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Building a Free Download Directory Website For Selling Ad Space

Mark JohnsonMark Johnson subscriber Posts: 3 Member

I am looking to start a website that is a free download directory for creative professionals. The site will include all types of free downloads including stock videos, photos, powerpoint templates, photoshop templates, fonts, icons, and much more. 

What will be different about this website is that I will be getting all of this content from other free download websites. Also, I will not be hosting any of the free downloads on my website as this would be illegal redistribution of other people's content.

So on the page that each specific free download is on, there will be a link that directs the user to the website where the content originated and where the user can download it there for free. 

Again, my website is a directory of free downloads. To actually get the free download, the user will follow a link that will direct back to the original website. So I am not redistributing any content. I am just displaying the content and providing a link back to the original website. 

I wanted to know if this would cause any legal trouble?

In order to display some of these free downloads, I would need to show previews. For example, for the images, I was thinking about adding a watermark to the image, so users can’t just download the image off of my website and they would have to download it on the original creator's website. So I would actually have the image up on my site which I obtained for free and it would be watermarked so that no one could download it from my website.

Again, I am not sure if this would cause any legal issues. 

I would also add watermarks to stock videos and other free downloads that would keep users from downloading the content directly off of my website. 

The goal with the site is to generate a large amount of traffic and then run ads. So the business model would simply be income from ads from google adsense (and ad platforms like this) and ads from contacting marketplaces personally.

Any information that anyone had on the legality of this idea or any comments or feedback on the idea would be greatly appreciated!

Thank you and Merry Christmas everyone! 


  • DomDom subscriber Posts: 1 Member

    Its a nice idea.

    However to avoid some troubles , contacting the owners of the original websites is the best thing to do.Just to let them know and im sure they will allow it as you are doing them a favor of directing some traffic and backlinks.

  • MustafaMustafa subscriber Posts: 15 Bronze Level Member

    If you add any website in your directory without that website owners permission, it is illegal. Website owners should add their website link to your directory.

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