Are you viewing a company’s press kit, and are wondering whether or not it’s okay to use their intellectual property within your content?
Press kits often contain photos, clips, or other media regarding a company or its products.
So, are you allowed to freely use these, and if so, are there any restrictions?
In this article, I’ll cover everything you need to know! Keep in mind however that this shouldn’t be considered legal advice – just information from working with companies that have issued press kits in the past.
Are You Allowed To Use Press Kit Images / Content On Your Blog Without Permission?
Yes! Typically speaking, you are free to use the contents of a press kit within your own content, both on your website as well as within video content.
However, there are typically limitations on what is allowed, and how the images are able to be used. I will cover these limitations a little bit later.
Remember that the entire purpose of a press kit is that the media has been cleared to use within publications. So, it’s implied that the contents can be freely published on your own website, without needing to get further information from the copyright holder.
Because brands want to ensure they have control over what is shared, they prefer you use pictures from their press kit, which is why they release them to you.
Check For Details On The License However
In some cases, companies will specify exactly how you’re allowed to use their press kit.
For example, they may specify certain types of content that you are unable to use the pictures in.
Or, they may want to ensure that you only reference them by their exact legal name, including the exact capitalization, or the inclusion of any ™ or ® symbols.
So, be sure to check whether or not any license information is present on the page. This is often either next to the media itself, or may be linked to at the top or bottom of the page.
In the event that the press kit is in a downloadable ZIP or archive file, the license may also be included after the archive has been extracted.
If you are unsure about the details of a license, contact the company for clarification.
What Is And What Isn’t Typically Allowed?
So, now that we know that you’re typically allowed to use images and media inside of a press kit, you may be wondering – what exactly is and isn’t typically allowed?
While companies will have their own rules and guidelines to follow, most press kits allow publishing of media under an editorial license.
This means you can use the media in informational or news articles covering the product, or the company.
However, you cannot use the images for most commercial purposes – for example, running advertisements using their intellectual property, or otherwise using it to make money from it.
Additionally, you shouldn’t imply that you have any sort of relationship or affiliation with the company, or you’re speaking in any official manner on their behalf unless authorized.
Finally, most press kits will require you to use the provided media ‘as is’, without any further modification.
While resizing the image is typically fine, you cannot crop the image, use it as part of another graphic, or modify the image in any way (including things like overlaying text or graphics.)
Again, if you are unsure whether or not something is permitted, contact the company to inquire.
The Image You Want Isn’t Included? Consider This!
If you are in need of a certain image and it isn’t included in the company’s press kit, there is one workaround that may or may not be possible – as the courts are still undecided.
That is, embedding the content from another website it’s posted on.
Platforms like Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube all allow you to embed posts on their site within your own articles, and it is currently up for debate whether or not this would constitute copyright infringement if you happened to embed copyrighted content.
While some platforms have users agree to give permission in their terms of service, there is currently too much debate going on to speak on it with much certainty. Again, even the courts are undecided on the matter.
That being said, if you believe you how the legal right to embed the photo (since your server is not technically the one hosting it) than this is always an option.
In most cases, there is nothing wrong with using the contents of a press kit within your content – be it on your website, or inside of video content.
However, some companies will explicitly state exactly what is and isn’t allowed, and you’re required to follow the license granted by the company.
When you’re unsure, it’s best to err on the side of caution, and avoid using their intellectual property without permission – or, contact the company to clarify.
I hope that you’ve found this article helpful, and it’s answered your questions.
If you have any other questions, ask them below and I’d be happy to help!
Wishing you the best,
– James McAllister
Nothing on this page should be considered legal advice. Company policies will vary. I am not responsible for anything that happens as a result of you consuming the information on this page.