Knowing Your Copyrights – for bloggers

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Let’s face it, we don’t have proper copyright laws in Pakistan for written content, let along blog content. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t strive towards it.

As bloggers, we do not consider this important aspect of securing our content unless some form of infringement occurs. It is discouraging and frustrating at the same time. This is a basic write up on getting you to think in the right direction about the much overlooked and one of the most important aspects of blogging.

? WHAT IS A BLOG COPYRIGHT ISSUE LIKE:

What would be considered breaching someone’s copyrights? Let’s evaluate if we aren’t doing anything out of the following:

  • If there is monetary benefit off someone else’s work, it is a clear breach of copyright laws. In most cases, even non commercial use of someone’s work comes under copyright infringement.
  • Using someone else’s work as our name without providing proper accreditation to the original work.
  • Using images from search engines assuming that they are free public domain, which is not true for most of the images found in search engine results.
  • Using images which is someone else’s work by cropping out or damaging credits on the image in such a way that it’s not easily visible to the viewer.

? HOW TO MAKE SURE YOU DON’T VIOLATE ANYONE’S COPYRIGHTS:

Here are a few basic pointers to help you get started.

  • Avoid using anyone else’s work in our to the best of our abilities
  • In cases where we must refer to someone else’s work, make sure you credit it appropriately. Link back to the original post and provide attribution.
  • If you are using someone’s video, use the “embed” option wherever possible so that it always links back to their original work.
  • Adding a disclaimer at the end of such posts is a good idea. The disclaimer will contain information on how to contact you in case someone wants you to take their work down.
  • This one is my personal option: if I can contact the person I am quoting in my post, I will go ahead and drop them a message saying their work helped me in a so and so manner and to come have a look. It’s a great way to build good relationship with bloggers you learn from.
  • If you are not sure if a particular piece of work (textual content, images, videos, etc) is under anyone’s copyright or not, it’s always a smart idea not to use them.
  • If you cannot see if a certain content is someone’s work, do not assume it is in free public domain. Use them freely only if you are certain that it’s in free public domain.

? WHAT CAN YOU DO TO GET STARTED IN ENSURING YOUR CONTENT IS SAFE:

Here are a few free options that can help you in the right direction:

  1. CopyScape – paid (http://copyscape.com/signup.php)
  2. Google Alerts – free (https://www.google.com/alerts)
  3. Creative Commons License – free (https://creativecommons.org/choose/)

Have more ideas how to secure your work or on how to avoid violating someone’s work without knowledge? Add in the comments section below.

Featured image credits: radcasters.com

Mehreen Farhan

Blogger. Technology Enthusiast. Community Builder. Book hoarder. #TeamWordpress. Aspiring Moodler. 🚀

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