As a blogger, you are most likely quite proud of your work. You would be horrified if someone stole an article off of your site, reworded it, and used it as their work. Its humiliating and just plain sad to watch something you’ve work so hard at get passed around like a bag of candy. Most of us folks who are writers, photographers, music creators, and other artists feel very strongly about our work and understand we are labeled mostly as “starving artists”. So why steal from someone who puts their heart and huge quantities of time into their work? Because it’s easy and most people think that by simply crediting the author or creator, we are doing our part. Wrong.
Know Your Rights
No matter if you are the victim or the culprit, you need to know your rights when using another person’s work. If there is any form of copyright for an article, such as; a design over the photo, copyright print at the bottom of the text, or if the information is not found on a government website, there is a good chance that you are unfairly using another’s hard work. There is nothing wrong with this if you seek written permission from the author regarding the replication of their work on your site. Just because the article doesn’t appear to be copyrighted, does not mean that you do not need to seek permission.
Know the Laws
In 1978 a law was passed that stated that all published work, whether it was digital or written media, has copyright protection, no matter if it says copyright or not. So basically, if it’s been published anywhere from any source, it is not yours for the taking. You must request permission to use any material for any part of the publication.
Follow the Guidelines
Using a quotation to repeat a small amount of text for a publication is completely fair and legal for critical or learning purposes. This does not mean you can use it as the heart of your article and the quote should never be more than a sentence. Be sure to reference the publication the information was taken from. It’s always safer to share an idea if you put it into your own thoughts and words. After all, aren’t we all artists?
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