Dumb SEO Questions

(Entry was posted by JL Faverio on this post in the Dumb SEO Questions community on Facebook, Thursday, November 30, 2017).

Copy or imagery or videos from a gov or edu website

Is it legal to add copy or imagery or videos from a gov or edu website to your own website if you link back to the gov or edu website you grabbed it from? If it is legal (referring to copywriting laws) would you recommend it? Leave example links if you`ve done this.
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Selected answers from the Dumb SEO Questions G+ community.

  • Alan Bleiweiss: This is definitely a question that can only be properly answered by a copyright attorney.
  • Neil Cheesman: `Many` websites will have t&cs in terms of what can be shared and how it is to be credited - if it isn`t there why not ask them?
  • Neil Cheesman: On this subject - my partner and I are keen `amateur` wildlife photographers - although we have had photographs used in publications online and in print. All photographs have copyright on them and either of our names. Lo and behold, someone on youtube had made a birdsong video with over 40k visitors - used one of my partner`s photographs AND cropped off the copyright notice. Copyright theft at any level is not acceptable!
  • Bill Slawski: You can ask for permission to use images or text or videos from another site. They may give it, but request attribution, in which case, make sure to give them credit. Works created by government employees may be considered to be in the public domain (unless it was work for hire - the work was created by someone on a contract basis to the government, in which case it isn`t considered public domain work. It`s possible to ask about that, too, and ideally you should before you use anything without permission. Schools, running .edu sites are sometimes private enterprises and the images & videos they produce won`t be in the public domain like content from .gov sites Many photographers publish images on the Web accompanied by a creative commons license (there are 3-4 different types) which could allow you to use their images (depending upon your use of those, and require attribution). I`ve published a few images on my site that had creative commons licenses, and included attribution and a link to the creative commons licenses for those. You can see many Creative commom`s images on Wikipedia
  • JL Faverio: I guess the most efficient way to do this is to look for a T&C for either site I wish to grab content from.
  • Roger Montti: Images are content. <--- Do I need to say more? ;)
  • Tanmoy Das: Just ask them for permission! If you are linking back to them I don`t think there is any problem but it`s better to ask the owner.
  • Roger Montti: Linking back does not make theft legal. That`s a myth. It`s a popular assumption, but it`s 100% mistaken. It`s still theft and opens one up to having their domain suspended and hosting turned off.
  • Roma Alloui: It will not hurt to ask for permission. Plus, they might even be excited and happy about the fact you asked for permission, and using their image with a possible link to them which should open in a new window/tab
  • David Harry: ..and while we`re on it, if you`re ever curious if someone is stealing and image, you can use TinyEYE; https://www.tineye.com/
  • Jill Nobles: It is theft without expressed permission from the photographer.

View original question in the Dumb SEO Questions community on Facebook, Thursday, November 30, 2017).

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