Ignoring Copyright Laws Is Nothing To Floss About

Apparently this real estate agents video in California went viral…but was it the music or the dance that made it go viral? 

In the video the agent does the dance move “The Floss” throughout the video…with accompanying music in the background playing A-Ha’s Take On Me.

So far the video has reached over 1 million views…and yet the agent made a fatal flaw that could get them sued.

And they admit their mistake below.

Did you catch their admission?

Bob McCranie asks: “How did you get the song rights? Or did you?”

Gabe Mendez (the real estate agent) replies: “Hi Bob. We posted the video and Facebook allows us to use it.”

Then Bob replies with: …that said, Facebook doesn’t own the copyright to the A-Ha catalogue so saying they let you isn’t really important. Just be aware you and your brokerage could get slapped with a C&D letter.”

A C&D letter stands for “Cease & Desist” which is supposed to tell offenders to stop using your intellectual property without permission. In this case though, the owners of said copyright would be sending the letter to Facebook and Gabe Mendez. And most likely Facebook will immediately pull the videos down. 

Just because you post a video to a social sharing site doesn’t mean it’s okay. And, just because that same social sharing site accepts it, doesn’t make it okay.

If you didn’t get permission or pay for a license for the music in your video you could be engaging in copyright infringement. And with millions of views, that fine could get hefty.

A while back I interviewed Angela Langlotz for my E-Heroes Podcast and featured her in my Showcase Shoutout segment, so I reached out to her to get her opinion on this viral video. Angela responded…

“Willful copyright infringement. Ouch.”

Yup, it was willful alright. And if the copyright owner, which I believe is still Warner Bros Records (Warner Music Group), comes after Gabe Mendez the fines could be in the thousands maybe even more.

So moral of the story: if you are going to add music to your videos make sure you seek permission and are granted a license for the use of the song. Just because it slips by Facebook or YouTube or any social sharing platform’s algorithm doesn’t mean you are in the clear to use such music. So if your infringing video goes viral be prepared for the fines, court costs and heavy legal battle that could accompany it. 

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Rob is affectionately known as “Mr. Sarcasm” to his friends - to everyone else he’s a Certified Digital Marketing Strategist, a Foremost Expert On Specialized SEO, a Best Selling Author, Podcaster, Speaker and Authority Broadcaster who can help amplify YOU to your audience.

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