Does Your Blog Meet Legal Requirements?

Does Your Blog Meet Legal Requirements?

Content creation was at the heart of 2020, and moving into the year 2021, more and more people are bringing out their inner content creators through podcasts, vlogs, YouTube videos, Instagram sponsors, and various TikToks. However, one type of content that has seen a resurgence is your good ol’ blogs; the written medium people are slowly falling in love with all over again. Plus, with the oversaturation of videos and short skits, a bit of reading is a great change of pace.

Still, a lot of these newbie bloggers and first-time content creators are diving in headfirst without doing any research, thinking that it’s as easy as pumping regular and engaging content. Many people are now forgetting the significance of understanding the legal aspects of owning an online blog, like observing privacy policy and following the copyright law.

Are They “That” Strict?

Well, at least for blogs, it depends on the type of content you create and publish. If its only purpose is an online journal log or diary for your eyes only, then there’s not much of a legal bearing that obligates you to go to that extent. However, for anyone that plans to monetize their creative work, which most of us plan to do, then the answer is yes, they will be strict. There have been cases where people sue blogs and file copyright infringement on bloggers that fail to observe proper use of copyright, so it is in your best interest to be vigilant.

Understanding Privacy Policy

Everyone has a right to their privacy, and a serious blogger looking to monetize and make their blog a stream of income should be concerned about their privacy policy. Its purpose is to tell every visitor that you’re collecting personal information, all the cookies, how you’re going to use the information, and to what extent. And if a website visitor doesn’t like it, they’re free to click off your blog and go on their merry way.

  • Collecting Personal Information: Regardless of how hard you try not to collect personal information, it’s inevitable because having at least a list of active e-mail addresses that visit your website helps give you leads to push notifications. So, when you plan to create a newsletter, you already have a list of contacts to bump. Considering all that, having a well-outlined privacy policy is necessary for moving forward because having information is the most crucial tool for analysis in the blogging business.
  • Marketing Products & Services: Once you look into pay-per-click ads and affiliate links, this will also constitute the need for a privacy policy because it collects information and may leave cookies to track activity as they’re redirected. And since marketing products & services are the most accessible monetization method, having a well-drafted privacy policy saves you trouble in the long-term.

Man working on his laptop

When Do I Not Need It?

Of course, there are cases where you don’t necessarily need to have a privacy policy in place, and one example is if the blog’s purpose is only to be shared with family and friends. Since its reach is limited to close peers, and you have no reason to collect personal information, the blog is free to operate without taking any legal measures to protect your posts.

Understanding Copyright Law

Apart from privacy policy, another important legal requirement to observe is the copyright law, which covers the protection and rights of all intellectual property online, including your blogpost. It encourages originality, artistic creation and gives you the right to reproduce, distribute, and do derivative works from your content. Likewise, this also works the other way around for all the creative work other people own.

  • Protection For Creative Works: Plagiarism is a big thing online, and you can sue people who blatantly copy and paste your content without permission. Although copyright is immediately applied to your work as soon as it’s published online, we still recommend the appropriate use of the copyright symbol to prevent anything unfavorable.

Tip: Stick With Stock Photos And Videos

Now, most bloggers are quick to pull images and clips off the internet and paste them onto their blogposts without second thoughts, but please double-check if these things are free-to-use. Of course, there’s no harm if you’re using your own photos and videos, but if somebody else’s like a professional photographer, then expect it to be taken down. As a good rule of thumb, stick with stock photos and videos because they are free to use commercially and also help advertise the creators.

Don’t Shy Away From Expert Advice

While there’s plenty you can achieve by researching and drafting your own documents, please don’t shy away from expert advice and cross-reference anything legal with a professional. There’s so much an actual copyright lawyer can help you with, and because each of our circumstances is different, they might even spot out needs specific to your niche.

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