Better Blogging / Blogging Tips / Copyright / Intellectual property

Attribution is not Permission

Bloggers are expected to be able to sort facts from fiction, so if you are a newcomer to blogging becoming familiar with copyright law  is part of the territory. Copyright, Limitations of Fair Use and Plagiarism, Attribution, Citation, Quotation are critically important matters for new bloggers to comprehend so put that education the top of your to do list.

Copyright Myths abound including these:

  • If there is no visible copyright symbol or copyright notice the material is free to use.
  • Permission isn’t required, republish with or without attribution.
  • Google is a great place to get free images for your site.

Copyrightable works include but are not limited to literary works such as articles, blog posts,  stories, journals, or computer programs, pictures and graphics, as well as audio and video recordings. Note that recipes are not included.

5 Types of Infringement Made Commonplace by the Web – Clearly, the Internet has drastically changed the types of infringement that we see. Technology changes everything, including copyright, and it’s continuing to do so.

The same rules that apply to the world of print also apply in cyberspace. Whether or not the creator of any original digital work has posted a copyright notice on their site or the work itself is irrelevant. They hold the copyright to their works and it cannot be re-published unless or until their permission has been given. The only time a complete post can be legally re-published is when prior written permission has been received.

Attribution is not permission. Merely giving attribution does not mean you may proceed without possible copyright infringement liability. If you cannot obtain permission and cannot definitively conclude your use is a fair use, I recommend that you do not use the third-party content.

via Is It Fair Use? 7 Questions to Ask Before Using Copyrighted Material.

The related posts listed below address:

  • How to add a copyright notice to your blog;
  • How to prevent prevent content theft
  • How to detect duplicate content;
  • What to do about copyright infringement.

Related posts:
Copyright and Public Domain
Copyright basics for bloggers
How to copyright your digital works
Content theft: The come and get it solution
Splog Off! Dealing with content theft
SplogSpot: Dealing with content thieves
Copyright: Fair Use Limitations
What is copyright?

33 thoughts on “Attribution is not Permission

  1. First off, thanks for helping me with my issue of wordpress settings. Secondly this is such a great blog. There is a lot of confusion. My question is about You tube. There are a lot of video on You tube that I am sure the poster has not received permission to post.

    • The person who uploads the videos to youtube is the person who is responsible for respecting copyright. If you believe that is not happening and they are violating copyright re: some videos there then don’t embed them.

  2. I am so thankful that you have posted such useful information about copyright. “Attribution is not permission’ literally hit me since I thought attribution was enough. I will be careful in future, and would like to know more by following the useful links you have provided. You are valuable, what would I do without all these helps that you provide with your posts. A million thanks my friend.

    • Hello there,
      Thank you for your thanks. :)

      Many think they can help themselves to the creations of others and provide an attribution and that’s that. Well, that’s not what the law states and ignorance of the law is is no excuse. Attribution is evidence that something was created by another. Simple logic dictates if you don’t have permission for the use of another’s intellectual property then any use and any attribution made comprise evidence of theft.

      • Thank you so much for the reply and thank God I have been careful but I did learn a lot from your article about areas that I was not sure of. Now I understand. Thanks to you. I mostly use pictures from google and Wikipedia and from the newspapers, these are used for non commercial purposes for my posts and I attribute them where they are taken from. Take care and have a lovely weekend.

        • Hello there,
          It’s so easy to be misinformed about copyright unless we remember that what applies to the print world also applies in cyberspace. The bottom line is to be sure what you use if offered for use and be sure to meet the terms for use. When in doubt be sure to stick to what I published in that many police forces do provide promotional images that can be used.

          Thanks so much for wishing me a good weekend. I’m hoping my followers will forgive my absence when it comes to reading their blogs this past week. I had a second week full of dental and medical appointments and I’m exhausted. I intend to allow myself to relax and enjoy this weeked.

          I hope you have a lovely weekend too.

  3. I hope you don’t mind me asking about youtube music videos. The official ones. Is it okay to put some of them up on blogs? I would leave a link but each time I try the video is embedded. Thanks in advance.

  4. For images, I wonder what your take is on referencing an image by using the original URL, rather than downloading the image and using it?

    Do you think that referencing an image is a kind of ‘attribution but not permission’ method?

    • When image use is allowed I don’t think most people using an image are going to be happy with just posting a URL and no image at all. If and where the terms of use require a backlink to the original image file wherever it is situate then the backlink is the means of attribution. However, in a perfect world one would include the photographer’s name and the image title in the image caption as well as backlinking the image to the source.

  5. At this moment I do not have a copyright on my work – i do see quite a few people who do – i have been toying with the idea for awhile and I would like to pursue it. Where does one go? I tried a link from one of your related posts – it does not work. Any recommendations? Thanks:)

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