A copyright is owned by the person who creates the work – in a blog, that’s you. Under copyright law you are called the “author.” The three exceptions are:
Fair Use is one of those terms that can raise a lot of passion among people. Some people today say that all use should be more or less “fair” and it is unfair for big media companies to try and hassle people. The traditionalists in the crowd say that fair use is merely a small limitation on the rights of copyright owners so that others may use portions of their works for certain purposes.
A creative work is protected by copyright from the moment the work assumes a tangible form – which in copyright circles means as soon as the work is “fixed in a tangible means of expression.” You don’t have to put a notice on the work – or register it with the US Copyright Office in Washington to get protection – although there are some benefits to doing these things if you are creating a major work.
In the last Legal Ramifications, we gave an overview of intellectual property (“IP”) law and said that bloggers will have to contend with two of the three main parts of IP – namely, copyrights and trademarks (patent law will rarely if ever effect a blog).
All bloggers should know a little something about Intellectual Property (often called IP) law.
Last time on Legal Ramifications we learned a little about the law of libel and how important it is to be sure about your facts when you write something negative about a person that could effect their business. Now let’s look at something more positive (although with a possible negative twist)
As social media develops, “mainstreams” and becomes a part of everyday life, one of the consequences is that posted blog articles will increasingly be subject to the claims of our litigious legal system. This is certainly true in the United States – but because the Internet has few boundaries, whatever you write can become fodder for claims anywhere in the world.