I tried to find similar question, but it seems it haven't been asked, the closest I found was this but it is more specific about screenshots, and I need a general advice.

If I write blog about my professional experience which is programming and consulting, how to use third-party materials properly, not infringing copyright?

I am interested primarily in Linkedin articles, but later I plan to write on another platforms, so more general advice is needed.

By copyrighted content I mean:

  • names of programming languages, algorithms, methodologies
  • names of software vendors
  • names of software products
  • images, charts and slides from their official presentations
  • trademark words and terms, e.g. Agile, Scrum
  • etc.

Should I add credits at the end of each blog article? Alike

all credits to images above belong to their owners

Or place them in footers, headers, or another way and maybe another word expression?

What would be the correct approach?

  • 2
    IANAL (which is why this isn't an answer), but typical practices I've used include considering fair use standards and disclosing the copyright status (copyright, creative commons, copyleft) of any materials used. Commented Feb 10, 2020 at 19:39
  • Could you give any sample? I've read many blogs but saw very little samples of credits. I am stuck particulraly in formatting style, how to wrap such credits in, how to put them visually
    – Suncatcher
    Commented Feb 11, 2020 at 9:14
  • I assume using trademarks in a book and in a blog may differ, because they abide by the different style guides (blog is less strict in that sense), so this is not an exact duplicate
    – Suncatcher
    Commented Jun 8, 2020 at 5:52
  • Well, thanks to rolfedh answer I already figured out that the terms I gave are not copyrighted but trademarked, so I understand the difference between copyright and trademark. My question is about fair use of trademarked content: should I give references, sources, owners of trademarked words/concepts in blog and how to format them?
    – Suncatcher
    Commented Jun 13, 2020 at 11:01
  • You seem to be to still be confused about the difference between copyrighted material and trademarks. A paragraph or a graph is very unlikely to be trademarked, and is always copyrighted. I would go further, but it would grow into an answer.
    – cmm
    Commented Jun 17, 2020 at 17:28

1 Answer 1


Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer. These opinions are based on my personal experience and interpretation of sources such as legal guides and websites. This answer is intended to provide a helpful introduction.

For more information, I recommend consulting a DIY legal guide such as Getting Permission - Using & Licensing Copyright-Protected Materials Online & Off, published by the NOLO Press.

For definitive answers, you must consult a lawyer in your jurisdiction.

Some of the items you listed are trademarked, not copyrighted. These include product names, slogans, and logos.

For trademarks:

  • You can use trademarks to refer to the things they represent (the trademark holder's property) with no risk of an infringement lawsuit.

  • You cannot use the trademarked property in a way that confuses the public about which thing they represent. For example, if you created and marketed an operating system called Mack Ohh-Ess, you would probably receive a cease and desist letter pretty quickly.

  • You cannot modify the appearance of a trademark or logo.

  • You cannot use a trademark to imply a third-party endorsement of a product or to promote your product.

For copyrighted content, such as presentations, charts, and illustrations:

  • Always use citations to identify the source of the material.

  • Evaluate whether your usage of these materials qualifies as fair use.

The Legal departments of many organizations publish guidelines for reusing their logos, trademarks, and copyrighted content. To find these pages, google their site. For example:

  • `site:<website.com> logo guidelines
  • `site:<website.com> branding guidelines

Here are some examples of these published guidelines:

Some organizations also provide forms where you can request permission to use their content. For example: http://www.nbcnews.com/id/3303539/ns/about_msnbccom/#.Xel1cG5FxaS

  • 1
    and if I call the system Mack Oh-Ass I will receive the letter in a couple of minutes :)
    – Suncatcher
    Commented Jun 8, 2020 at 5:55
  • @Suncatcher LOL. Did I answer your question?
    – rolfedh
    Commented Jun 9, 2020 at 20:00
  • 1
    okay, I gout your point about the words, I can use Adobe, Microsoft, Agile, but what about presentations, logos, charts, pictures, mottos, concepts? I asked about all types of media-graphical content that wasn't created by me
    – Suncatcher
    Commented Jun 13, 2020 at 11:11
  • 1
    Ask for permission to use these materials. it would be a hardly achievable task to ask for a permission from big corporation like Microsoft every time :) I hoped there is an accepted pattern of using such content, like "all terms A, B and C in this blog are trademarks of their owners"
    – Suncatcher
    Commented Jun 18, 2020 at 5:40
  • 1
    @Suncatcher Updated content to reflect your most recent comment!
    – rolfedh
    Commented Jun 18, 2020 at 18:23

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