Blogging, as well as almost all media, is become much more mobile. Not only are people reading and consuming news on the go, but they are also recording, writing and photographing it as well.
This move stems directly from the rise in both smartphones, which often include high-definition video/still cameras, as well as other portable recording and Internet-connected devices. From Flip cameras to laptops, you can run an entire multimedia empire without ever sitting in an office.
However, all of this mobility comes with it a series of new legal questions and issues that desktop-only bloggers don’t have to face. When you’re recording audio and video on the street, you have some additional concerns to worry about.
Fortunately, they are legal questions that you can easily address and deal with, so long as you’re aware of them and take steps to avoid them before you step out the door. read more
With more and more bloggers dipping their toes into creating video content for their sites, the climate they’re working in is changing when it comes to copyright.
Though copyright, by design, protects all forms of content equally, how it is enforced and who is doing the enforcing changes drastically with the medium. This means that bloggers who might take some of their habits, both good and bad, from text into video, might be in for a bit of culture shock.
So what are some of the copyright changes a blogger should expect when going from text to video? Here’s just a small sample of some of the ways the two media are very different from both a practical and a legal perspective. read more
The Internet, for better or worse, is the largest meeting place to have ever existed in history. It’s a place where millions of people, from all backgrounds, can get together and exchange ideas, news, artwork and pictures of cats.
However, it’s inevitable that, with so many people in one “place” that there are going to be disagreements and some of them are going to get quite heated. Just as you don’t always get along with your “real world” neighbors you probably won’t get along with some of your virtual ones either and, also like physical world problems, virtual world ones also, at times, disintegrate into legal disputes.
So, if you blog long enough, especially if you routinely discuss or use work from other people on your site, there’s a chance that you’re going to be the subject of a legal threat.
For the unprepared, this can be one of the most terrifying experiences one can have online. Such threats often come with fears big legal bills, huge settlements and more. It’s pretty easy to paint a worst-case scenario that is either unrealistic or completely impossible.
Still, these are matters that should be taken seriously and knowing what to do is important. Though I’m not a lawyer and certainly can’t provide legal advice, there are steps that most attorneys advise you to take and I’ve outlined them below. read more
Societies generally have two ways that they try to encourage “positive” or “good” behavior on its members, laws and ethics.
But while both are similar in that they are ways to punish or discourage unwanted behavior, they are radically different in both what they are and how they operate.
As a blogger, you find yourself operating in a variety of societies. This includes traditional ones such as your local community, your country and the world as a whole as well as digital ones such as the blogging community and the Internet community.
This has some fairly profound implications for the laws and ethics you have to wrangle with as you’re not only caught between the duality of the two elements themselves, but in the layers of often conflicting standards of all the societies you reach and are a part of.
To unravel this mess, we have to first take a look at the differences between law and ethics and understand how they each impact bloggers in slightly different, but very powerful, ways. 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
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
In copyright law, the big news is always made by cases such as the Jammie Thomas verdict, the Tenenbaum trial or even The Pirate Bay trial in Sweden. As importance as these cases are, their legal applicability to the average person is dubious, especially since the RIAA has stopped suing file sharers.
For the cases that could have a direct impact on your life, you often have to dig deeper. This is true for the case of Brayton Purcell LLP v. Recordon & Recordon, a seemingly dull case about two law firms in a dispute over content posted on their respective Web sites.
How big is the difference? The dissenting judge on the panel said the following, “Under the majority’s opinion, every website operator faces the potential that he will be hailed into far-away courts based upon allegations of intellectual property infringement, if he happens to know where the alleged owner of the property rights resides.”
In short, if you are accused of copyright infringement, it is no longer safe to assume that you would be sued in your own district, but rather that you could be forced to litigate in the plaintiff’s court, enduring the extra costs and expense that comes with it. read more
Three weeks ago I signed up my blog for a beta service by Tynt called Tracer in an attempt to both test the service and get a better understanding of how people are using my content.
The information provided by Tracer is only aggregate in nature, there is no information about what an individual user did with your content, and Tracer does nothing to prevent copying, thus it is not a DRM solution. All Tracer does is analyze how users interact with your content and which pages are the most “active”.
To do that, Tracer follows four metrics: page views, selections (meaning when someone selects objects), copies (actually copying the work) and generated traffic (clicks on links generated by Tracer).
After over three weeks of running the service, I’ve gotten some pretty good data on my site and the results more than surprised me. Here is what I learned. read more
I’m working on my annual Things I Want Gone from the Web article and I’ve personally designated this “The Year of Original Content.” We’re done playing around with feed scraping and autoblogging.
The blog echo chamber effect of someone blockquoting and linking the same content as a recommendation, echoing through the web without original content, is a beginner’s mistake. Don’t do it. Always add your original voice and content to your recommendations, telling your readers why it is important to leave this blog and go to another, then come back for more.
Google took action to penalize duplicate content within a site and between sites, and added bonus points for original and unique, appropriate and relevant keywords around links, especially link lists, rewarding original content providers with nicer PageRank scores. Similar actions are being taken by other major search engines, directories, and legitimate content aggregators.
As a serious blogger, you’ve learned the lesson and stay focused on creating original content. You link to other people’s content appropriately, taking care to protect their copyrights and not confuse your reader’s, putting other people’s content in blockquotes with clearly indicated links and credits.
Back in November, Attributor released a study that many Webmasters and content providers intrigued. According the report, for many Websites, most of the viewings of their content do not happen on their page or their RSS feed, but on other sites.
Though the service has some limitations, it can be a valuable tool for bloggers to get a glimpse at how their content is used on the Web and where some of their untracked readers may be hiding. read more