Legal Advice for Bloggers

This is a collaborative content post.

There are lots of legal things that can help bloggers; trademarks, copyrights, laws, and licenses.

All this can be confusing for new bloggers, especially if you don’t have any kind of legal background. If you don’t know where to start, don’t worry.

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If you’re running your blog as a business, you should take steps to protect it legally.

Laptop and noticeboard.  Picture from Unsplash

Image – free for commercial use

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Get Contracts In Place With Sponsors, Collaborators, Contractors, and Vendors

If you’re trading anything for money, like blog posts or other blogging services, you should get an agreement in writing.

When you’re starting out and earning small amounts, you can create your own documents. Read more here about how to do this here.

Always include:

  • A list of the products or services to be provided by each side
  • Itemized and total cost with payment deadlines
  • Refund policy (even if you don’t offer one, state that clearly)
  • How either side can end the relationship
  • Who owns the copyright to anything being created

As your blog grows, and you begin to work with bigger brands or are earning a higher amount from your collaborations, then it’s a good idea to get a lawyer to check over your contracts to make sure you have understood everything and are being treated fairly.

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Protect Your Blog Content With Copyrights

Under copyright law, you automatically own the copyright to everything you create for your blogs, such as text, photos, graphics, music, and videos, unless you have agreed otherwise as part of a collaboration. This content is protected under copyright law as soon as they’re on paper or a computer file.

There’s no legal requirement to put a copyright notice on your blog, but it is a good idea to include one. This shows people that you’re claiming copyright and will enforce your rights if they are violated.

The notice should include a copyright symbol, the year the content was published, and the owner. If you don’t want people to copy your content, include the phrase ‘All rights reserved’ or ‘no reproduction without permission’.

For an extra layer of protection, you can register your work with the US Copyright Office (or the equivalent in your own country). By doing this, you will be able to sue someone who copies your content, which you can’t do if the work isn’t registered.

You will also be able to claim higher damages if you do decide to sue or threaten to sue someone who has copied your work.

If you don’t register until more than three months after a copyright infringement happens, you might not be able to get a few thousand dollars which is less than the cost of filing a lawsuit. Registration is easy and inexpensive.

By protecting your blog content, you can protect your content from being copied or stolen, and make sure you have legal protection when working with other companies on things like sponsored posts and other collaborations.

If you aren’t sure, speak to a lawyer for advice on how best to keep your blog legal and safe for years to come.

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With more people using their blogs as a business and turning blogging into a full-time career, now more than ever, it is important to consider protecting your content.

While I don’t normally post on Thursdays, this post hasn’t replaced  Friday’s post.  So do check back I will be back again tomorrow for another blog post 🙂

Happy writing

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5 thoughts on “Legal Advice for Bloggers

  1. Hmm… good thoughts. I’m going to have to look into this – as long as it’s pretty cheap, this sounds like a good idea, especially since I have put multiple PDFs of novels on my blog.

  2. I wish you had specified getting the contracts on paper. New bloggers might think that doing things verbally constitutes a contract of equal strength. A contract kept in the “cloud” may be destroyed if the server malfunctions for any reason or if there is a technical snafu the contract may not be what was originally sent to the cloud.

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