Just when you think you’ve got everything under control, you may just be one wrong decision away from a client lawsuit. In fact, it can be something you never expected, did or even considered that puts your business on the line. As a tech professional, game or app developer or IT consultant exposures outside of your normal day to day - like copyright infringement - are ever-present. Even liabilities that originate with work done by a vendor or business associate can pose a threat to your business. Consider the following real claims scenario.
Tech firm held liable for vendor’s copyright infringement
A major tech firm contracted with a small mom-and- pop shop to develop an online video. The mom-and- pop shop used music to supplement the video without a license to do so. The music company became aware of the infringement and went after the major tech provider that supported the video display, accusing them of copyright and trademark infringement. Even though the tech company had a written agreement with the media creators to use only licensed music, they were still held liable.
The moral? Even if the error isn’t yours, you could be blamed for the mistake. Ensure your business has the necessary technology Professional Liability protection to back you up.
Anyone and everyone can be named in a lawsuit today. As an IT professional you need to be prepared for common professional liability exposures specific to your work:
- Multi-media liability
Copyright infringement comes in many forms – code, software, music, photography – and can affect all parties involved in multi-media production. Subcontractor liability agreements don’t always hold up in court and as in the example above, anyone can be held responsible for a business partner’s mistake.
- Cyber and network liability
When a cyber breach occurs, either during or after your work, accusations may come your way. You could be on the hook for first and third-party coverages – from crisis management to business interruption and extortion expenses.
- Professional services
When your development or design advice, product or systems integration services lead to a financial loss for your customer or partner, they may hold you responsible.