When it comes to Copyright & Permission, follow these great tips below to keep yourself out of trouble!
Even though the internet has made more videos and images accessible, copyright and trademark laws still apply to anyone publishing online, such as websites or blogs. Websites are very common for infringement lawsuits. Take a look at some tips below to help you avoid legal action!
- Always Assume the Work is Protected
Just because someone has posted their photo or video on the Internet, you cannot use it freely. Whether you find the material online or offline, permission is needed to reproduce anything like text, artwork, photos, and music. Using any original work is protected by copyright law, which means that you cannot reproduction it without permission from the owner. Giving credit or thanks to the copyright owner does not change that; you are not allowed to use the material without the owner’s authorization. Also, reproduction someone’s copyrighted work or trademark without permission is known as infringement. Lawsuits are even more likely if you are making money off the use, such as posting copyrighted photos or song lyrics on your site to increase traffic or attract advertisers.
- Read Any Agreements
Many sites online offer artwork, photos, and other materials for reuse, sometimes called clip art, or royalty free work, copyright free work, shareware or freeware. Do not assume that you can freely use these materials however you want. Many of these files are delivered with terms and conditions, so make sure the your intended use is permitted.
- If your not sure, Ask Permission
Copyright laws apply to material no matter who provided it. Getting permission from the copyright owner is the best way to avoid a lawsuit. Written consent is the best way to make sure you have permission on file, and it will be easier to prove if a dispute arises.
- Know definitions of Links, Frames, and Inlining
Linking, framing, and inlining are common ways of connecting to information on other websites, and all of these things can get you into trouble. Here are the definitions and what to watch out for:
Linking – including links out to another website on your website is usually risk free. Links to infringing materials however, may be dangerous.
Framing – this is the process of dividing a webpage into separate framed regions and displaying any materials that belong to someone else within that frame. This is a copyright infringement.
Inlining – sometimes referred to as mirroring, involves using a graphic file from one website onto another website.
- Remove any Material that is Unauthorized and Use Disclaimers when Appropriate
If someone reaches out and complains that you are using copyright material without authorization, you should immediately remove it. A disclaimer is a statement denying an endorsement of or affiliation with another website or company. A disclaimer is not a cure-all for infringement, but if it is posted, in the even of a lawsuit it will be taken into consideration.
Following these great tips will keep you out of hot water!