As promised, I want to recap advice from the Fashion Law panel from Sunday's RetailCamp blogger conference. The panel, which was moderated by Macala Wright, included Staci Riordan and Uduak Oduok, who are both brilliant, specialize in fashion law, and are avid bloggers. Here are some of the tips that I found most helpful:
- You gain copyright protection the minute you write something, but you have to register your work in order to enforce it.
- If you are like me, and you find that someone has infringed upon your copyright, contact their ISP immediately and give them 24 hours to shut the site down. (This takes some time and investigative skills to research the web host, IP address, etc. of the offenders, but it's worth it.)
- The fair use doctrine states that if I'm going to use an article or photo, I don't need consent so long as I use it for journalistic or informational purposes.
- When uploading photos, videos, or other content to sites such as Chictopia or Lookbook, read the Terms and Conditions carefully. Many sites require you to give away your copyright rights when uploading material.
- Thanks to the FTC, bloggers have to disclose when we receive samples for review in order to avoid misleading the reader.
- Register your brand name as soon as you intend to use it. That gives you more rights and ways to enforce it. File an application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
- There are 3 contracts that bloggers should use: for advertisers/sponsors, work for hire (for writers/contributers), and for business partners.