To Cite or Not to Cite?

With Facebook, Twitter and blogs becoming daily activities, it is important to remember the laws associated with social media so that you can abide by them.  You must be aware of what you are sharing, but most importantly HOW you are sharing this information.  Individuals and companies all over the world “unintentionally misuse copyrighted materials on social networking platforms” according to Michael Brenner’s blog: Social Sharing Might Get you Sued: Social Media and Copyright Law.  Brenner discusses three types of online copyrighted materials that all bloggers should be aware of; “all rights reserved”, “creative commons” and “fair use” and how to appropriately cite each.

Posting “borrowed” or stolen content online as your own work is more serious than plagiarizing on a school paper.  When you plagiarize on a paper you may fail the course or be penalized in some other way, when you plagiarize online in a blog or a tweet you may be penalized by being personally sued or fined up to $150,000.  It is very important to be aware of the laws and follow them just like all the other laws we follow and live by everyday.

If you aren’t careful and respectful of copyright laws you could subject yourself to being sued and penalized over a single Tweet or blog sentence.  It is important to give credit when credit needs to be given, even if you don’t think anyone is reading what you are putting out there.




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