Copyright and Fair Use

When writing a blog copyright is an issue. Also when writing a blog fair use is an element you'll need to consider. Learn about them here.

Using copyrighted material

The copyright symbolThe copyright symbol

As you learned earlier, you generally need to license copyrighted material in order to use it, which often costs money. The exception to this is a rule called Fair Use. Fair Use means you can use copyrighted material without a license only for certain purposes. These include:

For example, you can't just grab a copyrighted photo and use it on your blog because you think it's pretty. However, it probably would be considered Fair Use if you included that photo in a blog post that commented on and analyzed a photographer's work.

Guidelines for Fair Use

Misusing copyrighted material

Keep in mind that even if you post content in good faith, the copyright holder may not agree that it's Fair Use. If someone requests that you remove their work from your blog, you should do so immediately. Otherwise, you can suffer serious consequences:

Licensing copyrighted content

If you want to use copyrighted content in a way that doesn't fall under Fair Use, you'll have to license it in order to get permission to post it. If you're interested in purchasing the rights to use images, video, and other media on your blog, you may want to visit a few of the following Stock Photo sites:

Sharing copyrighted videos

Video-sharing sites like YouTube and Vimeo offer the option to post videos to your blog by embedding them. When you embed a video, it automatically creates a link back to the place where it was originally posted. Because the original creator or poster is automatically credited, you don't have to worry about going through any extra steps to give credit.

Be aware that many videos on these sites—particularly videos of TV shows and movies—are in violation of copyright law and may be removed from YouTube at any time. If a video you've embedded is removed from YouTube, it will also be removed from your blog. You should never embed a video that you know is breaking copyright laws.

An embedded video from YouTubeAn embedded video from YouTube