Generally speaking, you cannot use content from another website without obtaining permission or finding a proper way to legally use it. In some cases, you may be able to use limited portions of content under the doctrine of “fair use,” but this is determined on a case-by-case basis and should be reviewed by a lawyer.
It is important to understand that simply giving credit to the source or owner of the content is not enough to make the use of it legal. Copying and using text, images, videos, or any other type of content without proper authorization or a legal right to do so is copyright infringement. This can result in legal consequences, such as fines, damages, or the need to remove the infringing material. Google also complies with the DMCA – meaning copyrighted material will be restricted on search engines, and, depending on the size of the offense, it is possible to also get a strike for copyright infringement.
In order to legally use content from another website, you can seek permission from the owner, purchase a license, or look for content that is available under a Creative Commons license. If you are unsure about the legality of using a certain piece of content, it is always best to err on the side of caution and not use it. To be safe, consider creating your own original content or using content that is in the public domain. From an SEO perspective, there is little to no value in reusing content on your own website, regardless of copyright infringement: if the original content is ranking well, then Google won’t index yet another page that features the exact same content that is already indexed.
Can You Reuse Content You Created?
If you’ve ghost-written an article or signed off your rights on its publication, then you cannot reuse it without permission. If you own the copyright to content you created, you are free to reuse it however you see fit.
If you own multiple websites and want to publish the same content across some of them, you can absolutely do that.
Note that this may present an issue for SEO, as this content isn’t unique. If you’re repurposing the content just for UX without SEO in mind, you should no-index the newer page with the old content. An example of an instance where you would use the same content in multiple areas is creating near-identical landing pages for your PPC, social media or email marketing campaigns – with wording adapted to each audience you’re running campaigns for
If you’d like for both content pieces to gain traction, then one needs to be rewritten in a way that it echoes the original content – but doesn’t copy it word-for-word.
Contact Fire&Spark for more information on how you can craft unique content that supports all your marketing channels.