Saturday, March 20, 2010

Copyright Issue?

There has been something happened this last week that bothered me and now a comment has been made about it on my last post. I'd like to ask some of you other bloggers how you handle the issue.

Many of you re-post and link to our blog. I consider that an honor when someone does that. Many have even directly copy and pasted from me and linked that is absolutely no problem as I know you are trying to help others or yourself and they are being used appropriately. Please feel free to continue to do what you have been doing in the past.

However, when I was ask to write for The Partnership I had to become aware that I was writing for someone else's site and I had to respect the copyright issues they have, although they have told me I can use them as I need. A couple of months ago I found another site had copied and pasted my 7 Truths article to their site on the forums. I became a member of the forums and tried to participate in helping others. When I tried to post the links to the original articles the owner/moderator threatened to ban me and would not allow links to original posts. She then ask me to copy and paste the articles from The Partnership site to her site without crediting or linking to the original post and site. That's fine, it's their site so I thought it would be best to part ways and remind them of copyright law and ask them to remove my copied articles. Now I've been accused of being selfish, not willing to help others and who knows what else. Actually that's their problem not mine.

My question, how do other bloggers handle copyright issues about their sites and posts?


Sarah said...

Share and share alike, I think. But it must be reciprocated, or I'd part ways, too.

Stealing is bad karma and if they don't credit the author, that's stealing.

Barbara said...

That ticks me off! How dare her say that to YOU of all people? I think I know something that will help you, I need to do some research to find it...will get back to you.

Kim A. said...

This article might help you.


Brother Frankie said...

dont dwell on it dad..

like you need one ,ore thing ..LOL

Let go, let God.

cant controll what others do,
we can control how we respond..

you are loved
brother frankie..
(its riding weather!!!!)

Dad and Mom said...

It's not riding weather here. We got 8" of snow yesterday!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Syd said...

I think that copyright needs to be respected. Put a copyright notice on your site. The internet doesn't need to be lawless, even though much of it is.

LisaC said...

Since I don't write eloquently, I don't have to worry about anyone copying my words! :) I think you are extremely sharing with your words of wisdom, the lessons that you have/are learning and providing all of us something to think about. It disturbs me that someone would take advantage of that.

I don't know the answer to your specific question, but you have a right to be disturbed by the communication.

Anonymous said...

Copyright is the law. You create it, you own it. Unless you sign away your rights to it, it belongs to you. Period.

Linking is generally not an issue. Reprinting your words on another site it. Check to see if you signed away the rights to those pieces you posted elsewhere. You may have done so in a terms checkbox or something.

For the future, you can write for other sites without giving it away. You can LEASE limited rights to an article. You can agree to allow someone to post an article of yours for a certain amount of time, or use it as a handout, or reprint it in a magazine, while still retaining your copyright. You can do it for free, or you can charge a reprint fee. But that's YOUR choice. Leasing one-time rights is how magazine writers generally try to do things.

Do google searches for your copy from time to time. People will steal your stuff, and use it without permission. Unfortunately, it happens all the time. Search on a unique phrase or string of words. Just because something is on the Internet doesn't mean it's free for everyone else to reuse.

And don't let anyone bully you with comments re "don't you want to help people." You are helping people. You also -- by law -- own the words you write. I would check to see what terms you agreed to in your blogging software, however. You might have signed away the rights already. I don't know.

It's smart to bone up on this stuff.

Hey, you might want to turn all of this into a book someday. But you wouldn't be able to do that if you've signed away the rights to everything.

A professional writer and follower. :)

Anonymous said...

Reprinting your words on another site it.
I meant:
Reprinting your words on another site IS.

Heather's Mom said...

I have been doing websites for non-profits, friends and family members the past 10 years, and also graphic design and Photoshop work... so, I've had to research copyright for various reasons over the years.

On the web, if you put "copyright 2005. Name of zzz" your work is automatically copyrighted at first posting, BUT, you can have it copyrighted "officially"

Like anonymous stated above... check any contracts you have. In your agreement with the Partnership, did you sign your rights to the articles over to them, or did you retain ownership?

It is NEVER okay to publish someone else's work (or "owned work" or a private person's personal likeness/image) without permission. On the web, however, it is often done on "personal" sites without consequence as long as there is no harmful intent and credit is given. It is still not OKAY, and the blogger/personal website owner may be asked to remove the content (hopefully at worst).
In the instance of a personal site the same applies with linking to other sites/articles.

For a professional site (business/organization) NOTHING should be published without permission of the creative work's owner. And on a professional site I would never link to another site without explicit permission from that site owner.

In the case you mentioned in your post, the 2 organizations are considered "professional" and technically "competitors" of each other.
I believe what she asked you to do - copy and paste with no credit - was dishonest and illegal. Since Partnership said you could use as you saw fit, what you did, linking, was really the correct way to do it.
You were not selfish, you were honorable.

I appreciate your "written consent" (lol) to link to your blog b/c I seem to do it a lot - without permission! :) So thanks!
Keep up your great work!
God bless.

Fractalmom said...

creative commons license

Barbara said...

8" of snow? Are you kidding me? There's still snow in some parts of the country. I find that so hard to imagine. Its summer here.

madyson007 said...

Hmm...sounds like what they wanted to do was unethical and parting ways was a good idea. You help so many in so many ways you don't need them to do that and you don't need to feel bad or guilty for choosing not to participate.

peglud said...

Do you get paid for your blog? If you do, then copywriting may be an issue. Otherwise, it seems to be more of an ethical issue. Also - there may be language in your contract with Partnership that clarifies such issues. Any writer has the license to rearrange words from others. Their ethical imperative to reference the ideas/direct quotes they use, is not necessarily legally required, unless it is formally published. (And even then it's difficult to monitor). Do blogs meet this criteria? There seems to be new rules developing regarding intellectual properties and the internet. If you are being reimbursed in some way for your blog and writing, you may be in a different category than us 'casual' bloggers.

Dad and Mom said...

I receive no compensation for my writing on my blog or from The Partnership.

However, the way I understand it from all of the comments and references I have read that were sent by all of you; blogs and essay's, it's no matter if it is paid work is covered completely by copyright law.

Fractalmom said...

only if there is a display (announcement) somewhere fairly prominently on the page. thats why mine has the CCL on it.

Dad and Mom said...

If you look at the bottom of my page there has been copyright notice there since nearly the start of my blog.

Lou said...

Thanks for bringing this to my attention. I have never put a copyright notice on my blog, but I will now. Who knows, we may write a book someday...if we don't go crazy first..LOL

Thanks for your comment, I will be around to check on all our kids.

Anonymous said...

Far as I understand it, copyright law is for the protection of artists' rights re income, not to protect privacy... if anybody wants to copy anything you have written, photographed or filmed, in theory at least you have the right to ask for paymnent for that use and in theory they should at least ask for permission to do it.
On the internet and the blogosphere things are a bit freeer, but I think at least people should credit someone else's writing. And what's so wrong about providing a link??

Dad and Mom said...


Copyrights are not just for artists or writers work that provide income. They are for all work regardless of payment. Copyrights are NOT any different on the internet than anywhere else. It is just people chose to violate them and think if it is posted it must be there for the taking. Wrong.

Anonymous said...

Yes, and you don't even need to post a copyright notice to make it legal. You create it, you own it. Whether someone makes money off it is beside the point.

The Interventionist said...

When I post someone else's stuff to my blog, I give credit and link to their blog, that always seemed to be enough. None of my writing is copyrighted, so if someone used it and it was helpful, then my intention was fulfilled, regardless of whether or not I got any credit. If they make millions off of it, then they must have bought a lottery ticket or something!