Creative Works on the Web and How To (Legally) Share Them

Reposting and sharing creative works on the web is a cool way to spread innovation and creativity.

It can and also be a hazardous act of violating copyrights. (Yikes!)


Using media and creative content in your own platform or website without appropriate approval can result in unhappy content producers and you shelling out the big bucks! Since social media platforms are built around the user interface of sharing other’s work this can seem counter-intuitive to the social media sharing frenzy, but if you publish or use the creative work of others or trademarked ideas you may be exposing yourself to legal liability for violations of intellectual property law (section 230 of the Communications Decency Act).

Want to make sure you’re scotch free? Here are a few simple but highly effective ways to navigate your web publishing journey away from the pitfalls of infringing on copyrights:

social media

If you don’t have permission to use a photo, don’t.

Google and social media platforms like Pinterest and Flickr are not a free for all photo generators. More than likely, if you have taken photos from these platforms to use in your own projects you have infringed on copyrights. If discovered within your site, you can be held legally liable to compensate the owner for using their content without permission and told to swiftly take down the media.

Only use approved photos.

Use royalty-free photos that are approved for personal or commercial use. Creative Commons is a great site to find photography that is free for use. You can also buy your photos through sites like Adobe Stock. This can definitely get pricey, but not nearly the as much as paying for copyright infringement.

own photos

Use your own photos.

Utilize your smartphones and start a library of images that you can use for your site or blog and develop your own photography in the process!

Whether you’re a business or you’re a compulsive tweeter, be careful that your web creative content is as free and clear from sue-able material as possible. Check your personal or business web and social media accounts to ensure your content is fact-checked and your media is original or usage friendly. This is a quick way to keeping your web publishing adventure free from any costly pitfalls.

Jason Long

Jason Long is the founder and CEO of Brainleaf and an Information Architect and Managing Partner at CodeWright. A self-professed serial entrepreneur, he is always interested in new businesses, new ideas, and new ways to change the world. He has over 15 years of experience in design and development and has served in a variety of different roles ranging from designer to Information Architect to CEO. He spends most of his time focusing on the build and development of new ventures while trying to travel the world.