Internet copyright issues can be a big problem for plastic surgeons and medical spas. Clients often asked about copyright issues—how to avoid infringing on the copyright of others, how to keep people from copying their work and what really constitutes copyright infringement. We also receive copyright questions from our blog followers. Here are some of the basics:
What Is Copyright Infringement and Consequences?
The originator/writer/company owns internet content (text, photos, music, videos, blogs, etc.) that they develop. The owner maintains exclusive legal rights to his/her content. If others copy Internet content, the owner has the right to request removal. They can also appeal to Google to remove the copyrighted content or block your website. In addition, content owners can take legal action in the event of refusal to remove copyrighted information.
Google’s web content indexing algorithm identifies copyright infringement and plagiarism. Don’t think you can get away with copying large chunks of text from another site to paste on your web page. Duplication doesn’t just apply to paragraphs or an entire page. The algorithm can identify chunks of duplicate text too. Don’t copy/paste your way to the bottom of Google’s search results, which is where you’ll find yourself if you copy other material.
What Isn’t Copyrighted?
Most product and procedure facts are common in the cosmetic surgery and medical spa industry. Unless you provide a unique service, the facts on a product or procedure page will be similar. Facts aren’t copyright material, but the content is. Rephrasing large chunks or entire pages of information could also be considered plagiarism.
Whether you are writing a blog or a website page, facts should be conveyed in your own words. If you are using facts from another website, give credit to that site. Take the opportunity to point out anything that is unique about how you perform the service.
Pictures are copyrighted material. Of course, you create your own before & after photos. Other website photos that you don’t have may be purchased from photography sites. Either purchase photos or take your own for your specials, events, website and other marketing materials.
How Do You Protect Your Copyrighted Content?
Choose a reputable website developer. At PUMC, we include copyright statements on website pages and ensure that your content is fresh. Duplicate content detection tools are also available. You can also choose settings in pdfs and other places where text cannot be copied. We use several different tools to detect and protect our clients’ copyright concerns.
Before & after photos are easily cropped by others. Consider adding a watermark or emblem in a location that can’t be cropped. The middle works well for this.
If you have concerns about your plastic surgery website, photos or other copyrighted content, contact PUMC for a free consultation.