Copyright infringement is a topic of importance to any website hosting User Generated Content (UGC). MyPTSD is committed to enforcing copyright protections and violations.

Copyright Material

Staff will remove any UGC in possible violation of copyright. This includes, but not limited to:

  • images (excluding avatar use),
  • quotations in excess (from studies, journals, books, etc.),
  • song lyrics (un-original) posted in full,
  • poems (un-original) posted in full,
  • infographics, and
  • anything else that is not easily verified as belonging to the poster.

The simple ways to avoid a problem:

  • if you didn't create it, don't post it, and
  • if you aren't sure how much of it you can safely excerpt, link to the content without copying a quote.

Avatar Use: There are currently no legal rules applied to avatars, as they're considered so small and insignificant they do not pose the issues a full size copyright image does in relation to redistribution, nor the penalties. We are less restrictive on members using any image for an avatar only.

Fair Use

While it is true that certain kinds of materials may be reproduced as fair use - it is also true that fair use is determined based on a number of factors, not simply whether or not the intention was to share or educate. Fair use typically does not apply where a page containing fair use material is monetised. MyPTSD is monetised with affiliate advertising, voiding the fair use argument.

Consequences For Copyright Infringement

  1. First offence: Material will be deleted, and a warning given, and
  2. Second offence: Account ban (one year, minimum).

Copyright warnings are removed from a member's profile after one year's time, at which point they are again eligible to receive a new copyright warning.

Some Guidelines and Understanding

  • Green - Post it,
  • Amber - Caution (maybe talk with staff), and
  • Red - Stop, do not post it.

Green: Your own content, or content quoted from within MyPTSD. Your writing, pictures you have taken. If you created it from scratch, it is yours to post, as you own the copyright to your content. If it is material already upon MyPTSD, we consider that as ok to repost within MyPTSD, as all MYPTSD content is licensed to us for such purpose (eg. quotes).

Amber: Excerpting content belonging to others (internet, books, etc). If you did not create the content you are posting, you must adhere to the following:

  • Song Lyrics: One to four lines only. You may link to the rest if you like.
  • Poetry: One to four lines only. You may link to the rest if you like.
  • Articles, Websites, Books: A few sentences' worth, paragraph at most, and link to the full article.
  • Studies: Only what is essential to your point. One to two short paragraphs in total. Link to the rest.
  • Diagnostic Criteria (DSM/ICD): Only the section that is essential to your point. Link to the rest.
  • Images: Public Domain/Free images only. Look for language like "Royalty and cost-free stock images, no attribution required". You must provide a link to the source of the image, and that link should clearly show that the image is free for public use.
  • Stock Photography: If you have purchased a stock photograph for your personal use online, please just evidence to staff via contact us, so we know. Anthony uses purchased stock photography throught the site, as an example.

RED: Content you cannot post. Excerpts of anything longer than what is specified, above. Material you find on the web that is unattributed. Just because it appears to be 'free', doesn't mean it is free. If you do not own it, or have purchased a license to use it, DO NOT post it at MyPTSD.

Common Misconceptions

"Fair Use": Fair use is the designation which allows material to be reproduced in an excerpted form. Fair use is evaluated based on five criteria. They are:

  1. The purpose and character of your use (ie, whether transformed/commented upon vs. borrowed without being transformed). Note: the vast majority of memes are borrowed without being transformed,
  2. The nature of the copyrighted work (more leeway is given for facts, less for fiction),
  3. The amount and substantiality of the portion taken (this is rather more complicated than numbers; there was a landmark case where a paragraph out of a 300 or so page book was quoted, and because the judge determined that paragraph to be the entire core of the book, it was considered as substance, not volume. This is why the old rule of thumb, 10%, is not an accurate guideline),
  4. The effect of the use upon the potential market (are you getting for free what you would otherwise pay for), and
  5. 'Red flag' - meaning, would a reasonably intelligent person know that the material was possibly an infringement.

Additional Contexts

Your volunteer MyPTSD staff are not in a position to make legal judgement on fair use. MyPTSD is no longer liable for potential member copyright infringement, when the only thing present on our site is the link.

Common materials/public domain: The christian bible is an excellent example of this. Most bibles are under copyright. While the original text is not, anything from the translation, to the adaptation, to the forward/annotations/commentary - that material is likely owned. This means, the entire book is under copyright. For historic texts such as this, there is often a free for common use online version. If you want to excerpt material from the bible, use that one. If you want to quote from an old text, find the online free version. If you cannot find that, you must assume the work is protected (red).

There's no author mentioned, so it must be free: Nope. Plenty of people are dealing with wrangling their own copy-written material back into their control. That's why laws around copyright exist. No matter how bland/innocuous a photo may be, no matter how many posters the poem has been reproduced on, no matter how often you see this material posted elsewhere on the web: you must assume that it is owned, and that the owner is interested in protecting their rights to their material.

Please direct all copyright questions to our contact us.