View Full Version : Government Resources and Copywrite.

Harold Mansfield
12-11-2012, 03:25 PM
I've always been under the assumption that Government resources that are open for the public to use freely, can in fact be used and distributed freely. After all, we own the Government right?

For instance, if you have a commercial online wildlife magazine and you occasionally use informational video and images from the Department of Fish and Game, BLM, or National Parks service, that it was OK to use these as additional information. Especially if you get them from the Government website and they have sharing and embedding options.

These are for public consumption and sharing. Right? I would never propose to take government resources alone, repackage and sell them, but do I need permission form the Government to use public information in a for profit project?

USA.gov says that Government images and works can be used freely without permission or fee, but it neglects to specifically mention government videos. It's all "Government works", right?

01-10-2013, 11:23 PM
Sorry I missed this thread original. Do you think they set up the site and the regulations before video was really on the site or do you think video isn't allowed for free use? I would think you could use them. Like you say the government works for us. And I would think they qualify as "works."

There's some really good info and images on the different government sites. I really should make use of them more often.

Harold Mansfield
01-11-2013, 11:17 AM
I guess I'm just double checking to make sure that it's OK. Especially when it comes to using videos and such in commercial projects. I'm about 99% sure that using Gov resources and not only OK but encouraged.

And yes, the Gov has some amazing resources. It is really become web savvy over the last 4-5 years. Websites revamped. Information organized and frequently updated.
I've been saying for a while now that if you want to see some examples of great marketing, design, and content management that U.S. Gov websites should be your first stop.

01-11-2013, 01:36 PM
I agree. Whatever you think of the federal government, it is at the cutting edge of communications design and technology.

The videos should be OK to use, just like photos and text. And while it's not necessary, you can always give credit to the govt. agency that provided the video.

Btw, only FEDERAL government resources are in the public domain. State and local government resources may or may not be, even if it's your home state (where you pay taxes).

01-15-2013, 07:31 PM
I would think you can use the videos. I can't imagine videos don't count under 'works.' It seems like a general catchall for anything on the various sites.