Social Media Tips from Legal Perspective

You may be familiar with social media, but do you realize that the rules that apply to books apply to writings you post on the internet? Whether you write on your website, a blog post, your Facebook, Pinterest, Linked In page, or twitter feed, the law applies. You are responsible for what you post in most cases. A few tips:
1. Don’t post someone else’s work without permission. Giving the author credit without his/her permission does not make it ok. There is an exception for fair use, but that is beyond this blog post. Generally, fair use doesn’t extend to an entire page or article, only a line or two at most.
2. Don’t publish a photograph or graphic without permission. Free pictures can be found on-line (royalty-free photos) and through gpvernment sites such as the National Archives. Do not assume that something famous or old is in the public domain; do some research. If a photograph or article is in the public domain, you may republish it.
3. Don’t run a sweepstakes or contest without following the rules and guidelines of the platform you use (such as Facebook).
Think and review before you post! Once you publish, you may not be able to retrieve your post from the social media world.