Worrisome (or not) WordPress.com Reader Developments

littleworrydoll2Does your blog visitors becoming offsite readers worry you? I’m asking because the WordPress.com Reader is becoming the new black and will continue to be fleshed out like a magazine – a magazine with full posts and sharing features, so readers don’t have to bother to click into blogs at all.  Continue reading

Image uploading? Size is everything

Size is everything. Lack of image preparation prior to upload leads to loss of image quality, waste of upload space and the frustration involved in troubleshooting. Worse still, it can lead to creating a bad experience for your readers.  Take note of this timely post titled How Big Am I – GIF, JPEG, PNG and learn how to prepare your images prior to uploading them. Continue reading

New WordPress.com Admin Bar Draws Attention

winds of changeWordPress.com is on continuous roll-out. Changes to the code are being made many times daily and new features are being introduced, while existing functions and features are being improved and upgraded.  Changes to the WordPress.com Admin bar and/or dashboard took users by surprise and  A Shiny New, Simplified Admin Bar was announced. Continue reading

Copyright and Public Domain

Along with blogging comes responsibility and ignorance of the law is no excuse.  Copyrightable works include but are not limited to literary works such as articles, blog posts,  stories, journals, or computer programs, pictures and graphics, as well as audio and video recordings. Copyrights do not need not be applied for as they are vested in the creators of intellectual property.  When we create something — we own the copyright, which is our exclusive right as the creator to control who else can use our work and in what manner.  *

Berne Convention – International Copyright Agreement

The Berne Convention (for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works) was established in 1886 and is an international agreement that governs copyright. The Berne Convention requires its signatories to recognize the copyright of works of authors from other signatory countries (known as members of the Berne Union) in the same way as it recognizes the copyright of its own nationals.

In the United States, the Library of Congress officially registers copyrights which now last for the life of the author plus 70 years.

  • In the case of a joint work prepared by two or more authors who did not do a work for hire, the term lasts for 70 years after the last surviving author’s death.
  • In the case of works for hire, and for anonymous and pseudonymous works (unless the author’s identity is revealed in Copyright Office records), the duration of copyright will be 95 years from publication or 120 years from creation, whichever is shorter.

Public Domain

Thanks to organizations like Creative Commons, licenses like the GNU Free Documentation License, and the public domain, there are many images,  songs, movies and documents freely available for you to download and republish without fear of  violating copyright.

Public domain definition: The public domain is generally defined as consisting of works that are either ineligible for copyright protection or with expired copyrights. Public domain refers to the total absence of copyright protection for work The public domain is a range of abstract materials commonly referred to as intellectual property which are not owned or controlled by anyone. The term indicates that these materials are therefore “public property”, and available for anyone to use for any purpose.

Once in the public domain, it is always in the public domain. However, any variation on any public domain work becomes the property of the person making the variation, and it receives an automatic copyright, just as do completely original works.

When Copyright Protection Becomes Public Domain
The data below will let you know when you can safely use a piece of art or music without permission because it is now in public domain after copyright protection expiration, or how long the copyright protection will last.

Published before 1923 – now in public domain.
Published from 1923 to 1963 – When published with a copyright notice © or “Copyright [dates] by [author/owner]” – copyright protection lasts 28 years and could be renewed for an additional 67 years for a total of 95 years. If not renewed, now in public domain. Published from 1923 to 1963 – When published with no notice – now in public domain. Published from 1964 to 1977 – When published with notice – copyright protection lasts 28 years for first term; automatic extension of 67 years for second term for a total of 95 years.
Created before 1/1/1978 but not published – copyright notice is irrelevant – copyright protection lasts for the life of author and 70 years or 12/31/2002, whichever is greater. Created before 1/1/1978 and published between 1/1/1978 and 12/31/2002 – notice is irrelevant – copyright protection lasts the life of author and 70 years or 12/31/2047, whichever is greater. Created 1/1/1978 or after – When work is fixed in tangible medium of expression – notice is irrelevant – copyright protection lasts for the life of author and 70 years based on the longest living author if jointly created or if work of corporate authorship, works for hire, or anonymous and pseudonymous works, the shorter of 95 years from publication, or 120 years from creation.

* Reblogging and WordPress.com Terms of Service: “By submitting Content to Automattic for inclusion on your Website, you grant Automattic a world-wide, royalty-free, and non-exclusive license to reproduce, modify, adapt and publish the Content solely for the purpose of displaying, distributing and promoting your blog.”


I have listed many free sources of images on my Resources page and my list is by no means complete.  Do you have favorite sources of free images,  songs, movies and documents you would like to share? If so please comment so I can include your sources on my Resources page as well.

Related posts found in this blog:

Copyright basics for bloggers
How to copyright your digital works
Content theft: The come and get it solution
Splog Off! Dealing with content theft
SplogSpot: Dealing with content thieves
Copyright: Fair Use Limitations
What is copyright?

Thumbs down on WordPress Reblogging

I’m a big WordPress.com fan and I do want my blog to increase in popularity but I value readers and commenters more than I value “traffic”.  I believe the intention of the new “like” and reblog feature was to assist WordPress.com bloggers to get wider blog exposure.  However, I say thumbs down to the copy-cat from Tumblr WordPress.com “like” and reblog feature. There is no provision for opting out. We can opt out of possibly related posts so why can’t we opt out of this feature too?

The Reblogging Feature Announcement

Have you ever come across a blog post that you enjoyed so much you wanted to easily share it with the readers of your own blog?  We All Like to Reblog

  1. timethief
    June 1st, 2010 at 5:58 pm
    Is there an opt-out option or are we compelled to allow others to reblog our posts?
    Andy P
    June 1st, 2010 at 6:21 pm
    There’s no opt-out as it stands, but allowing others to reblog your posts will ultimately bring more people in to read your blog. If you’re concerned then you can still make a post private, or your entire blog private.

June 1st, 2010 at 6:17 pm
Your comment is awaiting moderation.
I asked this question above: Is there an opt-out option or are we compelled to allow others to reblog our posts?
When I posted it I forgot to state the reason I asked it is because it directly relates to copyright. WordPress.com does not hold copyright on my blog contents. Myself and my guest authors do. What benefit in other blogger reblogging our entire posts on their sites. Why would their readers click through to read the original when the full contents have been “reblogged” without our permission? Why should we be compelled to take part in a scheme that robs our blogs of traffic and gifts those who are too lazy to research, write and publish their own post on the same topic. What benefit is there to those using search engines to find the SERPs returning duplicated content. rather than unique relevant content?
Thank you, in advance, for an reply that specifically addresses the copyright issue and the ability to opt out of this “reblogging” at your earliest convenience.

This comment “in moderation” has not been posted as of June 3, 2010 @4:38 PM.

The Reblogging Experiment

Today Richard (thesacredpath) tried some experimentation with the new wordpress “like” and reblog feature.  He reblogged my Basic Netiqueitte for Beginner Bloggers post and then he reblogged his reblog of my post.

The Reblogging Results

1. All links to the original article are gone in the second-generation reblog.The read more and site link at the bottom of the second-generation reblog link back to the second blog, NOT to the original.

2. The possibly related posts links to the reblogged post, NOT to the original.

Limitations of Fair Use

Here’s a good summary of the limitations of fair use from Jonathan Baileys article The Limitations of Fair Use.
1. Focus on commentary and criticism: Make sure that you are using the work to talk about it. Using a passage from a book to review it, quoting from an essay to rebut it or showing a clip from a TV show to comment on it are all likely fair uses.
2. Use as little of the work as possible: Use short quotes when practical and only thumbnails of images. Really hone in on what you need to use and leave out anything you don’t.
3. Attribute obsessively: Always make sure that you attribute the works you use, not just to help strengthen your point, but to show good faith. Though not always important to a fair use argument, it discourages any potential conflicts before they happen.
4. Focus on transformation: Finally, and most importantly, make sure that your use of the work does not replace the original, but expands upon it. When using someone else’s work, as yourself the question “Do people, after seeing my use of the content, have a reason to view the original?” If the answer is no, then the use is much more questionable than it would be otherwise.”

So readers, what’s your opinion of the value of this wordpress.com “like” and reblog feature?

Read also:
Say No to the Plethora of Exclusive Like Buttons
Is WordPress.com now a Social-Networking/Micro-Blogging Platform?

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Protecting your images online from theft

The Perfect Watermark
Image by Jayel Aheram via Flickr

Updated: June 4, 2010 Watermarking any images you place on your blog or website is a practice used in addition to posting a copyright notice or license, and both are used to deter image theft. I have previously reviewed several free watermark generators available online that can be used to display copyright on your images either one at a time or in bulk, prior to uploading them to your blog. This article provides a link to another approach to deterring online image theft that you may wish to consider using.

… here’s a technique for you to make it just a bit harder for someone to get your images. Here, right-click on the image and click on Save Image As or Save Picture As to save it on your computer. See what you “saved”.  — Cover Your Images

Updated: June 4, 2010 Protecting your images from online theft and reblogging

If you need more help then devblog has provided it in a forum thread:

wp.com users cannot add/edit the HTML (or in this case the PHP) files. I’ll try to explain as best as I can.You know, when you add a photo to your post, you click the media button, upload the image to your blog (or link it from another URL) then you click the “insert into post”, right?

Well, after doing that, you would switch to the HTML Editor, then you will see the HTML code that’s behind your post. After switching to the HTML editor, you would need to replace the existing HTML for the image that you just added with the code I provided; of course, you would need to make the necessary changes so that your image is displayed. Basically, the only things you would need to change in the inline CSS are the values of the “background” property as well as the “width” and “height” properties. Those would be the bits in capital letters:  (minus the square brackets)

[<img style="background: transparent url(YOUR-IMG-URL) 0 0 no-repeat; border: 0; height: IMG-HEIGHT; margin: 0 auto; padding: 0; width: IMG-WIDTH;" src="http://tfockler60.files.wordpress.com/YEAR/MONTH/nothing.gif" alt="Helghan Soldier" title="Helghan Soldier" width="IMG-WIDTH" height="IMG-HEIGHT" />]

You would also have to upload the “nothing.gif” to your blog and point to it as shown in the example above (that’s why I put YEAR and MONTH in caps because those will be different in your case).

You’d have to repeat this process with every image you want to post (however, you won’t have to upload “nothing.gif” everytime you want to do this because you can always point to the same image).

The drawback is that it can be a laborious task if you have LOTS of images…

See also >  Google Webmaster Central > “Hiding text or links in your content can cause your site to be perceived as untrustworthy since it presents information to search engines differently than to visitors. ”  Hidden text, links, images, javacript, videos

Related posts found in this blog:
Thumbs down on WordPress reblogging
How to copyright your digital work
Copyright basics for bloggers
What is copyright?

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