Comments as testimonials?
September 3, 2012 5:53 AM   Subscribe

Do I need to get permission to post people's comments elsewhere on my website, using them as testimonials?

Could I use quotes from the commenters on my website posts in promotional materials for a product (an informational guide) I am selling? Do I have to email each individual commenter (if possible) and ask for permission to use their quote and first name and last initial as a testimonial, or is that not necessary?

They've already left their comments on my site, which is displayed publicly. Doesn't seem like it would be necessary to ask permission to publish someone's comment at another spot on my website, although I'm not sure what the legal implications are. What say you, legal-minded Metafi-ites?
posted by sunnychef88 to Computers & Internet (5 answers total)
Legalities aside, and regardless of whether your site has some fine print tucked away somewhere that says that everything posted there is yours to do as you please with, the polite thing to do (and therefore, online reputation being what it is, the smart thing to do) is ask.
posted by flabdablet at 6:14 AM on September 3, 2012 [8 favorites]

Yes. Get their permission.

Even if they love your product, using their words without expressed permission could poison their opinion of you. It's simple good manners and is a very small step that will go a long way to brand you as one of the good-guys.
posted by Thorzdad at 6:54 AM on September 3, 2012

You probably don't need their permission, but it's polite to ask first.
posted by Faint of Butt at 7:03 AM on September 3, 2012

Many/most people will be flattered if you ask nicely, and it may even result in some additional testimonial material. Think of it as an opportunity to get back in touch with satisfied customers/readers, rather than a box-ticking, arse-covering chore.
posted by malevolent at 7:31 AM on September 3, 2012 [2 favorites]

I ask permission whenever I do this and some people say no, so if you don't want to piss off those people, ask.
posted by merocet at 11:28 AM on September 3, 2012

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