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Keeping It Legal - The Inside Scoop on Plagiarism and Blogging

A few weeks ago I started a discussion on the recent Associated Press policies for bloggers. Some of the comments on that post led me to realize that there is an interest in copyright law among the business blogging community.

While I’m not a lawyer or an expert on this topic, I can at least point you to some good resources on the subject.

Here’s my list of excellent copyright resources that every business blogger should refer to for copyright information:

  • U.S. Copyright Office - Great Library of Congress site for United States citizens. You can find the answers to many copyright questions right here.
  • Plagiarism Today - A great site from Jonathon Bailey that specifically focuses on copyright issues that Internet users and bloggers might face.
  • A four-part series on copyright from Lillie Ammann of A Writer’s Words an Editor’s Eye. Her series starts with the post Copyright: Part 1 - Just Because It’s Online Doesn’t Mean It’s in the Public Domain. Be sure to read all four parts!
  • b5media’s own Darren Rowse has dealt with the issue of plagiarism in this classic ProBlogger post titled What to do When Someone Steals Your Blog’s Content - Blog Plagiarism.
  • Lorelle VanPossen has a similarly titled post, What Do You Do When Someone Steals Your Content, over at Lorelle on Wordpress.
  • Over at DailyBlogTips Daniel Scocco offers a helpful post for bloggers called Copyright Law: 12 Dos and Don’ts.
  • Another great (but long) guidelines post concerning copyright comes from Smashing Magazine. Titled Copyright Explained: I May Copy It, Right?, the post answers many common questions about copyright that bloggers have.

If you’re a regular Business and Blogging reader, then you know that Liz and I have experienced firsthand the results of plagiarism as a “scraper” spam blog stole nearly every word that we posted here.

From that experience, I can tell you that having your work stolen is no fun. If you aren’t sure whether posting something is legal, make the effort to find out

Read about blogging for patriots.