As the number of netizens has increased over the years, so has the volume of online content. People grab and share content they like — and more often than not, without the proper credit and just a mere ”CTTO”. But should you really be using CTTO?
What is CTTO?
CTTO is an acronym that stands for “credit to the owner”. It is widely used on social media, where netizens use it as an “attribution” of sorts to the original owner or creator of the content. The content may be of any type from photos and videos to stories and blocks of text to posts and memes. Other variations of the acronym can be “Photo not mine”, “Photo from Google”, or similar iterations. But should you really be using this acronym or other similar variations?
stop using “ctto” it’s useless because you’re not really crediting the owner/artist.
— darlene (@cannedemotions) May 24, 2019
So should you use CTTO?
Quick answer: NO. According to the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL), using CTTO and other variations is a violation of intellectual property laws.
The Philippines’ intellectual property regulator has continuously warned social media users to stop this practice, urging them to seek permission from the original owner. “Using CTTO does not excuse yung kumopya o gumamit noon. Dapat kukunin niya yung permiso bago niya ilalathala o gagamitin yung orihinal na content,” IPOPHL director general Rowel Barba said.
Why is using CTTO dangerous?
When using the acronym CTTO or any similar variation, you are not only disrespecting the original creator of the content, but you are also in danger of sharing fake news content. With how prevalent fake news and misinformation are now, not verifying the information and its source can easily lead to a wider spread of disinformation.
Enough with CTTO!!! Verify your sources!!! Stop spreading misinformation!!!
— Jason Tan Liwag (@jaseybel) May 16, 2022
How do I know if I can use the content?
Under the Republic Act No. 8293 or the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines, anyone who wants to use copyrighted work must seek the permission of its owner.
However, there are exceptions — namely those that fall under fair use, which is the legal doctrine that allows unlicensed use of copyright-protected works under certain circumstances. To determine whether the use of copyrighted works falls under fair use, the following factors must be considered:
- the purpose and character of the use, including whether the use is of a commercial nature or is for non-profit educational purposes;
- the nature of the copyrighted work;
- the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
- the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.
What’s the proper way to give credit to the owner?
Instead of CTTO, you can use “Source:”, “Credit:”, “Photo by”, and other similar iterations followed by the name of owner/creator and, if applicable, the name of the platform where it was originally published or shared. This applies if you’re using the content under fair use as defined above.
If you want to use the content outside of fair use (e.g. commercially), you need to seek the permission of the owner to be able to use and share the content.
What if I can’t find where the content came from?
If you can’t find the original source of the content you want to share, simply don’t share it. In case you end up posting and sharing any copyrighted content (say, a video clip of a movie) without the explicit permission of the owner, you may end up facing legal repercussions that may include but are not limited to imprisonment and fines.
So it’s time for you to stop using CTTO and instead credit the original creators properly. It’s 2022. Let’s all say goodbye to CTTO.
C T T O 🤏🏼
is it too much to ask? pic.twitter.com/iWMcLKdVbk
— Tarantadong Kalbo (@KevinKalbo) August 5, 2020