I want to start a personal blog, are there any legal implications?
- April 15, 2013
- Bradley Taylor
Blogs are everywhere these days. They cover topics from the newest technology gadget to different theories on raising children. Chances are you may already even know someone who has their own blog. With the ease of copying and sharing information online it is easy to forget Copyright Laws which govern this information.
You have decided to start a blog, generally the first step is choosing a blog hosting service. After reviewing the terms of service for popular sites like WordPress and Blogger they are all pretty similar. Generally the TOS clearly states that the individual posting any type of material, whether as a blog operator or even commenter, is completely responsible for what they post and the consequences of their post.
To avoid illegal or costly mistakes potential bloggers should familiarize themselves with copyright and trademark laws governing this media before posting their first entry. Copyright infringement rules vary when considering quoting from another blog or website (both may possibly be protected) and from a government document (these are generally considered public domain). What is considered “fair” varies in how the information is presented and how much of the information is used. Do you as the blogger own the rights to a comment left on your post by a reader? Probably, but maybe not. Bloggers also need to consider ownership of images used in their entries and use of trademarked products, company names, etc. Also, just because a copyright notice may not displayed does not mean the information is not protected.
Personal blogs are here to stay and are great for individuals to get their voices heard by others who only a few years ago would not have had this type of opportunity. It is just important to remember that this medium could hold some potential negative consequences that author’s should be aware of prior to displaying their work for the world to see.
Have more questions regarding trademark, copyright and intellectual property? contact our client Zies, Widerman & Malek