Bloggers are inevitably obsessed with the topic of creative commons, and if they aren’t yet, they will be soon. Why? Well, if you have ever seen the cost of subscriptions for stock photo sights, you wouldn’t have to ask that question. They are expensive, often offer nothing special and in general don’t cut it for most casual bloggers that don’t want to spend cash on what is essentially a place for their thoughts.
Using public domain or CC licensed content is the perfect way around that. You can use photos and videos as you like, not worrying about the cost or being sued for copyright. Which is ever bloggers wost nightmare, thanks to the many horror stories we are subjected to on the web. read more
As we’ve discussed previously on this site, being a blogger can be very risky legally. With a slew of potential legal issues including copyright, defamation, trademark, privacy and much more, there are many ways a well-meaning blogger can find themselves being sued.
To make matters worse, there’s a great deal of conflicting and confusing information on the Web and what good information there is, generally, is scattered across multiple pages and sites. This makes learning about the law difficult and means you can spend a great deal of time just trying to keep yourself out of court.
Fortunately, several bloggers and blogging-related organizations have worked hard to produce legal guides that give you a good breadth of information in a simple, single work that you can easily read or search through.
With that in mind, here are five of the best of those guides, what’s in them and how they can be useful in helping you protect yourself and your rights. read more
The social impact of Bin Laden’s recent death has been incredible and it also became an incredible force across blogs and other Web sites. Countless bloggers, even those who usually don’t cover news-related topics, felt the need to peak out on the breaking story and, along the way, dip their toes into news and political blogging.
But with so much attention being focused on how blogging and social media is changing journalism, there are still scant few resources that give bloggers and other webmasters access to the media used by mainstream outlets.
The problem is that, while there are countless great sites on the Web for stock photos and other images, they are more targeted at providing attractive, but generic images for a blog post. If you need a photo to indicate friendship or represent something being locked down, these sites are great. However, if you need a photo of a recent rally in Washington D.C. or of a particular celebrity, they are virtually useless as most of the photos they have are not timely and not related to current events.
However, there are a few sites that offer news-related images for free on your site. All you have to know is where to look and how to search them correctly.
Here are some of the options to consider. read more
Copyright is a notoriously confusing and complicated area of law, but one that also impacts nearly every part of our daily lives. As such, it is pretty much inevitable that well-intended people are going to make mistakes.
However, with copyright law, blunders can be very costly. In addition to the threat of a lawsuit, one can have their site shut down, access to some of their favorite services revoked and lose a lot of credibility. Even if none of those things comes to pass, a copyright dispute is still a major headache and one that most, if given the choice, would prefer to avoid.
As such, it’s important for bloggers to be aware of some of the more common copyright pitfalls that come from blogging and, more importantly, how to avoid them.
With that in mind, here are three of the most common copyright blunders bloggers make and what can be done to prevent yourself from falling into them. Fortunately, all are easy mistakes to see and avoid, if you know to look for them. read more
As we talked about last week, whenever you post a blog entry, upload a photograph to your Flickr account or post a video to YouTube, you’re creating copyrighted work and sharing it with the Internet.
As the creator and copyright holder of that work, you have certain rights and protections over it, including the ability to bar others from making unauthorized copies or publicly display/perform the work.
However, you might not want to enforce all of those rights. For example, you might be perfectly happy to let others copy your work and post it on their sites provided they give attribution back. Or, you might be happy to have them print out copies for their personal use so long as they don’t attempt to sell them.
This is where content licensing comes into play. It’s the means by which you give someone (or everyone) a certain amount of rights to use your work even though that use, without your permission, would have been a copyright infringement.
As such, it’s important to understand the basics of copyright licensing and what some of the options are out there. This is so you can maximize what you get out of your writing and, equally importantly, prevent misunderstandings and accidental infringements by others.
With that in mind, here’s a basic rundown of what you need to know to be savvy about content licensing on the Web. read more
Most bloggers understand the importance and the value in creating original content. Most would be at least somewhat upset to their own writing used on other sites without permission or attribution and many actively track their work for misuse.
However, there is more to being a good copyright citizen than just writing your own content, quoting only what you need to in your entries and attributing your sources. Your blog is much more than just text and there are many copyright “hazards” that even well-intended bloggers can step in.
That’s why last year, almost to the day, I wrote an article about holiday copyright hazards for bloggers to avoid, But while the holidays are an especially dangerous time for copyright issues, they are a potential thorn in the side year around.
So with that in mind, here are five copyright hazards to avoid, regardless of the time of year. read more
This migration would be a huge boost for the free culture movement, and for Wikipedia and Creative Commons — until the migration happens there is an unnecessary licensing barrier between the most important free culture project (Wikipedia of course, currently under the Free Documentation License, intended for software documentation) and most other free culture projects and individual creators, which use the aforementioned CC BY-SA license.
To vote you need to have at least 25 Wikipedia edits before March 15. The vote will be open until May 3, 2009.
Bloggers use, and don’t use, Creative Commons Licenses for a variety of reasons. Some feel that it is a great way to give back to the community, others use CC licensing as a form of promotion, encouraging their content to be used with attribution, and others feel that it is a way to promote copyright reform.
However, Creative Commons can actually provide bloggers benefits that go well beyond the buttons and badges. In the uncertain copyright climate of the Web, having a firm lawyer-written license, regardless of what it says, can have huge benefits over the ambiguity that comes with not having one.
Here are just five less-promoted ways that choosing a CC license can help you, your site and your content, even as you surrender some of your rights in a particular work. read more
Everyone knows that almost any blog post is better with images. However, getting them can be a difficult matter. With a maze of licensing and fair use issues making it hard to decide what is and is not legal to use, many bloggers don’t wish to use images that they have not taken themselves.
But while using your own images is always the best way to go, there are several great sources to help you find and locate images that you can use as part of your blog posts. In fact, there are some very neat tools designed specifically to help you correctly license and use other people’s photography, art and more.
The best part of all is that these tools are free. They will not cost you a dime to use and, if used correctly, can let you fill up your blog posts with as many images as your heart desires. read more