Freckles in April: Stealing

Friday, September 16, 2011


I've decided to close comments on this post. This isn't meant to be a bash session of her or me. This is simply for the sake of sharing information.

via We Heart It

If you were on Twitter yesterday you may have caught that there was some drama involving someone using Freckles in April material in a copyright infringement sort of way. She claimed pure motives but it kind of ruined my day and I'm sure she felt the same way. Fortunately, everything was resolved but it just made me realize that it might be time for a reminder on this.

I've said this before and it bears repeating. Blog content is automatically covered under copyright. Taking stuff from someone's blog, even if it's because you thought something was uplifting or beautiful or what have you, is stealing in a very real sense. Don't do it.

Janssen put the whole thing in perspective when she said
It's like saying, "I loved your book so I photocopied it for all my friends and family."
Using someone's idea and expanding upon it and making it your own is one thing. Copying and pasting is another.

If you're interested, there is some good information here: 10 Big Myths About Copyright Explained.

To boil it down for you-

1. As soon as you push publish, you own the copyright for material on your blog. You don't have to register your blog or pay money or anything. The law automatically copyrights it for you. Rather handy.

2. The fact that someone has not earned any money from your content does not mean they haven't violated copyright.

3. You don't have to include a copyright statement but it's a good idea. I have a copyright statement at the bottom of my blog. I figured that was a good place for it but I'm considering moving it to a more prominent position.

4. Communication is the key to avoiding situations like the one I dealt with yesterday. A simple e-mail to ask permission to use someone's content (especially if it's a large chunk) could save you a lot of grief.

5. Give credit where credit is due. Credit your sources (and I would argue that just linking to Pinterest isn't really sufficient. Take 5 seconds to try to find the original source). This is SO important. To me, proper credit can take something from "copyright infringement" to "blog promotion that I'll possibly thank you for."

I hope you have a lovely weekend!
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