If you’re a blogger (or any other kind of Webmaster) your content is being copied, it is virtually a guarantee. Whether you are big or small, users and commentators, along with spammers and scrapers, are using your work. Some of this use is likely legitimate, even desired, but some of it also likely goes beyond what’s allowed and into copyright infringement.
What is Copyright?
Copyright is a legal right created by the law of a country that grants the creator of original work exclusive rights for its use and distribution. This is usually only for a limited time. The exclusive rights are not absolute but limited by limitations and exceptions to copyright law, including fair use. A major limitation on copyright is that copyright protects only the original expression of ideas, and not the underlying ideas themselves.
Do’s & Don’ts-
Here are 8 Do’s and Don’ts, to help secure your blog’s content:
- DO: Educate yourself about copyright.
- DO: Take time to secure your content.
- DO: Add clear reuse information to your blog.
- DO: Respect the rights of fellow content owners.
- DO: Promote a copyright culture.
- DON’T: “Copy and paste” without permission.
- DON’T: Rely on a static © notice in your footer to do all the heavy lifting.
- DON’T: Allow content theft to go unchallenged.
Five Free Copyright-Related Steps every blogger should take today-
Not everyone has an interest in enforcing their copyright. Whether they don’t feel passionately about the issue or don’t see it as worthwhile, they feel that the (limited) time spent dealing with plagiarists and other infringers isn’t well spent.
But no matter how you feel about copyright enforcement, you still have a strong interest in both tracking and understanding how your content is used and also heading off unwanted uses of your work.
So taking a few minutes to think about your content and how you can protect/track it makes sense as it might reduce the amount of misuse you see, without you doing anything to stop infringements, and let you find readers you didn’t know you had.
1. Add/Update a Copyright Notice in Your Footer
2. License Your Content
3. Sign Up for FairShare
4. Use Google Alerts for Static Content
5. Add an RSS Footer
Though I’ve already harped on the benefits of content tracking as a statistics metric, there is much more that Webmasters can do to protect their content, all without filing a single cease and desist letter or take down notice.
Since all of these steps can be taken in under an hour’s time, it makes sense to take a moment, make sure that your site is up to code, your content is tracked and your feed is protected. Though you can’t stop everyone from misusing your content, no matter how much enforcement you do, there are simple steps that can reduce infringements and help you reach out to new audiences at the same time.