Picture it. In-person events are back, you are headed to a big tournament and need a promotional video to get your team and your fans excited for the event. The video that generates the most enthusiasm features crisp footage, slick editing and the latest Drake song, right? Right. But it will also generate a lawsuit if you neglect to secure the appropriate synchronization rights for the song.
Purchasing synchronization rights is critical for media producers who create and distribute content across digital channels because it allows them to use the intellectual property (IP) of another party for promotional purposes. In the sports, entertainment and esports industries, this is often on social media. To protect your business from a synchronization rights issue, you need media liability insurance.
A specialized errors & omissions policy that addresses violations related to copyright infringement and intellectual property, media liability insurance has skyrocketed in importance in recent years. Many professional sports teams have been hit with a synchronization rights lawsuit, sometimes for digital content that is years old. Only those organizations that have properly structured media liability insurance are protected.
It is important to understand that in the world of professional sports, this type of lawsuit is an inconvenience, but not financially debilitating. But in an upstart industry like esports, a synchronization rights lawsuit could be devastating to a young company, vlogger or influencer, making coverage and awareness that much more important. In addition to synchronization rights, media liability coverage can protect from lawsuits related to libel and slander, IP infringement, breach of privacy, or misappropriation of name or likeness.
Here at Johnson, Kendall & Johnson, we’re already protecting our clients in the sports, entertainment and esports industries from these types of claims. We take a proactive stance to help our clients mitigate their risk by providing guidance and best practice checklists for social media posts. We can also recommend resources that focus on comprehensive reviews of social media accounts to ensure there are no past infringements that have yet to be identified that could put you at risk.
Since this wave of synchronization rights lawsuits initially took off, insurers have become savvier and are placing frugal sublimits, and potentially, blanket exclusions on these claims. As a brokerage partner, we are carefully monitoring the space as it evolves to ensure that our sports, esports and entertainment clients are protected today and in the future.