Stop Thief: Content, Photos and Copyrights

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content photos and copyrightsJust because it is posted online does not mean that you can copy and paste it and use it for free on your blog. Online content is covered by copyright law. Unless the site explicitly states that their copy is available for use, you should assume it is not. This is one case where assuming will keep you out of trouble. Besides, the duplicate is almost never as good as the original (remember the movie with Michael Keaton called Multiplicity?).

Cutting and pasting stories from your daily newspaper, business journal or favorite social media or real estate blog is a violation of copyright law. You will need to get permission to use a complete article that someone else wrote.

Not only are you breaking copyright law when you click cut and paste, but most likely you are also damaging your site’s SEO with duplicate content. Because search engines (like Google) try to index pages of distinct information, they will index the first or the most relevant post when content is the same. In the worst cases, they may remove a site from their index entirely so that it no longer appears in search results.

Copyrights apply to photos too. Don’t just copy and paste a photo from another site to yours. Most photographs, like content, are covered by copyright. Violations can be as high as $20,000 per image, not to mention court costs. Look for work that is covered by the Creative Commons license that allows for sharing within certain guidelines.

So, how do you properly mention that story that just ran in USA today or on your favorite blog? We refer to this as repurposing or curating content, and once you know the steps you will find it is pretty easy — it only requires a bit of your time.  First mention the great article that you read, why you liked it and link to it. Mention one or two of the main points in the article and make it relevant to your company or community and then finish out the rest of your post.

If you need help generating content for your sites, call us! mRELEVANCE provides blog content, blog building and SEO services. We are here to help! 770-383-3360