I'm about to purchase a shared web hosting plan at dreamhost but I have a few questions before I do.

  1. Since I live in Sweden and gonna register a domain in the U.S I don't really know the laws regarding web hosting. Is it legally right to upload poster and cover art images for movies, music and other media? Shouldn't most companies see this as a positive thing? If someone owning one of these images would say that I must remove them, I would of course.

  2. I don't have any experience using Dreamhost so I'm gonna try it out and see if I'm happy with it I keep it and if I'm not I can get my money back if I cancel in 97 days. Does anyone have any experience with Dreamhost, if so, what did you think?

  3. If I would cancel my account, do I still own the domain?

    Found this on their wiki:

    If you choose to cancel your account, we will disable your account with DreamHost, yet you will retain ownership of any domain names that you have purchased. If, in the future, you would like to have your domain point to a different web host (say it ain't so!) you will be able to log in to the Account Control Panel, and make your change there.

  4. The content I upload, do I or Dreamhost own it?

Don't know if webmasters is the correct Stackexchange site to ask this question so feel free to move it.

  • The answer you got from @bybe has a critical point. Someone does not need to ask you to take down something. They will ask your host to take your entire site down and it will most likely happen without further questions for such an obvious violation of copyright.
    – Itai
    Jan 30, 2013 at 19:54

4 Answers 4

  1. There is a fair use provision to copyright law that allows you limited rights to use poster/cover art from commercial products assuming you are not attempting to profit from whatever it is you are posting. However, it's a fine line and you should do as much reading/research as possible before you upload someone else's work onto your site.

  2. I have used Dreamhost under their shared, VPS, and dedicated server plans and they are acceptable. Like any ISP of that size, they will have their outages and other issues with the hardware and network but no more so than other ISPs that offer similar plans at the price. Support is limited to ticket-based email and live chat (at the higher levels)...no phone calls unless something truly extraordinary occurs and even then it would be them calling you at your request. If real human voice over the phone is your preference, maybe look elsewhere. If you can live without it, DH is a decent ISP.

  3. Yes. Hosting and registration are different services.

  4. You own your content. If you re-use content from another source (like the posters or album covers) then the original content owner "owns" it still. Basically, the ISP wouldn't own the content you upload to your hosting space but, by all means, read the hosting contract.

  • "assuming you are not attempting to profit from whatever it is you are posting." What I'm going to do with the images is that I use them on the page about the product that the image is a cover/poster for. I will not make money from the images, though I will have ads on the website. Is that okay? Jan 30, 2013 at 19:46
  • 1
    No, it is not. You cannot use a movie poster to promote anything, not even the movie. You may be able to write a critic on the movie or something like that but that is about it. Please avoid using copyrighted material which you have no licence to, the internet is so full of such people that it gives a really bad impression of people's respect towards law.
    – Itai
    Jan 30, 2013 at 19:52
  • I'm just going to have information about the movie. Nothing more. Think gamespot, imdb product pages. Jan 30, 2013 at 20:01
  • 2
    Oskwish, even if its for non-profit you still need permission on certain areas. Like providing lyrics for music your not allowed to do without a license. Using DVD Pictures on a Movie Review would be fair use but using a trailer would not as this requires licensing and premission.. Basiclly they want revenues from ads, or license. Additionally your not allowed to scrap or copy any text from iMDB and this includes the votes unless you link back to them or mention that the votes are obtained from iMDB. IMDB take no crap when it comes to people cloning their sites or using any of the content. Jan 30, 2013 at 20:35
  • Gamespot and IMDB are in a much different position than you are and may have negotiated a licensing agreement to use content. You can set yourself up with ads if you want but you may want to have a backup plan if a takedown order comes through.
    – JCL1178
    Jan 30, 2013 at 20:37

It doesn't matter where you register your domain since you just point the domain to your host server (In this Case DreamHost). You shouldn't concern yourself to much a about the laws of registering domains - if it's a Top Level Domain such as .COM, in the event it's an .se domain then it should be fine as you live in Sweden.

Use a Web Host in Your Target Region

I personally haven't used Dreamhost but I've used many other hosts and normally what I look for is a reputable host with lots of RAVES rather than rants. Use Google to your advantage and see what people got to say about Dreamhost rather than going though a trial basis.

Furthermore you should factor in your audience. If you plan to target people living in Sweden then you should use a host in Sweden, otherwise the data is having to travel further and ultimately this will slow down the user experience for your target region.

Copyright Material

In regards of using copyrighted material you should always seek permission from the Copyright Holders, i.e if its an Matrix Soundtrack or Trailer you need to seek permission from Warner Brothers.

Sadly it's not just a matter of taking it down once you receive a complaint, or DMCA take down order - you can still be liable for damages. It's also worth noting it can damage your Search Engine Ranking's if the search engine receives the take down order which nowadays is more regular.

They don't care about you promoting their product they care about making DIRECT money and a lot of copyrighted material found on networks such as iMDB they have obtained permission or a license to do so... for examples trailers. Lucky enough you have things like YouTube which you can embed on your site and then though advertising they receive their license fee - so to speak.

Be-careful of Trademark Infringement

If you obtained a free domain while purchasing a web hosting package then you need to check the terms and conditions as canceling the order may permit them to keep the domain. If you buy the domain separately you are the OWNER of this, furthermore be-careful not to include trademarks and company names within the domain name... for example you can't own warnerbrothermovies.com or Ilovefacebook.com since these would infringe on trademarks and most likely ICANN or alternative domain handler will remove the domain from the DNS records.

Content Ownership

The content that you upload and assuming it was created by yourself remains your ownership and no one is allowed to copy/use/change it unless you give them permission. This includes various media types such as videos and pictures but! also TEXT content.


The question you've asked on PRO webmasters is suitable as its related to running a site of your own and its sensible to ask ahead before doing so. GL ;)

  • I will vote this up once you fix the grammar and spelling.
    – Kenzo
    Jan 30, 2013 at 20:50
  • I will have product pages which includes a cover image and some information about the product. I will be making money from ads on the website. Jan 30, 2013 at 20:52
  • Soz Kenzo, Consider it updated ;) Though I suck at grammar but it should be least readable and something that looks like its been typed and not hammered using my face LOL. Jan 30, 2013 at 23:33
  • Bybe, in the copyright material part of your answer you mention trailers and soundtrack. I'm not interested in trailers nor soundtrack. Just the cover art for the product. Do I need permissions for that? Even if I make them pretty low-res? Jan 31, 2013 at 15:22
  1. No matter where you are, you can always upload all your files, please just do not abuse their/hosting provider policy. If you abuse their policy, I believe they will suspend your account.

  2. Please just find their review before sign up with them.

  3. Of course yes, you still own your domain name.

  4. I believe you own your content.


Before choosing a hosting package, a user usually pays much attention to the following aspects:

Price - as it is always important for a customer to buy a hosting plan which costs not much
Discounts/promo - while choosing a package, the user always seeks for a discount or available promo codes which will provide him an opportunity to buy hosting for an affordable priice
Disk space/bandwidth - most rookies want to have enough disk space and traffic in order to host their sites without any problems
Money back guarantee - after ordering a package a beginner should be sure that the company will return him the money in case of the server problems

Account activation time - costumers are eager to know how much time it takes to set up their account after they make an order on the site and pay  for the hosting package.
Free domain - as the customer starts its project, he/she will surely want to get it for free to save some money
Scripts for site creation - when the user buys a hosting plan, he is usually not very familiar with site building and that is why this is fine when different scripts for site building are provided within the hosting package

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