Please note that the use of music from artists (e.g., Eminem, Kid Rock, etc.) used in videos and other multimedia content created by various schools, colleges, offices and departments at Detroit Mercy requires formal written permission for use from the specific artist. This is a legal standard with regard to copyright. Providing a line of credit for use does not provide the requisite allowance to use this music and creates an issue of legality with regard to our use of the music overlay. Based on a recent review of our current licensing agreements in place with BMI, ASCAP and SESAC licensing agencies, Detroit Mercy is not permitted to use music with any video created by offices, departments and colleges without expressed written consent/copyright approval directly from the artist. On May 8, Monica Barbour, Detroit Mercy's senior attorney, Information Technology Services (IT) and Marketing & Communications engaged in a phone conference call with a contract representative for educational institutions with ASCAP. ASCAP oversees our license agreement to use music.

This legal requirement also holds true for any other video, past or present, that uses any music from an artist without expressed written permission from the artist. As such, it is necessary to expunge music from videos immediately. Failure to do this opens the university to serious legal action, which can prove costly. This also applies to content hosted on University services as well as those hosted remotely and on social media sites presented in the name of University of Detroit Mercy.

Marketing & Communications will release new guidelines and information on this standard in the coming months via the  website. If you have a written form of approval directly from an artist to use music with the content you have posted to public sites, please forward this to If you do not have this formal approval, please remove any and all videos that currently use the music of artists and strip the music overlay from the video. You can also contact Marketing, and we would be happy to work with you on locating potential free music overlays for your content.

Marketing & Communications, IT and Monica Barbour realize that many Detroit Mercy faculty and staff want to create strong content to help attract students and the community to the university, and we greatly appreciate everyone's help in that regard. However, the law stipulates that we adhere to copyright requirements. In the future, Marcom hopes to obtain free music resources that we can all utilize on multimedia content in the near future.

©List of Don’ts

If you did not write it or you did not take the photo, assume it is a copyright protected and drill deeper to see if you have the rights to use it.

For images, it is always best to

  • come and select photos from the Marketing & Communications department,
  • purchase a stock photo from a subscription site such as ThinkStock,
  • or take your own photos and have the persons involved sign a photo release. 

If you use stock photos from a paid site, make sure you have a copy of the royalty free license.

If you use something licensed under a public and/or creative commons license, there are different levels and requirements. You need to know what, if any, restrictions are placed on its use.

Music -- just say no, unless it comes from the canned selection available from YouTube, or you have the license from a company that provides music. Buying a song or album is only for personal use. It is not a license to use in digital platforms.