Your blog may just be recipes, personal posts, and beauty tips and tricks, but are you completely sure that everything you post is 100% legal? Some studies show that a surprising number of bloggers don’t understand all the legal pitfalls that can come with blogging. As a result, more and more bloggers are now being sued than ever before.
To help you stay on the straight and narrow, here are some of the laws that you might be infringing without even knowing about it.
Lots of bloggers posts rants to get some negative feelings off their chest. This is fine when the post is about nothing in particular, but if it is aimed at one particular person, you could end up in hot water. Defaming or libeling someone means that you damage their reputation and name. So, if you say something about someone you must be able to prove that what you say is true. Otherwise, you can easily be sued. For example, if you write about a company that treats its employees very badly, you need evidence to back this claim up. If you don’t have evidence, then you should expect a summons from the courts…
These days on the Internet, everyone seems to be sharing each other’s pictures, especially on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. However, that doesn’t mean you should do so on your blog. You need to play it safe and stick to royalty free images or photographs that you have taken yourself, that way you know you aren’t breaking the law. You can, of course, use other people’s images if you ask their permission. Just remember that you will need to credit them somewhere in the blog post.
Disclose All Paid Endorsements
One of the most recent legal developments in the blogging world is the need to disclose any paid endorsements. If you are paid to promote a product or write about a company or brand, you need to be open and honest about it. It is also necessary to let your readers know about affiliate blog posts. If you claim to be an objective third party when you aren’t, you might get unexpectedly sued.
Don’t Steal Content
Many bloggers will find that they can sometimes run out of ideas of what to write. If you ever experience this, you should never be tempted to steal a post or content from another blog or website. This is plagiarism and will leave you in a lot of trouble if you are caught out. You wouldn’t copy a school essay or assignment so why would you copy someone else’s blog post? Of course, it is perfectly fine to republish something that someone else has written, you just need to get their permission and credit them.
As you can see, there are lots of potential legal problems that come with running a blog. But, if you are smart and sensible about it, you shouldn’t have to worry about these things!
Do you know any other legal issues? Let us know!