Did you know web-related copyright or trademark infringement allegations have increased in recent years? This growth is due to people using internet domain names, graphics or text without the permission of the original owner.
Adhere to the same Dental Practice Act regulations that apply to print and radio advertisements when promoting your practice online. The Federal Trade Commission published Endorsement Guides to assist with navigating online advertising issues. Protections against internet copyright infringement fall under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998; penalties range from civil fines to incarceration for criminal acts.
Regardless of whether you hire a vendor to create a website or do it yourself, the site’s content is your responsibility. Employing a website designer or development firm may assist in establishing your online presence; however, apply the following protocol to the working relationship:
If your current website displays images that could belong to another entity, request written permission from the owner to use the images. If you are unsure how to gain content authorization, contact the website’s original administrator for assistance. Consider removing the images until you are sure you have permission to use them. If a vendor provided the content, request copies of the owner’s permission to use the copyrighted materials. Using photographs and videos of your staff or patients ensures you display original content; however, obtaining written permission from subjects is necessary prior to using the materials.