Content theft: The come and get it solution

Although I do not get paid to blog, I take my blogging very seriously. I invest time and energy into researching and writing my posts. I have a strong sense of ownership of my words and that means I’m “attached” to what I write. I know that it is my attachments and aversions that prevent me from becoming a more open minded and generous person.  And, I’m constantly working at breaking away from and letting go of the attachments and aversions that lead to the creation of negative emotions.

I have just read A Radical Solution to Blog Content Piracy and I’m mulling over what I read.  Below is an excerpt but please click through to read the whole post.

Two big blogs, maybe more, have adopted a radical approach to copyright. You are absolutely free to copy, paste, steal, modify, and otherwise manipulate whatever you find at the wildly popular Zen Habits and The Simple Dollar. The content on both blogs is public domain.

come & get it
come & get it

This decision by  two notable bloggers, who have decided to “give it all away”,  is one that is a 360 degree turn about from my current policy posted on my Copyright & Disclaimer page which states:

“All content in this blog created by the blog owner is the property of the blog owner and protected by U.S. and international copyright laws and cannot be stored on any retrieval system, reproduced, reposted, displayed, modified or transmitted in any form, electronic or otherwise without written permission of the copyright owner except as noted below.

A brief excerpt of content (up to 50 words) may be quoted as long as a link is provided back to the source page on this blog.”

Part of that consideration is that my policy reflects how I treat the writing of other bloggers. If I were to change my policy how would I view those who do maintain the position that I currently take?

Conclusion: I’m not ready to change my policy at this time but I do want to know what my readers think.

Discussion questions:

  1. Do you get paid to blog?
  2. What is your current copyright policy?
  3. Would you consider introducing a come and get it policy?


Related posts found in this blog:
Splog Off! Dealing with content theft
SplogSpot: Dealing with content thieves
Copyright: Fair Use Limitations
What to do about copyright
What is copyright?

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18 thoughts on “Content theft: The come and get it solution

  1. @Nicholas Polino
    If you click through to Angie’s post you will see that the Zen Habits and The Simple Dollar bloggers have stated their reasons for placing their work in the public domain there. Suffice to say that blog blogs are HUGELY popular and receive hundreds of thousand of hits every day.

    If you aren’t inclined to place your work in the public domain then you may find my latest post to be of interest to you How to copyright your digital works.

  2. @Angie
    I like your blog and particularly enjoyed your thought provoking post, so I was delighted to link to it and see if we can increase awareness of copyright and public domain issues within the blogging community, as well as, securing feedback.
    Best wishes for happy blogging

  3. @Ian in Hamburg
    I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that what you suggest Ian has already happened. It seems that these days sploggers are rampant. Therefore for the blogger to whom copyright protection is important it makes sense to act and let everyone know where they stand.

    Once you have created anything in tangible form, it has a copyright and is automatically protected under the internationally accepted Berne Convention copyright agreement. In the past this was usually enough however, now that billions of us are publishing online, if you find someone using your work, how do you prove, “This is my creation, and these are my terms?”

    My Free Copyright creates a public historical record matching you, your copyright, and its terms of use. This registration is verifiable in a court of law and allows you to prove, “I created that on this date.”

    Some countries require registration with their jurisdiction in order to receive additional entitlements beyond actual damages in an infringement case. Registration with most jurisdictions can be a lengthy and costly process but MyFreeCopyright.com provides an instant public date registration of your original digital creation and protects your rights while other options are investigated. After registering with MyFreeCopyright.com, you can seek the advice of a professional in your jurisdiction to determine the best course of action for your situation.

    The MyFreeCopyright services are thus available for those who do want to write a book (ebook) in the future and include text from their earlier blog posts in it.

    Thanks for the visit and comment. I hope you are keeping well. :)

  4. @Doc Nicole Sundene
    Yes, indeed this is a disturbing fact and an eye opener for sure. Any blogger, who does intend to write a book (ebook) that contains their blog posts is best served by licensing their work and posting an appropriate international Copyright policy and/or notice.

    Thanks for dropping “the bomb” lol :P

  5. @sayzlim
    The reason I asked the question ” Do you get paid to blog?” is because those who do write posts for payment must not only remain within the Terms of Service for the various organizations they work for, but they would also be well served to post a Disclosure Policy on their blog. Any blogger who requires a Disclosure Policy can use a generator to create one that specifically reflects the details that apply to their situation. If you want to see an example I have one on my About page.

    I don’t really know about these stuffs, maybe you can write a post about it. Just don’t copy all my content and doesn’t give me a backlink.

    It sounds to me like you want to post a copyright policy that allows for only excerpts with a link back to your original post is what you want. If this is so then you can post this:

    “All content in this blog created by the blog owner is the property of the blog owner and protected by U.S. and international copyright laws and cannot be stored on any retrieval system, reproduced, reposted, displayed, modified or transmitted in any form, electronic or otherwise without written permission of the copyright owner except as noted below. A brief excerpt of content (up to 25 words) may be quoted as long as a link is provided back to the source page on this blog.”

    In addition, you can visit the three sites I provide the links for in my latest post How to copyright your digital works and choose to use the services that the site of your choice provides to create your own license.

    Would you consider introducing a come and get it policy?
    Sorry for my ignorance, but what is it TT?

    “The come and get it policy” is actually called “public domain”. The bloggers at Zen Habits and The Simple Dollar decided to their copyright and instead they chose to made ALL of their content available to everyone by placing their works under public domain.

    Thanks for reading and asking questions too. Answering questions helps me to improve my future writing.
    Best wishes for better blogging :)

  6. @dosox
    Hell and thanking for commenting. All unique works are automatically deemed to be under copyright to their creator – all rights reserved, whether or not we post a notice. It’s only when we choose to define the spectrum of possibilities between all rights reserved and the public domain — no rights reserved that the need for posting a notice arises. The notice serves the purpose of notifying others of the choices we have made with regard to use of our copyrighted material arises. You will find three options for creating an appropriate notice for your blog in my latest post How to copyright your digital works.
    Happy blogging

  7. @jardinprayer
    Since I’m a published fiction author and have always enjoyed seeing my work capped with a by line, I’m sure I’d feel differently about releasing copyright in the way the two sites in your linked article do.

    Thanks for sharing your story. Unfortunately, it’s becoming more and more a common as the days go by. Please take note of what Doc Nicole Sundene has to say further down in the comments. The advisement she received is disconcerting.

    Also note that if you ever do want to make a DMCA complaint the step by step instructions for doing so are found in this post Splog Off! Dealing with content theft

  8. @Teck
    Thanks for weighing in and letting us know about your “reblog” policy. I appreciate you sharing your position on copyright. I do believe that other bloggers will be following suit but, IMO they will tend to be the huge blogs like Zen Habits and The Simple Dollar.

  9. Wow, Dr. Sundene’s comment is an eye-opener! Talk about turning the tables.

    The two blogs mentioned are in a good position – their tactic makes them more popular, but they already have the critical mass of readers to build on. If everyone could do this, a lone blogger writing excellent material getting 50 hits a day could theoretically have his stuff lifted and published in a book in another country, say, and he’d be none the wiser.

  10. I had an “uncopyright” policy just like Zen Habits until my friend mentioned that anyone could steal my content, write it in to a book, and then sue me someday for infringing on their books copyright.

    Ugh. Plagiarism.

  11. 1. Do you get paid to blog?
    Not yet and not sure yet. Maybe I’ll do the paid post in the future, as for now. I am still building my blog. Not even getting paid, I paid for my blog :D. Yeah… $9/year is not too much and $6/month is fine too for me.

    2. What is your current copyright policy?
    I don’t really know about these stuffs, maybe you can write a post about it. Just don’t copy all my content and doesn’t give me a backlink.

    3. Would you consider introducing a come and get it policy?
    Sorry for my ignorance, but what is it TT?

  12. My contents are always free to share if there’s a credit like these “dosox” or “Maciding Doson”. But don’t remix it.
    But who likes to share a personal content.. hehe.. ( I’m not a celebrity) Of course there are some of my own crucial ideas and i am talking about that.

  13. I’m a relatively new…and casual…blogger. I started the blog never intending to reach an audience larger than my friends and family. The first time I saw on my stats page that someone had linked to my blog, I was shocked to see the entire post had been lifted and pasted directly onto another…graphics and all. They didn’t credit me formally, but a video posted in the entry didn’t make the transfer and resulted in a link back to my blog. Because the site was a fringe political/religious group with a large following, my blog received the most views in the 3 days following that event it has to date. I wrote the blog owner and politely suggested they consider asking permission before doing that in the future, and taking care to credit the author appropriately. He answered that I should have no gripe because I got traffic out of the deal and that if I “don’t want your stuff to be read, get off the internet.” Interesting first experience for someone only blogging a few weeks! My response was the best one I could think of: I blogged about it! I mentioned the organization but did not link to them.

    This has happened once since then…just yesterday, in fact. Since that post didn’t involve much writing on my part (merely linking to a humorous website with an interactive aspect and briefly describing it), I responded to that blogger with a comment thanking them for sending viewers my way!

    Neither of these experiences involved altering my writing or removing any evidence of my involvement, so I’ve decided to just get peaceful about this kind of thing. Since I’m a published fiction author and have always enjoyed seeing my work capped with a by line, I’m sure I’d feel differently about releasing copyright in the way the two sites in your linked article do.

  14. 1. What is your current copyright policy?

    At this point I don’t have a policy. I even recently implemented a reblog it button were if the button is pressed they can grab a excerpt of my post & include it in there post even if it’s not directly related to my article.

    Don’t get me wrong I do take blogging serious & I do care about my content But I also look at as free advertisement. Which has really helped me out with establishing a new reader
    base.

    3. Would you consider introducing a come and get it policy?

    Yeah! I already started moving that direction with the reblog it button. Also there is just to many sites on a daily bases scrapping sites I rather spend my time enjoying the time I take to write content then be chasing down a site with a DMCA because they stole or used my content with out permission.

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