By Will Waugh
"We can't control it, we must try to direct."
I have had the privilege of spending the last two days with advertising lawyers and business affairs types at our Advertising Law and Business Affairs Conference. The above quote was provided by a panelist during a discussion on the future of intellectual property and individual rights. As we all know, ads are getting mocked, morphed and commercialized without advertiser consent. More times than none, talent and musicians are also getting infringed. Two of the brands represented, Elizabeth Arden (with their Britney Spears' fragrances) and Limited Brands (with Victoria Secret) have been subjected to numerous consumer-generated interpretations.
Some of their advice in facing this new reality:
- You must have a policing policy in place, but you can only protect so much.
- Make sure it's not your people doing it (whether in-house or agency).
- Look at what the cost/benefit analysis is.
- The dilemma is that alot of brands needs to be in this space so what is the balance between protecting and engaging.
One also referenced the Monday New York Times article "Hollywood Asks YouTube: Friend or Foe" highlighting what they felt was the most telling statement, as quoted by Universal chair Mark Shmuger - "I think that the marketing side of our company and the copyright-protection side have contradictory impulses."
In researching this post, I found an interesting article on the use or non-use of the word 'intellectual property' on a site called P2P Foundation -- a site with a lengthy mission, it's first component being - "that technology reflects a change of consciousness towards participation, and in turn strengthens it."