On copyright, and dangerous blogging

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Roni Loren posted a blog about how she got sued for using a photo.

It’s a very good post and I highly recommend you go read it and then come back here to read the rest of this post. Seriously, because I’m basically just commenting on Roni’s post.

My first reaction to learning what happened to Roni was “Holy shit.” My second reaction was “I smell a scam;” that is, I’m sure the photo actually belonged to the dude who filed the takedown notice, but I’m also sure he wouldn’t have threatened to sue her if she weren’t a romance author. People seem to think romance authors have deep pockets. Hells, people seem to think authors of any genre have deep pockets; I don’t know where they get this info as it’s a blatant falsehood. “Become a writer! Share cat food with your cat!”

At any rate, it’s galvanizing me. I generally use Zemanta for my posts, but even that seems suspect. Over the next few weeks I’ll be going through all my old posts and making sure they are clear of photos that do not belong to me. I’ll also be working on curating my own collection of photos, and sharing them with other writers on Flickr in the WANA commons.

If you’re a blogger of any sort and you weren’t aware of how royally screwed you could be from not being ridiculously careful in making sure your photos are not copyrighted, now you know!

And knowing is half the battle!

The other half is taking down all those pictures before the copyright police find you and you get sued into the next millennium.

Or, you know, don’t. Live on the wild side. Life is short, am I right?

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