Law and Ethics for Bloggers

Shai’s posted a series of posts over at on Law and Ethics for Bloggers that cover some worthwhile topics for bloggers to explore on topics like copyright, creative commons licenses and blog etiquette.

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn. runs on the Genesis Framework

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  1. Jason says:

    Good little batch of articles. I read a couple of them…

    Do you know if there’s a serious issue over bloggers using random pictures from websites? Of course, I’m not going to use a picture that says, “Copyright 2006” under it, but I’m not sure about some sites.

    …There’s actually a great resource for free stock photos that I found the other day, stock.xchng. I replied about it on the list of tools, so you can add it if you want. …Boy, that was a real f***ing gem.



  2. Jason says:

    Sorry that’s

  3. Andy Merrett says:

    I’m afraid I turn around as soon as I see anything at the domain – this is just a set of links to other websites – I can get a search engine to do that, and faster. Where’s the commentary, the “here’s a link to xyz that says this, however site abc says this, I think fgh” ? I really don’t like link-only pages – anyone can do that and supposedly earn Google AdSense dollars from it.

  4. A.B. Dada says:

    I think bloggers are crazy to adopt old laws and restrictions on the new mediasphere. I’m an anti-copyright advocate (I’ve been creating content, writing books and funding musicians for over 15 years) and I believe the new generation of media grows regardless of copyright.

    To me, copyright is a monopoly creation, and it doesn’t do anything for you or me, or even big publishers such as Darren. Let’s say someone “steals” something you put out there freely, what do you do? Hire a lawyer? Get real.

    I openly tell others to take my writings and creations and copy them. Put their own name on them if they like, don’t even mention me. Why? Because it creates a bigger market for my ideas, even if I am not referred. I have had many of my works “stolen” but in the long run it only builds my credibility when I create new content and the people who took my work as theirs can’t.

    Do I steal from others? No chance. But I also know that copyright laws were written not to protect the little guy or the medium-sized guy but those who distribute the media for us. It protects the wrong people, and the system doesn’t need the law to protect authors — it needs authors who continuously make themselves worth more to their readers because they can create.

  5. dave says:

    what a load of B.S 90% of bloggers copy from each that whole copyright thing is crap

  6. Sergio says:

    Of course most of the info that is published on the blogs is from another sites. But that doesn’t mean you’re copying it.
    On this worldwide information world it’s really difficult to put something new on your blog. Even your review on an issue is based on the info you’ve collected previously.

  7. HalloMarkus says:

    I quite like extreme views like the one of A.B. Dada. I missed the other side of the copy right law in the link, the freedom of speach and right of citation rules, but most people will do better with sticking to the 13 of the 14 rules here:

    Rule 14 is incredibly problematic! Who is “Most people”? What do you do when it is YOU? Got a layer for your defense ready? How much time is left to reply, just 24h? Some companies just don`t hesitate and also send their lawyer`s bill. They don`t talk, they don`t warn, they just hit.

    An interesting podcast on podcast related law in German:

    eBay also got podcasts on dealing at ebay and law online.

  8. Donald Trump says:

    Grat site…interesting commentary. Perhaps I should think of diversifying my income stream as real estate prices seem to be softening and it might be a chance to rebalance my portfolio.

  9. Paul says:

    I think it is essential that bloggers know what is permissable and what isn’t. The regulatory environment is becoming more and more restrictive in the USA and this is relevant to many bloggers who either host their sites in the USA or use American blogging services (like TypePad, and Blogger) and are therefore subject to American law.

    All the idealism aside, you will still be faced with what is legal and what is not if and until the laws are changed. Besides which, I think there is an argument that we should respect how the author of a work wants that work to be treated. If an artist doesn’t want her music copied willy nilly then we shouldn’t copy it. At the same time there are people who publish their stuff under Creative Commons licences and who are happy to have their stuff distributed. It just creates a market for content that is more flexibly used.

  10. Shai Coggins says:

    Darren: Thanks for sharing this with your readers.

    Andy: I’m not quite sure if you’ve really visited recently based on the comment you just posted. As an About Guide, I’m very proud of what I do there – and I do believe that many of my fellow Guides are too. We don’t just link to articles and websites elsewhere. We create a lot of *original* content – if not our own, we have them via guest authors and/or interviews. Sure, we still link occasionally. But, I can assure you that part of our role as Guides is to create useful content to readers.


  1. LexBlog Blog says:

    Law and ethics for bloggers : List of resources

    Sheila Ann Coggins, your guide on blogs at, has posted a nice list of resources on the law and ethics for bloggers. Many of the resources were put together by Coggins or from contributing authors for the blog section…

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