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Licensing and Attribution

Intellectual Property


Intellectual property (IP) refers to creations of the mind, such as inventions; literary and artistic works; designs; and symbols, names and images used in commerce.

For St. David's, this means that anything that is used on our site, in print, on video screens, etc. that was not originally developed by St. David's belongs to someone else. Because of this, we need to ensure that the IP has the correct attribution, even if we have a verbal approval to use it. Companies and attorneys use automation to scan the Internet for unauthorized use of their own or their clients' IP and will take action if we cannot provide documentation. 

How do we know when to attribute IP for use at St. David's?

For IP created by a staff member (not a volunteer), St. David's will not need to provide attribution on the site. This would be outlined in the St. David's employment agreement and/or could be affected by any of the following:

  1. The content was created while the staff member was employed or contracted by St. David's

  2. The content was created using St. David's provided (or reimbursed) equipment

  3. The content was created while on company time

  4. St. David's knowingly accepted the IP and approved its creation or usage.

IP meeting all of the above criteria is owned by St. David's and does not require attribution. 

For all other IP, we need to ensure that we have the proper documentation (onsite or off) allowing the IP to be published on our physical and/or digital properties. 

Examples of IP usage and documentation requirements

Let's review some common examples of using IP and when documentation is necessary.

  1. We are creating a blog post, event, or web page and want to use an image found on the Internet. 

    • Are we required to pay for the image? (For example, we find the image on IStock Photo or Adobe Stock.) Depends on the download agreement. We will need to ensure that, at the very least, we keep a copy of the download agreement on file as it may restrict how the image is used and/or whether we have to provide attribution. ​

    • Is it royalty-free? Royalty-free imagery simply means that the original owner's payment (royalty) is covered in its entirety by the company selling the image and that no additional payments are required. These are typically what we would use if we pay for an image. They are relatively inexpensive with few limits on usage. For these, we may need to publish a link back to the selling company's site somewhere on the St. David's site. Ideally this is on the same page and/or on the Links and Licenses Page.

    • Is it a screen shot from a search engine or web page? This is NOT recommended as it is a clear attempt to use an image without purchasing it. 

  2. A parishioner provides photography or video for St. David's to use.

    • While we have numerous events and opportunities for photography, if we have our own photography of the event by someone employed by St. David's then it is recommended that we use ours rather than a donated one. Why? Parishioners may not remain with the church and could request the removal (or even payment for use) without an agreement in place. While this may be unlikely, it should be considered.

    • The parishioner's photos need to be used. In this case, we should have a release to use the photos from the parishioner that enables St. David's to use the photography without limits and without compensation. We have a [Insert link to form that can be emailed to the photographer] for this purpose.

    • The agreement should be digitized and stored electronically. 

  3. We want to embed a YouTube video on our site.

    • YouTube allows and enables people to embed other's videos on the website. This is because the actual YouTube player is also embedded and allows for the viewer to watch in on YouTube.

    • Using software to create a copy of the video and placing on the site as a downloadable file, however, is prohibited. ​

  4. We want to copy a song from the Hymnal into the service bulletin so parishioners don't have to open the Hymnal.

    • St. David's has a license permitting the reproduction of hymnal content into our bulletin. Be sure to review any attribution stipulations in this license prior to publishing. 

  5. A guest speaker or musician performs at St. David's. We want to add this audio or video to the site and our podcast.

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