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News | Feb. 23, 2021

Copyright law

A surprising number of service members create some amazing videos using copyright protected content including video, graphics, photos and music they glean from the World Wide Web. This is fine because they are producing content privately.

For professionals producing content for official public websites on behalf of the Department of Defense and U.S. government, it is critical to understand that the government can be held legally liable for violations of copyright law.

Here’s the link to DODD 5535.04 Copyrighted Sound and Video Recordings

Some organizations have purchases access to online sound and music libraries or stock art/photo libraries to use in producing content for their unit’ official websites. There are procurement and terms of service issues to be concerned about. 

There are procurement limitations regarding government purchase cards (GPC) even if the item is under the GPC limit, the card cannot be used to purchase subscription services such as a subscription to a sound and music or stock art service. Additionally the terms of service for such subscriptions may not be appropriate for U.S. government.