Online publishing has gained amazing momentum over the past few years. Most businesses have a website and many others have either a Facebook page or Twitter account. What many people don’t realise is that publishing online is still publishing and there can be legal ramifications for the unwary.
As a broad guideline, things to be mindful of when publishing online include:
- Publishing others work without permission: copyright of photographs, logos, images, films and written content still applies on the internet. For example don’t use another company’s logo without their written permission and also don’t modify existing artwork and publish.
- Defamation online is still defamation – the same rules apply online as for print. Comments on Twitter that defame someone could be considered for defamation cases.
- Don’t pretend you are another person online – impersonation via Twitter, Facebook, emails, forums and other online spaces, could have legal ramifications and viewed as identity theft.
- Protect others’ private information: be mindful of personal information of third parties. For example get written permission before posting photographs or personal details such as age, where they live and personal phone numbers.
If you have concerns about what you can publish, PR Guru recommends you consult a good media lawyer.