Today, this is for everyone, but especially bloggers. I came across an article this weekend that had me a bit uneasy. Read this here. How many times have you pulled up Google because you needed a picture and simple typed what you needed into their search? From there, how many times have you posted that photo on Facebook, your blog or some other social networking site?
Do you realize that you could be sued for using a copyrighted image? The stats may be low, but is it something you're will to take the chance with? If you didn't read the article above when I told you to, I'm asking you to please take a second, read it, then come back and finish out this post.
Are you back? Are you all mine?
Can you believe that? Roni Loren, author and blogger, was really sued for that. Not a single disclosure can save you from the possibility of being sued (and now I'm trying to figure out what the big deal is to include a disclosure on your blog in the first place). As she said, "None of that releases you from liability." No matter how innocent you are or how much you didn't realize what you did. I honestly don't have too much more to say because I think Roni said it best in that article. But I do want to mention the interesting thing she said about Pinterest:
"I have read way too many terms of service over the last two months. And I'm not a lawyer, so the legalspeak can be confusing and I am NOT giving legal advice. BUT both Pinterest and Tumblr (and most other social sites) say that if you load something into their site (i.e. Pin It or Tumble it) YOU are claiming that YOU have a legal right to that picture. And if the owner of that photo comes after the company, you will be the responsible party. And Pinterest goes so far as to say if you REpin something, you're saying you have the right to that photo. Yes, if that's enforced, it would mean that 99% of people on Pinterest are doing something illegal. Will that ever come up? Maybe. Maybe not. But I'm leaning on the paranoid side now. I don't want to be the test case. And I don't want to pin something the owner of the photo wouldn't want pinned."
Why would you build a site on something that's illegal from the beginning? I will never understand this. Which to me doesn't make sense because on Pinterest sure you repin, but as soon as you click on the picture to detail it, it comes up in a bigger page, and sends you straight to direct article it came from. Therefore I'm not claiming that I own this. At all. But I digress...
On another note.
When you hear all these things about SOPA and PIPA do you honestly understand what they're talking about? For me, I did at least loosely, but until I saw this video it didn't fully click. It's right under 15 minutes long, but the guy talking is easy to listen to. So if you have a few minutes, we encourage you to check this out:
After seeing that video I saw just how serious SOPA and PIPA are how much we need to stand up, talk to our senators and tell them that this isn't right. Sure, stealing and copying are wrong but there has to be another way to handle this then what they're doing.
My point in today's post isn't to scare you, it's simply to make you aware of what is going on in our media world. Times have changed but unfortunately laws haven't caught up appropriately. But you can always do your part, to protect yourself and to stop this ridiculous law from going forward. And other bloggers need to hear this, really EVERYONE needs to hear this, so please talk, share and let people know what is really going on in our world.