Using Copyrighted Material on Your Website

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With our new agent websites coming out today (yay!), everyone in our company will be embarking on the adventure of putting together their brand new website. This includes building new pages with great information for visitors. With that in mind, I figured it’d be a good idea to write about the do’s and don’ts of website content.

When creating new pages, it’s easy to come across something on another page and just want to use the old “copy and paste” technique. For instance, you’re on a blog and see a great article about first time homebuyers. You think “That would look great on my website” and select the text, right click and hit the copy button.

But wait! That’s plagiarism!

Without the express written consent of the author, you can’t just copy and paste someone else’s content on your page and pass it off as your own. This includes any articles on the web, especially companies and news sources. If you simply copy and paste text into your website from another source, you’re guilty of plagiarism.

When creating content, the articles that you find can be used as a guide, but you can’t “steal” the content. You should definitely rewrite everything that you find, and put it “in your own words”. If you think that there’s a good sentence that you want to use, or you want to post a statistic that you found, make sure to cite the material by listing at least the web address of the article and possibly the author or organization name.

Although this may seem like a pain in the butt, it’s actually a great way to lend credibility to the information.

Photo Usage

In addition, you have to be aware that you can’t download images from Google Images to use on your professional website. Unless you took the photo yourself or purchase the image from a stock photography website, there is a chance that you are using copyrighted materials. This is especially important if you download a photo from another company’s website.

Unless the image is marked as “public domain”, the image is copyrighted and not free to use. If you’re an agent with BHGRE Metro Brokers, you also have access to a stock image library on the Greenhouse and in your new agent website. Plus, you can freely use the images that you find on metrobrokers.com and our company blog.

If you’re caught plagiarizing or using copyrighted images, you can be asked to take the content down or possibly be sued.

Don’t be a “copy and paster”, be a content creator!

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3 Responses to “Using Copyrighted Material on Your Website”

  1. Dennis Doll Says:

    Thanks Tisha
    Maybe a good followup article might be a guide to copyrighting your own artilcles and photos. Its fairly easy and would be good see some discussion on it.

  2. dborat67 Says:

    Good to know.. Thanks Tisha!

  3. runtovinings Says:

    Tisha,

    Great blog!:)

    Policing of this matter already takes place in an informal way. Some of the leaders in social media marketing in commercial real estate regularly check various for potential plagiarism. They will call you out on this matter, and greatly tarnish your reputation. These leaders expect: 1. author’s name, 2. blog title, and 3. link to article.

    A great way to originate original content is to write about current blog trends in the industry, and give a synopsis of what is happening. To avoid the problems, please see those expectations.

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