There is a lot of confusion surrounding the issue of copyrighted materials these days, especially when it comes to websites. Anyone who’s started or owned a website has at one time or another thought “can I use this on my website?” Whether it be an image, content, video, or even music, the question as to whether or not you can use it on your website can often be confusing and complicated. To help you better understand what you can and can’t use on your website read on!
To put it blatantly it is illegal to use any type of media from any other site or forum other than your own. This again includes, written content, images, music, and even video. Though you may use these things with written permission from the owner (signed and delivered to you on company letterhead) using any of these things on your website without the written consent of the owner(s) can lead to legal trouble for both you and your web provider/host.
Generally speaking if you are found to be using materials on your website that don’t belong to you your and/or your web provider may receive a cease and desist order from the offended party’s lawyer. In most cases you will given a set amount of time to remove all materials which you have no ownership of. Failure to comply with this type of order will almost always result in your web provider either notifying you that they are making the changes for you, or that they are taking down your site as to avoid legal issues with the owners of the content.
So how do you determine if something is OK to use on your website? To process of determining this is rather simple. If you didn’t make it or pay to have it made, it’s not yours and without permission from the owner of these materials your web provider will always let you know that the image, video, etc, can not be used on your website. Infringing on copyrighted works leaves both you and your provider liable so do the right thing and ask permission if you didn’t create it.
Should you have any questions please feel free to contact us as we will be more than happy to elaborate.