The Ways that Providers May Inadvertently Violate Copyright and How to Avoid It!

by | Aug 11, 2021 | Uncategorized | 1 comment

Let's chat Copyright and Terms of Use! Some providers may have greater knowledge on this area than I did, but I found a steep learning curve when I initially decided to add a material center to The Therapist Support Network.

In all transparency, the month after I decided to add a material center to our offerings, I started making a large amount of materials on a graphic design platform utilizing the images and templates there. After an embarrassingly large amount of creation, I discovered that those images or templates could not be used for commercial or resell purposes, which the TSN material center is. I ended up starting from scratch and creating our images to eliminate any risk of inadvertently violating a designer's terms.

So, that's not only a month of my life I can't get back, BUT it also really opened my eyes to the little knowledge I had regarding these legal terms despite being in a profession that is exposed to Copyright and Terms of Use a good amount.

The majority of us know that we aren't supposed to scan evaluations, test forms, etc BUT with the rapid increase of digital products and platforms ON TOP of the increase in online material sourcing platforms, it's a good idea to scan through these areas to confirm ultimate compliance with a developer's legal terms.

You may be inadvertently violating Copyright if you are...

Uploading Materials Into a Teletherapy Platform or General Shared Space

When I first started teletherapy, I utilized a basic, videoconferencing software. Now, there are platforms designed specifically for teletherapy. In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic forced several brick and mortar companies to shift to online platforms that can be accessed by providers such as Google Drive or OneDrive.

Let's start with the positive-This is so amazing! The increase in digital usage in our field is helping streamline and enhance service offerings, in my option.

However, many of these platforms have a space to upload materials which can be accessed by other providers. The majority of these materials have single use terms attached to them and this then becomes the digital equivalent of scanning a material and distributing it to fellow providers.


The majority of material creators recognize the shortcoming that is affordable material sourcing for providers. Many creators have additional licenses that can be purchased upon discussion. The Therapist Support Network has options for companies to lease out materials and uploaded in that companies/schools/clinics shared space. There are many options that developers are open to that start with a discussion!

Selling or Commercially Utilizing Materials with Clipart with an Unknown Source (or source that doesn't allow that)

Ahhh the month I will never get back. This is what almost got me in hot water! Clipart images, pictures found online, and other vector images typically have some sort of terms of use attached to them.

Now, providers making a quick material specific to your caseload, you're likely fine. However, uploading that material into a shared space, utilizing in a commercial fashion (e.g. on a teletherapy platform), OR selling your material--you may be violating terms of use specific to that image.

So, you can do all of the right things with your actual material and create the bones from scratch BUT if you utilize images that you found in a graphic design platform, for example, then you're potentially violating a terms of use.


Many designers sell their images OR let you utilize them at no cost as long as they're referenced. Don't utilize a picture OR clipart image for commercial or resale purposes unless you know the source.

Sharing One Password to a Material Source Per Team

So much of the inspiration behind my business design is to address AFFORDABLE access to materials. I recognize the intent behind this one--we are in a field where many providers are responsible for purchasing their own intervention materials (cringe) and that can be very expensive. However, purchasing one license to a subscription type setup and then sharing that password is most likely a violation of that creator's terms of use and is theft.


Many authors and developers offer group discounts. It likely won't be as affordable as multiple providers sharing one password BUT it's aligned with legal terms.

I will end with an admission that I never realized the time that goes into material and clipart creation, in addition to not quite understanding the nuances of copyright when I first added the material center to The Therapist Support Network. There's a reason these terms exist and they can be SO EASY to violate in a digital era. My hope is that this blog assists providers with checking some areas that place them at risk of violating legal terms.

-Elise, TSN Founder

To learn more The Therapist Support Network material center OR our corporate material leasing program, visit