Daily Archives: September 28, 2012

You and the Law – Protecting Your Words and Ideas

Disclaimer: I do not have a law degree; I am not an expert in anything. I’m just trying not to step in it as I go.

If you weren’t scared already, this ought to do it. Having said that, grab that fear by the balls and have at ‘er. But remember, ignorance is never an excuse and could possibly get you booted out of blog land forever.

One of Girlie’s bestest proliferated clichés, “everything in moderation, including moderation.” (Oscar Wilde was the bomb. If you haven’t read him, please do! The Importance of Being Earnest is hilarious.)

And then I wrote, don’t veer too much from your original path (I kill myself – anyway) – or you will definitely lose your way. A blog just full of other people’s links and words ain’t gonna be much of a blog either …


So great, I’ve started this amazing blog, I’m on fire, I’m awesome! So can just anybody yoink my words willy-nilly and use them? What’s the deal? Do I have any rights?

There’s a ton of stuff concerning copywriting, e-book writers, etc. (When I get that wicked book contract or screenplay deal I will totally look into this but for now we want to concentrate on the blog aspect. Okay focus!)

(Slightly off-topic but noteworthy (well that focussing thing really worked out well for me) … self-plagiarism who knew?)

Okay, I’m back – aha! What this guy said! (Claps hands, I just love adding links and apparently that’s key in this battle 🙂 *Curtseys to blogbloke*.)

“It’s the “idea” or “concept” that matters, not just the words. That’s why they call it “intellectual property”.”

(I will write in-depth on intellectual property later, she’s a hairy-backed beast with many teeth and hidden claws I tell ya.) Passing-off is a huge issue in IP (Intellectual Property) arena and makes a lot of lawyers where I work a lot of money arguing the finer points of this aspect of IP.

Quite simply, we all know that knock-offs are illegal. If I buy a pair of knock-off Nike’s I’m aware I’m doing something illegal. Well it’s the same kind of thing with your writing. If you are not sitting at the keyboard tapping away but cutting and pasting from other people’s writing without giving them credit, you’re plagiarizing. Same deal as when you were in school, if you didn’t cite your work properly you failed. In college and university you can get booted on the spot for this type of activity. Just because you’re sitting at a keyboard feeling anonymous makes it no less heinous and don’t think for a second that the long arm of the law isn’t far-reaching when it comes to this type of thing. Don’t forget, you buy those shoes, you don’t get caught, you’re good. You write something, it’s on your blog; presumably you’re trying to attract an audience so it’s for all to see. So are you writing in good conscience? If an IP lawyer skimmed through your blog would there be any red flags?

Not everyone can blog, if you’re having a hard time coming up with an original idea, perhaps it’s time to consider another aspect of the world-wide web for your endeavours but don’t break the law and knowingly plagiarise, it’ll just come back and bite you in the ass I can assure you.

And hey, don’t forget, it’s the “world-wide” web. Don’t think because you’re sitting at your computer in Bulgaria it’s different there … (a topic to expound upon another time).

Want more information, I found plagiarism today awesome and very informative.

Please note, this site is also NOT written by a lawyer (obviously, I did not fall off my chair from boredom while reading through it).

And as to the “there is no such thing as an original idea” adage, yeah you people keep thinking that and I’ll keep writing!

It’s Blog, It’s Blog – Part 4 (Does This Title Work?)

A lot of advice states, don’t get bogged down with too much information but did you know for instance that your post titles could be excluding you from searches in google and other search engines? Me neither.

When I first set out to research blogs all my queues from these fabulous gentlemen and their site.

How To Really Make $5,000 Per Month Online

Copyright ©2012 The Keyword Academy

Court Tuttle and Mark Butler

As well as providing this 80 page synopsis of how to create a successful blog (which I have yet to delve into in detail), you can subscribe to their emails which is how I came across this link. (Don’t worry it’ll only take you two minutes to read.)

Pretty fascinating huh? It also makes me wonder if you get censored because of the nature of your blog, i.e. if it is of a controversial nature or has certain key phrases in do they get by search engines? We should probably be wary of what we say. It’s all well and good to wax poetic and spout opinions off the cuff but remember, nothing is lost in cyberspace and yes, they can hold it against you should the need arise. I also have to wonder where that leaves me in the swearing department, I love a good tirade and it loses something without a few expletives.

Going one step further, be wary of any content that goes over the net, personal emails, comments on social networks (or messages), any sites you write on in any capacity. If you want privacy, write a letter or meet in person. Hey, there’s a novel idea, have a real conversation with someone! For instance, look what happened to that poor RCMP officer in British Columbia just because they found he had a profile on fetlife.com, a site particularly for the BDSM and fetish community. Hello! Private life, i.e. what he did on his own time. I believe it in no way affected his job (may have even improved it – again a point for another time) but the RCMP summarily dismissed him because his association with this site allegedly tarnished the RCMP’s reputation – really?!

The crux of the article and its slant on what they describe as “abnormal” behaviour is another matter entirely, I will not address that here except to say I whole-heartedly disagree.

The point is, you have to consider your day-to-day life, your job, your kids, spouse, relatives how it would reflect on you if what you write or look at came to light, could it be detrimental? (As an addendum regarding porn – for the love of Joe, rent porn! The amount of spam and trojans and hidden crap that comes along with it is not worth the agro.) Not to mention, remember what I said above – forever! You might be 17 and carefree now but what about in 40 years when you’re trying to get on the bench as a federal judge and the opposition roots around and finds those little gems?

 You may think you’ve deleted things but the fact of the matter is, you can’t take things back on the internet/world-wide web. If someone wants to find it, they will. Tread lightly and write a good title.