The Laws of Blogging: Copyright

The Laws of Blogging: Copyright

As with defamation, this is an equally enforceable law and can easily be infringed by those who don’t know any better. Unlike defamation, this is not about what you say or how you say it, it’s all about ownership. Using other people’s words, images and video clips without express permission by the owner can be an infringement of copyright.

The Facts

Copyright is legal right that protects the use of a person’s work once the idea has been physically expressed; in writing, images or otherwise.

The current copyright legislation in the UK is the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. You can find out more about copyright legislation by visiting the Intellectual Property Office.


Gossip blogger Perez Hilton was slapped with a $2.1m (£1.6m) claim in 2013 for copyright infringement after he used 14 photos taken by a New York Times photographer and tried to pass them off as his own.

Top Tips

  • Aim to produce original content
  • Source your images from reputable image galleries – be sure to check the licencing conditions. Wherever possible, aim for ‘royalty-free’ images*.
  • Always seek permission to quote or use material that is not your own
  • Apply a credit to content that is not your own (once permission has been granted)

*Ace Media’s product gallery provides registered bloggers access to thousands of royalty-free product and lifestyle images

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