Are Memes Even Legal?

The last two years have seen a great deal of increase in the use of memes as marketing material. But using and making fun of characters through memes – are those even legal?

Among digital marketers, memes have been considered effective. Anything going viral means increase in sales for companies and the use of a funny material to advertise their products or services proves to be a winning technique. However, companies, whether big and small, should keep in mind that memes are covered by the law.

The Digital Delusion Are Internet Memes Legal

Yes, memes are covered by the law and you just can’t use one without the permission of the person who made the meme you plan to use for your advertising.

Intellectual Property

The meme creator may hold a copyright on what he or she has created. Let’s take Futurama Fry for instance. Futurama Fry is owned by the show Futurama, which means that if you are going to use Futurama Fry in a meme that talks about your product, you would have to get the permission from the show. If you don’t want to do this or failed to do this, then it’s better to ask for permission now or you’d be sued.

Warner Bros Gets Sued Because Of Keyboard Cat

Film giant Warner Bros learned meme intellectual property rights the hard way when they were sued by the meme owners of Keyboard Cat and Nyan Cat. Warner Bros used the memes for one of its top selling games on Nintendo DS without the permission of the meme creators.

Royalty and License

Giving the creator of a meme royalty for his or her work of art is one way to use a meme without getting into trouble. Ensure that you get a license to use the meme as well through an agreement with the creator of the content.

Why use memes?

Why use memes though if you can use other types of advertising? Memes are often shared a thousand times and can reach millions of shares in a span of days if they are funny. Articles and other content are not shared as much, not because they are not interesting, but because memes are often funny and easily get the attention of an audience.

Viral Marketing and Memes

Since going viral is important and memes are content that are commonly shared on social networking sites, many companies are now using memes to boost their sales. Viral marketing creates a buzz in the market and since the process is self-replicating, it makes it an organic way to drum some attention on one’s products or services. Using memes as an advertising technique is a great idea according to digital marketing experts. But what if the meme doesn’t go viral?

Creating Memes That Will Go Viral

In this rather desensitised world we live in, there is a need for one to either be incredibly funny or incredibly irreverent (or both) to get some attention. While irreverence is dangerous grounds for advertising, if it’s done right, then you will strike advertising gold. If in doubt, going for funny is always a better idea. Humour can get you anywhere and since humorous ads are likeable, it is faster for them to get shared which results to your product to get the attention it needs in a faster manner.

What do you think about our list? Do you have anything to add? Make sure you make your voice head by commenting below!



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