... don't presume they're not watching.

By
Real Estate Agent with Coldwell Banker Residential

Yesterday, I wrote a little post about Angie's List, and the fact that I'd been found by a potential client through a review on Angie's List.

I actually considered "clipping" the Angie's List logo for use in that post, figuring "who's going to see it?", and they probably wouldn't have a problem with me using it, since the post was very complimentary to Angie's List, anyway.  I decided, however, to honour their copyright (I know, I know, very big of me)... 'cause I'm heavily into that "not stealing copyrighted materials"...  It's not that I'm just so honourable, it's more like I can't afford the potential damage and penalties that might ensue. Not to mention the risk I expose Active Rain to!

In that same post, I copied & pasted the review I had received (It was a very nice one), and highlighted it in red.

Anyhoooo... The post hadn't been live more than about a half an hour (maybe less), when I received an e-mail from the Director of Communications at Angie's List.  The subject line to the e-mail stated "Saw your post on Active Rain", and she thanked me for my kind words about Angie's List, and then ever so politely asked me to amend my post, as Angie's List's policy doesn't allow their members to copy & paste entire testimonials from the list, and post them elsewhere. 

I amended the post immediately, as I hadn't realized I was breaking Angie's List's policy.

She went on to say that they DO allow you to excerpt from it, or describe, even say it was highly favorable, but they'd appreciate it if I wouldn’t post the whole report.  They walk a fine line, in admonishing members... but they do have to protect their copyright and intellectual materials.  In our e-mail conversation, I asked if I could use the logo, given the nature of the post, and she said absolutely yes, and they even sent me an email copy of a good clean version.  Nice.

The point of this post, isn't to say "gee what a fine bunch they are over at Angie's" (although they are)... the point of the post is... "if you think you won't be discovered, if you 'knick' a little graphic here and there... think again".  They were on me like white-on-rice, within minutes of my post going live.  It's a brave new world (Aldous Huxley would be proud), and information makes it's way around the world in nano-seconds.  You will be discovered.  Companies and corporations have staff dedicated to searching through social media and online references to their companies and protecting their images and copyrights.

Let's be careful, and honourable, out there.

Posted by

 ALAN MAY, Realtor®
Specializing in Evanston Real Estate and North Shore Real Estate

Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate, 2929 Central Street, Evanston, IL 60201
847.425.3779      Cell: 847.924.3313      Email: Almay@aol.com

Evanston Real Estate & North Shore Real Estate
Licensed in Illinois

   

Do not copy the content of this blog, without first contacting the author for permission. 
Reblogging IS allowed. All other use is strictly prohibited without express permission from me.

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  1. Roland Woodworth 06/30/2010 01:29 AM
Topic:
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Groups:
LA Connection
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The Vent
"Whacked"!!!
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Alan May
Coldwell Banker Residential - Evanston, IL
Evanston & Northshore of Chicago real estate

Patricia - amazing, isn't it... it's a brave new world.

Christa - but if I Google Alert Coldwell Banker, I'll be inundated.

Rob - if you didn't draw it, or you didn't pay for it, presume you need permission.

Terry - VERY careful.

Harj - very easy to overstep.

Lee - I think that would set too large a precedent to their entire membership.

Jim - definitely not... that kind of clipping can get you into deep, deep trouble.  Lenn Harley's maps find their way onto Google Images... and I can gar-ahn-tee you that using one of her maps, without permission, could cost you big bucks!

J. Phillip - but, didn't Kris Kringle invent the internet...?

 

Jun 30, 2010 11:51 AM #52
Rainer
130,286
Monica Atherton
Coldwell Banker~Residential Brokerage - Temecula, CA
Your Temecula Real Estate Gal

Alan, thanks for doing the right thing. 

Jun 30, 2010 12:06 PM #53
Rainmaker
1,408,273
Andrew Mooers
MOOERS REALTY - Houlton, ME
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker

Johnny Cash sang it best. "Walk the line."

Jun 30, 2010 12:07 PM #54
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Alan May
Coldwell Banker Residential - Evanston, IL
Evanston & Northshore of Chicago real estate

Monica - i didn't really have a choice... it's who I am.

Andrew - one of my favourite tunes.

Jun 30, 2010 12:12 PM #55
Rainer
198,859
Duane Murphy
Murphy & Associates Real Estate - Appleton, WI
Realtor, Foreclosures ,Short Sales, Real Estate -

Great summary Andrew! Use the "juice" but don't abuse the "juice"!

Jun 30, 2010 12:49 PM #56
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Alan May
Coldwell Banker Residential - Evanston, IL
Evanston & Northshore of Chicago real estate

Duane - Andrew is the commenter above me... Alan is the poster.   (Alan!)

Jun 30, 2010 12:59 PM #57
Rainmaker
216,670
Richard Strahm
RE/MAX Realty Group - Lansdale, PA - Lansdale, PA
Lansdale and North Penn Real Estate

Try setting Google Alerts up for your own name -- It's amazing how quickly you find out when something goes up on the web about you!

Jun 30, 2010 02:40 PM #58
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Alan May
Coldwell Banker Residential - Evanston, IL
Evanston & Northshore of Chicago real estate

Richard - if you check my response to Denise in comment #39, you'll see why that doesn't work for me... there is also a famous retired Canadian Hockey player named Alan May.

Jun 30, 2010 02:48 PM #59
Rainer
116,904
Katrina Cole
The Jonathan Arnold Team of Inlanta Mortgage - East Grand Rapids, MI
Katrina Cole, Marketing Manager

Great point Ala.  As many said the Google Alerts will pull up additions in real time.  Following Copy writes are very important and don't forget that pictures are included as well.

Jun 30, 2010 02:52 PM #60
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Alan May
Coldwell Banker Residential - Evanston, IL
Evanston & Northshore of Chicago real estate

Katrina - copyrights are very important... and pictures (or other images) can be located using tineye.com

Jun 30, 2010 02:58 PM #61
Anonymous
Anonymous
Anonymous

Watch out, Big Brother is watching just wait till the Govt gets a kill switch for the internet

Jun 30, 2010 03:59 PM #62
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Alan May
Coldwell Banker Residential - Evanston, IL
Evanston & Northshore of Chicago real estate

Gary - never gonna happen.  Al Gore would have to relinquish it.

Jun 30, 2010 04:14 PM #63
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Bryan Robertson
Catarra Real Estate, Inc - Los Altos, CA
Broker, Author, Speaker

I've always been of the opinion that copyright law is way to stringent.  In my opinion, if the intent of the person copying is to leverage something about themselves, they should have the right to use any and all of the content without license.

i also believe that the primary reason Angie's List and others don't want you copy their content is that it takes away from how they place in search engines and the unique value of the information they provide.

Jun 30, 2010 05:19 PM #64
Rainmaker
1,449,842
Rebecca Gaujot, the GO TO REALTOR
Coldwell Banker Stuart & Watts Real Estate - Lewisburg, WV
Lewisburg WV Real Estate, Greenbrier County

You are soooo right...once it goes live it goes around the word in nano-seconds....scary how fast.  Great post and lesson for us all to remember about copyright laws.

Jun 30, 2010 05:33 PM #65
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Alan May
Coldwell Banker Residential - Evanston, IL
Evanston & Northshore of Chicago real estate

Bryan - whatever the reason, since it was their concept, the originators idea and workproduct... it's their right to decide what's to be done with it... and I will respect that.

Rebecca - 'round the world in nano-seconds.

Jun 30, 2010 06:48 PM #66
Rainmaker
375,403
Lola Audu
Lola Audu~Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI Real Estate - Grand Rapids, MI
Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI ~Welcome Home!

Wow, interesting read.  I recall Lenn Harley posting a while ago about excerpting e-mails and the implications of doing so without permission. Thanks.

Jun 30, 2010 08:01 PM #67
Rainer
174,299
John Howard
Century 21 LeMac Realty - Mountain Home, AR
GRI, Mountain Home, Arkansas 870-404-3614

Alan,  That was a great post!  I had not thought of the list, so will go check it out.  Great advice on walking the line!  Have a Great Week!

Jun 30, 2010 09:59 PM #68
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Alan May
Coldwell Banker Residential - Evanston, IL
Evanston & Northshore of Chicago real estate

Lola - I just didn't imagine that it applied to a testimonial "about me".

John - enjoy

Jun 30, 2010 10:07 PM #69
Rainmaker
309,418
Margaret C. Taylor
Century 21 New Millennium MD - Mechanicsville, MD
St Marys/Calvert/Charles MD Real Estate Agent

Great blog and warning and good to know that Angie's list could be 'gentle' with you and allow the correction Margaret C.

Jun 30, 2010 11:02 PM #70
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Alan May
Coldwell Banker Residential - Evanston, IL
Evanston & Northshore of Chicago real estate

Margaret - yes I was pleased, as well.

Jul 01, 2010 08:53 AM #71
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