I get a lot of questions about trademarks and, based on the type and quantity of questions I get, I suspect there is a need to clear up some basic issues that are common to trademarks in general. While this post is a bit longer and more detailed than some or my other posts, I hope you find it useful as you contemplate what a trademark might mean for you and your social media presence. Enjoy.
So, what exactly does eating at Chipotle have to do with taking pictures you ask? Good question. Here’s the answer. Last year I published a short post about using photographs in your social media. Sadly, at least for one photographer, the information in my blog post was not available for review when he made a serious mistake.
In the past, I’ve provided some examples of what not to do in the world of copyright and exposed some common copyright myths. In this post, I’ll present a more proactive view of copyright law and help you understand a few of the basics so that you can better appreciate this important area of the law for the blogging community.
Here are some rules to live by.
Photos are an important part of the social media experience. Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, and other social media sites are largely built on sharing photos with other members.
This past week I got a question from a blogger that I was introduced to. She wanted to know if there were any rules on posting pictures to her social media accounts. These were pictures that she had taken personally so this was not a case of trying to use photos that belong to someone else (that’s a post for another day).
Copyright Myths That Refuse to Die.
I’ve been attending the Snap! conference this week and it looks like a bunch of scary copyright myths are walking among us. These copyright myths are like zombies that refuse to die. While they may not eat your brains, they can certainly muddle your thinking and expose you to some serious danger. Personally, I believe all zombies deserve to die so here’s my attempt to put them in the grave, once and for all.
Help! Someone Stole my Pictures/Video/Blog Post/Logo!
Lately I’ve noticed a bunch of bloggers on Instagram and Facebook talking about the growing plague of competitors and other people taking blog posts, pictures, logos, etc. and re-posting them. This is usually done without permission and without linking back to the original blogger’s post or providing any credit to the original blogger. Infuriating? Absolutely. Unethical? Certainly. Illegal? Possibly. It’s important to note that your material is protected by copyright law even if you’ve not registered it. In other words, the DMCA can be a great tool, if you know how to use it.
FTC Rules and Affiliate/Sponsored Posts – Here’s what you need to know.
A bunch of bloggers that I met at SnapConf last week were very concerned about affiliate marketing and FTC compliance. It was obvious to me that there’s a ton of angst and confusion out there in the blogosphere. I hope this post will help you out.
What the Heck is Facebook Graph API v2.1?
On August 7, 2014, Facebook updated some tools for developers to use when accessing certain features of Facebook. In addition, Facebook updated some policies that relate to how you use Facebook to build your audience and attract “likes” and followers. Although the announcement and the updates are pretty important for app developers who use Facebook, bloggers and other Facebook users who use Facebook login and other functions should pay attention to these changes as well.