Blogging Rules: Knowing About Copyrights

So you have finally started your blog. Congratulations! But there are several rules and etiquettes that you need to keep in mind with regards to copyrights, otherwise you could land in trouble.


Copyright - All Rights Reserved

  • You are welcome to utilize federal Government documents, any material created before 1923 and work produced prior to 1977 which has no copyright notice.
  • To prove a point or highlight some particular issue, you may make use of a small part of existing material, within quotes.
  • You can express in your own words facts represented in website articles.
  • Many common symbols, ingredient lists, names, phrases, headings, mottos and similar words cannot be protected by Copyright Law, and you can freely use them in your blogs. Take care to see that they are not protected by trademark.
  • You can mention the name of a company in your blog, as long as you are not trying to tell people that you represent the company.
  • Similarly you cannot use a company’s logos to deceive people. You can use it while commenting on their products or service, though.
  • Just by crediting the author, you will not get the right to use their material; you need explicit permission. As mentioned earlier, you can use a limited part of the material. (what is considered ‘fair use’)
  • Don’t assume that an article without the copyright sign can be copied. The Law change in 1978 meant that all materials are automatically protected and copyright symbol is not required.
  • ‘Creative Commons’ licenses are less strict than Copyrights; however you need to ascertain what kind of license it uses before you use any of the material.
  • Removing the copyright label will not free you from the circumstances of copying the material. You may spend a good many hours battling lawsuits.
  • Just because the copyright owner is not identified, does not mean that you can grab it. Even not getting a reply from the copyright holder is no excuse to use the material.
  • You can use images in your blog, but here too you need to follow certain rules.

There are Royalty- free images; this means that you may need to pay just once and use them as frequently as you like. Sometimes, you may not have to pay at all, but may need to follow certain instructions by the owner like credit the source. If the image has a Rights-Managed copyright license, you may need to pay or get explicit permission. Usually, you need to pay every time you use the image, unlike the Royalty-Free images.

Also, remember to always research your topic well, and present correct information to your readers. Misinformation may work in the short run but will definitely not let you in on the long race. Happy Blogging!

PG

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2 Comments

  1. Posted August 28, 2012 at 7:38 am | Permalink

    Thanks Martin. Yes, it is really important to get familiar with such laws and follow it.

  2. Posted August 23, 2012 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    Excellent article. Good points of which I haven’t got a clue! Thanks for sharing it as it is important to follow the law and making sure our blog will not be sued.

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