Software developers and designers may not always realize it, but they are often at direct risk of infringing on copyrighted materials in their day-to-day work. Whether it’s an image, music, or specific source code, inadvertently using something that’s under copyright protection – or using something that someone claims is under copyright protection – can quickly land a professional in hot water.
Hot, icky, lawsuit water.
Many companies enjoy some coverage for advertising injury and copyright infringement with General Liability Insurance. However, certain types of businesses don’t receive those same benefits due to the nature of their work. Creative types, professionals who design or generate ideas and their expressions, toe the line of copyright law every day. Basically, they need something more specialized than General Liability coverage.
How should developers and designers protect themselves? Intellectual property attorney Bryan Wheelock, principal at Harness Dickey (@HarnessDickey) weighs in with his advice.
Look Out for Yourself: Protective Agreements, Reputable Consultants, and Proactive Management
Developers can be held liable if the software they reproduce and distribute infringes a copyright.
“That’s why developers need to proactively control who contributes to their software and what they contribute,” Wheelock explains.