Organization: Privacy, Copyright and Ethics

Organization communication processes and procedures enhance privacy of information and cultural ethics are very crucial. Organizational Communication should be clear on the processes and procedures if:

  • Privacy – requests to change information
  • Copyright-ensuring that content in an organizational website does not infringe copyright legislation
  • Ethics – cultural awareness.


Privacy Policy changes and approvals

Organization updates  on privacy policy should be immediately issued upon approval. The approval signature list for these updates should be agreed to within the company and should be fully executed before any policy update is be placed into effect. In this case, all policy updates should be accompanied with immediate issuance, along with education/training for employees affected by the policy. Further, maintenance of historical records of all updates for each policy.

 Copyright infringement

Copyright is an automatic intellectual property right, protecting everything from writing and literary works, art and photography through to films, television broadcasts, music, digital content and also audio recordings.

A copyright  is gives moral and economic rights to their work. However, these are separate from the economic rights which incorporate the right to copy, distribute, adapt or broadcast the work of an organization.

Basic UK copyright infringement

Copyright breaches can occur easily without you even knowing it. The following are a few examples to put it into context:

  • An organization which produces a monthly newsletter and fails to attribute the copyright of images within the publication to the owner – or seek their permission
  • A presentation or speech incorporates copyright video footage without acknowledgement
  • No permission of the music played on the website
  • One company duplicates another company’s policies or terms and conditions – regardless of whether their intentions were harmless
  • Any website which adapts third party material without permission from the copyright owner

In order for the law to rule in favor of the copyright owner, the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 (Chapter II, Section 16) states there has to be evidence that a “substantial part” of the work concerned was used for an infringement to have occurred.


Establishing Ethical Policies and Procedures

Organization leaders are responsible for the corporate culture and ethics and diversity matters. If leadership is complacent, the team will definitely adopt an organic culture that may lead to problems. Every organization should therefore establish ethics policies and a code of conduct. These policies should address common concerns about ethics including legal and moral issues. They also set the tone for how the business owners and leadership want to build the organization. This becomes part of the culture and brand.

In addition, employers must give employees written policies . Employers can’t be hold employees accountable to rules, if they don’t clearly understand the rules. Consequently, training and review are imperative to integrating ethics rules properly into the organization. On top of the organization policies and training, employees learn ethical cultures through diversity workshops. Often, employees think they are being friendly and are just joking around, and they don’t realize that their words or actions make others feel bad. By conducting training with role-playing, organization leaders are able to help employees better understand each other and how to appropriately communicate on different things.


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