#nbimmo Post: Protect Your Blog!
Welcome to the tl-dr Newbie Blogger Initiative Post! Big props go out to Syp and his blog Biobreak for starting up this concept. It’s a great way for new bloggers to get into writing for whatever their reasons are. I hope to be able to spread some of the love around here. I have a ton of new blogs to start reading, but I think it will be a while before I can get to all of them.
I posted about this briefly in the NBI Forums, but I wanted to get into it in blog format so that it was here for people to reference if needed. It is a much overlooked issue that I think really needs to be talked about. It is a really un-sexy topic, but I’m taking a bullet for the team (my page views! Nooooooo!), so that everyone is protected from legal issues that (could) pester them.
The C Word
Everyone talks about it, but most do not really understand the ins and outs of how to really protect themselves from the dreaded copyright problem. We all hear about SOPA/PIPA, CISPA, and Piracy, but there is a lot of magic that happens behind the curtain that we trust the Wizard to take care of. I’m going to keep the Wizard behind that curtain, but tell you how to keep him happy.
Do not be scared of creative commons licenses. They are extremely easy, and they provide a HUGE amount of protection to your content. Go to the link above and you can read about all of the different licenses, they are very user friendly and written in language lay-people can understand. I laud them highly for that, cause legal stuff can be confusing.
The quick break-down:
Attribution: “If you quote me, say my name!” ’nuff said.
Share-Alike: If someone quotes you, or remixes your work, they have to use the same (or comparable) license as you.
Non-Commercial: They can’t make money off the content they get from you. (Does not stop YOU from making money on your own work)
NoDerivs: People can share your work, but they can’t change or remix it.
Now, the way the licenses work is you take the 4 options above and you pick the options you like and combine them until you’re happy. “Attribution” is the only one you have to have (because without it, you wouldn’t need a license would ya?).
This blog uses an Attribution-NonCommerical-ShareAlike license. We (Diane and I) chose this because it means that people can use our content and remix it or build upon it any way they like. As long as they are not selling it (making people pay to read it for example), and if they do quote us or remix/use the content, they should use the same license as us. We chose not to have a “NoDerivs” because remixing content is the soul of the internet. Take it and make it better!
After you choose the license you want (easy 3 question survey about how you want to protect your content), it provides you with some embed code. All you do is go to the HTML view on your blog (the “HTML” button on the upper right of the drafting box on WordPress), and insert it at the bottom of the page. You can see what it looks like at the bottom of this post. It really is that easy.
Note: Someone can always come to you and ask you to “waive” the license for them to use the post so they can use it somewhere without the restrictions of the license. You just need to give them permission before they can do it. Just give them permission in writing and keep a copy of what they are using it for.
Other People’s Copyright
This one is not so fun or easy. Sorry
Just imagine why you licensed your content (above in the CC section), and imagine someone else did that. Or didn’t. Creating something gives them basic copyright protection. So you can’t just rip it off and pass it as your own. Remember those talks of plagiarism your teachers and librarians gave you in school? Basically that. It is ok to quote them. Just say: “This guy said, ‘blah blah blah blah.’” That will save you the headaches of legal issues and drama. Same goes with pictures and videos. Just make sure you link to the original place of content.
Note about copyright: You can talk shit about anyone or anything, as long as you quote the source material. Freedom of speech allows that. If people are telling you to take content down because of something you have done, or they send you a DMCA takedown notice, do not just automatically do it. You can ask questions first. If this happens to you and you are scared, hit me up, I will help you with it. I can’t be your lawyer, but I can get you in touch with information on how to deal with it. Just because you’re saying something negative doesn’t mean you’re breaking the law. Criticism and parody are protected under U.S. law (a lot of international laws too).
Copyright is a bit magical on the back end, but it’s easy to protect yourself if you are conscious of how to do so.
Ding! You’ve Leveled Up! Please see your local librarian for training.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License