Most often small businesses never think how can politics affect their business marketing. In today’s episode, we give you examples of how a business owner should adhere to the laws of copyrights so that you never find yourself in a legal battle.

Listen the podcast here:

Rachel :            Hello everyone and welcome back to the Marketing Whisper podcast. I am your host Rachel Calderon.

Kathryn :          And I am your cohost Kathryn Calderon.

Rachel :            And today we’re gonna be talking about a pretty interesting subject which is introducing marketing to politics. A lot of times marketing does not seem to relate or have anything to do with politics. I know that you’ve heard about royalty free music or music that is not royalty free. Also, images that are not royalty free and you have to pay for them. When people are marketing, they think that they can just pull a picture from Google or pull a picture from really wherever and they could put it in their marketing material and use that. This is where it gets a little tricky because doing any kind of advertisement, you really have to be very careful with the images that you use. Now there are sites out there that you can use, royalty free music and images however some of them do have requirements such as you have to give credit to either the photographer or the music writer and you have to link that image back to the person or back to the website where wherever that originated from, and then you have your images and music that you actually cannot use without purchasing.

PhotoCredit: Pete Linforth

Rachel :            So you have like adobe stock, Shutterfly and websites like that, that you have to purchase and then you can use it and it all has to do with licensing purposes. When marketing, you want to make sure that you cover all your bases and politics is one of them. So I recently wrote an article for the Foresight Strategies insider regarding this topic because this is a topic that I think that a lot of people just kind of like they’ll pull a picture, google and they’ll just plaster it there and promote services and the thing is that they can get in trouble. Why do you think now there’s so many issues regarding music? You can’t just post a video and use a non royalty free music unless you own the rights to it or at least you purchase. So again several aspects of the government policies can affect our business, especially when we’re marketing. So you have to take into consideration the laws and a lot of times people don’t align marketing and politics. And they think that’s not a big deal. But I think recently there was something regarding Trump and an image that he used for something that he, I don’t remember if it was the he tweeted or something like that. But anyway, he supposedly he got in trouble for using an image that did not belong to him. And it’s funny because the Orlando weekly I know had done that with another politician in Orlando. He used a logo and he put it in his campaign and the owner of that logo did not give him the rights to do that. He had to have had purchased rights for that. So what is your take on that Kat?

Kathryn :          That’s kinda how the way the game goes, you’re not allowed to use something that somebody else created if they don’t give you the rights to use it. That’s happened many times where artists like singers or like movie stars, sometimes pictures of art that they’ve seen, but they don’t give credit to the artist.

Rachel :            Why would you want the rights? I mean, how does this affect you as a designer that someone else would pull some work of yours? I want our audience to really understand. I mean, I know, but I want our audience to understand from the designer’s perspective, why these laws have been in place and why we need to, as business owners respect that.

Kathryn :          Well, the designer took a lot of time and effort to make said design. If you ask for a logo, the logo still doesn’t belong to you unless you purchase the full rights to it. The design is still mine.  I made it. It doesn’t matter if it’s your name. I made it so the design, the look is mine. I own it. You can’t change it. You can’t alter it. You can’t do anything to it. All you can do is do what you paid for. If you place it on a product, that’s all you’re allowed to do with it. If you want it for print collateral, that’s all you can do with it. You can’t then put on stuff that you’re going to sell because you didn’t originally tell me that you were going to do that. So that’s not what we wrote in our agreement or in our contract. So whatever you laid in the contract, whatever I said you can do with this design, that’s all you can do with it. It’s like an artist. If you commission them to do a painting. If I make a design and I sell prints online, there’s multiple prints.  Now you can take those prints and buy one and hanging in your room, but you can’t take that print and go sell it somewhere else because it’s not yours. I have the rights to that. Still. You’re just getting a copy of it, an image of it. Now, if you bought an original piece and I gave you the original piece and you bought the full piece, like the original piece, I would say that it’s now yours. Now you’ve bought it, you’ve purchased it. Now if you want to sell it to somebody else, you can, but you still can’t say that you’ve made it. You can’t sell it as your work because it’s still. I still own the rights to it.

Rachel :            What happened at that point? If that company was to soar and use that design or that image and that makes their brand because really we don’t know if that logo or that image is going to really help them soar. We hope that it does and we always design with that expectation, but let’s say the client wants to purchase the full rights. What are the pros and cons?

Kathryn :          We’ll pros. I mean, I don’t really know what’s the pros. I’ve never sold any of my designs for the full rights. No one’s ever asked, so I wouldn’t really know. I don’t see the pros in that. I don’t see that benefited me in any way except I guess maybe in that one swoop you get a lot of money, but I don’t see any pros in that. The cons would be if they soared, you don’t get any royalties fees from that.. That was kind of like the lady who designed the Nike Logo, she sold it for like a really cheap amount. I mean, but this was back then when it wasn’t that big, so she sold it for a cheap amount and then they soared and  she obviously had no claim on that, but they’ve, since the company was good to her, they’ve since given her compensation.  I think they gave her like stock rights or something. Gave her something to compensate for the fact that she sold it for like so cheap and it’s soared. That was a good company, but you don’t know if that’ll happen with everybody. So like I said, I don’t really see the pros in that. I don’t really know like why you would want to sell the rights to something fully sewing in your perspective there’s not really a pro to it.

Kathryn :          I mean yeah, I wouldn’t see the, benefits in me not having the least small amount of rights to it because even in some of those rights you might not be able to even say you did work. I mean the only way that that could happen that somebody would have full rights is if you worked for a company.  Like if I worked for Pixar and I did something for a movie, obviously there’s been tons of Pixar movies and the artists for like those characters get to say, I designed this, but they don’t own that character. Pixar owns that character, but you can still say, hey, I designed this for this movie, but not everybody’s like that and not everything is like that.

Rachel :            So really what it boils down to in the marketing world is that we have to really take into consideration all these little laws. If you pull the wrong picture, you pull the wrong logo, you can really find yourself in a heap of trouble and in a large legal battle, I’d rather go and purchase. It may cost me like 50 bucks, thirty Bucks, 20 bucks, whatever it is. Let’s say your company gets a lot of recognition. The last thing you want to do, especially for your brand is hinder it because of one slight legal issue.  So you want to do your due diligence prior to any marketing material that you put together. We even had to do the same for our intro here for our podcast. I didn’t want to just get anything that was going to get us in trouble, so we had to find music that was paid for so that we didn’t have issues in the end. And sometimes I think that’s best because then we won’t get sued. We won’t be bothered. So in my quest to get the word out, you want to make sure that you’re not making these careless mistakes that can cost you your company and in the long run it would make more of a challenge for you having to come back or even as a brand. So this is a little something that I wanted to talk about today because of that. I just want you guys to take into consideration when marketing, when using a logo designers, you need to make sure and you know what?  It’s actually good that you asked these questions and not assume that let’s say a $99 logo can be used for everything, could be put on a tee shirt, can be put on your collateral, can be put on things that you sell. You have to be fully aware that there may be different pricing for this because again, we have to take into consideration the designer. The designer has put a lot of thought and effort. Now I’m not talking about these 99 or I mean those people, they just, I think they used the same identical logos and they just changed the coloring that it’s a very basic design. I’m talking about if you want to build a business and have a great brand and you want a design, a real designer, create and develop something that is gonna be long lasting. You want to begin by doing your due diligence and making sure that by law you’re covered. So not only are we as the designers want to make sure that we’re covered, but we also want to make sure that our clients and business owners should be asking these questions. What can I use the design for? Should I be able to put it on collateral? Should I be able to put this on a product and sell it? Because if you do not have the rights, again, you have to take into consideration everyone who puts work into this, you also want to be able to trade market and register that brand. Say I wanted to use the logo for Starbucks, or let’s say that logo was a logo that I created. I never trademarked it, and of course they had somewhat the same idea. So what you wanna do is you want to make sure that you trade market because then no one can take that away from you because that is your brand. You want to protect it. You don’t want to associate that icon or that image with anything negative that would bring negativity to your company. These are things guys I want to share with you because I want to bring awareness to you so that you can have a business with integrity with honor. So do you have any final thoughts on this topic Kathryn?

Kathryn :          It’s just like you said, just be aware of the laws and read your contracts and make sure what it is you’re purchasing and if you don’t know what you’re purchasing ask the designer, make sure that you get everything laid out beforehand so that there’s no problems or lawyers involved later.

Regulation laws are there to protect you and keep you safe… PhotoCredit-mohamed Hassan

Rachel :            Regulation laws are there to protect you and keep you safe and it’s also there to protect the designer, so I encourage you when looking to brand yourself, whether that’s through music, through videos, through images, logos, things that are going to build your brand.

Rachel :            I would say the best thing when your marketing is to do your due diligence, make sure that you have all the proper royalty rights and if you going to use anything free, make sure you give credit to the person, to the creator. We want to give credit where credit’s due. I know that I’ve done that before and I still do that today. I know the hard work that we put out and so I want to make sure that that person gets some kind of credit. If they’re not asking for money, but they’re asking, please put my name out there. Why can’t we do that? Again, it was great talking to you guys and giving you some great information regarding marketing and politics. I hope to hear from you on this topic. Give us a shout out. If you have any questions regarding this topic, please go to and go to my contact page and you can leave us some questions or comments. It has been an awesome time talking and chatting with Kathryn about this topic, so see you on the next episode. Bye guys.

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