Legally Blogging: Keep Your Blog From Being Sued by Lizelle Brandt [LIVEBLOG]

The 5 most common mistakes made by bloggers which can lead to lawsuits, and how to avoid them. Topics covered are legal pitfalls in: Written Content, Images, Video, Product Reviews, Product Sales.

We’ll be getting started around 9:50am PST.

DISCLAIMER: The following is not and should not be considered, legal advice of any kind. If you require legal advice, you should advise a lawyer.

Jonathan Dingman June 1, 201310:31 am

that’s a wrap!

Jonathan Dingman June 1, 201310:22 am

Lizelle asks “who might want to sue from this video?”

Everyone: using their likeness, the directors (the people who created it), the music creators, and plenty more.

Jonathan Dingman June 1, 201310:21 am

[Lizelle showing a video]

Jonathan Dingman June 1, 201310:19 am

Copying content is still copyright infringement.

Excerpts can be more acceptable.

Jonathan Dingman June 1, 201310:17 am

Just because something comes from a trusted third-party like CNN, does that make you any less liable? No way, you’re still liable for the accuracy of the statement.

Jonathan Dingman June 1, 201310:15 am

If you’re posting a statement, you must make sure it’s true. If it’s not, it is called defamation.

[A good example of this is TechCrunch’s Mike Arrington.]

Jonathan Dingman June 1, 201310:14 am

Lizelle talking about “breaking news” and the legal aspect.

Jonathan Dingman June 1, 201310:12 am

Audience: “is it a good idea to get permission to use a photo, even if your’e not using it in a commercial setting?”

Lizelle: Yes, it’s always a good idea, in any circumstance.

Jonathan Dingman June 1, 201310:07 am

Commercial Appropriation and Use of Name or Likeness.

If your face or likeness is being used in a photo/image, you may be entitled to royalties for using your likeness.

Jonathan Dingman June 1, 201310:05 am

Audience: “If I want to review a hotel and I want to use their image, do I need to contact the hotel or the photographer?”

Lizelle: Good question, likely you need to contact the hotel, but it really depends on the copyright owner of the photo/image, generally they would do something photography for hire and the hotel would retain the rights to the photos.

Jonathan Dingman June 1, 201310:03 am

Interesting audience question about iframe usage and when a third-party is infringing, does that mean I’m infringing?

Yes, you’re still liable.

Jonathan Dingman June 1, 201310:01 am

Audience: “does taking images from Google Images help protect you at all”

Lizelle: No way, always get permission.

Jonathan Dingman June 1, 20139:59 am

it’s up to the owner, make a big deal or not, out of something.

Be careful, for that one person that wants to get paid for copyright usage.

Jonathan Dingman June 1, 20139:59 am

“fair use” is still limited, and can only use bare minimum for what is necessary

Jonathan Dingman June 1, 20139:58 am

Comment infringement, use without permission…one way to kind of getting out of it, is “fair use exception” .. in regards to a “commentary”

News report, educational use of it

Jonathan Dingman June 1, 20139:57 am

2 things you always want to ask yourself.

Who created it?

Who or what is in it?

Jonathan Dingman June 1, 20139:55 am

What about Pinterest? Photos being posted, is it less legal?

Jonathan Dingman June 1, 20139:54 am

Attribute. Who created it?

How is the average viewing supposed to know who took the photo?

Jonathan Dingman June 1, 20139:53 am

Talking about taking a photo, using a photo from someone else…”copyright infringement” is very broad.

Jonathan Dingman June 1, 20139:52 am

Raise of hands of people that have websites?
How about that posts photos?
Photos you don’t own?

[hands go up]


  1. By Kay on

    Hey Jonathan! I really love this topic, but I’m very confused by all the different responses. I just started my first blog ever and I have no idea about the legality of this stuff. I understand you can’t just take photos and post them without permission, but when it comes to youtube videos you should be able to repost those, right?

    When it comes to re posting, how responsible are you for what’s being said if you credit the source?

    What is more protective, free speech or freedom of press?

    Should you just begin every single sentence with “In my opinion”? What about a disclosure saying the information is for entertainment only and should not be viewed by anyone, at any time, ever? (like in south park)

    Please help! I am terribly lost in all this!