What’s the difference between a quote and outright theft of intellectual property? Well, as a blogger, I worry I’ll miss an attribution. The problem is, there are blogs out there that don’t take things nearly as seriously.
Case in point: Read this article by Al Lautenslager- 10 Marketing Tactics Under $10 and published online at Entrepeneur.com with the following clearly displayed: “Copyright © 2006 Entrepreneur.com, Inc. All rights reserved.” Then go to this site (link removed, the owner removed the post quickly as requested), which popped up in a Technorati search this morning. As I was reading it, I couldn’t help but think “I’ve read this before…”
At the bottom, the fine print:
This blog is setting up for R&D, except tagged as “Original” all sorts of blog aticals are derived from Internet. Original authors retain the copyright of his/her/its works. If you DO NOT want your works to be referenced, plz contact me, i’ll withdraw it as soon as possible. Thanks for your support.
Nice thought, but that just doesn’t cut it. It’s not up to us, as writers, to scour the net daily to “opt out” of getting our content stolen by people like J, who obviously knows he/she is up to no good, as there’s no personal information at all on the web site. What’s next, I have to find and locate all the car thieves in Central Massachusetts to “opt out” of their service as well?
In the past few days, we’ve had some interesting discussions about corporate blogging, about blogging as a future for independent journalists, and about transparency in blogs. The problem is, that in the days of print journalism, we always had the appearance, at the least, of journalistic ethics. In blog-vegas, while the assumption of ethics may exist, there’s no ombudsman hanging on every word written ready to pull the writer into the woodshed.
What “J” has done is every bit as bad as Jason Blair or Mike Barnicle, and probably a fair degree worse. And to my mind, blogging will remain an also ran medium until we can find a way to deal with the outright thieves. Once the appearance of ethics is gone, we’ve got little left.