Today I read a good blog post about content curation vs. content scraping “Are You a Content Thief and Don’t Know it?” by Kim Stiglitz. According to the article,
“The key difference of content curation vs. content scraping has everything to do with proper source credit and attribution.”
I was reminded of the scandal early this year when Toronto District School Board director Chris Spence was caught out for plagiarism. It began with a newspaper article and before long it was evident that he was a serial copycat. From his doctorate dissertation to his blog, he was guilty of plagiarism.
I don’t think that most bloggers intentionally steal content. One of our LearnWP students asked innocently enough if it is acceptable to repost someone’s blog post on his own blog.
What is the acceptable way to use blog content from others without violating copyright?
Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer. This is not intended as legal advice.
Follow these 5 tips for authentic blogging
- If you are quoting someone else, actually quote them and make sure that the context carries over their original intent. Use quotation marks and attribute the comment to the original author.
- Provide a live link to the original source. If you properly cite your sources it adds credibility to your post.
- Check if the source you are quoting has content usage guidelines and if so, follow them. I once heard a blogger at a conference say that if it’s on the Internet it’s fine to reuse it because of creative commons licensing. I nearly jumped out of my seat! No that’s not true. The entire Internet is not licensed under the creative commons! If the original author has published their image or copy under a creative commons license you can share and reuse the material in accordance with the copyright. If there isn’t clear licensing information associated with the material, then you should request permission to use it first.
- Don’t use a post in its entirety. Quote from it but then add your own take on the subject. Offer more to your readers than the original article offered, give them a good reason to follow your blog.
- If you want to publish an entire article, ask permission from the original author and make sure that the original author is credited. I wouldn’t make a habit of this. If you are going to blog, write your own original content.
Compose a post with a link to the source, add a “hat tip” to the person who brought it to your attention #ArtofSocialClick To Tweet
When you find content because of someone else’s post, use this protocol: compose and share a post with a link to the source and then add a “hat tip” to the person who brought it to your attention. – Guy Kawasaki & Peg Fitzpatrick The Art of Social Media
It is so easy to copy and paste from other web sources when writing a blog post. If you don’t want to be a copycat, give credit where credit is due.