Last week we received a call from a potential licensee. After setting out our standard terms, they commented that they’d rather get our solution from a (name withheld) digital signage company that was bundling LocaModa for free. Problem was the digital signage company in question did not have a license to resell or sub-license LocaModa. We had never even spoken to them!
We visited the rogue company’s website and there was the LocaModa logo as part of their solution! We called them directly and asked them if they could supply a LocaModa-enabled solution. Of course they couldn’t. Let’s just say, a conversation ensued and they’ve now ceased and desisted and removed our logo and fictitious claims from their site.
Social + Mobile + Local is hot. That means there are a lot of gold diggers out there. The good news is there is gold in them there hills – the bad news is some of it is fool’s gold.
Our industry is far too embryonic to turn a blind eye to shysters that damage our reputation and can harm the market. We must encourage best practices that foster trust with buyers (advertisers, networks and/or venues). To that end, regarding what happened to LocaModa, I suggest:
Don’t only evaluate a DOOH solution technically and commercially – check it’s legally sound.
It might not be your first question, but before agreeing to a solution that will inevitably cost you and your business time and money, you must confirm that your supplier has licenses and/or patents and will stand behind any potential infringement issues that could close your system down.
The reputational and operational impact of IP owners shutting down infringing systems could be huge. A license agreement should make it clear that the supplier has appropriate rights to all the technology they are licensing, in which case, you should expect them to stand behind any potential costs of defending the IP they claim is theirs.
Tags: connectivity, Digital Out-of-Home, digital signage, DOOH, Facebook, foursquare, Interactive, LBS, LocaModa, Location, location based services, location-based, mobile, mobile marketing, MoLoSo, place based, place-based social media, Place-Based Social Networks, smart phone, Social, social layer, Social Media, Social Networks, Stephen Randall, twitter, user-generated content