Christina Gagnier on the set of TechZulu Law at BlogWorld.
At BlogWorld Expo earlier this month, I ran into attorney-podcaster Christina Gagnier (pictured above), and we got to talking about the law, since we met a few years ago after publication of my book Darknet: Hollywood’s War Against the Digital Generation.
Christina, who describes herself on her Twitter account as an “IP & Tech Lawyer, Online Strategist, Information Broker, Tech Policy Geek,” remarked that she was struck by the fact that BlogWorld had absolutely zero panels about the intersection of copyright law and grassroots media.
Here are some of the points I raised — or wanted to raise, because the segment flew by so fast. Issues of law and grassroots media extend well beyond copyright and intellectual property issues.
• As we all become citizen publishers with our blogs, shared videos, Facebook updates and tweets, we should keep in mind that there are not only rights but responsibilities when publishing to a global audience. Remember that bloggers and people using Twitter and Facebook have been hit with lawsuits in the past couple of years.
• Although many thousands do, it’s still disappointing that more blogs and citizen media efforts don’t take advantage of Creative Commons licenses, which turbo-charges online sharing by letting people fine-tune their copyright. Dan Gillmor’s upcoming second book will be published under a CC license as well as all of our contributors’ posts on Socialmedia.biz and Socialbrite.org. I’m also working on a new project, CommonsWire.org, that will soon showcase blogs using CC licenses.
• I’d like to see a future BlogWorld session on how to use the Freedom of Information Act. Here’s Dan Gillmor’s article on Freedom of information: It’s for everyone.
• Do video producers or photographers need a model release form from the people they shoot? What about shooting people performing in public? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. And you better know when the answer is yes. See the rules around capturing public performances and Do video producers need a publicity release waiver?
• Where can you find free images to include on your website and blog and in your newsletters, podcasts (intros, outros, bumpers), whitepapers and presentations? Where can you find video footage you can include in your own works without violating copyright law? See Socialbrite’s amazing directories of free photos, free music and free video footage.
• Let’s not forget that we need to be aware of the differences in Terms of Service at media hosting sites when uploading our content.
• See Socialbrite’s invaluable roundup of resources related to grassroots media and the law for more information — it’s one of the most thorough free set of articles and tutorials on the subject you’ll find on the Web. Also see bit.ly/mobilize for resources on how to mobilize your cause. Continue reading