… I’ve been posting some of the things I’ve written through the years in my personal journal. If I feel creative I’ll make a meme and share the thoughts in that manner. Other times I’ve just been typing out the words. When it’s just the words, I’ve begun to add a copyright symbol “©” to those posts because Yes, they are my words and I’m serious about protecting them in any manner I can.
You see, up until 1989, copyrighted works were required to have either a copyright symbol or a textual declaration of an existing copyright. However, the law has evolved. Now, something is considered copyrighted as soon as it is created — or in other words, when you write a blog post. Or when you write your thoughts in a personal journal or even on a scrap of paper. Although that may seem comforting, it’s still in your best interests to go through the process of making sure your content has visual copyright indicators, just in case you ever get involved in a lawsuit. Yes, I DO own the right to add the copyright symbol on the things I write, I have applied for and been granted the copyright for the things I write under the name The Feisty Witch, The Feisty FaerieWitch AND Vickie Lesperance. I have been working with an attorney (Jackie is her name) and she has helped me bring this blog into the legal world that is so necessary.
“Copyrights are the legal system that protects creative works. Copyrights give the creators of the work control over the copying, reuse, selling, etc. of their original work product. Your blog content and any original work, such as your photos or graphics are automatically copyright protected in the US, even without you formally filing anything for that protection. Even though you have that automatic protection, it’s still a good idea to remind others of your copyright rights over your work product. You should do this by including a short general copyright notice on every page of your blog, with your name/your business name, the copyright symbol and years of publication. You should also include a longer copyright statement somewhere on your blog, indicating that you aren’t (or are) okay with others taking and using your work without your permission.”
Since I blog as a hobby and for my mental health, meaning I make no money off the things I write, I’m covered by a simple copyright notice posted on the pages of the blog.
Along with the copyright notice, I’ll be posting a disclaimer which includes a limitation of liability and is basically a way of saying that the content of the blog should be taken “as is,” I’m not providing professional advice and I won’t be liable or responsible if someone takes the blog content as advice and then has a problem. This might seem like common sense but it’s important to put this information out there. There are some folks who read something on the internet, take it as gospel and then have problems.
Once I get the disclaimer figured out, I’m also going to be posting a set of Terms and Conditions. This is the boring language that’s on some hidden page of a blog that no one looks at. However, in this day and age, it is VERY important to let people know what they can expect from you as the blogger and also what you expect from them as a reader. Yes, I’m falling into legalese, I want to keep my blog and don’t want anything to jeopardize my ability to write when I want, how I want and post the content that I want.
Yes, I’m redoing some things and making some changes. I know there are a few people out there who have been self-appointed as the copyright/plagiarism police and I’m gonna make sure they can’t do any harm, no matter how hard they may try. Next up is the Trademark … I love my attorney.