Tuesdays Tip - Blogging, Copyright and I am not a thief?

I am only into my first year of blogging but what a great time I have had! Another blogger wrote that blogging is all about "Ranting, Raving and Reminiscing". I wish I had taken note of who had said it and I would give her (I only remember it was a woman blogger) due credit. How true is that!  I never knew so many others also had blogs and I just love reading them for the wealth of information, tips, stories, ideas, insight etc. it gives me about my passion for genealogy.

Phillip Martin Free Clipart
I also noticed copyright signs at the bottom of some of these blogs. I have, from the beginning, avoided posting any photos or mentioning complete names of living family members (other than myself). I have also quoted others with a link to the original source of that quote. I did those things just because it seemed the fair and right thing to do. I think I sort of assumed (and I bet others have also) that if someone put it on the internet they sort of threw it out there for anyone and everyone. But.........I would never copy portions of a book and put it into a book I said I had written. Isn't a blog sort of the same thing? Seeing these copyright signs on some of the other blogs I have visited, I wonder. Have I already violated copyright law?  Do I need a copyright? What exactly is it? Will it cost me money?

I am not a thief. Heck that sounds a lot like Nixon's "I am not a crook" doesn't it? Well, I have not knowingly been a thief but with far more information than I had last May when I began this blog I know that the fair and right thing to do would be to get myself informed so that what I blog is also the legal thing to do.

I am going to begin with GENEABLOGGERS.com. A site created by Thomas MacEntee it has over 3000 blogs listed by name and tagged with descriptions. Since I became part of Geneabloggers it has been one of my main sites for finding other blogs to investigate. I put "copyright" in his search box this morning. Whoa, no excuse now. And from there I am sure that the ever popular Google can show me lots of other places to get the necessary information that I should have known up front.

I am absolutely sure Thomas MacEntee would not mine me sharing THIS information from his blog on my blog.  If you are also a blogger it really looks like information that a responsible person and blogger should know.

Well, I'm on it.

p.s. I almost forgot to say, for what it's worth, ignorance is no excuse but I am sorry.