This is a guest post by Michael Evans, who is a blogger and likes to be active on social medias. Check out some of the facebook templates he has created.
So, there has been discussion going around the proposed anti-piracy bill, known as SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act). It have already divided the world and freedom of expression is under threat.
However, you might be wondering why I am giving this free advice when as a blogger you have got nothing to do, except posting some informative articles twice or thrice a week in your blog.
Hang on a minute. How you are supposed to react if a big corporate organization guns down your website just because you have mistakenly promoted or entertained a third party website that happens to promote piracy in one form or the other?
You simply cannot monitor the content of your blog all the time. But no need to worry, as of now, because this bill has been dismissed off. But still, your blogging career can be in big trouble, if you are taking things too lightly and might find yourself tangled in legal complexities.
To see how things can turn against you, please read on.
How about being charged for defamation by someone whom you never meet personally. Though you may not have any personal grudge against anyone in particular, you could be dragged to court.
To avoid this situation, you need to make sure that whatever you are posting has a base or something substantial attached to it. Do not post in any kind of rough language and never attack anyone, unless you do not want to get hit back legally.
Though you may drag your feet by saying that whatever you are writing is true and nothing but true, proving the same in court will take some doing and sometimes, it may appear impossible.
What is Intellectual property? Well Wikipedia says this,
Intellectual property (IP) is a term referring to a number of distinct types of creations of the mind for which a set of exclusive rights are recognized.
This is another common reason that can lead you to legal complexities. Make sure that whatever the elements you are using in your blog is free to use and are not copyright protected. Never ever publish anything on your blog unless you are 100% sure that you have full right on it.
This is reason why you should always search things with Creative Commons, as they show you only those materials that do not fall under copyright.
Try to maintain high level of confidentiality while posting on your blog unless you do not wish to run into trouble or wish to court controversy. For example, you should not post information about your employer because you may never know that you are infringing on his privacy by giving away business secrets.
Posting such sensitive things on blog is sure to make your boss go mad in anger and a lawsuit is sure to follow most likely.
How to Avoid getting into this legal tangle
- When you got a plan to post something about a business organization, you need to make a point that you are contacting them with the copy you are supposed to publish and ask them if they have any objection. Once you get the green signal, you can go ahead and post the thing in your blog without any fear.
- Offer public apology if one claims that you have humiliated him publicly by posting some defamatory things in your blog. A simple post and the problem will be solved.
- If you are not sure about whether an image etc is copyright protected or not, you should always add a reference of that thing while posting. This will save your skins in innumerable ways.
So do you write your blog posts keeping this legal angle in mind or just express yourself freely ?