In your news article or book, is it ok to include a photo or a video from a press release without permission – by of course crediting the firm that has issued that press release?

  • The important point is to credit the thing. Then, it's fine.
    – Lambie
    Commented May 28 at 16:54

2 Answers 2


Always presume NO.

"Crediting" somebody or some firm does not excuse your copyright violation; and can in fact work against you in a court of law; it is proof that you knew the material was not yours.

The press release is copyrighted. When the company sends it to news outlets, it is implicitly giving them the right to copy and publish it.

You reading it or seeing it does not give you the right to copy it, or any portion of it.

Never ever guess that something you read, see or even hear (like music or lyrics) is free to copy. Look up and read the copyright law, and know what is public domain, and what is not. They are not difficult to understand.


If your usage falls under the fair use doctrine or whatever corresponds to it in your jurisdiction (e.g. you are analysing the press release in a scientific study of press releases), you are probably fine. "Examples of fair use in United States copyright law include commentary, search engines, criticism, parody, news reporting, research, and scholarship." (from the linked Wikipedia article)

If, on the other hand, you use the creative effort of others for illustrative or aesthetic purposes, you will need permission. Copyright applies to press releases as well!

In unclear cases, you need to consult a lawyer. We are all laypeople here, and we cannot (nor are we allowed to) provide legal counsel.

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