When it comes to online blogging and social media, many bloggers reference published online articles for industry news blog posts. However, there is a fine line between copyright infringement and properly referencing published articles for bloggers. Before I go into detail about what you legally can and cannot do, allow me to elaborate a little on what copyright is. By definition, copyright is the legal protection for original creative works. These pieces of work include anything from newspaper articles to music to art. One misconception is that a work has to be registered with the U.S. Copyright Office in order to be copyrighted, but this is not true. Copyright protection goes into effect immediately after the article is written.
So, how do you protect yourself from copyright infringement? The most important thing to remember is that you cannot copy and paste a published article word for word. You can, however, post an excerpt from an article with a link to the original or paraphrase a few key points from the article and link back to the original. It is imperative that you link back to the original article when referencing it in a blog post. For example, when composing this blog post, I received a lot of my information from an online article published by BurrellesLuce. As you can see, I have credited the source and linked back to the article. And, if you would like more in depth information about the legalities of copyright, you can read the article in its entirety.
When discussing copyright, “public domain” is often a topic of interest. It is because works in the public domain can be used, re-used or modified without it being copyright infringement. Just because it is in a domain in which the public can see it, like the Internet, does not mean the work is in public domain. Blogs, online newspapers, online magazines and other online news sources are not in the public domain. Only works in which the copyright has expired and not been renewed are in the public domain – anything created after January 1, 1978 has been copyrighted for the life of the author plus 70 years.
I hope these few tips have helped cleared up any confusion you may have, and, once again, if you want more in-depth information, feel free to read the whole article.