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Blogs and copyright

I am after some information. Can you help me?

I am wondering about copyright for blog material. Let me give you a little background.

I keep the blog and website for the Beckler’s Botanical Bounty Project. I am administrator and almost sole contributor, but I do it on behalf of the group. We are now wondering who has copyright to this material. Do you think it is me? The Group?

My very shaky, layperson’s concept of copyright for this blog is that I hold it, and that material from here can’t be reproduced without my permission or, such as with reblogging, linked back to this site. That’s because I own the intellectual property. Do you think it is the same if I put it together on behalf of others?

Have you investigated copyright issues? I’d be grateful for some advice, or links if they come easily to hand.

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By anne54

Botanic artist

11 replies on “Blogs and copyright”

copyright since the Net has grown to be a minefield. I wrote a kind of prose for my Honours about some of it, mostly to do with my own art-field, which is collage and photography…I can email it to you if you like. But it’s not for publication as I’ve copyright-ed it 🙂

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This is an unexpert answer, but the first question to ask is whether you’ve put a copyright claim on the blog, and in whose name? Yours? The group’s? I do know that co-authors can claim a joint copyright. I’d assume a group can, but does that make sense if you’re the sole contributor?

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Thanks Ellen, they are good questions to get answers to. More discussions with the group!. I think we have already assumed copyright but assuming may not be the same thing as actual.

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Firstly, I’m not a lawyer and the points set out below are obviously not legal advice, merely a summary of my own understanding of the situation:
If you create original content and publish it on your blog, you own the copyright. If others create the content and you publish it at their request or with their consent, they own the copyright. You need to specifically state who owns the copyright on what content in order to protect it. You can legally register it for greater leverage if your copyright is violated, but as WP date-stamp all content, it should be possible to show who first published it in the event there is a dispute. It’s also problematical if the content is not complete, as you’d need to keep updating the registration. If the members of the project have joint status, ie, they are a club, affiliation, professional association, etc, I would think it should be possible for that association to own the copyright, as it is a legal entity.
The blog whose content you intend to protect should probably state “Content © Beckler’s Botanical Bounty Project” or whatever, and state that infringements of the copyright will be pursued both through WordPress and by legal means.
Once again, this is purely opinion, based on my reading and my understanding of the issues as they have been extensively discussed online.

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Not sure why this has become an issue for you, but perhaps you could finish each article you contribute to the society blog with ‘Copyright Ann Lawson etc etc’. That way if someone else comes along and writes an article, you can distinguish between individual contributers and their rights. Not sure about claiming copyright over the whole society’s content though as I imagine the information? could have been gathered as a joint effort or something?
Hope it works out for you.

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