Whether you are a devoted blogger or the king/queen of Facebook statuses, you more than likely share links to articles, pictures or videos within your daily content. When you’re posting info, are you familiar with your rights, or the rights of the creator from whom you are gathering content? In no way are we offering any legal advice – we just want to share how there are rules to sharing with your desired network!* Social media is a new medium, and with that comes ever evolving rules and guidelines. Here’s some info that you may find helpful!

Fair Use

“My posting was just fair use!” This statement may come to sound familiar over time. Fair use allows you to quote copyrighted material without asking permission or paying for it, but here’s the catch…since there are no hard rules for fair use, there are four factors that help determine if a use is likely to be…fair.

  1. The purpose and character of your use
  2. The nature of the copyrighted work
  3. The amount and substantiality of the portion taken, and
  4. The effect of the use upon the potential market.

For more information about social media and the idea of fair use, check out the Center for Social Media. This American University website offers excellent tips and educational tools that can help you understand the fair use ground rules for social media.

Give Credit

Posting someone else’s work is not free advertising for them, especially when no credit is provided. When you want to share links, photos or videos, make sure you give the owner the proper credit that s/he deserves. When in doubt about including someone else’s content in your blog, just ask the author or visit Creative Commons. This nonprofit organization can help you get permission from the copyright holder.

Not Receiving Credit?

If a website posts your article and has not provided a back link or even a mention of your name, what do you do?

  • Contact the site Webmaster and kindly explain that they are in breech of copyright and that you would appreciate that they remove the content immediately.
  • Can’t get in touch with the Webmaster? Contact the site’s host and explain your situation. Whois can help you search for a website’s domain registration.

The online world moves at mach speed and we’re all out here learning and navigating this new world together. Just remember, communication is key and when in doubt, ask questions! We hope that these tips and information are helpful to you. Any questions/comments/ concerns? Feel free to leave a reply below or reach out to us.

*Disclaimer: We are not lawyers. For legal advice, please reach out to an attorney. Some great attorneys (and Savor sisters) include: Jessica Eaves Mathews and Francine D. Ward.

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