LicenseFriendly & Fair Use / Fair Dealing

Posted on May 14, 2013
By Dan Sauerhaft

Adjective. li·cense·friend·ly. Describes a website that simultaneously makes it (i) easy for users to license content and (ii) difficult for users to steal content. For example:

“The Daily Planet sure is licensefriendly! I licensed an article for republication on my blog today with a single click and for only $5. That was a no-brainer – especially since I know they monitor the internet for unauthorized reuses and go after pirates aggressively.”

As publishers try to solidify their online business models, they aim to distribute and republish content widely while monetizing it wherever it travels. This can conflict with fair use (U.S.) and fair dealing (Canada) which gives readers legal rights to reuse limited amounts of content in certain circumstances without compensation.

What publishers often don’t realize is that the best way to resolve this conflict is to make your website licensefriendly. Make it easy for folks to license your content easily, instantly, and at a reasonable price. At the same time, take steps to prevent piracy.

How To Monetize Your Blog (Part 1)

Posted on May 12, 2013
By Rhonda Hurwitz

Blogging takes incredible discipline and hard work.

Leading blogger Chris Brogan (@chrisbrogan on twitter) famously wrote that it took him eight years to get his first 100 subscribers!

Learning how to connect with readers, and attract a following may be the hardest part. But sooner or later, if you stick with it, you’ll find where your voice and audience intersect.

Once you do, another challenge appears on the blogging horizon:

... creating a profitable online business model for your blog.

Fighting Online Content Theft: Peer Pressure Can Work!

Posted on May 05, 2013
By Rhonda Hurwitz

It seems that almost every day we learn of some new instance of online content theft.

Some of it is unintentional – because people just don’t understand what content is OK to re-use and when. Sometimes it’s blatant thievery – people taking content that they haven’t created for their own purposes. So when it comes to fighting content theft, there’s a pretty wide range of battle tactics.

At one end of the scale is peer pressure. This approach is based on the idea that most people want to do the right thing and will do it if they understand what it is. Probably the biggest issue in content theft today is that people don’t think they’re stealing. There’s a sense that if it’s online, it’s free. Even those who know better but take content anyway, can hide behind the “I didn’t know” excuse.

One popular blogger who we follow, social media pro Neal Schaffer, has had several run-ins with blog scrapers recently. While it wasn't unusual for us to notice his tweets about copyright infringement, his response is pretty unique, and we want to share it with you.

Canadian Copyright Law: Fair Dealing

Posted on Apr 29, 2013
By Dan Sauerhaft

We've written previously in this blog about the concept of fair use under U.S. copyright law, and its impact on publishers and folks reusing their content. In addition, our licensing service helps publishers provide tips to readers for evaluating when permission should be obtained to reuse content.

While copyright law in the United States has fair use exceptions to the prohibition against copying a work without permission of the owner, the analogous concept in Canada is called fair dealing. The concepts are not identical, and since iCopyright has an increasing number of Canadian publishers using its services we’ve decided to create Canada-specific language that Canadian publishers can display when their readers seek guidance on when a license is required.

The Most Common Form of Copyright Infringement, and How to Avoid It

Posted on Apr 24, 2013
By Rhonda Hurwitz

Sometimes, conversations about copyright veer into the realm of ethics and lawfulness, but today we'd like to have a more pragmatic conversation.

If you publish online, you want people to spread your content.

It’s also likely that being known as the source of what you write has a direct impact on your income.

The messy truth is that the most common form of online sharing -- copy and paste -- actually stands in between you and these important online goals.

When readers are inspired to reuse your content, many just don’t realize that they shouldn't copy and paste at will. Yet, out of habit, that’s exactly what most people do!

Copyright and Fair Use: Keep Your Blog from Crossing The Line

Posted on Apr 18, 2013
By Rhonda Hurwitz

Bloggers have an innate desire to share, exchange, and discuss ideas.

The free exchange of ideas makes the blogosphere a uniquely engaging and inspiring place. One minute you’re reading a blog post that engages you, and before you know it, you are inspired to write your next post!

What then informs our ability to share and reuse each others’ content to research, write, and report through our own blogs?

The answer is that we are both protected and enabled by copyright law.

Embedded in U.S. copyright law are certain exceptions to copyright enforcement, known as fair use -- a legal defense for using another’s content without permission.

Blog Copyright: 8 Do’s and Don’ts to Protect Your Content

Posted on Apr 10, 2013
By Rhonda Hurwitz

Have you worked hard to create original content on a website or blog, only to have someone “borrow” it?

That’s not right!

Take time to review your blog: copyright is automatic, but it's up to you to make sure that the right measures are in place to make compliance seamless.

Here are 8 Do’s and Don’ts, to help secure your blog’s content:

What is Online Content Worth?

Posted on Apr 08, 2013
By Ellie Becker

What is online content worth?

This is one of the most complex issues of our day. Everyone -- from traditional newspaper, periodical, and book publishers to blogger moms -- is trying to figure it out. So, too, is every individual consumer of digital content.

There are those who argue that if it's online, it should be free. But why should it?

Is professional news gathering and analysis of less value because it's shed its paper container? Certainly from a cost perspective online content may be produced for less. But is it rational to assert that it no longer has intrinsic value? That somehow the reader is entitled to it?

5 Critical Copyright Guidelines for Bloggers

Posted on Apr 03, 2013
By Rhonda Hurwitz

What are the basic rules of copyright protection for bloggers?

First and foremost: When it comes to writing, sharing, and republishing other people’s content, the golden rule applies:

Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you.

Always obtain permission before posting another person’s copyrighted work on your blog or website!

This is true for all kinds of content, including graphics, text, audio, and video.

Here are 5 more copyright guidelines to remember as you seek to protect your own content.

How Writers, Freelancers, and Publishers Can Profit From the Meltwater Decision

Posted on Apr 01, 2013
By Dan Sauerhaft

If you follow copyright matters, you know that Meltwater was recently handed a legal blow.

In Part 1 of this series we summarized why the court ruled that Meltwater's online republication of excerpts is copyright infringement, and not fair use.

Meltwater was systematically republishing excerpts of another writer’s original expression, without getting permission or paying compensation.

We’d like to propose how writers can profit from this decision.