When a blogger or freelancer writes about something they’ve read or heard about a celebrity, without fact checking or first-hand knowledge, they could be liable for slander. Similarly, when a TV personality says something negative about a certain food group on air, they could be on the hook for food defamation.
By its nature, your work is unique, creative, one-of-a-kind and sometimes explosive. And accusations of copyright infringement, liable, slander, plagiarism and unfair competition can’t be ignored. For this reason, it is important to consider investing in liability insurance for freelancers and bloggers.
Consider the following case study:
Commercial production company held liable for copyright infringement
A production company was filming a commercial in a Caribbean Island home. While they had a written agreement with the homeowners, they failed to obtain a separate contract with the creator of the homeowner’s artwork, which provided a backdrop for the commercial. The artist sued the production company for copyright infringement, alleging that the 30-second spot framed his artwork in a bad light. The production company didn’t have a Media or Professional Liability policy, which left them on the hook for all defense and settlement costs.
The moral? Even when you think you’ve vetted the situation, there’s always a risk that you missed something. Ensure your business has the necessary Media and or Professional Liability insurance for freelancers and bloggers to back you up.
As a creative mind working in any number of industries, you need to be prepared for two common sources of professional liability exposure:
- Multi-media liability
Copyright infringement comes in many forms – music, plagiarism, photography, code and software – and can affect all parties involved in multi-media production. Be aware that subcontractor liability agreements don’t always hold up in court - anyone can be held responsible.
Using a company’s logo, product or tagline in a negative light with or without permission could have a significant impact on their brand. Obtaining written clearance on anything that’s included: background people, title on the film production name, the use of music, etc., is important.