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This article applies to selling in: United States

Intellectual Property Policy for Sellers - FAQ about Copyrights

A copyright is a type of intellectual property (IP) that protects original works of authorship.

  1. What is a copyright?

    A copyright protects original works of authorship, such as videos, movies, songs, books, musicals, video games, paintings, etc. Generally, copyright law is meant to incentivize the creation of original works of authorship for the benefit of the public. To receive copyright protection, a work of authorship must be created by an author, and must have some amount of creativity. If you are the author of an original work, then you typically own the copyright in that work.

    The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) is a United States law that governs online copyrighted materials. The DMCA applies to copyrights only and not to trademarks or patents.

  2. How do I know if I own the copyright for one or more of the images or videos I am using on the detail page?

    • You generally own the copyright of the photo you took or the video you filmed for your product.
    • You generally do not own the copyright of photos or videos you found on someone else’s website, and you must not upload such content to a product detail page without the copyright holder’s permission.

    Example: The owner of the Pinzon brand took the photos of the sheets shown below and owns the copyright in the images of the sheets. If a seller were to copy these images to sell their product on another product detail page, that seller could be violating the rights owner’s copyright in the images of the sheets.

    Note: When you add your copyrighted image or video to a product detail page, you grant Amazon and its affiliates a license to use the material. Other sellers can list their items for sale on pages to which you have added your copyrighted images and videos, even if you no longer sell that product. To ensure that you are not violating someone’s copyrights, make sure to upload only images, videos or text that you have created yourself or for which you have the copyright holder’s permission to upload.

    Refer to the United States Copyright Office’s website for more information about copyright basics and FAQ.

  3. Am I allowed to upload or sell someone else’s copyrighted work on Amazon?

    You may be able to upload or sell someone else’s copyrighted work on Amazon if you have received permission from the copyright owner or if your use is protected by the “first sale” doctrine. The first sale doctrine generally permits the resale of a genuine, lawfully purchased physical item (such as a book or CD) without permission from the copyright owner.

    Example: If you decide to sell a used copy of someone else’s book on Amazon, you are selling someone else’s copyrighted work. You are usually allowed to sell your particular copy of the book without further permission from the copyright owner because the first sale doctrine protects the resale of genuine, lawfully purchased items.

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