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WARNING TO BLOGGERS: BEWARE OF YOUR COPYRIGHTS

Posted by Tim Bryce on April 15, 2015

BRYCE ON WRITING

– Before you start blogging, protect yourself.

(Click for AUDIO VERSION)
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

I have had a blog for a number of years with hundreds of postings. I take my work rather seriously and in order to safeguard it, I learned a long time ago to copyright my material. Of course, copyright is a part of the U.S. Constitution (Article I, Section 8, Clause 8) and is intended to safeguard the rights of authors. Obviously, this means nobody can re-use it unless you authorize them to do so. The Internet though makes it much too easy to “copy” and “paste” the written word without permission. In many cases, authors will allow you to copy articles, all you have to do is ask permission and observe their copyright notation on your re-posting. Anything else is just plain theft.

There are a lot of bloggers who do not take their work as serious as I do and use it to simply record frivolous comments. However, there are a lot more who expend considerable effort in their writings and should take steps to prevent misappropriation of their work. Unfortunately, they do not and their work may be spread across cyberspace with no credit for its source. This also means deadbeats can take your work and claim it as their own.

Fortunately, copyright law is designed to protect your rights and it goes into effect the moment you write something. The Internet though is a strange creature and I would admonish you to take additional steps to protect your work. The safest blogs are those you control yourself. Blogging tools such as WordPress and Blogger were specifically designed for independent blogging. For those who believe this is too technically challenging (they really are not), there are writer communities on the Internet who simplify the process of blogging your work. The danger here though, is some of these communities want to supersede your ownership of your work and post their own copyright notation. The author should carefully review the terms and conditions of use for the blog. If it says something to the effect, the work becomes their property or their copyright supersedes your own, run (do not walk) away from this community. Their intent is to steal your work. If you are not planning to post anything important, fine, use the facility, but if you want to claim ownership of your work, you would be wise to avoid it.

Keep one thing in mind, if you submit your blog posting with the proper notation, your copyright should preempt any other. Here is a sample of how copyright notation should be expressed:

“Copyright © 2015 by John Doe. All rights reserved.”

As an aside, the HTML code for the copyright symbol is: ©

If you really do not want people stealing your work, you might want to consider writing it to a PDF file format (Portable Document Format). PDF is an open standard created by Adobe. There are many tools available to create a PDF file which can be displayed on a web page or e-mailed to people. Interestingly, when creating a PDF file, there is an option to prevent copying or downloading text, which greatly deters thieves. You can even prevent people from printing the document if you are so inclined.

I write this article as a warning to bloggers; there are simply too many unscrupulous people who do not respect the ownership of your own hard work. If you want to blog frivolously, do not worry. If you value your work, take some preventative measures.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2015 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  NOT INVENTED HERE COMPLEX – Where pompous egos incur considerable expense and wastes a lot of time.

LAST TIME:  MEDICAL RECORDS INTEROPERABILITY  – Law makers are just beginning to realize the problem the medical community has in sharing data between systems.

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) “The Town Square” with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern); WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; and KIT-AM 1280 in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube.

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10 Responses to “WARNING TO BLOGGERS: BEWARE OF YOUR COPYRIGHTS”

  1. Tim Bryce said

    A T.L. of Germany wrote…

    “And you always have to keep in mind, that the web is international. In Germany (or Europe generally) we have a different concept. We have an originators right (“Urheberrecht”), which can’t be sold and is valid without doing anything for it (you don’t have to mark it). In case of your issue it is comparable. On my blog I use TYNT, a small helper, who marks copied text with data about its source and a backlink. So I get a small chance to recognize a copy or a citation.”

    Like

  2. Tim Bryce said

    An M.R. of Saint Albans, United Kingdom wrote…

    “Unfortunatley, people think that if it is publicly available on the internet then it is free to use. It is all about educating people about copyright.”

    Like

  3. Tim Bryce said

    An S.T. of San Antonio, Texas wrote…

    “Great info! Many people don’t realize or take it into consideration that their work could easily be stolen until happens. Blogging, photos, the list is endless in the cyber world. Protect yourself!”

    Like

  4. Tim Bryce said

    A J.S. of Portland, Oregon wrote…

    “Thanks for the reminders, Tim. Excellent info.”

    Like

  5. Tim Bryce said

    A W.H. of Boulder, Colorado wrote…

    “The Naval Cryptologic Veterans Association created a book years ago now about the History of Naval Cryptology, including biographies of many of the key people in the community. We dealt with Harris Publications (the same group that does all the reunion/yearbook kind of compilations for various non-profit and public organizations). Well, we also purchased an initial stock of the books to sell to our members – and over the years we eventually sold them all. So, imagine our surprise when we went back to Harris and asked about the cost for a followup order – because they didn’t keep a stock of the books, we were expected to pay a “re-setup” charge, and there was a minimum order that was much larger than our original order years ago. The cost was staggering to get additional copies of a book that we originally produced and we certainly don’t have any way to meet the copy requirement – especially in a reasonable time to recover sunk costs. So, we THOUGHT about approaching another publisher to see if we couldn’t strike a deal with them that was more favorable. OOPS, Harris COPYRIGHTED the entire book, and although it said that WE (NCVA) also had copyright over the individual entries in the book, THEY owned the copyright on the book. So, we can’t produce a PDF of that particular book without their permission, which would obviously involve a royalty fee agreement of some sort. The original document’s authors are both dead now, so it further complicates us trying to get the book republished. What we MAY have to do is completely re-work the book, include all the articles over which WE have copyright, rearrange them, insert new updated materials, and then decide whether to e-Publish that version on our own. I seriously doubt that we’ll get into the hard copy publishing business again.

    An acquaintance down at USAFA who is the deputy librarian and also a CAPT USNR wrote a book of biographies of significant personalities in the Naval Cryptologic Community. His draft is about 900 pages – and the various publishers he’s talking with are saying that the finished book, with editing and formatting will likely end up around 600 pages. ALL publishers are telling him that, because of the limited audience and interest, he must come up with “a sponsor or sponsors” that will pony up ~$25,000 to reduce their “risk” in publishing the book. He is finding out that, unless you are a big name best-selling author, chances are you’re going to face the same situation no matter where you go. And, USNI (United States Naval Institute – the people that published Tom Clancy’s first novel – Hunt for Red October) have told him that HE can’t be the source of the up-front funding – it has to be “sponsors/supporters” independent of him.”

    Like

  6. Tim Bryce said

    An F.D. of Ajijic, Jalisco, Mexico wrote…

    “I read with interest your article of copyrights.

    I do a weekly entertainment guide here in my area of Mexico and have had it pop up on Facebook, etc. I have long thought that the greatest form of flattery is imitation or copying but they start cutting things they don’t want to see, etc. it gets my goat.

    I have attached my latest one which I have now taken your suggestion and inserted the copyright © statement right at the bottom… thanks!”

    Like

  7. Tim Bryce said

    A T.C. of Omaha, Nebraska wrote…

    “Here are some tools to prevent or track content theft: http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/internet-content-theft
    (it’s a few years old but still relevant, I think)”

    Like

  8. I am care on sharing non copyright images on Facebook. My big concern is negative SEO from competitors. This is basically slander and a judge would not look too friends on them leaving bad reviews.

    Chris
    Owner CEL Financial Services

    Like

  9. […] WARNING TO BLOGGERS: BEWARE OF YOUR COPYRIGHTS […]

    Like

  10. sasaka said

    Reblogged this on Sheria Mtaani.

    Like

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