We want to launch a website where we put information about movies, music and more.
Each item (movie, music etc.) will have it's own page. On this page there will be some information about the item, such as actor, author, artist.
We would also like to have the cover image for the product. Though we don't know if this is legally right to do. We will make money from the website but NOT from the images. We will have ads that other companies put on our website. The ads and money doesn't have any connection to the images.
We have been searching for answers for some time now and I see different answers wherever I go.
Many of the answers we've found mentions fair use. Though it really is a grey area.
Some say that you always have to ask for permission first, while some say that you really don't have to.
If your site offers critics (similar to Rotten Tomatoes) you may be covered under Fair Use so please consult a lawyer. On the other hand if your site display behind the scenes photos or alleged plot lines (which a friend of mine's fan site did), then you may receive a cease-and-desist like my friend did. Best to consult a lawyer with experience in this. If your site will generate interest for movies, why not approach the studio?
You can get sued. Or you can never hear from anyone.
Want to make a bet with your money or freedom?
Take those couple of hundreds of dollars. Prepare a good description of what you're trying to build and talk to an Copyright lawyer. It may save your business, your money and/or your personal freedom. Definitely worth it.
The music and film industry is vicious. They will not care if you lose your house and live on the streets with your children to make an example of you should they feel like it.
why risk? Talk to a lawyer before you commit your own money and time to build something that may simply never work as it may land you in a pile of doodoo.