There are millions of bloggers in US and outside of US. Some are professional bloggers and some blog just for fun. Is it possible that you and your blog will be held liable for publishing content and possibly a lawsuit? Yes its is!
It is common that bloggers use exaggerated reviews to attract the audience to their blogs. You can be held liable for what you publish online.
In short, a skilled intellectual property attorney can advise you on each case. However, there has been too much talk recently regarding SOPA and PIPA that will give an immense power to companies to take direct action against blogs.
If the bills are passed, then there would be no blogging and no blogger. I guess the only thing you can talk about would be about yourself.
SOPA and PIPA are different topic and need a long debate, but here are few tips that will help you stay safe online.
It is good to remind your audience in about or disclaimer page that it is just an expression of opinion. It can be either true or false because opinions are statements based on personal observation.
Provide Source of Information
If you are stating a fact or logic, then it is good to provide a reference. It will be very helpful that you can refer to certain topic that you read. If you are making big claims and facts without providing the source of information, then you are putting yourself in trouble.
Disclaimer is Must!
It is good to see that every blogger put a disclaimer page, but start-ups do not realize how important it is. It can be a perfect lawsuit against you and your blog depending on each country’s laws.
A perfect example is if you start writing reviews good or bad. You will be responsible how you have expressed your reviews against or in favour of a company.
Define Quality Standards
It is important that you define quality standards because people will reach out to you for guest blogging. It is possible that a person adds a guest post without knowing intellectual property rights. It will hurt your blog reputation and in a worse situation, a possible lawsuit.
Do Not Copy
If you read an article or a review about a product, do not copy the idea because it might be a fake article or review. It is important to cross check the information to give the real picture. Authority of source matters the most, such as, it can be true if it is on New York Times, but on a small news website, it can be a misrepresentation of expressions.
Make sure you use Creative Common images and give a link to images. Sometimes, images are copyright protected, and you will get in trouble without knowing.
Protect Your Blog
It is best to check Country and State laws where you live. I hope that bills like SOPA and PIPA never gets approved in the Senate. I would like to hear ideas on how to protect your blog against lawsuits?