Copyright Protections and Fair Use Standards

Daily Kos strongly encourages all Community members contributing content to the site to respect copyright protections and fair use guidelines. These standards apply to text and to images. We include our expectations in our site's Rules of the Road (especially DO NOTs 7 and 8); violations of these rules can lead to sanctions, up to and including banning. 

Our site design builds in many ways to indicate the original source for republished material, including hyperlinks and blockquotes for formatting text, and attribution and description fields as well as captions for images. Please refer to the linked resources about the Daily Kos Editor Toolbar and Daily Kos Image Library for details.

The legal doctrine of “fair use” allows people to quote brief portions of a news story for the purpose of letting people know about a story, commenting on the story, etc. The generally-accepted maximum length of excerpted material is three paragraphs. Or, the short explanation, from kos himself: "Do not steal other people's content, whether it's words or pictures, without explicit permission to do so. Doing so is a bannable offense."

"Fair Use" of images is much less flexible. In general, unless you have permission from the image creator or the image is released for public use, you should not assume you can upload it somewhere else and use it, even if you provide commentary on it. If you are looking for images to illustrate a story, note that the image library provides reusable images. The images in the Daily Kos Library uploaded by staff include pictures of most public figures and many current events that are appropriately licensed. 

Under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, responsibility for enforcing copyright violations is placed on the copyright holders. If we are notified of a potential violation, we will investigate and remove material we find to be infringing.

If you are a copyright holder wishing to protect your rights regarding something posted on this site, please follow this link for guidelines and directions for submitting a notice.