Copyright and trademarks
Copyright is a bundle of exclusive legal rights that vary depending on the type of work. A copyright owner can grant some or all of those rights to others through a license. This section will lay out our approach to copyrights, trademarks, and Creative Commons licenses.
Copyright protection applies to any original works that are fixed in a tangible medium. This includes works like drawings, recordings of a song, short stories, or paintings, but not something like a garden, since it will grow and change by nature. Copyright doesn’t cover facts, ideas, names, or characters.
Copyright protection begins when the work is first created and it doesn’t require any formal filings. However, to enforce a copyright in the U.S., you need to register the work with the U.S. Copyright Office. (For further clarity, check out their FAQ page, which is full of gems like “How do I protect my sighting of Elvis?”)
Copyright notice on the work is not required but it is recommended, since it cuts off a defense of innocent infringement.
Other creators’ copyrights
We respect the copyright of other creators. If we want to use someone else’s copyrighted work, we have to obtain a license from the owners.
A copyright license spells out these terms:
- Where we can use the work
- How long we can use it for
- How much we’ll pay them for the use
- Whether or not we’re the only ones who can use the work
- What we can do with the work
- Any restrictions on our use (for example, that we can use it online but not on a billboard)
If you need to get a copyright license for work at Skylight or if someone outside of Skylight asks to use our copyrighted work, please contact the legal team.
Example of copyright license
You grant Skylight a perpetual, worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty free license to display, distribute, and publish the Work in our marketing in any medium now known or later developed.
Image use and copyright
Skylight almost always uses original images in our blog posts. If you use an image, photo, or other design element made by someone outside Skylight, get permission first. Once you have permission, always give the copyright owner credit and link back to the original source.
Images retrieved via Google image search are not licensed for fair use, but many images are available under license through stock photo websites, or open for use under a Creative Commons license. Flickr has a great search feature for images available under Creative Commons licenses.
Creative Commons licenses
Instead of the standard “all rights reserved,” some creators choose to make their work available for public use with different levels of attribution required. That’s what we’ve done with this style guide.
Find a breakdown of licenses on the Creative Commons website.
Please check with Skylight’s legal team before making something you created here available under a Creative Commons license. We love to share our work, but we use these licenses sparingly because we have to protect our intellectual property and trade secrets.