A lawyer’s guide to minimizing your legal risks in social media

Is it legal to ‘scrape’ blog articles? Are you familiar with the dangers of using HootSuite? Print out this list of answers and tape it to your cube. You’ll thank us.

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Whether you ultimately win or lose, playing the litigation game can cost more money than most businesses can afford. Of course, there’s always the chance someone will sue you, warranted or not, but here are some tips for minimizing risk with Web-based content.

1. The difference between linking and scraping.

The absolute safest course of action is to create your own original content, from the copy on your website to the videos you post to YouTube and the images you upload to Pinterest.

Contrary to popular belief, providing attribution for content you’ve copied and pasted (a.k.a. “scraping”) does not protect you from liability. If anything, it increases the risk you’ll get sued by alerting the content owner to the infringement. Of course, scraping someone else’s blog content is a no-no.

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