There was an issue lately about a Malaysian blogger using a Filipina (whom I happen to know as Ane) blogger’s badge in her site. It’s been the cause of some popular word war (or make it – blog war) between the two and has since attracted the attention of bloggers worldwide.
Ane claims that the badge in question is part of the blog wear or design created exclusively for the site by the designer, Lady Java, while the Malaysian blogger claims that she just borrowed it from a friend.
Copyright issues such as this is one too many in the blogosphere and the internet as a whole. I once was called a thief by using the “onclick” code in creating my Adgitize tool.
Unlike an exclusive blog design, html and programming codes are free to use worldwide and for me, the claim of owning such code (to the point of accusing someone as a thief) is preposterous and hilarious. I almost was tempted to hire technology lawyer at that time because not only was I insulted (by her saying that I cannot come up with my codes without copying hers) but my “budding career” as a blogger was negatively affected by that blogger’s accusations.
If you’re faced with issues such copyright, domain name disputes and other licensing issues (like knowing which is open-source when it comes to WordPress themes free vs. premium ones), you might want to inquire from those who understand international technology law.
Lawyers who specialize in cases related to internet issues (including international e-commerce law firms) can help you resolve your concerns legally. They usually have the knowledge, resources and expertise to handle the cases that some local lawyers might not yet fully understand (considering that issues like these might not be part of your countries local laws yet).
It’s understandable if some bloggers will not shell out expenses for legal fees because the cost might be too high for a “petty” concern but big companies and popular bloggers will be willing to hire lawyers to clean their names, uphold the terms contract or license or settle disputes related to e-commerce.
Have you been to a situation before where you wanted to hire a lawyer to settle problems caused by your online activities? What happened and what did you do to resolve the problem?