Today's Veterinary Business

OCT 2018

Today’s Veterinary Business provides information and resources designed to help veterinarians and office management improve the financial performance of their practices, allowing them to increase the level of patient care and client service.

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 40 of 67

39 October/November 2018 • TODAYSVETERINARYBUSINESS.COM This same convenience, how- ever, can be dangerous at times and costly at others. Why? So much information is at our fingertips that the imagery and resources we access start to feel a lot like our own. After all, if I'm searching for new and savvy images on Google, I'm doing it on my Wi-Fi, in my home and on my laptop. This type of thinking, however natural, can spill over into nasty legal issues, especially in cases of copyright infringement. The situation is far more common and costly than most veterinarians and practice managers realize. A Costly Downside Veterinary practices using images found on the web that haven't been properly licensed or autho- rized can lose the credibility of pet owners and wind up liable for thousands of dollars in damages. I have seen practices paying penal- ties of $500 to $20,000 for illegally using an image. While the repercussions might sound severe, courts are ruling in favor of image creators who made the effort to license their works and benefit from the protection of copyright law. This means that if you use a screengrab image on your website, social media or marketing brochure, you might face a steep fine faster than you can imagine. If you have illegally reused a web image, I wouldn't hit the panic button. In my estimate, you're like at least 99.9 percent of veterinary practices that have done it in some form or another. But know that if you keep the images live on your website or in marketing materials, you're doing so at your own risk. What You Should Do Are you ready to fix the problem? Here are quick tips for avoid- ing copyright infringement and keeping your veterinary practice squeaky clean when copyright law is at issue: Comb through your prac- tice's website, social net- works and marketing mate- rials from top to bottom. The convenience of the internet is something we've all learned to enjoy in one way or another. Netflix, for example, makes for hours of satisfying home entertainment, especially when coupled with good popcorn. Google, as another example, allows us to index the entirety of the World Wide Web with just a keyword phrase and a vertical scroll. Facebook brings your childhood friends, college alumni and family under a single roof. Communication SOCIALLY ACCEPTABLE By Eric D. Garcia If your practice doesn't own the image or if you didn't license it yourself, delete it. On Facebook, make sure to delete (not just hide) images that you didn't receive explicit permission to use. Don't worry, doing this won't hurt the success or reach of your page. Pay closer attention to your business page than your personal page. While both are liable for copyright infringement, your business has more at stake and is more likely to be targeted for illegal use. Memes count, too. While memes often provide a good laugh, these hilari- ous internet tidbits can be infringed upon. Picture perfect Violating copyright law can cost your practice in more ways than one. Now is the time to scour your website, social networks and marketing materials for ill-gotten images. 1 2 3 4 5

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Today's Veterinary Business - OCT 2018