Who Owns Your Blog? The Truth May Shock You!

…but don’t get too excited. The truth can’t shock you if I don’t tell you. Which would be hard to do because I’m still not sure myself.

Content ownership is kind of a big deal on the internet. It’s also a big mess. Never before have we had a system anything like this, where you can put your heart and soul into creating something and, when you’re done, upload it instantly — to a service someone else owns — for the whole world to see. But that’s, like… a thing now.

The other great thing about the internet is how uncertain everything is. I’m sure it’s hard to write law and policy with something like this in mind, constantly changing and evolving in nature and scope, so I can’t really blame anyone for that. But on top of that, even with the policy we do have it generally seems like nobody really knows how any of it works when you ask.

A while back, there was that whole hullabaloo over Facebook apparently owning everything you, your mother, and your dog ever posted to it. That means all your pictures, your witty one-liners, your creative writing (if you’re one of those types). Last I heard, they changed their EULA and I think that particular concern was addressed, but Facebook and I aren’t friends, so I try to stay out of its business.

WordPress, though — that does concern me. This place is my new home for the time being, and the foreseeable future, so I’d like to know where they stand on this issue. I’d like to know that on top of being kind enough to host my content, they don’t take the opportunity to assume ownership of that content. And I think that’s the case, but… I’m not sure.

Like I said, nobody seems to know how any of this stuff works.

So far I’ve only posted one thing-resembling-a-poem and some assorted photos on here, but I’d love to start uploading longer works and more extensive shoots (i.e., stuff that’s really near and dear to me). The content ownership question — even a shadow of a doubt — is why I’ve held off this long.

For the record, before you ask: yes, paranoid is my middle name. But the truth is I’ve found nothing but conflicting claims, and now I’m even more confused than when I started. Some say that everything on your blog is owned by you, as it should be. (Except for that little clause where WordPress can use your content, without asking, to promote your blog, I guess? O…okay, I guess that’s fine…) On the other hand, we’ve got folks implying you never technically have control over your content unless it’s self-hosted, which is a ways down the road for me. Of course, I can’t find word from Wordpress (teehee) anywhere.

If it’s right in front of my face, please leave a comment here pointing it out and telling me I am blind. It’s very likely. And if it’s in the EULA I agreed to when I signed up, then… uh… remind me. The crazy part is that I actually did read it (I know, right?), but I completely forget everything that was in there.

So, who owns the content you and I post here? I am 100% sure that someone owns it. Maybe.

I guess this post is a cry for help. As in, help me figure this out because it’s driving me loopy not knowing one way or the other!

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