Small business owners rely on intellectual property (IP), and so do major corporations. You don’t want to risk a lawsuit or a takedown notice over using content that doesn’t belong to you. Here’s a quick quiz to see if you understand how copyright works on the Internet.

  1. Can you use a royalty-free stock image without compensation? – No. Don’t be fooled by the word free. Royalty-free means that you don’t have to pay every time you use the image or every time someone sees it. But you still have to pay to acquire the rights to use it in the first place. The good news is that, for most online uses, you can acquire these images for $10 or less.
  2. Is it okay to spin content from a competitor’s website? – Maybe. If you are not taking the content word for word, it’s not a direct violation. However, if the writer who is spinning the content does not make it unique enough, you may run into issues. For example, if someone realizes your blog basically has been repeating the same content as theirs for months with the words only slightly spun, you might end up getting contacted by an angry business owner.
  3. Is it okay to repost a social media post with the proper credit? – Yes, this is usually fine. Individuals and companies are happy for the free advertising that comes along with a repost that cites the original creator properly. Just be sure that you are giving credit to the correct individual or business and that they allow reposts. If you take the post from someone who did not attribute it properly, both of you may end up in trouble.

Legal Assistance for Small Business Owners

From IP protection to legal representation when infringement occurs, Pokala Law APC is here to help small business owners in the San Diego area. Contact us today at 1.844.695.1487, or you can request an appointment here.