In Law and in Blogs, There are Facts and Ideas, and Then There are Creative Expressions

“A copyright is a form of protection in the U.S. Constitution and granted by law for original copyrightworks of authorship fixed in a tangible medium of expression.”

How does corporate blog writing relate? Every blog content writer faces originality challenges – on both sides of the copyright coin. 

“When you write a blog post, you instantly create a copyrighted work,” explains Michelle Fabio, Esq.

On the one hand, blog content writers can take comfort in the fact that according to the law, the moment a blog post is “created and fixed in a tangible form that is perceptible either directly or with the aid of a machine or a device”, their original work receives copyright protection.  That means that as a trainer providing business blogging assistance to help with corporate branding and corporate identity, I can assure business owners they do not need to register their blog or even attach a © sysmbol.

(The “small print” when it comes to the automatic copyrighting of corporate blogging for business, Fabio adds, is that, if you ever wanted to sue someone in federal court for copyright infringement, your work would first have had to be registered with the U.S. Copyright Office.)

In offering business blogging help, I’m more often emphasizing the other side of the copyright “coin”, the part of the business blog writing bargain you need to hold up as part of writing for business. Your corporate blog, remember, is part of your overall marketing strategy.  Simply put, your blog is part of your brand, and it needs to put your best “you” forward. In all my corporate blogging training, I stress ways to avoid any hint of plagiarism by attributing quotes to their authors and providing links back to your sources.  (Notice that, as a blog content writer, I’ve done that very thing twice in the first two paragraphs of this blog post!)

There are no official “laws” when it comes to providing the kind of fresh, relevant content that helps move your corporate blog higher in search rankings while continuing to engage readers’ interest. Looking back to copyright law, however, can be a big help.  That’s because ideas are not copyrightable.  As Michelle Fabio puts it “You are absolutely free to use someone else’s idea as a jumping-off point for your own expression.” Copyright doesn’t protect facts, either.

I guess that leaves lots of room for us bloggers to spread our corporate blogging wings!

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