Happy New Year - Now Update Your Copyright
Four years ago I came upon this advice:
If you have a website (like a blog) that you claim copyright for, and the information on that website is updated regularly, then as soon as a change is made on that website, you should update the copyright statement for the new year.
I've proactively updated all my blogs copyrights every January 1st figuring that it couldn't hurt.
What, you don’t have a copyright on your blog? Just add one at the bottom - Copyright © 2006-2011 by My Cool Blog. All rights reserved - or something to that effect. (Remember, I’m not a lawyer and I don’t play on on the interwebs.) While it doesn’t protect you from the jerks who scrape your content, it does make your blog look a teeny bit more professional.
Reviewing copyright and fair use rules
Before you freak out about copyright and people stealing your stuff, Darren Rowse of Copyblogger tells us:
Don’t be overly scared by copyright. Most people do not experience copyright infringement allegations or problems, unless they are putting lots and lots of movies or MP3s on their website. Basic common sense will mostly be sufficient to avoid problems: Don’t copy too much and only copy where it is ‘fair’ – where you’re not competing with the owner’s market.
Darren’s referring to “fair use,” which is quoting someone else’s work in your blog post like I do above. Since we’re starting the new year, maybe it’s time to do a review of copyright, fair use, creative commons and how to protect yourself if someone steals your work.
Here are a few posts to get you started:
- Keeping it Legal from Problogger
- 10 Big Myths about copyright explained from Brad Templeton
- The Bloggers' FAQ on Intellectual Property from the EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation)
- Bloggers Legal Guide - Questions about Copyright from the EFF
- Six Steps to Prevent Content Theft and Combat Copyright Infringement on Your Business Blog from Advanced Business Blogging
- How to Deal with Copyright Theft by Elise Bauer at Food Blog Alliance
- Understanding Creative Commons Licenses by Susan Gunelius at About.com
If you’re a food blogger, or occasionally post a recipe on your Mom blog, these may be of interest:
- Can a Recipe Be Stolen? by Joyce Gemperlein at The Washington Post
- Recipe Attribution by David Lebovitz at Food Blog Alliance