Every time we find someone has inadvertently used the PESO Model without credit to Spin Sucks, we have a process we follow. If I know the person or someone at the company, I reach out personally and politely ask for credit and a link to the website. If it’s not someone I know personally, one of my colleagues will do that.
In most cases—I’d say 95% of the time—it truly is inadvertent. People believe that if it’s on the internet, it’s free to use. Of course, that’s not the case at all. You can’t use someone’s likeness or photos or logos without permission or often without paying for it. And yet, it happens all the time. But when you point it out, almost everyone is gracious and will fix it immediately.
Then there are the 5% who are, well, complete jerks about it. These are the people who blame the interns. Every time. In fact, when someone tells me it was the intern’s fault, I know I have a fight ahead of me and will likely have to bring the attorney in to help. Because those people are always full of it and they’re not going to admit wrongdoing, no matter how much documentation you show that proves you own the copyright and trademarks.
The poor intern always takes the brunt. When companies post tweets that should have stayed in drafts, there’s always someone who says, “Fire the intern who posted this.” And when an email is accidentally sent with “Dear First Name” embedded, the same cry rallies across the web.
I don’t know about you, but I was definitely an intern at one time in my life. And I made some mistakes. But I’ve also made mistakes as a professional with many years of experience and expertise unique to me and my agency. None of those mistakes are the fault of the intern, which is what we are going to discuss on this week’s episode of the Spin Sucks podcast.