Friday, January 23, 2015

Wants to Control Use of Video and Photos of Workshops

Dear Rich: I work for an environmental non-profit and I have a question about how to handle photos and videos at our workshops. While presenting to schools, or out in the community we sometimes have people video tape our presentation or shoot photos of our step to step instructions. If people are using the images or video for their personal use then we are ok with that, or if they have a blog and they want to post what they learned then that’s great, we could use the exposure!!! What we don’t want if people filming our workshops and then using that video to educate others, same with the photos. How can we protect ourselves from that happening? Is there some language we can include in our registration forms or we announce at the beginning of a workshop? Yes, you can put language in the registration form that permits recording for certain uses. That form should be executed at the time the user signs up for the workshop. (Alternatively, it can be executed after the user signs up, provided the user can get a full refund if he or she doesn't want to sign.) Use plain English to explain what is permitted and what is not -- for example, "Workshop grants a limited license to users to videotape the presentation solely for personal use and users may not share, duplicate or present the videotape to others." Like any contract, this limited license agreement is only as effective as in your ability to enforce it --  that is, to find violators and pursue them for breach of the license.