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I need to build a portfolio of sound design examples for my forthcoming new website.

From a legal/rights perspective:

can I go on Vimeo and pick any video? (of course author will be credited etc..) or there are limitations involved?

The goal is to display them in my website only and for showcase purposes..

  • I answered a question some time ago here, that concerned CC licensing. Not the same use case as you're talking about, but the information is probably still relevant. – JoshP Jan 17 '15 at 16:03
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  • Crediting never gives permission to use anything.

  • If the creator does not say anything in the description, or does not provide a creative commons (CC) or similar license, you need to reach the creator, tell about your usage and obtain a written permission. If you can't get this permission, you cannot use that work.

  • If you use the videos for a portfolio, that is a commercial use. Even if you are not selling the video itself you are still using it for your commercial promotion and it is a commercial use. You cannot use CC-BY-NC (non-commercial) licensed videos for that purpose.

  • If you use CC-BY-SA (share alike) videos you should provide the audio and video the same license. The choice to use works with this license is more personal. You may or may not want to give away your commercial samples for others to use. This works more like open source. Open works can use your work freely but copyrighted works (i.e. mostly commercial) should still obtain a separate license from you.

  • You should look for CC-BY (attribution only) licensed works or write to creators and ask for permission.

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You need to check the license for the clip. If they are not Creative Commons licensed then it's probably a good idea to get in touch with the creator for permission.

If you've not started on anything though it is going to be easier to just pick CC licensed work from the start (of which there is plenty). You can also search by license on Vimeo in the advanced search section.

If you're not familiar with the different licenses and what they all mean check the info here:

https://creativecommons.org/licenses/

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