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Don't let copyright issues on your blog damage your business

Nearly every business has a blog these days. Consumers are hungry for information, and Google's algorithms pretty much demand that websites keep producing new information if they want to stay on top of the search pile.

Unfortunately, it's easy for bloggers to make mistakes with copyrighted material. Whether you're producing your blogs in-house or hiring an outside writer, it's important that you know what can get your business hit with a copyright infringement lawsuit.

Some of the most common issues bloggers run into are:

  • Using images that they found via a Google search. Just because an image isn't watermarked, doesn't mean it isn't copyrighted. There's even a cottage industry involving copyright "trolls" who put images out there on the internet and wait until someone illegally uses it in order to demand payment.
  • Using graphics that aren't available for common use. It's much better to hire someone to produce a graphic specifically for your blog if you need one -- and less costly than a lawsuit.
  • Not properly citing sources of information. Did you find a great statistic that backs up the point you're trying to make in a particular blog post? Fantastic -- but you need to give the original source material proper credit to make sure that you aren't co-opting someone's work.
  • Not properly acknowledging guest bloggers. Unlike ghostwriters, guest bloggers generally have their own names on their work, so even though you buy their articles, you can't publish them under your name because your purchase agreement is different.

Your legal needs regarding copyright information and law may be complex, so talk to an attorney with experience in this area. Our office has more information available on our website for you to explore.

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