10 Online Marketer copyright questions with answers
Now I'm no lawyer, but I've been researching this for a while and I think I've got a decent list along with answers for you so that you don't step on any toes and get a lawsuit
So here we go, 10 copyright questions with answers!
Can I use someone elses content as long as I give them credit? - I wouldn't unless they've given you written consent which you can provide to an authority if needed. Protect your own @$$ and write up your own content. You can even rewrite their content in your own words so that it's the same topic but still unique.
If I'm not making any money, can I copy a different websites content so I can try to take their traffic? - This falls closely under the first question, and the answer is still no. This is still copyright infringement and you can get hit with a lawsuit if the owner thinks you deserve one.
What if I'm only using a little bit of their content, video or image? - Using anything that was written, put together, drawn up, or designed by a different person is the best way to get hit with a law suit. Just do your own owrk and play it safe.
That's a bit ridiculous, right? - Sometimes it is a bit ridiculous, but would you want someone copying your hard work to try and take money out of your pocket? Didn't think so
How do I know if something has a copyright? - Well that's pretty simple, did you write the content? No? Then it's not yours to use freely and you should hit the keys and start typing up your own content.
I used an image I found online and now Getty Images has sent me a cease and desist letter. Do I have to pay them now? - That really depends. Getty is pretty hardcore when they notice someone sniping their images prior to paying for them and they will hit you hard with fees. If you have a lawyer on retainer, or want to pay for one, Getty will usually drop the fines because it's not worth it to go to court. If you can't "lawyer up" then you'll most likely have to pay the fines. I had a friend get a letter from Getty saying he had to pay $1,400 for an image on his website. He haggled them down to $750 and eventually paid them to avoid going to court.
I downloaded my image from a free image sharing website and now I'm getting letters from Getty saying I owe them money. Do I still have to pay them? - Unfortunately, Yes. Even if you didn't know that Getty owned the image, you're still getting hit with copyright infringement and have to lawyer up or pay the fees. Even if you thought the image was free to use, you still have to pay up. It's rumored that Getty will set up websites sharing free images and in turn they will get a lot of webmasters use them.
How can I avoid any cease and desist letters or copyright infringement? - You can start off by writing all your own content, designing all your own images or paying someone to do both. This will guarantee that you won't be getting those pesky letters from people wanting to sue you for digital theft
Does the work have to be registered in order for it be copy written? - Nope! And this is the main reason that people get hit with cease and desist letters. They aren't sure what is free to use and what has to be paid for. Someone can draw an image on a cocktail napkin and if they can somehow record a time and date of the creation, they can hit you with copyright infringement if they see you using their final results.
What if someone is using my content or images? - You can do a few things Be sure to register your work with the US copyright Office. Don't register every single piece of work you do, but if you're doing something big, register it. If you catch someone using your work or images you can send them a letter asking them to remove it. If they don't, you can get a lawyer involved and go over how much you can sue them for stealing your work and claiming it as their own.
Just do your own work. Don't copy
These are just basic breakdowns to common questions I've heard over the years.