With the explosion of social media and internet usage in recent decades, many corporations throughout California have added blogs to their webpages. Not only do these blogs easily link to social media platforms, but they also help companies achieve search engine optimization. This perk of blogging makes finding and retaining customers simpler than ever.
Many corporations have strict requirements each blog post must meet, while others are either lax with posts or outsource blogging to a content firm. Regardless, if a corporate blogger infringes on someone’s copyright, the company’s deep pockets may make it vulnerable to potentially costly litigation.
Fair use versus owner rights
The individual who creates content generally has the right to its full benefit, including its distribution, reproduction and display. Using another person’s or entity’s copyrighted material may step on this right. This may be true even if the material’s owner has not secured official copyright protection.
Corporate bloggers may take advantage of the fair use exception. Under this exception, a blogger may use protected content for education, commentary or a few other purposes. It is important to note, though, fair use is a defense to copyright litigation. Accordingly, the copyright owner may sue and force a corporate blogger to defend use of the material in court.
Attribution and licensing
Corporate bloggers may believe attribution absolves them of liability for copyright infringement. Generally, this is not the case. If the author of a blog post does not secure a license to use material, the copyright owner may have a valid infringement claim.
Clearly, the intersection of copyright law and corporate blogging is replete with potential pitfalls. To avoid litigation, it is wise for bloggers to stick to unique material or obtain a license.