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Legally Protectable Parts of a Blog

woman writing down the legally protectable parts of a blog

Curious about the legally protectable parts of a blog? Read on to learn a little more about copyright protection for a blog and trademarks for bloggers.

Blog Name

This is kind of an easy one, right? It is the name by which all of your readers recognize your work, your blog, and a name. Of course, the name is a protectable part of the blog because it is a signifier. And the thing that signifies a brand to your readers — the blog name — is protectable under trademark law.

Infographics

Next, infographics. Of course, that can be anything from an explanation of a process to a cool way that you’ve set out the ingredients that go into a recipe. And infographics are graphic designs, which are artwork, which are protectable, under copyright law.

Blog Posts

The actual blog post. So what is a blog post? It is text, it is maybe video or audio visual materials, maybe some kind of free download, and maybe graphic designs, and maybe all of those things. And each and every one of those things, is a creative work and creative content that is protectable under copyright law.

Videos

A video or a vlog. Well, that’s easy, it’s like a motion picture, right? And that motion picture or audio visual work is certainly a traditional creative work protectable under copyright law.

Hashtags (not really a protectable part of a blog, but quasi-protectable)

Hashtags are tricky. Sometimes, brands will use their own trademark, their own brand name, as a hash tag among other hash tags. When it’s used in that way, that trademark of course, is a trademark whether or not it’s a hash tag. It’s being used as a hashtag, but it is a trademark. Now other hashtags are moreso descriptors or descriptions — whether you are using DIY blogger, or #lifestyleblogger, or #lifestylebloggerlife, or any of those — those are hashtags you’re using to get people to find you. And because they are not really trademarks… they aren’t really copyright either. They’re not really anything, they are descriptors or descriptions used so that you can grow your audience, right?

Printables

Who doesn’t love a good printable? A printable is most likely a download and most likely in PDF or JPEG form. And so those are actually protectable under copyright law.

Photos

Same thing with photos, whether they’re downloadable or not, of course, photos are a huge part of blog posts, and photographs are certainly protectable under copyright law.

Recipes…kind of.

Finally, recipes. And this is a tricky one. So recipes, “mere listings of ingredients,” are actually called out as not protectable under copyright law. Now how to get around this as a blogger. Well, it’s very rare that you will see a blog post with just a list of ingredients without any kind of prose or at least instructions on how to make whatever the recipe is. And instructions by themselves too are kind of tricky when it comes to copyright law. But the more creative you can be with those instructions, the more storytelling you add to it, the more photos you add to the recipe, then it starts to become a more creative, copyright-protectable work. So recipes, kind of copyright territory depending on if you have the right elements in that post.

I hope this helps you to better understand what’s protectable in your blog, and whether it falls under copyright territory or trademark territory.

Sponsored Content and Posting the Right Way

sponsored content and posting the right way

Ever watch an old television show and notice the not-so-subtle product placement that was so commonplace back then? “Gee, Mary, these dishes sure are clean. You must be using Palmolive soap again!” Fast forward 65 years and sponsored content is still alive, but the medium and pitchmen have changed. Influencers and celebrities use Instagram and other platforms to make big money. But times are a-changin’ again, thanks to crackdowns — er, gentle reminders — by the FTC. Continue reading “Sponsored Content and Posting the Right Way”

Second Anniversary: Blog Round-Up

spear ip legal checklist for modern business

This month marks the second (!) anniversary of Spear IP’s opening. You might notice that Spear IP started as a general intellectual property law practice. In its second year, Spear IP pivoted to focus on the fashion, hospitality, blog and new media, and tech industries, along with creative (non-musical) professionals. Here is a look back at the lessons learned and content shared on the Spear IP Blog during Year Two.

Continue reading “Second Anniversary: Blog Round-Up”

Protecting a Blog (Series): DIY, Recipes, + Copyright for Bloggers

copyright for bloggers

Copyright for bloggers is a funny topic once you consider the special rules that apply to recipes, ingredients, and instructions. In this post, you’ll find an explanation of those special rules and how they affect copyright protection for a blog.

Continue reading “Protecting a Blog (Series): DIY, Recipes, + Copyright for Bloggers”

Protecting a Blog (Series): Copyright + Copy

protecting a blog with spear ip

When we think “the media,” a blog might not be the first thing that comes to mind, but think about it. A blog is content that is updated daily (if not more frequently), and a single blog post can be shared thousands of times. So when it comes to blog content, what’s protectable, and how do you protect it? This two-part series will look at just that. Below, you’ll learn about the protectable elements in a blog and some of the Copyright Office policies at play (hint: they work in favor of blog owners!).

Continue reading “Protecting a Blog (Series): Copyright + Copy”

EntreprAdmire May 2016 Edition

EntreprAdmire May 2016

“Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel.” With that quote, Socrates provides a great tip for entrepreneurs. Goal-setting and continuous learning are two habits that are imperative to entrepreneurship.  The act of writing down goals has been said to be quite effective in actually accomplishing goals, and the act of learning or improving upon a skill often finds itself on an entrepreneur’s list of goals.  So let’s dive into the brands I #EntreprAdmire this month in the hopes that they may inspire you to set your own goals and learn a new skill or two.

Continue reading “EntreprAdmire May 2016 Edition”