Rules for Radio: Photos and Licensing

Posted by The SoCast Team

Feb 2, 2017 1:58:54 PM


The digital era is driving massive opportunities to radio brands around revenue generation, audience engagement and more; but this also brings an increased risk of encountering legal pitfalls. Social media and online publishing can be delicate when it comes to media and copyright law, but these tips will help you tread carefully around the use of photos and licensing.


Photos and Licensing

The unauthorized or unlicensed use of photography media is a massive problem when it comes to the digital era - and not only for Radio. There has unfortunately been a significant increase in radio companies facing copyright lawsuits (even big players like Evanov and Spotify aren’t immune). So how to avoid becoming entangled in a copyright dispute?

Intellectual property attorney Lynn Morrow offers these solid suggestions via Billboard:

  1. Assume that all pictures are copyrighted.
  2. Make sure you have rights to the photo before putting it online, especially if you are a business.
  3. Make sure the clearance rights you get in the photo carry over to all digital platforms — not just your website.
  4. If you receive a demand letter for improper use of pictures or content, take it seriously. Do not ignore it. In fact, immediately take down the content until you can get clarification from the claimant.
  5. Don’t rely too heavily on “fair use” to save the day. It’s difficult to apply conclusively.
  6. Don’t exploit a photographer’s content in a way that impairs his or her ability to profit from it.
  7. Act now to clear a photo to avoid bigger problems later.

Working with digital providers like SoCast is also a great way to safeguard your radio brand(s) against legal embroilment. For example, SoCast provides clients with 4 critical tools to ensure the legal and correct use of photo and media assets:

  • Media Library: SoCast provides a shared media library. For companies that have purchased stock photo libraries, they can upload them to SoCast and easily make them available for staff use. Images can also be tagged for easy search, categorization and ongoing management.


  • User Permissions: SoCast allows for customized user permissions as well as allowing each user to have their own unique login.  This makes it possible to track and audit updates to a page, and creates a culture of accountability among users.


  • Social Embeds: SoCast makes it easy to insert social media embeds into blogs.  This allows you to source compelling images and videos, while being protected by the social media network's terms of use and guidelines.  


  • Image upload: Once of the best ways to avoid legal issues is to take your own pictures. Station employees can upload images directly to SoCast from their mobile device.  This is particularly useful for events and candid, behind-the-scenes content.


Are you concerned about the legal policy for your radio brand? Need some help building an effective digital strategy, with tools that won’t get you in legal trouble? We are here to help. Speak with a specialist today about how SoCast can protect your brand against legal issues online through our digital tools designed for radio and broadcast brands.

2017 Digital Checklist

Topics: Legal

2017 Digital Checklist
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