marketer may be forced to revise their campaign, which can be a lengthy and expensive endeavor. 

Let’s not forget about the brand reputation damage that can occur if a copyright infringement lawsuit arises, either. At this point, a company can experience brand reputation damage that leads to revenue and sales losses. It can lose customers to its industry rivals, too. 

How to Avoid Copyright Infringement in Marketing Campaigns

Digital marketers must do everything in their power to avoid copyright infringement and other legal issues when they launch marketing campaigns. Here are tips to help digital marketing take legal precautions as they develop or update their marketing strategies

1. Learn Copyright Laws

Review the U.S. Copyright Act and similar legislation. This enables digital marketers to learn copyright laws and comply with them. Digital marketers should keep an eye out for copyright law updates as well. 

When in doubt, consult an attorney if you have any queries with copyright laws. With a copyright lawyer at their side, a digital marketer can get legal insights about how to proceed with various marketing campaigns. This lawyer can verify whether a campaign involves any copyright law violations. If it does, a marketer can revamp the campaign before it goes live. 

2. Conduct Research

If digital marketers find material they want to use, perform research to find out if it is copyrighted. It is generally safe to assume that images, videos, or other media have a copyright attached to it. But it is paramount to confirm this assumption. That way, digital marketers can work with the media owner and see if this individual will grant their permission to use it. And if the owner says yes, digital marketers can avoid legal issues and take solace in the fact that they are operating under the law. 

In instances where digital marketers find media they want to use in their marketing campaigns, contact the owner. From there, digital marketers can explain how and why they plan to use the media. In addition, they can offer attribution and compensation to the owner.

Of course, there can be times when digital marketers cannot find the original source of media they want to use in their marketing campaigns. Err on the side of caution in these instances. Otherwise, by using media that may or may not be copyrighted, a digital marketer opens the door to myriad legal problems.  

3. Follow Licensing Agreements

Review licensing agreements for media in detail. For instance, there are usually terms and conditions associated with stock photography purchases. These terms and conditions should be followed at all times. Furthermore, digital marketers should maintain copies of license agreements that contain these terms and conditions.  

Along with following licensing agreements, it is beneficial to establish and maintain an IP policy. Digital marketers can utilize IP policies that define how these professionals deal with IP that belongs to a third party. As such, an IP policy can provide digital marketers with steps to follow to ensure they can avoid legal problems. 

Should Digital Marketers Use Copyrighted Material?

Copyrighted material can help digital marketers transform ordinary digital marketing campaigns into extraordinary ones. However, digital marketers should always strive to produce unique materials for their campaigns. 

One-of-a-kind material helps businesses stand out in the digital age. Thus, digital marketers who devote time, energy, and resources to produce original marketing material are well-equipped to distinguish their respective brands from competitors. Plus, they can develop campaigns that resonate with consumers and drive revenues and sales. 

To get started on building innovative marketing campaigns, digital marketers should establish goals. From here, they can identify the best steps to accomplish their goals as quickly and efficiently as possible. Digital marketers can then get started on creating unique content or finding copyrighted materials for their campaigns. Next, they can track their campaign results and work toward achieving optimal results. 

The Bottom Line 

Work diligently to craft and execute a digital marketing campaign. Moreover, account for copyright infringement and other legal issues that can hinder your campaign’s result. In doing so, a digital marketer can deliver a campaign that fosters customer engagement and won’t lead to lawsuits.