Hugh Roberts is a true blogging friend. Not only an extremely generous and warm-hearted soul, Hugh is exceptionally clever about the nuts and bolts side of blogging. When I discovered my posts plagiarized by an Aussie web site a few weeks ago, Hugh immediately offered support, a healthy dose of shared outrage, and then some very practical advice.
Loyal readers and I had a number of good conversations after that episode through the comments, emails, and even some phone calls. It heightened our awareness of how vulnerable our work remains when published online. That is when I invited Hugh to write a guest blog for Forest Garden, giving solid technical support to help all of us with things like watermarks, widgets, disclaimers, and copyrights.
Hugh has come through in fine style, and I hope you will enjoy his guest blog post today:
How To Protect Your Blog
by Hugh Roberts
Many of you will have recently read the news from Woodland Gnome, here at Forest Garden, that her blog posts were being copied and used by somebody else for their own blog. Unfortunately with the internet being such a vast and open space used by millions of people worldwide, the chances of that happening to any one of us who publishes anything on the internet is a distinct possibility. Whether it be photos, short stories, reviews, poetry, recipes or gardening tips, everything faces the chance of being copied and somebody else taking full credit for your hard work.
However, there is something we can all do to try and stop this happening. What I am about to advise you to do may not stop somebody else copying your work, but it acts as a warning to anyone thinking of copying or duplicating your work that if they do so without your permission, then they could face the possibility of prosecution and/or a fine.
First of all, I would advise anybody who has their own blog or web page to protect it by clearly displaying a “Copyright and/or Disclaimer” notice. There are many places on the internet that offer Copyright and Disclaimer notices free of charge and which give very good instructions on how to copy and paste one of these notices to your blog or webpage. WordPress offer some excellent advice and instructions on how to display a Copyright and/or Disclaimer notice and I have included a link below which will take you to their page.
If you use a theme on your blog which displays widgets, and I’ll come to widgets shortly, I would recommend you display your copyright and/or disclaimer notice as one of your widgets. I use the Retro Fitted Theme on my blog and the widgets I use are displayed on the side bar, which for the theme I use, are displayed on the right hand side of my blog. You can take a look at my blog if you like by clicking the link below so you can see what I am referring to. http://hughsviewsandnews.com/
My Copyright notice is the very last widget at the bottom of my sidebar, while my disclaimer notice can be found under the “About Me’ icon on the menu bar at the top of my blog. You are very welcome to use these as the Copyright and Disclaimer notices for your own blog if you wish. All you need to do is to copy and paste them to your own blog and, where necessary, change some of the words to reflect your own name and the name of your blog. Here’s the link to the free Copyright notice I use on my blog. Full instructions on how to copy and paste the notice on to your blog are included.
If you are not sure what WordPress widgets are, then click on this link for full details: http://en.support.wordpress.com/widgets/
One of my very good blogging buddies, Serins, recently wrote an excellent post about Copyright and Disclaimer.
Click the link to read her post: https://serinssphere.wordpress.com/2015/01/28/the-a-z-lowdown-on-blogging-d-is-for-disclaimer/
Many of us also include photos in a post and whilst you may display a copyright and/or disclaimer notice on your blog, I would recommend that you also watermark any photos you use.
Most computers these days come with plenty of software that will help you alter photos you have loaded on to your hard drive, but there are other not so complicated ways to watermark your photos.
I use an Apple iMac and use an app called ‘Photobulk’ to watermark all my photos. It’s a very easy app to use and normally costs $9.99 to download, but can often be found either on offer or free of charge to download from the developer’s website. I simply drag any photos I want to watermark to Photobulk, type in the text for the watermark I use (in my case I always use © hughsviewsandnews.wordpress.com), press ‘start,’ and my photos are then watermarked with my details, and ready to be inserted into a post.
Below I have included a link for a free photo watermarking app for android users. I’ve never used the app as I use an Apple iMac, but the reviews for this particular app are very good.
I would like to thank Woodland Gnome very much for asking me to write a guest post on this subject for her blog. Of course if you do have any questions about displaying a Copyright and/or Disclaimer notice on your blog, then please leave me a comment and I will get back to you as quickly as possible with the answers.
Thank you, Hugh, for this very helpful post!