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How to Curate Content Legally


Are you making sure that when you share stuff online you’re being legal?

Are you sure you haven’t broken any rules (for example, you’ve used a photo without permission)?

Making sure you’re curating content legally and not violating any rules is important. You don’t want your content to be the subject of a lawsuit!

So in this post I’m going to talk about seven different ways that you can ensure that you are staying on the right side of the law. Plus, I’ve created a cheatsheet with all the tips I give for you to keep handy:

1) Check the licensing

The first thing you do is check the licensing of any assets that you are using (these assets include video and images). Oftentimes you may discover that something you found on the Internet is not actually for use.

So how do you know if something is free to use?

There are lots of different copyright laws that exist, but really the best way is to take online photos only from license-free websites (this goes also for video and music as well).

Take online photos only from license-free websites.Click To Tweet

If you’re confused and don’t want to deal with all the laws, a good place to start is to use If you’re using Canva or Adobe Spark, all the photos there are free. Those that aren’t you can pay some money for and not worry about copyright.

2) Go to the source whenever possible

The second way that you can ensure that you are being legal on the Internet is to always go to the original source whenever possible. Oftentimes, especially when people are referencing other peoples’ sayings and inspiration, things get misattributed. To do this, always click on the links to original articles that you found in your source.

Always click on the links to original articles that you found in your source.Click To Tweet

3) Always give attribution

The 3rd thing you that you should do in order to stay safe is always give attribution to your digital assets. If you’re confused and afraid, one of the best ways you can stay safe is always attribute where you get your information or assets from. This is particularly true if you are using photos that you paid (for examples from Getty and iStock).

4) Link to the original author

The next thing you should do is always link to the original authors for all articles that you grab ideas from. The truth is, most of the ideas we have are not original but an mixture of those we find from other people. Therefore, it is not only legal but also ethically good that you attribute your ideas to other people.

Don’t worry about looking like a thief; in fact, the more you attribute the more respect you’ll have from people online and the more your audience will grow.

The more you attribute the more respect you'll have from people online.Click To Tweet

5) Use quotations

The next thing is to make sure you use quotations whenever you’re using text that isn’t yours. Just like when you’re writing a paper, you need to make sure that it is clear that what you’re saying isn’t your own.

You need to make sure that it is clear that what you're saying isn't your own.Click To Tweet

A good rule of thumb is that you should use quotations when your content is only a couple of sentences long.

How long? Preferably about a sentence or two.

6) Use blockquote formatting

If your quotation is longer than a few sentences, it’s best to use the blockquote formatting in your blogging software. This will make obvious to your reader which content is not yours.

This is an example of blockquote formatting. Use this for quotations longer than a sentence or two.

7) Share your content with others

The last way you can make sure that your content is being curated properly is to share your article with the person where your ideas originated from. This will not only let you form amazing relationships online, but also let’s them check your work to make sure you haven’t done anything wrong.

Final thoughts

I hope you’ve learned a bit on how you can stay legal with content curation. And if you haven’t already, be sure to grab my free checklist that has all of these tips and tricks so you don’t get into trouble again:

How do you stay legal online? Let me know in the comments below! 

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