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
When it comes to blogging and the law, there is one area of the law that you pretty much can not avoid: Copyright.
Though you can avoid libel by never talking about anyone else, the same goes for privacy, and you can largely avoid trademark by being careful with your domain and not creating a business, it is impossible to blog and avoid copyright.
The reason is simple, every time you hit “Safe Draft” in WordPress, post a comment on another blog or take a photo for your site, you’ve created a copyrighted work and with that comes a set of rights and responsibilities you need to be aware of.
However, the issue of copyright is far too broad and far too complex to cover in any kind of depth in one column. So, in order to help bloggers who might not understand the law get some basic information, here are five copyright facts that you need to be aware of, all of which we will likely go into in future columns.
Bear in mind that these facts are based on U.S. law and, in some cases, may vary in your country. You can also read more about these facts, and other basic copyright information, on the U.S. Copyright Office website. read more
For bloggers it can be a long and difficult road to reach success and occasionally come close to your subjects and conduct an interview with them. It was great to see that UK Manchester United blog Red Rants had the opportunity to run an exclusive interview with world star Nemanja Vidic. This would be the ultimate dream for many a sports blogger but things aren’t always as nice as they seem. Content theft often is an issue, especially when exclusive entries, interviews are scored.
Red Rants was no exception to this rule. Only some later, today, two main stream UK media outlets used the interview without attribution. Both published quotes of the interview without referring to the source. The Skysports article consist of more than 50% quotes. Surprisingly Skysports Terms and Conditions do NOT allow reproduction and even don’t mention Fair Use. read more
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
Linking directly to individual pages on a Web site instead of the home page, also known as “Deep Linking”, is a staple of blogging and the Internet in general. It is used as a means to reference sources, forward interesting articles and, generally, get information out there on the Web.
Without deep linking, social news would likely not exist, many Web 2.0 services (such as Delicious) would have to close and even Google would have to drastically change the way it operates. The Web would, almost overnight, become a much more difficult to use and less efficient place.
Though the lawsuit is clearly misguided in some ways, including the claim that the site loses advertising over deep linking, it is worth taking a quick moment to look at some of the potential legal hazards that come with deep linking and how to avoid them. read more