Business of VO – Intellectual Property

It’s mine! Mine, mine, mine ALL mine! We’re talking about the thing most sacred to all CEO’s – Intellectual Property. Today, the Bosses take a look at I.P., what it is and how you can protect your interests. Plus we dish the dirt on The VoiceMarketplace dot net who recently stole the Intellectual Property of HUNDREDS of voiceover actors without their consent! The Bosses fight back in this can’t miss, “oh no you didn’t!” episode. Get a ring-side seat as the voiceover industry takes on Voicemarketplace Dot Net.



Takeaways

Quick Concepts from Today’s Episode:

  1. Don’t mess with Voice Actors – we band together and look out for each other! We’ve got each other’s backs.

  2. Transparency about policy and procedures is a must from any company you do business with.

  3. If you can’t find out who owns and operates an entity it’s a sign of something shady going on.

  4. You can protect yourself from theft by Trade Marking your material.

  5. Rob Sciglimpaglia is a practicing attorney and voice actor – you can consult or hire him if you need legal assistance with your business.

  6. Everything on the internet is owned by the person who created it.

  7. You can resolve many brand cross-overs or an accidental theft with a polite phone call or email – open the lines of communication to resolve potential problems.

  8. A Cease and Desist letter is a powerful and necessary business tool.

  9. Erroneous information can sit on the web for a very long time and damage your reputation.

  10. Google yourself on a regular basis to see what info about you is out there.


Referenced in this Episode

Direct links to things we brought up ++


For legal help for VO Issues contact Robert Sciglimpaglia

Transcript

Announcer: Today’s voice over talent is more than just a pretty voice. Today’s voiceover talent has to be a boss, a VO BOSS. Set yourself up with business owner strategies and success with you host Anne Ganguzza along with some of the strongest voices in our industry. Rock your business like a boss, a VO BOSS.

Anne: Welcome, everybody, to the VO BOSS podcast. I’m your host, Anne Ganguzza, along with my beautiful cohost, Gabby Nistico. Hey, Gabby.

Gabby: Hello.

Anne: Gabby, there was a very interesting event that took place this past week, and it got me thinking about, like, what rights do I have about what information is spread on the Internet about me? For example my, my profile, my biography, my headshot? What, you know, intellectual property, Gabby? I think we should talk about it.

Gabby: I have been bursting at the seams to talk about this all week. It’s hard too with a weekly podcast for us to be, you know, topical, but we try. We do a pretty good job I think. This was one that got my, got my knickers in a twist, so [laughs]

Anne: [laughs]

Gabby: And a lot of other people.

Anne: Yeah, me too, me too for sure.

Gabby: There is a, a new website that, uh I don’t know, it might be a pay-to-play, it might just be an online marketplace. It’s hard to say at this point because no one knows what the hell it is. And it came up out of nowhere, voicemarketplace.com and .net. Long and short is, they took it upon themselves to scrape information from hundreds and hundreds of voice actors without any of us knowing about it, and without our consent.

Anne: I woke up, and boom, there I was.

Gabby: We were, we were actually on a Zoom call together. And I was like, holy crap. And I searched my name and your name, and we were both there, and our headshots were there, and our demos were there, and —

Anne: And incorrect information.

Gabby: Oh yeah, like crazy, weird stuff, and then incorrect union status. And this was a fun one: I heard from some of the other actors that their phone numbers and their home addresses —

Anne: Wow.

Gabby: — were being posted.

Anne: Wow.

Gabby: There’s some speculation running around, but no one knows exactly who owns this website, who’s responsible for it, where it’s coming from, yeah.

Anne: It, you know what it reminds me of, Gabby, [laughs] you know, when you go to a company website, and you can’t find out any information, and then you try to use all the typical tools to find out, who do I contact, who put, who put, who had the audacity to put this information without my permission? And you go to look at the contact me, and there really is no information.

Gabby: Yeah.

Anne: And it just reeks of something shady going on, if you ask me.

Gabby: It does, and usually we see this a lot with foreign entities, right, things that are overseas and, and other countries. And this was really strange because we are fairly certain it’s a domestic individual behind it. However we think that their staff and some of the people they’re employing must be overseas because their English language skills are not so great.

Anne: Yes, well, when you’re going to scrape that amount of information right off of, off of the web —

Gabby: Right, it’s cheaper.

Anne: Exactly. You need to be able to just put up a website quickly. Now, one of the things I’m thinking of — number one, I was infuriated because I didn’t give my permission.

Gabby: mm-hmm.

Anne: And a lot of people on the forums – well, maybe not a lot, but there were some people who were like, “hey, what is wrong with that?” Well, I got a lot to say about that, and I know you do too, Gabby. But number one, I didn’t give permission, and I certainly don’t want my, my uh profile, my name, my photograph being used for someone else’s SEO purposes. That’s number one.

Gabby: Clearly it stands to reason that the motivation behind this was SEO and web presence and capitalizing on the names of all of these relatively well-known, successful voice actors.

Anne: Yes. And then, you know, one questions, “well, what happens next?”

Gabby: [laughs]

Anne: heh, what happens next? Why, for what reason? Number one because the site, it wasn’t evident there was going to be any commission to be made or, you know, whether it was going to be a fee. I do believe that information was being collected and will ultimately later on be used not in a good way. [laughs]

Gabby: No.

Anne: Not in a good way.

Gabby: The first piece to this is the intellectual property piece as a whole, and what it is and how that all works.

Anne: Right.

Gabby: Second piece that I’d love to address is the pro and con, if you will. That’s part two and three really of why this was such a big deal. Because some people are sort of going, “oh, come on, it’s like free publicity. It’s a free way to get jobs.” And the rest of us are going “no, no, no, no, no.”

Anne: Yeah, no. So let’s talk about what intellectual property really is anyway.

Gabby: Yes.

Anne: My understanding is that it is anything creative that I come up with, an idea, a concept, something that, that I consider to be mine. [laughs]

Gabby: A slogan, a logo, a, an image, a character. It covers a lot of contents.

Anne: Text. Writing.

Gabby: Yeah.

Anne: Yeah, absolutely.

Gabby: It really, really does. It covers this very wide swath of the creative industries. Do bear in mind, guys, we are not attorneys, right? Rob Sciglimpaglia isn’t here with us today. That’s ok. [laughs]

Anne: Rob Sciglimpaglia, yeah.

Gabby: Anne and I have actually consulted with him on this very topic.

Anne: Absolutely.

Gabby: And we did bring him into this. Yeah, this is, this is our understanding of intellectual property. And I’m always saying it, and I know Anne’s always saying it, everything on the Internet is owned by someone else. Everything.

Anne: Well, yeah, I mean, Gabby, this is why we can’t just go and Google for images and then take images. I know that this was brought up in the forums. You can’t just steal a picture on the Internet and claim it as yours.

Gabby: Exactly.

Anne: You will get a cease and desist.

Gabby: Or a fine. I actually had to pay a fine once.