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LEGAL EXTORTION

by Adam Zack — January 10, 2018

It’s capitalism 101

I’ve written before how everything we do in business, every day is ultimately about the money. We may love our job, our co-workers and our customers, but when it all shakes out if the business isn’t profitable, there is only a matter of time until the cash to provide the arena for the things we love about our job runs out and there is no place left to love. We work hard, innovate and serve and in return our customers reward us with payment so that they can prosper from us. It’s capitalism 101. In this age of technology, however, there is a new troll going through the grocery and food industry looking for photos that you may have used in an eblast, a website and on social media that they own the rights to. Once their algorithms find that image, no matter how innocently it’s used, the information goes to their troll law firm who sends of a demand letter for thousands of dollars and threatens imminent legal action if payment isn’t made – conveniently by credit card – within a short period. It’s really a form of legal extortion. We don’t like it, it’s not fair, and it sucks. But it’s not going away. It will only get much worse as these firms see that we get worried about lawsuits and want to just make it go away so we don’t have to hire an attorney to represent us. The idea of court is scary like salmonella, food poisoning and a hair in a customers potato salad. Pretty much everyone at some time or another has Googled a photo of some food and used it in a flyer or bag stuffer or ad. It just happens. But you have to be cautious, starting now, or the troll will eventually come calling. Make sure you are using royalty free photos, photos you have taken yourself (just not the really crappy ones – don’t use those at all) or only licensed photos. I promise to write something better next week – but this week we have been helping a couple clients deal with these a-holes.

Read More – Feelings

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