Who Owns Your Blog Content?

min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
tasini.jpgOr any other content for that matter? Do you? Or does the copywriter that you hired for the project?

That's what got me thinking after reading that the U.S. Supreme Court resurrected a possible settlement in a class-action lawsuit brought by freelance writers.

In that case, New York Times v. Tasini, freelance writers brought a class action against The New York Times (among other publishers), claiming they had not given permission to the publishers to use their work in connection with online databases. In short, said the authors, if the publishers wanted to use their articles online in addition to the print format, they needed to pony up and pay the authors an additional fee.

Without going into the merits of the case, that could be a nasty surprise for a small business. Imagine you've hired a copywriter to create a new brochure for you. You like it and want to use pieces of it on your blog. Do you have the right to? Specifically, do you have a written agreement with this copywriter? Does it specify that the copywriter's work is being done on a "work-for-hire" basis? If not, you could find yourself having paid for the privilege of using the brochure "as is," but with no rights to own it, change it or use it in other contexts/formats. Now wouldn't that be a kick in the rubber parts!

For other possible legal perils online, get your free copy of Internet Law & You Power Pack.

More from Entrepreneur

Get heaping discounts to books you love delivered straight to your inbox. We’ll feature a different book each week and share exclusive deals you won’t find anywhere else.
Jumpstart Your Business. Entrepreneur Insider is your all-access pass to the skills, experts, and network you need to get your business off the ground—or take it to the next level.
Starting, buying, or growing your small business shouldn’t be hard. Guidant Financial works to make financing easy for current and aspiring small business owners by providing custom funding solutions, financing education, and more.

Latest on Entrepreneur

Entrepreneur Media, Inc. values your privacy. In order to understand how people use our site generally, and to create more valuable experiences for you, we may collect data about your use of this site (both directly and through our partners). By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to the use of that data. For more information on our data policies, please visit our Privacy Policy.