5 Legal Issues That Bloggers Should Be Wary Of
The recent past has seen an exponential growth in blogging, which is seen as a legitimate way to make money online. Blogging for money is viable and possible, at least if the current statistics of people living off of blogging is anything to go by. Sadly, not very many people understand the logic behind blogging, while others will understand and assume altogether. In order to avoid getting on the wrong side of the law, you want to ensure that your blogging is ethical and complies with the set rules and regulations that govern the blogging community. Here are some of the legal issues that bloggers should be wary of.
1) Copyright infringement legal issues
Copyright laws often protect the original owner of a given piece of art, work, video, image, written text, audio clip etc from being misused or stolen. For instance, you cannot copy and paste another person’s article on your blog and claim full ownership. According to the copyright legal law, this is known as plagiarism and a serious violation of copyright rules. Needless to mention, you cannot just use an image on your blog and claim to be the owner. You will need to get permission from the owner. The most convenient way for a blogger to find video, images, or content to use on their official blog is to get the stuff from sources that offer royalty-free licenses, or works that are licensed with the Creative Common Licenses.
2) Privacy invasion
3) Trademark legal issues
A trademark is used to offer protection to intellectual property in the commerce industry. Product names, company names, logos, brand names etc are normally trademarked to ensure competitors within the industry do not use the same in an effort to mislead consumers. It therefore goes without saying that using these tools of commerce in any way that may seem to mislead or mis advice your blog visitors, you will be committing an offense that is punishable by law. Be sure to include the copyright symbol (©) on your posts should you decide to use any trademarked tool of commerce.
You should not expect to go publishing untrue and unfounded information about anything or any person that may negatively affect their reputation on your blog and expect to go unpunished. Whether or not your public blog receives any traffic or not, this is illegal and equally punishable by law. If you punish something false about an entity or an individual that could tarnish their good reputation, rest assured you have committed libel.
Closely related to libel is defamation, which deals with publishing information regarding a person or a company with the sole purpose of tarnishing their good name. It is thus advisable that you verify the source of your information and ensure it is true before you go publishing on your public blog, unless you are ready to face unending legal battles.
This article has been written by Kelly who works for the marketing department of Morgan Law Firm where you can get some useful legal resources.