Business Insurance Media Liability Insurance For Small Businesses
Every business today is creating content and publishing it. Content can be a picture, blog article, short story, tweet, video, slideshow, or Facebook post. When content is published through social media or any another type of medium, it has the ability to offend a person, group, or business. This can put you and your business at risk of a lawsuit that will cost you time and money.
Media liability insurance is designed to protect businesses that create and publish content. Like errors and omissions liability, it can help protect you and your business from lawsuits involving copyright infringement, plagiarism, creation and/or distribution of media, and other media-related wrongful acts.
Here is a list of industries for which media liability insurance is a must:
- Film and program producers
- Film/program/video and home entertainment distributors
- Radio/cable and television broadcasters
- Advertising agencies
- Ancillary media exposure
- Book/newspaper/magazine publishers
- Cable systems operators
- Marketing companies
- Multimedia companies
- Online content providers
When you work in one of these industries, you need to protect yourself, your business, and the content you create. Let’s review some of the risks you can encounter.
If you reproduce, distribute, display, or perform a protected work, you are infringing on the exclusive rights granted to the copyright holder or creator of the work. Copyright infringement, if found, can lead to legal action. Copyright holders actively use legal and technological measures to prevent and penalize any infringement.
Closely related to copyright infringement, the definition of plagiarism is “to steal and pass off the ideas or words of another as one’s own, to use another’s productions without crediting the source, to commit literary theft, or to present a new and original idea or product derived from an existing source.” This is important to know, as penalties can happen even if there is no copyright. As long as there is a record that a person created the content, it is considered their intellectual property and is protected by copyright laws.
Defamation is the libel or slander of another person, product, group, or business. False statements that harm the reputation of these entities can bring on a lawsuit. When the false statements are verbalized, it is called slander and when they are printed in words or images, it is called libel. Libel is considered more harmful, as written statements or images can last longer and do more damage. Deformation is not a crime, but is considered a civil wrong.
Invasion of Privacy
This includes an individual who unlawfully intrudes on another’s private affairs, discloses his or her private information, publicizes him or her in a false light, or appropriates his or her name for personal gain.
Emotional distress is the physical manifestation of the hurt and stress that any one of the media liabilities has caused. This type of lawsuit is brought on when a person, business, or group has experienced an extreme or outrageous act, the result of which cause great mental pain and anguish, affecting their daily activities. Professional testimony from a therapist is needed to validate the stress caused.
Your business is responsible for the acts of its employees. If an employee abuses the authority or responsibility given to them and causes danger to others, you can be at risk of a lawsuit for not having controlled or monitored the actions of your employees.
There are many other torts and wrongful acts that medial liability insurance can cover. Policies have the ability to include all or just a few of them. It is important to review all insurance policies with a licensed agent and to fully understand how your business needs to be protected.
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