A Scenic Tour of the Online World

Content Marketing and Copyright

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011

One of the ways we encourage our clients to use content marketing is commentary: write blog posts, like this one, that comment on issues that affect and are of interest to your audience. Doing so attracts their interest (there’s something in it for them) and offers you the opportunity to display your expertise.

There can be pitfalls, though, as an article in today’s New York Times points out.

The article profiles a firm that aggressively pursues copyright infringement cases against bloggers and other online publishers, big and small.

I’m not sure I agree with their tactics, but do agree with the assertion a spokesperson makes that something more severe is called for than the cease-and-desist letters that have proven ineffective over the past decade as cross-posting, linking, and other sharing has proliferated.

Sometimes the law trumps common sense, but common sense says that if you’re going to use a photo or other graphic on your site, you need to provide attribution or credit in a noticeable way, the same way as you must provide attribution for a quote taken from another source.

For business owners who are using their websites to provide expert commentary as part of content marketing campaign, be sure you know where the image or content you’re using is from originally. You may not be protected if you republish an image and attribute it to the source where you found it if that source didn’t have right to publish it in the first place.

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