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I work at a company that creates software that developers use in their frontend. We have a free and open source version of our software and a paid, non-open-source version. It is easy to detect if a product uses our product (or not) and doing so doesn't require insider information.

We already have a section on our website that shows an image preview of client's products and links to their websites. This is done to promote those companies but also to show off what our product can be used to do. None of our clients have had an issue with this and some even request for their new products to be added to this list.

However, I don't believe that we have anything explicitly in our licensing/user agreement saying that we retain the right to promote websites that use our product.

Is it legal to make a video compilation of websites that use our product for promotion of our company? We would provide a link to their website like we do with the image showcase section of our website. We would only be showing brief clips of client's products, strung together for a short video. All products that we show would be publicly available and currently live at the time of making the video.

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Is it legal to make a video compilation of websites that use our product for promotion of our company? [...] We would only be showing brief clips of client's products, strung together for a short video.

This will most probably be both copyright violation and trademark infringement.

Copyright is generally violated if you copy a creative work produced by someone else - which is what you want to do.

Trademarks are generally violated when you use someone else's trademarks (such as their logo or company name) to promote your product - which, again is what you want to do.

There are various exceptions available - copyright may not apply if the work is very simple, trademark use may be allowed e.g. in comparative advertising, etc., etc., but the rules for this are complex, unclear and very different in various jurisdictions.

You could risk it and hope no one sues you (and maybe no one will), but the safe route is to ask permission first.

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The likely issue here is that the link might be interpreted as an endorsement of your product by a user of your product. That is an easy assumption to make; after all they do use your product. The problem is that they might have made that decision in the past, and no longer endorse your current product.

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  • I see. The only products that would be shown are ones that are currently live and publicly available. We would also include a clause in the video description that if they would like us to remove their product we would happily do so. Does that help? – user28095 Oct 15 '19 at 15:08
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    @user28095: As usual, for specfic questions you should ask your lawyer. That's not me. But it might be easier to just ask your clients for permission. – MSalters Oct 15 '19 at 15:16

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