IFBChat: Bloggers and The Law: Q&A with Quinn Heraty

This year I got an attorney. Not because I wanted one, but because I needed one to protect my identity as a blogger. Earlier this year a fashion website started under the same name as my blog and it was beyond my  realm of skill to deal with this issue. Honestly, when I started blogging I hadn't thought getting an attorney would ever be necessary to get an attorney, but now, it seems like it's a smart thing to do for bloggers. Why is it important to familiarize yourself with the law? Do you need an attorney for your blog business?


This Wednesday, we're talking with my attorney, Quinn Heraty, for our weekly talk show at IFB Chat at heartifb.com/ifb-chat covering topics for bloggers like:

  • Trademarks when to get one difference between trade mark and copyright
  • When to register your business
  • When to get an attorney
  • How to protect your intellectual property
  • Terms of Service issues like with the Twitpic user uploaded content scandal
  • FTC guidelines questions
  • Help shed some light on what Fair Use is.


Quinn has been amazing to work with over the last six months helping with the trademark issue I faced earlier this year as well as helping understand how contracts work. It'll be a good time to get your questions in as we'll be talking the full hour. Submit your questions via twitter using the hashtag #IFBchat or leave a comment here to get your questions answered!


Looking forward to seeing you there!

Bloggers and The Law: Q&A with Quinn Heraty

Wednesday, June 8th


Quinn Heraty, of Heraty Law PLLC, is an attorney who focuses her legal practice on advising businesses in the entertainment, design, media, and fashion industries. She deals with trademark, copyright, licensing, and other intellectual property matters, as well as forming, merging, selling, and dissolving business entities. Since 2002, Quinn has worked with hundreds of small businesses, from DIYers to international organizations, to help them negotiate each stage of the business lifecycle. She is admitted to practice in New York and California and occasionally does pro bono work with the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and the Online Media Legal Network (OMLN). http://heratylaw.com and @heratylaw

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11 Responses

  1. Jessica Otero

    As a new blogger but born fashionista. When is it okay to give fashion consultations without charging? I feel like I have given so many style tips to friends and fans, but with my blog being free and me being “nice” to my friends- I feel like I could be making a business already. Any advice as to how to start one if I can?

  2. Mordrian

    Could you talk about the importance of having a copyright on your blog?

    I want you to talk about it because i’ve seen one too many blogs without one. I’ve e-mailed them and tried to explain how important it is. Although some bloggers listen and immediately put a copyright on their blogs, some dont listen.

  3. Joy

    This is truly a great help for the community. Recently read a scary post regarding a funny and creative blogger about to be sued if her domain is not shut down this coming wednesday actually. It’s disturbing that big companies can swat you just like that.

    • Eleanor

      Hey! In the context of Australian law, the term “TM” suggests an unregistered trademark and the term “R” suggests a registered trademark. In practice, using a “TM” means that your logo is being used as a trademark, but it’s not necessarily protected. You would also use “TM” if you have registered your trademark in your country, but not globally. At this point, it is not possible to register a global trademark application, they must be applied territorially.

      When you submit your trademark application to ATMOSS or IPONZ (AUS or NZ bodies), you have to submit your design and a detailed description of the trademark itself for a particular “category” of use. It’s best to search to make sure what you submit is distinctive and original, as trademark applications tend to be rejected on the grounds that they are too generic or else too similar to other already registered marks.

      If you change your logo dramatically after a successful trademark application, it would be advantageous to protect that new design. In my opinion, a minor change should not necessitate an entirely new application. Trademark applications are particularly expensive and to my understanding, ineffective in the global environment… but that’s just my take on it as a former chocolate paralegal!

      I hope this helps a bit!

  4. Lizzie

    Thanks so much for the great topic!

    My biggest concern is about Fair Use. Can Quinn give some example of what Fair Use is NOT?

    And does quoting your source help strengthen a Fair Use argument?