08 April 2013

Blogging, copyright and privacy policies

Again I face myself with some doubts about this new hobby of mine, how to do it properly and respecting the sources of  "my projects" and works.
When reviewing my blog, and looking for some lapses, in my introductory I wrote a text to try to protect the posts I make, where I referenced copyrights issues. And then I remembered some pictures I already used, and that they were not originally mine (found those on Pinterest and websites), so was I allowed to use them? And  what about the tutorials I found? I also linked every blog/site I used to do it, but what about legal issues? Was I allowed to link it? I did it to cite my sources, and attempt to attribute the due author the deserved credit. Do you all face these questions when blogging? It seemed so easy in the beggining...

And so, I did a quick search in the web to find some answers. Surprisingly (or not), the legal issues of blogging and copyrights were already being discussed in the academical field. Before tackling any heavier reading, I started with The complete idiot´s guide, that  posted an article about blogging and etiquete (you can find it here). I already have a few basic notions about Royalty free images, but in the blogging field, every policy and licensing seems to be really greyish. When I began to search by the very first source of "my" images, I found that those were already re-published, re-pinned thousands of times, and it was very difficult to track down the author of those images, and even then, I am still not sure that I am indeed allowed to publish them (even if they were already re-pinned, re-published)! When reading more about image use in blogging ( I used About.com, you can find the article here) , I found that we should ask for permissions to use photos and images, unless a the permission was already given (as the case of royalty-free images). Again, pretty challenging when you can´t trace the author, and one of the tricky things about blogging seems to be finding royalty-free images. Well, at least most of the pictures I used were mine, at the exception of the ones I used as introduction to the pages "Fashion and Style" and "Ramblings". Yes, true, those Louboutin were not mine, neither was the cute Kitten.... And the sources were cited (even doubting Pinterest can be recognized as a source - this is the case where I found difficulties in tracking down the author). Update, I was reading the licensing for my sleeping kitten, and the website does not authorize their consent for "projects", its only for "personal use", I was not sure were a blog stands though, particularly mine... Its personal, but its out there, its public, well but its definitely not for commercial use though...! what about transforming the pictures? That is other issue I am not sure how to deal with. Re-updating, Susan Gunelius is quite adamant in one aspect, "you can't use an image on your blog unless you created it, have permission to use it from the creator", (you can read it here) so there goes, Louboutin and my cute kitten have to go...and be replaced by other photos!

However, there are a few websites that store royalty free images, as Wikemedia commons, and seems that Google image search also has a Creative Commons tool too, you have to add manually though, find how here.

I also panicked a little when I read that I could be sued by using pictures without a clear consent, a blogger found all about  the consequences for uncredited sources the hard way (read all here) ...

But I will not plagiarize, I am careful regarding that aspect, since citing and quoting is a daily routine in Academia. Well, at least in terms of linking, I believe I am doing it right, since a link back to the original source is the common procedure,when citing the sources... I was not aware though that was could use a trackback too (read more here)! Will definitely use it in the near future.

Continuing the discussion about licencing, I already had stumble on Creative Commons, and so  I have to think about licensing my blog.
An update, while continuing researching on licenses (this matter is quite complex....), it began clear that if the work does not have any license, is copyrighted by default (read more here ). So my Creative Commons license does make sense, so that whoever stumbles on my blog knows where my work stands on terms of use. This post will be a on-going project.....

Another issue I haven´t considered is my blog´s privacy Policy, which I will disclosure (following Susan Gunelius guide, I should had start by reading her guidelines first, you can find it here).

I will start looking for Royalty-free Images now, since I have to replace my current ones!

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