Wednesday, August 28, 2013

When YouTube and Google+ Profiles Violate Copyrights – How to Protect Your Image Online

What a way to start the day. I got an email from my friend Ken Jacobs who alerted me to the fact that “Katie Smith” is using my personal (and copyrighted) headshot on Google+. So I searched Katie Smith – I had to scroll through several hundred “Katies” until I found:

This is the second time Ken has seen a profile on a social networking site that falsely uses my photo. Last year the same thing happened on LinkedIn and I had to jump through several hoops to get LinkedIn to flag the profile in violation.

I filed a copyright violation notice with Google / Google+, at:

We will see what happens….

So I decided to run my Google Images search early. I usually run one every six months just to make sure I am who I purport to be online and that no one is using my image falsely.

To my chagrin, I found several profiles on YouTube and one on a website where my photo is being used as someone else’s profile. The “company” name is Orthofill and the website is a dot net. Since I know it’s a bogus site, I don’t want to include a link here in the event that the website carries a virus or some other malware. My photo is being used on the “team” page attached to a woman named “Claire Hamel.” Rest assured that our legal counsel will be contacting since the site is registered with them (and of course, Orthofill’s registration is private). A cease and desist letter will also be forthcoming.

So here it is, several hours into my day and I have spent all of my time cataloging the URL’s where my rights are being infringed, filing a complaint with Google / YouTube regarding all of the video which have a profile image of me (that I did not post nor authorize), and posting a comment below every YouTube video that falsely uses my image stating:

“This person is using my copyrighted photo on their profile. This is a violation of my intellectual property rights! I want this photo removed immediately!”

Needless to say, I’m beyond aggravated! I just hope the folks at YouTube do the right thing by removing all the B.S. video posts that have my image attached to the person who posted the videos.

So here is what you need to do proactively to protect your image, reputation, and personal intellectual property rights online:

1) Schedule a Google search of your name (in every conceivable form) on your calendar every three months. Look to see what is out there about you. I also do this with the names of various family members, my company and blog. If you find anything suspicious, you may have to take steps to have the content removed (not an easy task).

2) Schedule a Google Images search of your headshot. Here is an excellent video that demonstrates how to do this.

It is important to know who owns the copyright to your headshot too. I own mine which I purchased from the photographer but oftentimes, the company that commissioned your headshot or the photographer actually owns the copyright. This can lead to more hurdles when dealing with infringement issues and filing complaints with social media sites.

3) After filing a complaint, if your issue is not resolved, you may need to contact legal counsel. Start with an attorney that focuses on intellectual property law issues and be sure they have experience dealing with IP issues and the Internet.

I’ll be keeping an eye on the several complaints I filed today. Stay tuned and share your Internet identity war stories too. Misery loves company.

Monday, August 26, 2013

LinkedIn Now Allows Users to Display Portfolio Pieces, Presentations and Videos

By Kim Tarasiewicz

LinkedIn is an online social network that allows users to display their work accomplishments, education history and other professional credentials. Its main function is to allow users to build a professional network . Out of all the social networks, LinkedIn is by far the most professional and reputable. Profiles and content are also searchable on Google and other search engines, leaving a search footprint.

LinkedIn has been a great platform for users to present their credentials in list and word form since 2009, but never had the functionality for users to upload creative materials until now. Just recently, LinkedIn added an area for users to display work such as portfolio pieces, presentations, videos and other demonstrative materials. This not only allows important portfolio pieces to be displayed, but also provides individuals and companies with a new way to promote their capabilities.

The function is located in the background section shown in the image below circled in red:

Click on Add Link and you will get this screen where you can fill in the appropriate information:

When you add the link, it will appear on your page like this, grabbing any images from the webpage you added that are available:

This is a great way to add a personal touch and brand to your LinkedIn profile.

Thursday, August 01, 2013

Leveraging Website Content for Maximum Engagement

Vice President of Marketing, Laura Powers, presented a live webinar for Avvo on August 8, 2013 from 10-11 a.m. PDT (1-2 p.m. EST) where she addressed how to engage your website visitors by maximizing website content.

Laura covered:
  • Steps to developing content to generate leads
  • How to take to make your website more engaging for visitors
  • Best practices for content organization and development
  • Tactics for helping target audiences find your site

This webinar included discussions on search engine marketing (SEM), search engine optimization (SEO), content development, website design and more.

Hear a replay of this webinar and view the slides here.