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

By
Real Estate Broker 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

   

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  1. Roland Woodworth 06/30/2010 01:29 AM
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Topic:
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Rainmaker
373,283
Lola Audu
Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI ~Welcome Home!
Lola Audu~Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI Real Estate

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

June 30, 2010 08:01 PM
Rainer
174,297
John Howard
GRI, Mountain Home, Arkansas 870-404-3614
Century 21 LeMac Realty

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!

June 30, 2010 09:59 PM
Ambassador
959,518
Alan May
Evanston & Northshore of Chicago real estate
Coldwell Banker Residential

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

John - enjoy

June 30, 2010 10:07 PM
Rainmaker
291,975
Margaret C. Taylor
St Marys/Calvert/Charles MD Real Estate Agent
Century 21 New Millennium MD

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

June 30, 2010 11:02 PM
Ambassador
959,518
Alan May
Evanston & Northshore of Chicago real estate
Coldwell Banker Residential

Margaret - yes I was pleased, as well.

July 01, 2010 08:53 AM
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Alan May

Evanston & Northshore of Chicago real estate
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