Imagine how surprised you would be if a random snap your friend took of you at the bar ended up on coasters as a part of a national marketing campaign years later.
That’s the scenario one young woman is facing. And she’s suing Anheuser-Busch in a lawsuit that’s expected to settle for millions of dollars because of it. The photo, taken by her friend, was properly submitted to a Facebook contest the beer giant was running at the time. The photographer gave consent, but, “They didn’t achieve the permission from the model in the photo,” say TAPTAGSIGN Founder Dave Hunegnaw.
It’s a scenario that’s becoming more prevalent in the world of user generated content. In the age of smart phones and social media, everyone can be a content creator. Hunegnaw sees the tides turning. As more lawsuits like the one above materialize, everyone is going to want compensated for their creations. The future is owned content.
Eighteen months ago, Hunegnaw introduced another product that bridged that gap, mobile application BYLINED. Posting paid assignments for photos of customers interacting with their brands, businesses can amass user-generated content on-demand.
Looking to the future of owned user generated content, the question then became, “How do you build technology and functionality into BYLINED that removes any potential liability risk from a brand and also from a photographer?” Hunegnaw asks.
The answer is TAPTAGSIGN.
The name outlines the steps. Say friend one takes a picture of friend two noshing on a slice of pizza for an assignment. First, the photographer checks a box confirming that it is indeed their photo, then adds a title and tags. Next, technology steps in to do a facial detection of the photo, measuring each face in relation to the image to determine what subjects need to provide permission.
Hand the phone over to friend two who types in their name and signs off on the image. That signature acts as a model release, and thus all parties provide permission.
“It’s all about protecting that brand and that photographer and the model,” Hunegnaw says.
TAPTAGSIGN is integrated into the BYLINED app, but it’s ultimately the brand’s decision if they want to utilize the technology. If a brand wants to take the risk, they can, but when many companies are concerned about liability issues, “Our goal is to offer the tools to help them,” Hunegnaw says.
And many seem to want it. He says the response has been overwhelmingly positive and the technology has piqued the interest of every brand they’ve presented it to.
Brands don’t have to be BYLINED users to take advantage of the technology, either.
“One of the other things that we’re really excited about is we’re actually building TAPTAGSIGN as a stand-alone product,” Hunegnaw says.
They’ve patented the entire process, trademarked the logo and built it its own website. It leaves the door open for brands to plug the technology into their existing applications to engage customers while obtaining permissions.
For more information, visit taptagsign.com.