Using other people's articles, blog posts, photos, and artwork without following copyright regulations is STEALING.
Just because it is out on the internet does not mean it is 'up for grabs.' Your reputation as a respectable member of the internet community hinges on your being proactive about fair use of materials. (For example, all images on 'One Writer's Mind' are: my own photography or artwork, publicly available images from sites like NASA, pieces I have asked specific permission to use, or work distributed under a creative commons license. If it is not my own image I have posted a credit link as dictated by the fair use license in question.) You must follow proper procedure for any content you put on your own blog or website. If it isn't your original work, you MUST follow copyright regulations or face legal action.
Okay, now for the actual information ...
Many thanks to The Lost Art of Blogging and Dosh Dosh, who suggest the creation and posting of copyright pages like this one here, and provided the model.
All content appearing on "One Writer's Mind" (referred to here also as "OWM") including main page, all posts, and special features such as 'Prompt the Muse' is copyrighted per the Copyright Act. All rights are reserved by the author. Material and content on OWM is NOT released under a Creative Commons license at this time. You must observe all copyright regulations and terms of fair use if you intend to distribute or use any material from OWM. Infringement of copyright will incur appropriate legal action.
Copyright Regulations for Material on OWM
The following regulations and restrictions apply to the sharing, distribution, or transmission of any material or content from OWM:
- Content Limit - You cannot, under any circumstances, reprint or republish an entire blog post, review or article from OWM. This is true even if attribution to OWM is made. The content limit for usage in quotes or excerpts is 150 words or less. Ensure when using excerpts that proper attribution is made with a link to the specific article or post from OWM, not just to the OWM main page.
- Proper Attribution -When using quotes or excerpts, proper attribution must be made by including an obvious, prominently displayed link to the specific post or article from OWM. Do not point to the OWM main page unless that is the specific source of the content (such as in posted features.)
- No Commercial Usage - You cannot use material or content from OWM for any commercial purposes. You cannot make money from use of any quotes or excerpts from OWM. You cannot repackage material from OWM to be sold, given away, distributed free, offered as prizes or used as a promotion for any kind of commercial offering or product.
- Special Exceptions - Special exceptions or exemptions from these regulations may be granted by the author. (In fact, the author is likely to grant any reasonable request, and will likely link to your site in a blog post or such) . To obtain a special exception, you must contact the author of OWM directly by posting a query comment on the most recent blog post in which you leave an appropriate email address. See comments on this post for examples of query letters. If the author does not contact you, or if your comment query is deleted, you are not granted an exception from these regulations. Unless you hear from the author directly, all regulations remain in force, and will be legally enforced.
Results of Copyright Infringement or What Happens When You Steal
With the growing number of internet copyright infringements, providers have responded by creating a large number of useful tools and processes for bloggers to defend their original content. Do not assume a blogger will not find your illegally posted work, it is actually quite easy to do, and many bloggers including myself access specific services to do exactly this. If you steal, you will be caught. This is what happens to people who infringe copyright, and is the process that will be followed if copyright regulations for OWM are not observed:
- Your website will be reported as spam to all major search engines. Search engine providers are very wary of having their usability compromised by spam, so they are aggressive in removing spammers. You will be blacklisted from those engines, which will result in the destruction of your search ranking.
- All major social network sites will be contacted to report your copyright infringement. Social network providers must maintain a high standing in order to attract new users, so they are very proactive in assisting with blacklisting infringers. This will result in irreparable damage to your social network reputation.
- Your advertising networks will be contacted to inform them of your copyright infringement. Advertisers are not interesting in working with thieves, and they will ban you. You will lose all income from those advertisers.
- Your website hosting provider will be contacted and your theft will be reported. As with search engines, web hosts cannot risk having known content thieves as customers, and they will suspend all of your website accounts.
- The Domain Name Registrar for your domain will be contacted to report your copyright violation. Your registrar will suspend your domain name, possibly permanently.
Image Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/liako/ / CC BY-SA 2.0
An Example of a Query for Exception to Copyright Regulations
Hello Dr. Ellicott:
I enjoyed your post on "The Alien Visions of Tim Burton". We would like to reprint the text of the post in our annual condo Halloween newsletter which comes out on paper but is archived online. Here is the website for our condo association (weblink), you can see past newsletters archived there. We can't provide financial compensation, but we can mail you ten copies of the newsletter for your files. If you are interested, please contact me at email@example.com. Thank you.
It's important for all writers and other bloggers to educate themselves on copyright law. Your outline is comprehensive and helpful--kudos!
Thanks for the example query, too. Knowing how to manage copyright issues is not only an important part of being a professional writer, but it is also empowering.
Amy - Thanks for the compliments on the comprehensive copyright guidelines. I wonder if they are actually, too comprehensive, since my style tends to wordiness no matter what I am writing. It is also a bit in-your-face, since I'm assuming that the people who know a little about copyright aren't really the ones who need the guidelines. Also, others have pointed out that if people can get a hold of you easily, they are more likely to ask permission first. So I wanted to use the blog comments area for possible queries. The websites I looked at for reference are linked in the post subsequent to the one where I posted my own guidelines.
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