Saturday, March 15, 2014

Legal Issues for Bloggers

Boot Key Harbor, Marathon, Florida

I neglected a whole topic during my blogging seminar the other day.  That is, legal rights and legal cautions for bloggers.  I'll try to remedy it here.

I recommend that all blog authors should read the (EF F) Electronic Frontier Foundation's publications

During the seminar I should also mention my own self-imposed policies on copyrights and attribution.  I seldom include non-original text (e.g. text that I did not author myself), but I sometimes paste reader comments to this blog into a post, so that I can discuss the comment.  I also frequently include pictures or videos from other sources.   I have a two-tier policy for pictures.
  1. When the source clearly identifies the copyright owner or it indicates "rights reserved", I write him/her and ask for permission before using it.
  2. When the source is obscure, such as an unattributed picture on Google Images, or reddit.com, or on a web page, I use it without attribution or permission.  Videos on youtube.com that include a box that says "copy this HTML to embed this video on your page", I just do what it says without worrying about permission.
In other words, if I am the second, third or fourth hand user, I don't worry about niceties.   Once I wrote to the Norman Rockwell foundation to ask permission to use one of Rockwell's images in a blog post.  They refused.  I abstained.

I also recommend that bloggers should read and select one of the Creative Commons legal licenses.  The site offers several choices of licenses.  I chose the "Attribution-NoDerivs" option.  Even if you want your blog to be public domain, it should be secured by a Creative Commons license.  Most people, as a minimum, wish to allow use of their blog for non-commercial purposes. 

By the way, EFF and Wikipedia are the only causes to which I donate money regularly.  I'm very Scotch.
Just today, I added links to EFF and to the Creative Commons license to the footer at the bottom of this blog page.

2 comments:

  1. You're a whiskey? :) I think you mean you're Scottish. I'm part Scot myself. The Gibsons got kicked out of Edinburgh before getting kicked out of Ireland and coming here.

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  2. Thank you for this additional information about managing a blog. I found your seminar informative and enjoyable.

    ReplyDelete

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