Orlando may be home to the happiest place on Earth but not in one apartment complex. An Orlando landlord was called out for a social media clause in its lease that fines tenants for bad reviews and assigns all copyright to the any pictures or reviews of the complex or its owners.
There seems to be an epidemic going on, last week we told you about a dentist who claimed copyright ownership to her patient’s bad review. The dentist got drilled in a lawsuit over that, which you can read here, and now, as first reported by the website consumerist.com, an Orlando apartment complex is up to some similar shenanigans.
According to a “social media addendum” that accompanied a lease, new tenants transferred all copyrights to any “written or photographic works regarding the Owner, the Unit, the property, or the apartment”. The rule of thumb is that the creator of the work is the owner but these rights may be transferred by assignment or even a work-for-hire agreement. So if you took a photograph of your apartment, technically the building would own it.
But the lease get’s worse, the addendum went on to state that if any negative online reviews were posted the tenants could be fined $10,000 and the apartment complex could claim ownership to and shut down the bad review. The apartment complex has sole discretion in determining what is a “negative” review. Apparently, this Orlando complex does not believe in the First Amendment.
A tenant complained about the lease and now the management company claims that the addendum was and will be removed for future leases. Unfortunately, people may be desperate to see a dentist or rent an apartment and sign whatever forms are put in front on them. So be careful and read that contract before you sign it.