Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Copyright Infringement

One thing no one wants is a lawsuit. Another thing that no one wants is to sort through incredible layers of jargon to figure out what the laws are! Unfortunately, if you intend on avoiding a lawsuit you're probably going to have to do just that. Or!!! You could read my handy-dandy guide to not getting sued.
  First off, you'll notice that here at You Know Funny there is not a ton of photography. The only pictures here are one's I've taken myself, like the nifty picture of the road and the sky at the top of this post and then of course there are loads of comics. It looks kind of shoddy I guess but hey, a picture is worth 1,000 words and I'm trying to write funny things not taking award winning photography. Call my friend Andy McMillan if you want beautiful pictures. If you have specific questions is a good place to go. If you don't want to ask specific questions then I'll tell you that if you ever intend on making a dime blogging then you have to go clean, get off the needle, and never use something that's not yours. My cousin Phillip explained it by holding up his computer and saying that figuring out whether you can use something is a lot like figuring out who you will let use your computer: only someone that you trust and only after they've asked you. Now, Fair Use is kind of great. As long as you're using something for an educational nature or making a sort of critique about it you can use stuff. The exception, however, is that if you are running ads, then the game changes. When you are running a non-profit kind of show, you can sort of do what you please. When you are trying to make money, the walls come up. For me, that means the great pictures of gorillas, porsche sports cars, big astro vans, the cast of LOST, Santa's sleigh, and that ever so lovable villain Voldemort have come down. Gone will be all the dainty visitors whizzing by to view the gorilla. As Joseph Conrad says in Heart of Darkness, "We are accustomed to look upon the shackled form of a conquered monster, but there -- there you could look at a thing monstrous and free." Well, in the land of liberty, things are only free when money is no longer an object for you. Mark Twain sort of pointed this out in the story 1,000,000 Bank Note where a guy is able to get all sort of things for free on the strength of his possessing a check for a million pounds. I tell you what though, if you are reading this and you have the power to let me use pictures of all kinds of movie posters, shoot me a line sometime. But to leave you with some positive advice, there are ways to create a successful blog without stealing other people's content. I've gotten a lot of good ideas by reading other people's advice. Self Publishing Coach has a list of 50 ideas that are very helpful to comb through.
Jacquelyn Smith's How to make your blog get real attention has some great ideas.
And Vast 9 is maybe the best place to start.

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