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Blog TOS Copyright Infringement: Netiquette Reviewed

More and more I’m finding my posts are being reprinted on the internet. I have set up internet search alerts looking for references to my material and if it’s out there I will find it.

Although I’m flattered that anyone would consider my material worthy of publishing, I wish to remind all concerned the following.

My TOS specifically states that my material cannot be republished unless a proper link is provided back to the original source. Neither can my material be used for commercial purposes.

Obviously most people understand this and it’s unfortunate that I have to bring this up. But a few out there are scraping my information without proper attribution and for commercial gain. That is not allowed and is considered intellectual property theft.

Sorry for having to mention this and thank you for your anticipated cooperation. Cheers!

Written September 24th, 2007 by | 11 Comments | Filed under: Miscellaneous Blog Tips

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There are 11 Comments so far to “Blog TOS Copyright Infringement: Netiquette Reviewed”

  1. What’s more important to you - your message, or links to your presence?

    If your message is more important, then you need to remember that ‘imitation is the greatest form of flattery’, and the more people that spread your words, the better for the message.

    If your presence is more important than your message, then I would go so far as to say that your ego is in control of your concerns, and it’s afraid that it won’t be noticed.

    All this copyright stuff is simply to protect the ego, to protect the identity, to make the authors feel special. It makes the author more important than the message, something that I don’t agree with.

    I feel that the message is what’s important, and if the message is being passed around from person to person, blog to blog, does it really matter who started it?

    To the ego it does.

    But the message is getting out there, being seen by more people. You know the truth, that you were the creator of it.

    Is preventing the message from being seen more important than the spreading of it, if spreading it means you won’t be known?

    All I see is the ego crying out to be noticed.

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  2. I wonder if there’s some way to pepper your posts with “Blog Bloke” so that it’s a lot more difficult to copy and paste. Perhaps in between paragraphs, just small or at least have the text in the same color as the background so it’s not annoying to your readers (unless they’re on a feed, but even then, I’ve seen colored text come through in color).

    I have a copyright notice on my blog, but if anyone wants to be an overweight, mid-30s unmarried redhead then more power to them. I just want an equal chance at stealing their life.

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  3. Not at all Alan. I spend hours writing my posts and I don’t make any money from it. It only takes a minute for someone in Rangoon who has monetized their site to copy and scrape my information onto theirs.

    All that I ask in return is proper attribution according to the licence agreement.

    Do you you think it’s right that someone else who I don’t know can make money off my work without permission (and behind my back), without at least linking back to the original source?

    Ego has nothing to do with it. It’s just wrong.

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  4. Heh, Kirsten… if I did that I would be accused of having an even bigger ego :)

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  5. it is also bad netiquette not linking to sources.

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  6. No-one has seen fit to imitate me yet :(

    It’s a good idea to put the reminder out though. It’s easy enough to do it, even with no malicious intent. I found myself in a similar position today when I found an article on useful tips for bloggers starting off and I almost went ahead and copied it. I intended to give it a credit. Then I stopped myself and just posted the link instead. Since I follow my links that may even do them some good.

    Of course there are also people out there trying to earn money off your writing. Unfortunately they’ll probably just ignore this and keep going.

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  7. Don’t worry Sean. Keep writing good, original posts and it will happen. :)

    Yes, imitation is flattery, but the proper way to do it is to quote the important parts of a post that speak to you and then write your own comment on them with a link back to the source.

    That way everybody is happy.

    I never wrote this post to be arrogant or egotistical, but it’s turning into quite a good learning conversation on netiquette for all of us.

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  8. Knowing that my blog’s RSS feed sometimes gets scraped and republished, I started putting navigation links at the bottom of my posts, knowing that the links would be published along with the content.

    You can see an example on this post at my blog, http://www.leanblog.org.

    What do you think of this approach?

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  9. Hi Mark. Part of the problem I’m having is they don’t retain links. They just copy and paste the text portion and ignore the hypertext markup.

    Just today I found a security site that had copied an entire post of mine and linked to the jerk who scraped my post in the first place. So the other doink is getting all the Google juice from my post!

    I left a comment asking them politely to change the link to point to me and they just deleted my comment.


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  10. OK, my problem has been with RSS feeds, rather than cut and paste.

    I ran into a blog that was stealing content from a leader in the lean manufacturing field… a bunch of us tried reporting the blogger blog to google (it had adsense) but nothing had happened… lame that google doesn’t do more to stick up for us real bloggers.

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  11. No wonder the call it “WWW” the Wild, Wild, Web.

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