When Youtube emerged, Disney saw it as a ‘vehicle of mass piracy’; however a decade later it’s learnt to embrace this ‘piracy’ aspect of the social channel through it’s highly successful movie Frozen.

Frozen has spurred hundred of consumer-generated videos mostly parodies and remakes of the Movie’s hit song ‘Let it Go’. They’ve allowed fans to extend the influence of the film – and in some cases allowed them to generate revenue not captured by the brand. You might be thinking that’s not good business – well their numbers would beg to differ. In fact Q2 2014 became their highest recorded earnings period.

The point is businesses need to adapt their approach to IP/copyright when it comes to fan-generated media and the whole social sphere. To move from a world of black and white legality; to a more case-by-case basis where a business understands the benefit of what fans are doing (giving you earned media) as well as the potential threats if they take action (backlash).

It’s a fine balance, but one that requires the business to think beyond the legal department. Let’s see if Disney can keep this precedent up in the future…

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Author Pippa Kulmar

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