Copyright FAQs for Digital Publishing
Issuu takes the rights of intellectual property owners seriously, and complies as a service provider with all applicable provisions of the DIRECTIVE (EU) 2019/789 OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 17 April 2019 (“The Directive”) and Digital Millennium Copyright Act. As stated in our Terms of Service, Issuu enforces its policy barring the upload of infringing material onto the Issuu Service. We respect the rights of copyright owners and we ask that you do the same.
1. Do the Issuu Terms of Service require me to give away my copyright on the documents I upload to Issuu?
Under EU and U.S. law, every written work is covered by a copyright. You own the copyright to a work by creating the work or otherwise acquiring the copyright to the work from the creator of the work. When you sign up for an Issuu account, you agree to adhere to the Issuu Terms of Service. In order to upload a work onto Issuu in compliance with the Terms of Service, you must either (i) own the copyright to the work you are uploading or (ii) have authority from the copyright owner to upload the work and grant a license to Issuu to include that work on the Issuu service and distribute your uploaded content and make it public available worldwide. You will be asked to confirm this license each time you want to publish. Granting a license to Issue is a requirement under EU law, and it eliminates any doubt that Issuu's use and distribution of your content through the Issuu service does not infringe your, or anyone else's, copyright. This is only a license—you (or the person(s) who authorized you to upload the content) still hold the copyright to the content you upload. You can revoke Issuu’s license to distribute and make publicly available the content you upload by removing your content from Issuu.
We strongly encourage Issuu users to familiarize themselves with copyright law before creating and uploading documents. We offer the following links to copyright law resources for informational purposes:
3. What type of materials are copyrighted?
Copyright is the right of an author of a creative work to prevent others from using that work, including copying it. Copyright can cover almost any creative expression (including a book, comic book, writing, or picture and photos). If you did not create a work and do not have the consent of the copyright holder to publish or use it, your use of that work on Issuu will be deemed unauthorized.
You need to hold the copyright or a license to every part of the document you want to publish, including text, picture, photos, and any other creation that goes into the document. See below for more details on the license you need to obtain.
4. What happens if I upload documents for which I don’t own the copyright or have consent of the copyright holder?
If you upload documents to which you don’t own the copyright and don’t have permission to upload, you risk getting sued by the copyright owner. If we are notified that a document you have uploaded on Issuu infringes someone’s copyright, we will notify you and take down the document you posted. This is required by law. If you persist in uploading unauthorized content by granting us a void license, we will, pursuant to our Repeat Infringer policy, ban you from using Issuu. Under EU law we may also request you to indemnify us against any claims for compensation and costs if we are deemed to be direct liable toward the copyright owner(s) for your infringement.
In the United States, the "fair use" doctrine is a defense to copyright infringement that allows the reproduction of a work for certain limited purposes such as criticism, commentary, parody, news reporting, research and teaching. Fair use is a complicated doctrine, and it is an open question whether a particular use of a copyrighted work constitutes fair use. You are responsible for your contributions and may be liable for money damages if it is determined that you wrongly assumed that your use of certain content constituted “fair use”. We offer the following links to various copyright law resources relating to the fair use doctrine for informational purposes:
In the European Union, there are certain types of use of copyrighted material that do not constitute a copyright infringement, as it in accordance with Article 17.7 is permitted use. You may use copyrighted material without the consent from the copyright holder, provided however that your use falls within one of the following categories:
- Quotation, criticism, review—Such as small quotations in your own work, or criticism or review of other people’s work
- Caricature, parody or pastiche—Such as memes and satire
It is your sole responsibility if you choose to rely on these exemptions to or limitations of the copyright.
Remember to observe the droit moral obligation (to name the copyright holder and the source) in accordance with best practice if you make use of the above mentioned limitations and exceptions.
6. Further Information Regarding Copyright Infringement:
- The length of a copied document does not matter, nor does the amount you may have copied; even a copying a small portion of a document may cause you to be liable for copyright infringement.
- A copyright notice (i.e. ©) is generally not required for a work to be protected by copyright law.
- Distributing documents containing copyrighted content without the copyright owner’s permission is a violation of copyright law even if you give the document away for free.
- Even if you used your creativity to make a new document that contained another person’s copyrighted work, you may be liable for copyright infringement.
- Even if there are documents on the Issuu site similar to the one you uploaded, you may be liable for copyright infringement if you upload an unauthorized document.
The only way that you can know for certain that a document does not infringe anyone else’s copyright is if you created the entire document yourself (including any images) without using anyone else’s copyrighted work or if you obtain a valid written license to upload and publish third party content on Issuu. The license granted to you should be a worldwide, transferable, assignable license to host, transfer, display, perform, reproduce, distribute, display and make your publication available in whole or in part (including excerpts), on Issuu publisher service (web and app) in association with other publications or online advertising.
IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: WE ARE NOT YOUR ATTORNEYS AND THE INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THIS COPYRIGHT FAQ IS FOR YOUR GENERAL INFORMATION ONLY. THE INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THIS FAQ IS NOT LEGAL ADVICE OF ANY KIND. THIS FAQ MAY NOT COVER IMPORTANT ISSUES THAT AFFECT YOUR USE OF CONTENT. YOU MAY WISH TO CONSULT WITH AN ATTORNEY ABOUT SUCH MATTERS.