One of the most common questions I hear from Tarotpreneurs is, “Do I need copyright permission to publish Tarot card images and other content on my website, blog, Tarot readings, materials, etc.?”
You see, what many professional Tarot readers don't realise is that there are laws about what you can and can't publish on your own platform, especially when it comes to other people's content.
It doesn't matter whether you have a Tarot website that only your mum has ever visited or you have a website with millions of visitors every year – you need to respect copyright law and protection.
So today, I'm setting the record straight and answering your questions about copyright. This is my personal guide to using copyrighted works so that you can avoid the nasty consequences of being tracked down or worse, taken to court, for copyright infringement after breaking the law.
(Note: I'm a Tarot reader and a successful business owner, but I am NOT a lawyer and therefore this post does not represent legal advice.)
When It Comes To Copyright And Tarot, What Is OK And What Is Not OK?
Let me make it really simple for you…
- Use Tarot card images on your blog, readings, eBooks, teaching materials, etc. without permission from the owner in writing
- Copy word-for-word Tarot card meanings for your blog or Tarot readings without permission of the owner of the original work
- Use images found on Google search or other people's websites without permission from the copyright owner
(Do you see the common theme here? You need permission!)
- Ask for permission in writing to use the specific work in question
- Provide attribution (only after you have permission) of ownership
- Create your own images, photos, content – it will be so much more personal and meaningful anyway and you won't get in trouble with copyright law
How Do I Get Copyright Permission?
First, find out who owns the copyright.
For Tarot cards, it is usually the publisher of the deck. Look for the © sign – often on the cards or in the Little White Book. That will tell you who is in charge of the authorization for that work.
For text, content and other written works, it is usually the website owner or author. Even if it's a blog you've never heard of, it's under copyright protection.
For images, you may need to do some extra research to make sure you know exactly who owns the copyright. In some cases, it may be the website owner, but in many cases, it is a stock photo company in which case you need to go straight to the source and purchase the image or get permission from the photographer.
Once you know the owners copyright information, request permission and follow their policy.
Email the copyright owner and give the following details:
- What content you want to use
- How you plan to use it
- Where it will be displayed
- If it is for commercial or non-commercial use
If you are requesting permission to use the Rider Waite images, contact US Games here.
Make sure you have the copyright permission in writing so that if you are questioned about copyright in the future, you have evidence to show that you were granted permission.
You may also have to display attribution for the work – a short sentence to indicate you have copyright permission and who the content belongs to.
Do I Have To Pay For Copyright Permission?
In some instances, no. In other instances, yes. It is completely up to the copyright owner to decide if there will be a fee for copyright permission.
You might be wondering how much you have to pay. Again, that is up to the copyright owner. It might be $50 or it might be $1000+. Be prepared!
What If The Owner Doesn't Give Their Permission?
Then don't use it. Plain and simple. It's intellectual property and you need to have permission.
Find another publisher, or make your own.
Do I Really Have To Do It?
If you're ‘bootstrapping' it and barely scraping by as it is, you might be wondering if it's even worth getting copyright permission.
Here's my view: It doesn't matter if you have just 1 visitor a year or 15 million visitors a year – you need to get copyright permission.
If you violate copyright, you can be taken to court and required to pay significant fines.
I don't know about you, but I would prefer that doesn't happen!
So yes, it is worth it. And it's part of being an ethical Tarot business owner.
Look at your website and other materials you use in your business. Are you using images, content, videos, etc. that are not your own? Have you requested copyright permission to use each and every one of them? If not, do it now. It will save you a lot of pain and hassle later down the track and protect you from getting sued for copyright infringement.
If you're looking to learn more about the foundations of starting an online Tarot business, join my FREE online Masterclass and learn how to live your soul's purpose!