Legal Issues of Blogging (Part 1, WordCamp/PodCamp)

Posted by Faye on July 5, 2010 in Marketing & Social Media |

Speakers: Alex Brown, Vlad Belo, of Bricker & Eckler, Attorneys at Law

Great session on liabilities and legalities of posting content on the Internet.

Biggest takeaways:

  • If you say something factual, you need to provide evidence to back it up.
  • Must differentiate between fact and opinion.
  • If you publish someone else’s stuff or provide the forum – you are a publisher.
  • If you publish someone else’s stuff and change it – you are an author.

Trademarks, copyrights

  • When you write a blog, you instantly own the copyright; registering it just gives you further protection.
  • For protected property you need written permission from the owner.
  • You can refer to a trademark for ID purposes only.


  • If you post something on someone else’s blog, you own the content.
  • For images that say “free,” that only means free to look. Check the fine print.

Don’t rip off other people’s stuff (should be common sense)

Company liabilities

  • Employers may be liable for their employees’ actions, even if they don’t know what their employees are doing. Have a social media policy in place.
  • You can be fired or disciplined for something you post on your blog.
  • Don’t blog about your employer.
  • That thing called Freedom of Speech only protects you against government action. It does NOT protect you from actions of private companies.

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