I recently had a new client of mine steal content from an older client of mine’s website for use on their own website and it brought to mind a few copyright thoughts. I’ve written extensively on how to properly find and use images and not steal them, but what about Text?
One of the most common excuses for stealing any content I hear is “Fair Use” (whatever that means).
Luckily, I just found a great video that explains just that.
While it explains it in terms of Fair Use of video, the same goes with images or even text.
If you don’t want to watch the video here’s what legal “FAIR USE” boils down to.
Can your use be considered “CRITICISM” or “COMMENTARY” or both?
Or in other words, is it “making an argument” or “expressing an opinion“?
If you answered NO – we’re done here. Don’t steal it.
If you answered YES – good! Let’s move to the next three questions.
- Is the clip, image, or text you are using illustrating a point? You can’t use it just because you like it.
- Is this point clear to the average viewer?
- Did you use only the amount that was reasonably appropriate to make your point?
NOTE: In the particular instance of a client ‘borrowing’ text from another client, the text in question was from a Buyers / Sellers page that explained their Unique Selling Proposition (USP). This is something that every site should have, that should be unique to that site, and yet it’s so often something that was simply copied from someone else. In layman’s terms it would be the page that says, “If you pick me as your Listing Agent, this is all the things I’m going to do to sell your home”. It’s essentially a sales pitch that differentiates you from the competition.
I didn’t say a thing to either one of them, as I’m guessing the previous client probably ‘borrowed’ it from somewhere else too. 🙁
MORAL OF THE STORY: I’m guessing there’s going to be absolutely zero times in real estate that you’ll even need to think about “Fair Use”. Instead, go out and be unique! Be different, it’s what makes you – you!
WHAT’S MY USP? That’s simple. I build fabulous websites, based on WordPress, based on what you need, that get results. Each one is hand built from start to finish and I take the extra steps needed to insure you get the most of it. That includes proper SEO and proper training.
(and in the field of web development that seems to be very unique – go figure!)