Your source for frequently asked questions


If a site is not listed on The Content Map does that mean it is illegal?

The Content Map is as comprehensive a list of legal services as possible. Representatives of the owners of each type of content are constantly checking and updating their section of the Map. If a website or service is listed on the Map, you can be confident it is legal. However, if a service is not listed and you think it should be, please e-mail contact@thecontentmap.com

Are all filesharing sites illegal?

Filesharing services can be used legally but can also be used to make content available illegally without the copyright owner’s permission. If a service is not licensed by the copyright owners, then the only safe way to use them legally is to be sure you are sharing materials that are not protected by someone else’s copyright – such as music, pictures, stories and films you create yourself.

Does paying for my music, film, TV programme, e-book etc guarantee that it is legal?

No. There are websites often based overseas that, for example, sell digital music tracks or TV shows very cheaply but they are doing so illegally without paying the owners of the rights. This means that the original creator or the people who made the content and who raised the finance to produce it receive no payment, whilst those that are using someone else’s content are making money from selling it on without permission.

Is it legal to make a copy of something I have streamed?

Usually it isn’t. Legal streaming services like Spotify give instant access to music tracks, films and videos, often for free, but they do not allow you to “rip” the content to make a permanent copy.

What is copyright?

Copyright gives the creators of a wide range of material, such as literature, art, music, sound recordings, films and broadcasts, ownership rights enabling them to control use of their material in a number of ways, such as making copies, making it available to the public, performing in public, broadcasting and use online. It also gives moral rights to be identified as the creator of certain kinds of material, and to object to distortion or mutilation of it (Material protected by copyright is termed a “work”). Copyright protection is automatic as soon as there is a record in any form that the material that has been created, and there is no official registration or form or fee. But creators can take certain steps to help prove that material is theirs.

Is material on the internet protected by copyright?

Under UK law copyright material sent over the internet or stored on web servers is protected in the same way as material in other media. Anyone wishing to put copyright material on the internet, or distribute or download material that others have placed on the internet, must have the permission of the owners of rights in the material. User-generated material. User-generated material is free of copyright if it only contains original material created by the individual uploading the content.

For more information about UK copyright law please visit the IP Office

Can I use content on this site for public performances?

All the sites featured on The Content Map are legal content services. As a general rule, content on these sites are for personal use only. If you would like to use content as part of a public performance, we suggest you get in contact with the relevant rights owner, licensing company or collection society.