Sunday, October 28, 2007

Legal Use of Blog Material

In a quick shot from a friend on Digg, I was quickly drawn to a comment I received last week in one of my posts. The posts can be found here and basically dealt with illegitimate links to my blog from The Wall Street Journal which was probably the result of a programming error. The main concern of the blog post was based on the usage of my blog and the material within in it. I was a bit concerned because I thought someone was claiming some part of my material without provided credit for having me create it.

My friend on Digg just posted this blog post Some Guy In Hong Kong is Stealing My Blog Content which offers a pretty self explanatory title of the content. Please have a look at the post.

There is one issue that underlies all of those presented by the Rosenthal in his post. The issue of the matter is the fact that none of what a blogger posts is technically copyrighted or protected in any way. By posting to a blog, you are openly "throwing your ideas" at the world and hoping they will stick with someone or a lot of "someones"! The unfortunate aspect is the simple fact that anyone can use what you say in any manner they see fit and not give you any credit for it.

A prime example: you write a paper of some kind while attending school. It doesn't matter if it is a film reaction paper or doctoral thesis, if you do not copyright your material and say "THIS IS MINE", anyone anywhere can use the material without giving you any kind of recognition.

The underlying set of "moral laws" that most bloggers, or any web publishers for that matter, follow is that if you use someone else's material in any way, you provide a link back to them to not only help yourself but help them as well. You provide a basic reference point back to the original author. It is common courtesy that seems to jump all borders.

Of course, there are people who do not follow this rule and begin to basically create something of a "mega blog" or "coalition blog" that utilizes a lot of hard working individuals creativity and blog content without provided recognition. The person in Rosenthal's blog is doing just that. Whoever it is found a loophole and started to profit off of other individual's material.

To be 100% honest, I am not sure how this can be stopped or regulated at the moment. I might start a deeper search into the larger blogs to see what kind of copyrighting or protection they use. This is an area that I've been giving more and more attention to in the past several months as I dive deeper into the law school process.

If anyone has any ideas or thoughts on this topic, please let me know! I am quite interested in hearing what has to be said about this.

Digg me, subscribe, leave comments and link up if you like what I have got to say and want to show it!

Have a great day!

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