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Navigating European Rights Management Regulations for Consumer Photos

The so-called “selfie revolution” is part of the most compelling trend in marketing: user-generated content (UGC) — a key for conveying the authenticity that Millennials crave and a competitive advantage for marketers to increase sales, cultivate brand advocates, and build brand equity.

User-generated, or earned, content, taken and posted by brand advocates feels far more authentic and powerful when compared to traditional stock photography. But while the UGC boom presents a slew of exciting opportunities for visual marketers, it also raises some challenges related to photo usage, namely, rights management.

The risks are significant. Several high-profile legal cases over the last year show the potential damage — both monetary and to public relations — from mismanaged photo rights

Global brands must constantly navigate changing legal regulations that govern how they do business. Determining the proper way to obtain usage rights of customer photos and videos is no different. For brands operating in Europe, the laws related to consumer-generated videos and photos have material differences than similar laws in North America.

Last month, the European Union approved the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which governs the laws around data privacy and will replace the current EU Data Protection Directive in 2018. Most notably, the new regulations will have some stricter rules compared to the current directive. The changes are relevant for brands using consumer-generated photos because some photos are considered personal data, and collection and use of those photos is subject to data protection laws.

How can brands in Europe stay compliant with laws related to user-generated content? Olapic helps our clients by enabling the ability to request rights from end users, keeping a record of rights approved imagery, and protecting relationships with brand advocates.

To learn more, download our guide – ‘User-Generated Photo Rights Management: The Indispensable Guide for Marketers,’ with updated information addressing the recent regulation changes in the European Union.

Image Source: Unsplash.com / By: David Dibert

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