Is Your Blog Breaking the Law?
Hello, my name is Sophie Sandberg a mixed bag blogger from Sweden. I moved to London on my own when I was 19 years old and now I live in Leicester where I study journalism. On my blog, I write about beauty and lifestyle tips, blogger advice and funny storytimes. You can also find me on Twitter @escsandberg.
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Posting stuff on the Internet is all fun and games until you get a lawsuit sent to your house. Without sounding too over the top, this can actually happen if you're not careful. As a journalism student I have learned what you can and cannot say/post on the Internet - and the smallest thing can actually result in a lot of legal issues, some you might not even be aware of. So I will now give you some advice that can save you from very expensive legal fees. So put on your lawyer pants and come along on this ride down Media Law Lane.
Do you have the right to use all of the pictures you publish on your blog/ website or have you stolen them from someone else without permission? I use pictures I've taken myself to 99% and the last 1% comes from other websites, but I am legally allowed to use all of the pictures I use on my blog. I often use Google to find these by doing an image search, then click 'tools' and change the usage right. Then the final thing you have to do is visit the website and see if you need to give credit for using the picture. Then you're good to go!
Expressing your personal opinion online is a part of our right of expression, and that's totally legal (as long as your opinion isn't offensive to the general population). However, if you openly talk/ post something bad about someone and give out enough information for people to identify him/her you can actually be in legal trouble. So be nice and respect each other online or you might actually get sued for libel.
'Taking' content from other websites are usually okay as long as you give RECOGNITION to where the information comes from, otherwise, you will be in big trouble if you get caught. Sometimes just putting the 'stolen' information in quotation marks and add the link to the website is enough. But I would advise you to just use content you've created yourself, just to be on the safe side. I mean wouldn't you want your blog/website to consist of content YOU have created?
At the end of the day, if you want to stay out of legal trouble and avoid hiring an expensive lawyer, be respectful towards others and don’t steal any content that isn’t yours, even if it’s 'just a picture'. We all know that having a blog/ website can be stressful and taking shortcuts such as 'borrowing' pictures or text from someone else can be tempting at times but having a platform like that comes with a lot of responsibility, so be smart about what you choose to put up on the Internet and you will be absolutely fine.