I did good work for a business and I would like them to write a testimonial that I can put in my marketing literature. They will also benefit from this because we have the same customer base but different products so we don't compete. Could there be any problems with such a testimonial, like for example they could then share part of my future success or something?
Just make sure that there is a writing that ensures that the testimonial writer understands and agrees that you will be publishing, posting and otherwise using the testimonial as you deem fit and that they give you permission to do so as they own the content under copyright law.
If they are very forward-thinking there is a chance they could request a reciprocal right to use your name, likeness and biographical information in their marketing materials, "We knew him when he was a freelance developer...".
Or the testimonial could be overreaching: "Mr. A was a great help in creating our proprietary xyz program (if you own the xyz program.)
Probably not a problem, but be sure you are clear on trade secrets and ownership of IP.
The foregoing is for informational purposes and does not constitute legal advice in a particular matter or the existence of an attorney-client relationship. All answers ©2017 Greg Victoroff, Inc. No further reproduction or use for any purpose.
As long as you have an agreement which permits you to use the testimonial as you desire there should not be any problem. They would have the copyright in the testimonial itself but you would have the right to use it as originally intended, i.e. in your marketing literature.
If they are receiving anything of value for the testimonial then that has to be disclosed or you risk running afoul of FTC compliance.
If you need more clarification, I suggest that you consult with a lawyer in private and discuss your objectives in more detail. You can start by calling around to several for a free phone consultation, get some insights then pick the best fit to work with.
DISCLAIMER: this is not intended to be specific legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. No attorney-client relationship is formed with the law firm of Natoli-Lapin, LLC on the basis of this posting.
Posting a testimonial is considered an advertisement. It needs to be truthful and must not violate privacy or privilege. Certain industries are not allowed to post testimonials (psychotherapists, for example). Posting a quote should be done with the consent of the person quoted, as it is an endorsement of your business. You do not want to create a false association, which is a type of unfair competition. The Federal Trade Commission has a good website about the general rules for advertising and marketing: https://www.ftc.gov/tips-advice/business-center/advertising-and-marketing
Comments provided on this website are not intended as legal advice and do not create and attorney client relationship. A written retainer is required to be my client.
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