zalinka — 2014-07-09T10:59:54-04:00 — #1
I found this forums very helpful, so back with another question and I am really hoping for some good response.
I am creating a baby product review website, as I mentioned in previous posts.
I have got copyright permission from quite a few manufacturers (companies) to use their website content to be published on my website, so that is great.
Unfortunately one of the companies just does not want me to use anything from their website, despite the fast that I will be advertising their product, there is nothing I can do.
In addition to that, the company have requested me to send them my final work for their approval??
Can they even do that? Why do I need their approval to review the product or write product descriptions? Lets say If I buy that product and make a review on it.
Since is my website, and in this case I will just use other website's content not the above company's (since they do not allow me) and rewrite it in my own words, will take the photos of product myself, and create a video of the product also as a review of the product.
Can you please advise me on the legal issues?
Do I need the company approval before I publish anything?
Looking forward to replies.
shadowbox — 2014-07-09T12:35:40-04:00 — #2
Review sites do not usually require permission to write a review, nor do they need to send the review off to the manufacturer for their approval! Clearly the manufacturer here is concerned that you will be writing a bad review and wish to 'control' you, but they generally don't get to control the press like that. Obviously the finer points of the law will vary from country to country and no doubt you should tread carefully when it comes to using any photos, words or trademarks belonging to the company. To be safe, take your own pictures and write everything yourself - that said I believe technical specifications (i.e. 'facts') cannot be copyrighted so there should be no issue if you publish their official specifications.
I'm not a lawyer, so as usual, I recommend you talk to a real lawyer for clarification based on the laws of your country etc.
Obviously it would be nice to develop a good relationship with the manufacturers, but not if it means giving them editorial control of your reviews!
zalinka — 2014-07-09T15:01:46-04:00 — #3
Thanks a lot for advise.
That is very helpful. And I will definitely try to replace all photos with my own, same with descriptions, but as it will take some time, I will start by using manufacturers info.
I will list about 40 to 50 products, that is the reason I need info. from manufacturers in the beginning.
jaagare — 2014-07-10T23:54:23-04:00 — #4
Yes as long as you do not use images and product description from their website you should be fine. They would not have copyright over the basic specifications of the product but they could claim if you use product description or images from their site.
zalinka — 2014-07-11T00:57:16-04:00 — #5
THanks. I will take my own photos, videos in this case and I let them know.
mikl — 2014-07-11T06:46:10-04:00 — #6
Just to add to the good advice you've already been given.
First, there is absolutely no question of you needing to obtain permission from the company before you can review their products. And, if you do write a review, you most definitely should not submit it to the company before publication. If that was not the case, nobody would ever be able to write a negative review, and the whole concept of reviews would be worthless.
Regarding copyright: if you use a photo or other material from the company's website, and use it in your review without their permission, you risk infringing their copyright. I use the word "risk" because in most countries there is a defence of "fair usage" or "fair dealing". This explicitly says that you can use small extracts from a work specifically for the purpose of a review (amongst other things).
Of course, any photos you take yourself for the purpose of your review will be your copyright, so the issue wouldn't arise.
Now, although you've got a perfect legal right to review this particular company's products, if I were you, I would think twice about doing so. They sound like the sort of people who are out to make trouble, and could well try some heavy-handed legal stuff on you, however unjustified. And besides, why should you do them the favour?
Finally, I suggest that if you come across any new company's products that you want to review, don't even ask their permission. Just go ahead and do it.
zalinka — 2014-07-11T07:14:10-04:00 — #7
Very helpful info. Thanks a lot for that. Well the idea of my website in the beginning was review all products myself and use all my own material. But it is impossible due to the range of products I am planning to review.
Over the time I will replace all material with my own of course, to avoid any issues that may arise.
And most of large companies were more than happy to let me use anything I want, so that is a good thing.
The mentioned above company is the only one for strange reason, not willing me to use info, so that be it, I might not include their products at all.
strider64 — 2014-07-11T07:37:53-04:00 — #8
I'll add my .02 cents to the discussion. You could write a negative review on a product and still not have the company's wrath come down on you. What I mean by that is the review doesn't have to be totally negative or if you can't find anything good to say about the product mention (review) a similar product from a competitor that shows what should be done (probably in this particular case). There's nothing like mentioning the competitor to keep things leveled headed. What I'm trying to say is a person can write a review that is palpable to the offending company and be "negative" at the same time using stealth. :rofl:
zalinka — 2014-07-11T10:22:18-04:00 — #9