feel free to 'steal' my content

There is a growing number of people who believe in open source blogging. They are un-coyrighting their work - granting full permission to whoever wants to use their material, to use in any way they wish.

In 1892 deaf-blind author Helen Keller was accused of plagiarism. Later her friend Mark Twain wrote her a letter of support... 


'Oh dear me, how unspeakably funny and owlishly idiotic and grotesque was that "plagiarism" farce! As if there was much of anything in any human utterance, oral or written, except plagiarism! The kernel, the soul - let us go further and say the substance, the bulk, the actual and valuable material of all human utterances - is plagiarism. for substantially all ideas are second-hand, consciously and unconsciously drawn from a million outside sources ...'



In the crowded world of the blogosphere my blog is not even small fry - it's more like microscopic tiny teeny fry.  To my knowledge no one's stolen my words or pictures, and no one's asked to.  But ... if anyone finds my work helpful or useful, I'm happy for it to be used. With or without attribution.

You can't steal what is given freely. 
This is about sharing, not piracy.

Comments

  1. I feel a bit the same. I don't think there's anything on my blog worth stealing but I'm happy to share. It's like when we were students and were never concerned about burglars because we were protected by poverty. Although I can understand people that put so much work and creativity into their blogs and find them reposted under someone else's name getting upset.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Missy, I can understand too - in fact it happened to a cyberfriend and she was devastated. Someone published her entire blog under their name. Part of my motivation is protective - it's only 'stuff', I don't want to worry about it. I love that phrase you coined (you and / or someonee else!) - protected by poverty.

      Delete
  2. This is an interesting post. As a Librarian in an academic setting I am all about citing your sources and not pretending that someone else's work is your own so that you can get a good mark.
    I am not sure about the 'blog' world. I wouldn't mind if someone else used my words providing that they were not gaining profit by it. Mind you I doubt that will ever happen!
    However, having said that I do think it is bad form to knowingly use someone's words or images and by default infer that they are your own. It is a form of deception and it wouldn't hurttowrite 'I got this information from so and so's very interesting blog. Here is the link.'
    Kirkandalan
    PS
    My blog is even tinier as it is new!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I agree with Kirk. I don't have anything to steal, but it's not correct to write somebody's text as your own.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Satu, I agree, it's wrong, and I wouldn't do it myself either.

      Delete
  4. Sorry Catmint, I know I'm old fashioned, but I was brought up to believe that taking anything without the owners permission was stealing. All they have to do is ask and not pretend that the work is theirs.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Pauline, you are right. But I guess this position is a way of rethinking our values.It is wrong to steal, but it is also wrong the way companies jealously guard their intellectual property to benefit themselves instead of using it to benefit people in need.

      Delete
  5. I hope i havn't stolen anyone's words, but i do think it does happen with post ideas as well, especially on blogs on a subconcious level. Most ideas and any other sort of creativity comes from a source or an idea, most of the time someone else has already had that thought or idea to a certain extent. However copying or stealing someone else's photo's is not on.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hi Karen, the more I talk about this topic the more I think I understand it. I think the point is that if you see blogs as open source, then the idea of stealing is simply not relevant. It's available for public use, whether it's words or pics.

      Delete
  6. That is incredibly kind! I warn my students against plagiarism when they write research papers for me. I even run them through plagiarism detection software because the practice is so blatant and pervasive. I sometimes wonder how many of our own creative ideas are simply seeds planted by someone else. But as a writer, if someone stole my writing I'd be livid, especially when they take so long to create.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I have to admit to having mixed feelings about this. I ask people to ask for permision before they use my material out of courtesy. I have asked one site to remove a post they had completely lifted from my blog. They had credited me but it was the way they did it that left a nasty taste. In the last week I wrote a post about depression which has been much read, which I am pleased about. However, I discovered that someone had lifted it and reblogged it in its entirety, giving me credit, but it annoyed me.

    I agree completely that when you blog you put material and photographs on the internet and that copyright is difficult but I also think there should be a degree of courtesy. If you want to draw your readers attention to a blog post you enjoyed then why not write your own post and include a link to it rather than using someone elses words, surely your readers want to read your view not have something regeritated from elsewhere.

    If someone has put effort into writing something then why should someone else just use it without being polite enough to ask. In my experience bloggers are generous people but we all appreciate being asked first.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. reblogged in its entirety is not 'fair use'.

      A quote, a link, and some fresh input - that's part of what blogging is about. It is stories about blogs being stolen - and the thief whimpered - oh but I love your life! Just added her own name to stolen posts and photos. I do claim my copyright - but I'm flattered to be quoted and linked to.

      Delete
  8. Generosity of spirit is an enviable trait and one I'm trying to attain. Unfortunately there are those who see generosity as a weakness ripe for abuse. I have had some of my ideas stolen in the past. Both times it would have been beneficial to my career to have been recognized. I hate it when my faith in human nature turns around and bites me.
    Blogging, however, is a little different. Isn't it based on sharing? I think as long as we respect each other sharing has to be a good thing.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hi again, Regarding your reply to Pauline, I feel the same. The concept of helping seems to have lost out to profit and greed. Governments could fund research for the common good. A thriving populace would, after all, be a tax paying one.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hello there!!! I know how you feel and I respect that statement. I started marking my work like a dog does a fire hydrant because a porn site stole my work and used my pictures of Leonard Nimoy on their site. I was livid!! Now I mark it all. I spend so many hours on the outings and writing that I watermark all my work now. I don't mind sharing.....but if someone is going to use a pic or work, they need to ask first. I began thinking it was okay to share....but then the incident I had last year left a bad taste in my mouth. However, I understand where you're coming from:) It must be getting warmer on your side of the world because it's getting darker here earlier now. I am so ready for the cooler weather.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. yes ... getting warmer and lighter ... and more light-hearted. Love that expression marking your work like a dog ... the porn site experience sounds horrible, there are some awful people out there I guess. I figure I'm fairly safe inside the gardening blogging community!

      Delete
  11. I enjoy blogging for the sharing of ideas and 'meeting' people. There are days when I get up to look proudly at my new post of the week and then notice two or three other bloggers have had the same idea. I guess a lot of what I write about is a result of something happening in my/our world or another blog I've read makes me start thinking. I don't consider any of us plagiarists - the word meme springs to mind.

    If I read something in a blog and love it I usually just tell my readers: "Hey ya'll, read this!" and add a link in my post to make it easier for them to do so.

    On the other hand, stealing an idea and claiming it as your own, especially stealing an entire post, is shameful. If someone in Greenland stole your blog and passed it off as their own not only are they getting all your work free and easy, but they cause anyone who follows them to live in this lie. All 'conversations' they have would be meaningless and based on stolen ideas. (I'll save what I think about the "blogs of entire fiction" for another day.)

    I enjoy your blog, the fact that in my world Australia is mysterious and foreign makes it even more fun for me. If I want fake stuff I'll start reading the magazines in the doctor's waiting room.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thanks for this, Joy, I suppose if someone did copy my blog it wouldn't be authentic and wouldn't work anyway.

      Delete
  12. Yay to you Catmint I'm the same in fact i would be quite chuffed for anyone to take my info and pass it on!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Inspiring and radical post! I look forward to reading more of your insightful posts.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Interesting thoughts here and you are very generous...I have mine copyrighted but I am a small fry compared to others and make no money from anything so I am flattered if someone asks for permission or links in...I am happy to share but I do think we should be civilized and use manners to ask...I am old fashioned that way...if someone ask I always say yes...

    ReplyDelete
  15. I applaud you. When it comes to information it's all been around the block a few times. Pictures are a bit different for me, somehow they are more personal. However beauty is meant to be shared as well. Common politeness says you should ask to borrow but this is not a perfect world. Anyone not wanting to share should make sure they say so upfront and clear, water marks on photos is easy enough to do too.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I do like a bit of controversy catmint, one of those posts which compelled me to read every comment. Some bloggers go over the top with thoughts of, where did you get the information from, is it your own thoughts or did you read it somewhere and if so why didn't you add a link as to where it came from etc, etc, etc. so in many respects most of the information which we have of all aspects in life came from another source at some time or another. My blog is generally on how plants have performed in my garden! I think this may give a little exclusivity, I am not even sure if that is the correct word. And then there are those who get their knickers in a twist if you try to tell them how something should be done, thats another story, but I just dont get it. Well anyway, enjoyed your post, and I am pretty sure nobody is going to want my stuff, on the other hand if they think one of my pictures is worth claiming as there own then they better watch out,ta ta for now, have I been drinking or something?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. enjoy Alastair, if you have been drinking I suppose it was some ancient Scottish alcoholic brew! You've scared me off, i wouldn't dare claim any of your pics now!!!!!!!

      Delete
    2. It must have been that ancient amber nectar that I nicked from my mothers house when she was moving into sheltered accommodation.Only joking, nick anything from her, even at 91 she would kill me.

      Delete

Post a Comment

Lovely to hear from you ... as long as you're not trying to sell me something.