I should have kept quiet!
I’m sure many people feel like that from time to time.
Like when you pay someone a compliment, such as “you look like you’ve lost weight” only for them to reply with “are you saying I was fat before”!
Or you ask them how they are, and they tell you, in great detail.
Or perhaps you offer to help, when you were just being polite, and are then surprised when they say yes and you suddenly find yourself roped in to cooking a three course meal when all you had in mind was bringing a couple of bottles to dinner.
I had one of those moments last night.
I told my 16 yo that he had been the subject of that week’s blog, because I was entertaining people with stories about how he talks in text speak. I thought he’d be pleased, or at least amused. He was outraged.
His first question was to ask where his royalties were. That’s the problem with having a child growing up in a legal household. He doesn’t just know all the terminology, but he knows what it all means and how it works!
Then he went on to threaten me with an injunction for breach of copyright! I stumped him briefly by pointing out that at his age he’s not old enough to bring proceedings in his own right, but even that didn’t keep him down for long, as he said he’d simply instruct my colleague @Shivani Varma to act on his behalf. Technical arguments such as a conflict of interest didn’t faze him. She’ll find a way, he said confidently.
I’m really not sure whether to be absolutely horrified or completely impressed. Like the time at 6 that he (accurately) explained the difference between murder and manslaughter. He didn’t just get it right, but he did it in a tone of voice that suggested he was rather disappointed in me that I felt the need to ask if he knew.
Out of the mouths of babes!
But despite the humour of the situation, there is still a serious message here. If you are going to quote someone, there may be copyright issues. You may have to credit them and/or pay them royalties and if it’s going on social media, there is a good chance they’ll find out about it. Claims of this type are becoming much more common, and are definitely no laughing matter.
The most common breaches I’ve seen relate to photographs, where people downloading artwork from the internet and using it without permission, often not even realising they are doing anything that is potentially actionable. It could end up raising your profile, but often for all the wrong reasons, and reducing your bank balance at the same time.
If you are going to use or quote the work of others, make sure you do it in the right way. For example, there are plenty of good websites that you can get artwork from that is free from copyright.
Kleyman & Co Solicitors. The full service law firm. Legal and parenting advice in one!