DISCLAIMER: WE ARE NOT YOUR ATTORNEYS, AND THE INFORMATION WE PRESENT HERE IS NOT LEGAL ADVICE. WE PRESENT THIS INFORMATION FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY, AND WE ENCOURAGE YOU TO SEEK YOUR OWN COUNSEL.
Posting copyright-infringing content can lead to the termination of your use of Cheezburger, and possibly monetary damages if a copyright owner takes you to court. Here are some GENERAL guidelines to help you determine whether your picture is eligible or whether it infringes someone else’s copyright.
Make Sure Your Picture Does Not Infringe Someone Else’s Copyrights
YOU create something completely original! If it’s all yours, you never have to worry about the copyright—you own it! Be sure that all components of your picture are your original creation. For example, if someone else’s trademark appears in your photo, you need to obtain permission from the trademark holder in order to post your photo to the Website.
Commercial Content Is Copyright-Protected
DON’T make copies of copyright-protected content. The most common reason pictures for copyright infringement is that they are direct copies of content owned by another, and the owner has alerted us that the content is being used without permission. Once we become aware of an unauthorized use, we will remove the picture promptly. That is the law.
Photos or images owned by somebody else are protected by that person’s copyrights!
A Few Guiding Principles
- It doesn’t matter whether or not you give credit to the owner/author/songwriter—it is still protected by copyright.
- It doesn’t matter that you are not selling the picture for money—it is still protected by copyright.
- It doesn’t matter whether or not the picture contains a copyright notice—it is still protected by copyright.
- It doesn’t matter that you are not selling the picture for money—it is still copyrighted.
- It doesn’t matter whether other similar pictures appear on our site—it is still protected by copyright.
- It doesn’t matter if you created a collage of content—even though you edited it together, the individual pieces of content are still protected by copyright.
What Will Happen If You Upload Infringing Content
Anytime we become aware that a picture or any part of a picture on the Website infringes the copyrights of a third party, we will take it down from the Website. We are required to do so by law. If you believe that a picture on the site infringes your copyright, send us a copyright notice and we will take it down. If you believe that we have removed a picture that you uploaded in error and that you are the copyright owner or have permission, you can file a counter notice and let us know. If you repeatedly post infringing content, your use of the Website will be terminated. This is also a requirement of the law.
Using Some Copyright-Protected Content in Your Pictures
While pictures that are direct copies of someone else’s content are clear copyright violations, there are certain very limited circumstances in which the use may be legal even without permission. This is known as the “fair use” principle of copyright law.
If you would like to learn more about the principle of fair use, below are a few links to websites that discuss it. Please remember, however, that your decision about whether and how to exercise your fair use rights is solely yours, and we at Pet Holdings, Inc. bear no responsibility for your decision.
Fair Use Links on the Web