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U.S. Copyright FAQ for Weebly Websites

What is Copyright? How long does it last?

Copyright protection in the United States automatically attaches to original works such as videos, photos, images, poetry, and literature. Protection generally lasts for the life of the author plus 70 years. However if the original work was created in the course of employment or it was specially commissioned, the protection may last for 95 years from the year of its first publication or 120 years from the year of its creation - whichever expires first.

Anything published in the United States before January 1, 1923 is in the public domain and may be used by a third party without penalty.

How does it apply to my website or online store?

Copyright could affect you in two ways:

  • you’re the creator of original content for your website or store;
  • you’re using content created by someone else for your website or store.

If you’re using copyrighted material, especially images, created by a third party for your website or store, you need to be mindful of the copyright protections attached to those images. Images available online may be completely restricted for use, or they may have attribution requirements – this means that, when posting the content, you need to name the author of the content and provide a link to the original posting site. Even if the content was made available by Weebly, it may have attribution requirements.

It is your responsibility to verify whether any limitations or attribution requirements apply to your use of copyrighted material prior to using such material for your website or store.

How do I report copyright infringement?

If you see a copyright infringement on a Weebly website, we would like to know about it. Please contact us through this form if you’re the owner or agent of copyrighted content you believe is being wrongfully used by a third party.

I had a copyright violation notice sent to me. What do I do now?

You may receive a copyright violation notice by a third party for content you’re using on your website. First, please refer back to the content mentioned in the violation notice and ensure that you either have the proper rights to use such content or have the requisite attributions on your website.

Although allegations of copyright violations are a serious matter, such claims can often be resolved relatively quickly - either by removing the content, paying a fee to the copyright owner, or both. The copyright infringement notice you receive will typically describe these options in detail.

While you should carefully review any letter notifying you of an alleged copyright violation and conduct your own investigation into the allegation(s), we strongly recommend that you also contact a licensed attorney to understand all of your rights and obligations before taking any action.

Note: Notices sent from copyright agents will not always have merit. Many companies have been known to attempt to procure funds for less than valid copyright claims.

Disclaimer: The information presented in this article is for general information and discussion purposes only, and may not be relied upon as legal advice. Please consult an attorney to best understand how to move forward with your claim or how to respond to an infringement notice.