General information about internet law

from the category "Internet Law"
Levels of difficulty: Beginner

Information about internet law

Can I copy texts from other websites and publish them on my own website?

No, noway, expect if you have the approval of the person who created the text (originator)! Any text that has been written is so-called "intellectual property" of the person who has created the text. The "intellectual property" does not have to be declared, that means any text is protected from theft, even if it is not specifically noted.

Can I copy pictures from other websites and publish them on my websites?

To start with: no. By the way, pictures in Google are also protected by copyright.

Exception(s):
  • you have the approval of the person who has created the picture (originator) or the person who is depicted in the picture.
  • you use a picture (or photo) you have created yourself
  • you use the so-called "Free Pics" that can be used with specific mention on your website

Can I publish music for example from Britney Spears on my website?

To start with: no. This is specifically forbidden because artists e.g. Britney Spears earn their subsistence (even if it's sometimes over the top) with music and therefore spreading music illegally via the internet can be called theft. By doing so, you cause great damage to all involved in the music industry, such as artists, label company etc.

Exception(s):
  • you use GEMA free music (GEMA: Society for musical performing and mechanical reproduction rights)
  • if you are the originator of the music, meaning you own the necessary rights, e.g. music you composed or the originator has given you his approval to use the music.
Tip: music you composed yourself should be checked by the GEMA for security reasons to avoid a lawsuit because of possible accordance of a song (even unknowingly).

Can I publish lyrics on my website?

To start with: no. Publishing lyrics on your own website is strictly forbidden. In case of defiance, music companies can send out warning letters.

Exception(s):
  • you have the approval of the person who has written the song text (originator)
  • you use song texts you have composed yourself
  • you use song texts that can be used due to specific mention

Can I publish videos on my website?

To start with: yes

Exception(s):
  • you use music videos, these are also forbidden. They have already been uploaded illegally on youtube.com, myvideo.de etc.
  • you use videos for which you do not own the necessary rights, e.g. the approval of the originator

Can I offer downloads on my website?

Of course you can offer downloads, however illegal copies of programs that can be bought in shop are forbidden. Otherwise it would be the same as if you would walk into a shop and steal the program.

It is permitted to spread for example Freeware or Shareware but not chargeable programs. You are not allowed to use direct links for the download but you can link the site of the download provider.

Do I need an imprint on my website?

To start with: no.

Exception(s):
  • you earn money with/ via your website, e.g. through ads or other chargeable services
  • you offer products on / via your website
  • you offer downloads on your website
  • you write about something that you have not created etc.
  • if your website has an "editorial section", e.g. a board, blog, online diary, shoutbox or news (stock market, weather or news

What is the minimum an imprint has to contain?

  • owner of the website (name and surname)
  • address (street, postal code and place)
  • contact details (e.g. telephone, mail address) etc.
Further information to this topic can be found under the category "General Questions" under "Brauche ich auf meiner Homepage ein Impressum?"

Thank you to the Own-Free-Website.com user motorocker89 for this text

*The content of this article is an expression of a personal opinion and not a legal advice and can under no circumstance substitute a legal advice in individual cases.


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