Beware - A Lesson 4 Anyone Making Demo Sites/Videos Etc

21 replies
Hopefully my experience this morning will help others avoid the same dilemma

I created a video for a business near me using their images etc and sent it to the owner yesterday lunchtime. later that afternoon she replied saying no thanks, but then about an hour after that i got another email asking if i could ring her, followed by another 2 emails saying please ring me. I thought wow she must be desperate as i said in the original email if your not interested i will delete the video so assumed (you know what they say) she did not want me to delete it after all.

I emailed her back last night apologising for not ringing as i has not got her emails until late, but i would ring first thing Tuesday morning, she replied saying that's great,

Well i rang this morning

Boy was i wrong, she chewed me a new one as i had used her images without her permission, claiming copyright etc, after i managed to calm her down she was actually quite a nice lady, and there was me rubbing my hands together right before calling her - already counting the cash, lesson learnt..

Thankfully in the end it turned out ok, but it could of been a lot worse.

Moral - Ask permission first, or create a generic demo video in their niche for them to look at first to see if there is any interest.

Cheers
#beware #demo #lesson #making #sites or videos
  • Profile picture of the author bizwebman
    Some good advice and not something you would expect to happen, bearing in mind you were not trying to use her images to make sales elsewhere.

    Did you get any business from her in the end - if not you never know, as she at least knows who you are now.

    Grahame
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    • Profile picture of the author misterme
      Originally Posted by bizwebman View Post

      Some good advice and not something you would expect to happen, bearing in mind you were not trying to use her images to make sales elsewhere.
      That doesn't matter. What matters is he took her copyrighted images without her consent. Copyright law says the Copyright holder owns all rights to the images.

      Now she could be watching to see if he uses that video of her images to market his services to others. That would be a Copyright violation where she could sue him.
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  • Profile picture of the author flnz400
    Do it again for another company, that won't happen. I'm serious.

    Bitch stealin your fire.
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  • Profile picture of the author Steve Solem
    Don't know what laws the UK has regarding copyright, but in my unprofessional opinion, I'd think this falls under "fair use" according to US copyright law U.S. Copyright Office - Copyright Law: Chapter 1

    ยง 107 . Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair use40

    Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 106 and 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include--

    (1) the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;

    (2) the nature of the copyrighted work;

    (3) the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and

    (4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

    The fact that a work is unpublished shall not itself bar a finding of fair use if such finding is made upon consideration of all the above factors.
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    • Profile picture of the author misterme
      Originally Posted by Steve Solem View Post

      in my unprofessional opinion, I'd think this falls under "fair use" according to US copyright law
      for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright

      I don't see anything that would cover intent for resale in there. Fair use wouldn't cover commercial purposes in most cases.

      Originally Posted by Christian Cee View Post

      I've known of a guy that did a mock up Levis commercial because he wanted to present it to them and see if he would get hired to direct one of their commercials.

      I guess there is a fine line to thread here it's done all the time in business to business.
      I think the fine line is this. Big corporation like Levis, their marketing dept. doesn't care if you're coming in using their images to show them what you can do. They don't have a personal attachment to it. The small business owner who paid out of pocket for those images personally, or took them themselves, hey, that's their stuff you've copied.
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  • Profile picture of the author TyBrown
    As a business owner I would be ticked off if someone, without asking me, went on my site, took my images, and created a video and then put it on YouTube or another site. I would be ticked off even if they were trying to promote my business. I have very specific ways of creating my brand and protecting my image. I like to communicate my message to my market in a certain way. And some marketer who has no clue how I am looking to do that shouldn't start snatching stuff off my site so that he can create a marketing video how he wants and then try to sell it to me.

    I'm with the business owner on this one and surprised at the comments showing support to you, especially flnz400 who shows zero class in calling this woman about the worst thing you can think of for a lady. You should be ashamed of yourself for talking about her that way. That woman is a daughter, a sister, and perhaps a mother. I'm sickened that people like you would use that term to refer to a woman who is trying to protect her business.

    Is this really something you guys do? Do you guys really have the guts to take their property, turn it into a video, and then try to sell it to them? I'm shocked.

    I hope other marketers are taking note. As long as their are marketers with these kind of scruples you responsible marketers will do okay.
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  • Profile picture of the author Chris Chicas
    To give a quick answer to TyBrown.... I don't do this myself but actually in the commercial world I've known quite a few people have done this. For example, I've known of a guy that did a mock up Levis commercial because he wanted to present it to them and see if he would get hired to direct one of their commercials.

    I guess there is a fine line to thread here it's done all the time in business to business.

    I'm not getting in the legalities of this or giving any legal advice, for that you should consult with a professional. ; )
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    • Profile picture of the author zimbizee
      I learned my lesson the hard way, and hindsight is a wonderful thing.

      Yes what i did was questionable but with good intentions and once the owner had made their views clear and listened to my proposal things ended very amicably between us, even as far as exchanging details for possible future endeavours.

      Tybrown - i'm not here to butt heads with anyone, gain approval or disapproval.

      My intention for this thread was share my experience so others can make an informed decision regarding their own practices, and possibly avoid the encounter i had this morning.

      That's what this forum is about isn't it - to share and help fellow marketers about what works and more importantly what doesn't.

      And no i won't be using the video or the images - they are now in the recycle bin.
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    • Profile picture of the author TyBrown
      Originally Posted by Christian Cee View Post

      To give a quick answer to TyBrown.... I don't do this myself but actually in the commercial world I've known quite a few people have done this. For example, I've known of a guy that did a mock up Levis commercial because he wanted to present it to them and see if he would get hired to direct one of their commercials.

      I guess there is a fine line to thread here it's done all the time in business to business.

      I'm not getting in the legalities of this or giving any legal advice, for that you should consult with a professional. ; )
      The difference is that he created a commercial and only allowed it to be seen by himself and Levis. This video was put online without permission. That is where I would have a big problem as did the business owner.
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      • Profile picture of the author Steve Solem
        Originally Posted by misterme View Post

        for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright

        I don't see anything that would cover intent for resale in there. Fair use wouldn't cover commercial purposes in most cases.

        I think the fine line is this. Big corporation like Levis, their marketing dept. doesn't care if you're coming in using their images to show them what you can do. They don't have a personal attachment to it. The small business owner who paid out of pocket for those images personally, or took them themselves, hey, that's their stuff you've copied.
        There's a bit of grey area to this for sure, but sending someone a video made from their images with the intent to offer it to THEM to help market their own business, not sell it to others for profit - seems like that would fall under "criticism, comment and teaching" purposes to me.

        Originally Posted by TyBrown View Post

        The difference is that he created a commercial and only allowed it to be seen by himself and Levis. This video was put online without permission. That is where I would have a big problem as did the business owner.
        I didn't see this specifically mentioned, but I'm going under the assumption that zimbizee didn't post this to a public youtube account, but shared it privately so only the owner could see it...just like the Levis video was.

        Personally I'd say she overreacted just a bit, but I'm glad you handled it tactfully and learned some lessons as you don't need to be making enemies with the local businesses you're trying to help.

        Maybe your best approach is to contact companies you think you can do good videos for, ask permission to use public photos from their website and then provide them with a demo video?
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        • Profile picture of the author TyBrown
          Originally Posted by Steve Solem View Post


          I didn't see this specifically mentioned, but I'm going under the assumption that zimbizee didn't post this to a public youtube account, but shared it privately so only the owner could see it...just like the Levis video was.
          I'm not sure either. All he said was that it was on YouTube, not sure if it was private or not.

          I guess I'd be a lousy client for you all because I don't really have anyone agreeing with me on here. Cest la vie.

          I guess I'm coming from a place where I've had several people take stuff off my website and use it for various purposes, sometimes for their own gain, other times for 'mine'. I've had people make FB pages 'on my behalf' but they don't match my brand and my goals, etc. I've had people copy my products, grab descriptions off my videos to create 'content' for me, etc. If I want someone to take my images and my property and use them I'll ask for it. For someone to snipe them and sell them to me repurposed and un-petitioned seems crazy.

          I can also tell those on here who are successful at what they do. A handful of comments have disparagingly spoken about this woman as if it was crazy for her to want to protect her own property. I'm always interested and slightly amused to see the career trajectory of someone who has no problem speaking so awfully about the same type of person they are trying to earn a living from.
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          • Profile picture of the author spesialis
            Originally Posted by TyBrown View Post

            I'm not sure either. All he said was that it was on YouTube, not sure if it was private or not.

            I guess I'd be a lousy client for you all because I don't really have anyone agreeing with me on here. Cest la vie.

            I guess I'm coming from a place where I've had several people take stuff off my website and use it for various purposes, sometimes for their own gain, other times for 'mine'. I've had people make FB pages 'on my behalf' but they don't match my brand and my goals, etc. I've had people copy my products, grab descriptions off my videos to create 'content' for me, etc. If I want someone to take my images and my property and use them I'll ask for it. For someone to snipe them and sell them to me repurposed and un-petitioned seems crazy.

            I can also tell those on here who are successful at what they do. A handful of comments have disparagingly spoken about this woman as if it was crazy for her to want to protect her own property. I'm always interested and slightly amused to see the career trajectory of someone who has no problem speaking so awfully about the same type of person they are trying to earn a living from.
            I'm sorry, but that is very different.

            If I go to your site right now (which is very nice by the way, congrats), use your logo, create a mockup site using it, then email you offering "I can make you a better site, with better conversion rate ... (bla bla bla usual sales pitch), here's the mockup"

            You refuse, I delete it, end of story.
            Or you refuse, pissed at me (for using your logo, for spamming you etc), I apologize and delete it, end of story.

            It's a different story entirely if I take your text or images, and create my own site for marketing my own product .. that is plain old stealing and profiting from a theft.

            I'm not saying that it is legal or illegal ... I'm just saying that it will be really hard, almost impossible, to sell it to you if I use another logo (for the sake of this argument, say I create it myself) .... because that would not be personal to you.

            It's personalized marketing (or whatever fancy term they use in textbooks)
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            • Profile picture of the author TyBrown
              Originally Posted by spesialis View Post

              I'm sorry, but that is very different.

              If I go to your site right now (which is very nice by the way, congrats), use your logo, create a mockup site using it, then email you offering "I can make you a better site, with better conversion rate ... (bla bla bla usual sales pitch), here's the mockup"

              You refuse, I delete it, end of story.
              Or you refuse, pissed at me (for using your logo, for spamming you etc), I apologize and delete it, end of story.

              It's a different story entirely if I take your text or images, and create my own site for marketing my own product .. that is plain old stealing and profiting from a theft.

              I'm not saying that it is legal or illegal ... I'm just saying that it will be really hard, almost impossible, to sell it to you if I use another logo (for the sake of this argument, say I create it myself) .... because that would not be personal to you.

              It's personalized marketing (or whatever fancy term they use in textbooks)

              To be clear, I'm not commenting on the legality of this. That never entered my mind.

              I'm also not against someone doing a mock up. Yes, I did mention above how I thought it was ridiculous that someone would try to sell me my own re-purposed stuff without asking me in the first place. While I am resistant to the idea I don't think the mockup idea is wrong. It's been mentioned on here that this is standard for the industry, for example the Levi's jeans anecdote from before. But do you think Levi's accepts mock ups from every Dingus on the street that says they've got the next best way to sell jeans? Do you think that guy just walked in to headquarters one day with a commercial and Levi's was like 'sure, don't hang out there in the cold. Get in here. You have zero credibility with us but we'd like to hear your pitch anyways'?

              My ONE qualm with this was that it was placed on a public site like YouTube. The author never mentioned whether it was Private, Public, Or Unlisted but it doesn't matter to me. I understand the difference but many business owners see that their valuable marketing capital is distorted in a way they don't like and put on a public site (perhaps not understanding public, private, etc.) and it's easy to see why someone would flip out.

              Regardless, as a small business owner I may or may not be in the minority here. But I'm immediately skeptical of every cold call I get, every cold email I get, etc. and when an unknown marketing entity is using my stuff I would get mad. I get pitched a lot of stuff and not once has a marketer really attempted to get to know my business. Instead they fake intimacy with stuff like the topic in question ie creating something that is special for me but really doesn't understand my business, or trying to tell me jokes, or ask me about my hobbies to fill the gap while they're trying to 'close' me. Bear in mind, I've purchased a lot of things over the years from web design to redesign to seo to logo changes to copywriting to link building to postcard services, et al. But I've never bought cold because not once has there been any genuineness in these cold encounters.

              I get where you guys are going with this method of a personalized mock up. I'm sure I'm in the minority and you find plenty of people who will buy with this method. But you'll also find people like me. Perhaps we're a small enough subset that you can marginalize us and go after low hanging fruit. That's fine with me, just wanted to give the voice of opposition in favor of this fellow business owner.
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  • Profile picture of the author Aaron Doud
    Since the images were hers the video is hers. If I was her I would have asked for it.

    Do I think this kind of event is likely to happen very often? No

    But it did teach you a lesson about what if's.

    Of course the worst case is you would have had it publicly uploaded (you had it private right?) and she would have sued you. The legal costs would have sucked though I doubt you would have got more than a slap on the wrist settlement besides that.

    Honestly I would have just given her the video file and signed an agreement giving up any ownership i had in said video. Better just to move on in weird cases like this and leave the other party more than whole whenever you can.

    Also if you have not yet make sure to delete the video file off the net but keep a copy on a disk just in case you need it later.
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    • Profile picture of the author zimbizee
      I offered the video and the youtube account details but said they had no use for them, deleted the video and account as per my conversation with the proprietor of the business and we parted ways on good terms thankfully because it could of been much worse.
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      • Profile picture of the author Aaron Doud
        Originally Posted by zimbizee View Post

        I offered the video and the youtube account details but said they had no use for them, deleted the video and account as per my conversation with the proprietor of the business and we parted ways on good terms thankfully because it could of been much worse.
        Perfect way to handle it.

        But overall shocked anyone would have cared. I would have asked for the video but just to be a smart ass. If I am bored I like keeping marketers on their toes lol.

        Glad it all worked out because as we both said it could have been worse.
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        • Profile picture of the author bizwebman
          This is an ongoing issue as there are WSOs that use logos and pictures from existing websites to create mobile sites for the targeted business.

          To be honest and it has been mentioned by someone on the thread - much will depend on the temperament of the business owner. Many will be made up with the idea and others may well be annoyed.

          The law can be a little grey depending on fulfilling the requirements of 'fair use'
          I found a video that may help as this is becoming more and more of an problem.

          CIS Fair Use Legal Experts Answer Fair Use Questions - Stanford Center for Internet and Society - YouTube

          Grahame
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  • Profile picture of the author kellyyarnsbro
    Nice advice. If that lady isn't that nice i guess you already loss your business, good thing she let it pass. I haven't experience that kind of situation but this one is a warning. Thanks mate.
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  • Profile picture of the author NewParadigm
    As long as it was just private mock up for the business and not used in marketing anywhere else- Screw her, for every numbskull like that you run into, you will get more business from other owners who saw you took the time to learn about their business. People love to read/hear/talk about their businesses. There wouldn't be a court in the land that would prosecute on these grounds either.

    After all, you wouldn't want people like that as your clients anyway, they'd bitch about stupid stuff and give you reputation headaches.
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    In a moment of decision the best thing you can do is the right thing. The worst thing you can do is nothing. ~ Theodore Roosevelt

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    • Profile picture of the author Jay Rhome
      Originally Posted by NewParadigm View Post

      As long as it was just private mock up for the business and not used in marketing anywhere else- Screw her, for every numbskull like that you run into, you will get more business from other owners who saw you took the time to learn about their business. People love to read/hear/talk about their businesses. There wouldn't be a court in the land that would prosecute on these grounds either.

      After all, you wouldn't want people like that as your clients anyway, they'd bitch about stupid stuff and give you reputation headaches.
      Agreed.

      As long as the Youtube videos are not publicly listed, the links to mock up sites private, who cares? Those bitchy people will be rare indeed, and the consequences are ... none: you only have to take down the video/demo. No need to overthink this or prevent you from doing it!

      But yeah, make sure the links are not public nor indexed. Think of a bad review page you created for a prospect that suddenly shows up in Google searches...
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    • Profile picture of the author Aaron Doud
      Originally Posted by NewParadigm View Post

      As long as it was just private mock up for the business and not used in marketing anywhere else- Screw her, for every numbskull like that you run into, you will get more business from other owners who saw you took the time to learn about their business. People love to read/hear/talk about their businesses. There wouldn't be a court in the land that would prosecute on these grounds either.

      After all, you wouldn't want people like that as your clients anyway, they'd bitch about stupid stuff and give you reputation headaches.
      I agree that kind of person is not someone you would want as a client so it is nice when they qualify themselves out.

      And of course no court would prosecute as this would be a civil and not criminal case. But they would win the civil case. What they would win would be minor and IMO worst case would be having to pay their court costs. Which is why I would suggest in these cases to give them the files and let it go. In court they would likely gain ownership of the video files anyways.

      With stuff like this it is not about winning or losing the court case it is about avoiding it as any lawsuit is a loss even if you win.

      Personally I would never use their pictures in a mock up. The reason for this is a personalized mockup they didn't request is a waste of time. It is much better to have a generic mock up or use a mockup you did for someone else (ask them to use it in your prospecting).

      Once they are interested then you can do a custom mock up.

      Also one final reason I don't like personalized mockups unless they ask for them is this.... If they see your work and like it but it doesn't match their vision they can ask you to make their vision. But when you send a personalized mockup they judge it differently. By presenting work you did for someone else they see the quality of your work not the wrong message you put into their mockup. Once it is "theirs" aka a personalized mockup they will judge it not on the quality of work as much as rather they think it fits their vision.
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