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How Bloggers Can Protect Themselves from Litigation

Posted on the 05 June 2014 by Dfennell @BloggerGo

While blogging might seem like a carefree pastime, it’s actually riddled with potential legal pitfalls. People who write blogs face issues similar to the ones that face traditional print and broadcast journalists.

The difference is that most bloggers don’t have a team of editors and a publication to back them up. That’s why it’s extremely important to remain aware of copyrights, quote accuracy, and sources if you’re a blogger.

Here are a few essential ways to avoid legal issues in your work as a blogger.

Use sources

You probably use references to inform your readers of important statistics and facts. However, you must use proper attributions in your posts, so readers do not get the mistaken impression that you arrived at these conclusions on your own.

Embedded links or source lists at the bottom of a blog post are common methods of attribution. This concept is similar to the Works Cited or Bibliography pages at the end of an academic essay.

Including your sources will help readers learn more about a subject. These sources can also lend your blog greater credibility, since readers will be able to fact-check your information.

Avoid committing libel

Bloggers are not immune to libel laws. You must be careful not to write about people in such a way that it unnecessarily damages their reputation.

If you quote someone, it’s crucial to quote the person accurately. If you are interviewing someone in person, make sure to record the conversation with his or her permission, and keep the record.

This will enable you to verify the accuracy of quotes. Publishing false statements or inaccurate quotes can leave you open to accusations of libel.

Acknowledge copyrights

Some bloggers get into trouble when they use someone else’s creative work, such as an image or audio recording, without observing the copyright clauses. There are many free and open source works online, but they might still have copyright restrictions regarding their use.

For example, an artist may allow individuals to post his or her images, as long as it’s not for commercial use. However, if you sell books on your blog, you can get into trouble for using the same image in your marketing campaign.

It’s extremely important to pay attention to the copyright clauses and adhere to them when you re-post material on a blog.

Maneuvering around legal concerns can be tricky for bloggers. You can get additional support by contacting a business litigation attorneyto learn more about these issues.

Learn your rights as a blogger and pay attention to the content you post, so you don’t encounter these pitfalls!


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