First, kudo's to the author of the blog Another Monkey for making the "find" I am about to reference public. He also took the time to cross-post information on this discovery on the NEPA Blogs site as well. Getting myself listed on NEPA Blogs was important to me years ago, as it really is "the" listing of blogs for the area, and it's a site that I frequently visit when I am looking for new and interesting things to read on-line. In fact, almost all of the blogs you see listed on my blog roll came from references on NEPA Blogs.
Second, and to the point at hand, it seems that there is a site...I will not reference the site by name, as to not provide further publicity (besides, you can find out all about it by clicking HERE to Another Monkey's posting on the topic)...publishing the postings of local blogs without expressly asking permission to do so. What's more, they are copying and pasting the postings into their site without redirecting to the blogs of the original authors. To the former charge, I admit making that mistake myself, once, but was kindly reminded that it wasn't all that Kosher by an editor of the Scranton Times. Point well taken. To the latter point, that's a big problem for those blog authors who rely on advertising that is based on site hits. For the record I do have any advertisements on this site, chiefly for two reasons:
1. I don't get enough hits anyway.
2. I never want to be seen advocating for a particular person, product or service unless I personally use it.
However if I did, having my stuff reproduced off my URL would really cheese me off. How cheesed off? Well think of your average attendee at a hip-hop concert being forced to wear a well-fitting belt and you will begin to get my drift.
Third, it all comes down to this: what I write here is my stuff...my content...my spew. It belongs to me and I should be the one who decides where it goes and how it is referenced. What I am referring to is far different than, say, being inspired by another person's work. I freely admit that I have gotten ideas about things such as topics and writing style from other blogs. I also have seen ideas of mine creep up on other blogs as well (I will not mention any specifics because imitation is the sincerest form of flattery), and I'm perfectly fine with premise that blogging is something of an open community. "Open Community" however isn't a catch phrase for "reproducing without permission".
Finally, where to go from here with this issue? Well it seems that the folks at NEPA Blogs will not be letting this one go, so I will continue to follow the investigation as it unfolds. The site administrators of NEPA Blogs can feel free to contact me if there is a need for a newly asthmatic, lunk-headed Kraut in this investigation. Otherwise I think I will start brushing up on my copyright law. I've had a circular from the U.S. Copyright Office sitting here at my desk for a while, so maybe it's time to start bending a few pages.
Thanks! For what it's worth, that site appears to have been taken down as of today - it's down, and the site owner told one of the most heavily-targeted bloggers that he had taken it down. Whether this was due to a sudden attack of ethics, or because one or two big-gun bloggers (one of whom works for a Scranton newspaper) brought pressure on him to clean up his act, I don't know. If what I saw last night is an indicator, he's been at this a while. Five years, perhaps more, unless that's just how far he chose to go back in stealing content. Considering that he's managed to fly under MY radar for this long, it's possible that I inadvertantly sent him more site traffic this week than he had received up to that point. But we'll have to be contantly vigilant, Googling unique phrases from our bogs to see if they're appearing elsewhere.
This is good news! Thanks again for the field work on this one...and yes, we should all be vigilant about our content.
All the best...Steve
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