The Line Between Flattery and Stolen Content

BlogHer Spotlight

I know the Internet has been described as the Wild West, but while some situations may feel a little grey in this brave new one, stealing content is not one of them. It's something that should translate easily from the face-to-face world to the online world: if you didn't write it, don't cut-and-paste it and put it on your blog.

And by the way, since new bloggers always ask this question, it is fine to link to another site without asking. In other words, if you really love the recipe you found, it's fine to talk about it on your blog and link to the original post. It is not okay to cut-and-paste the other person's post into your blog. The first way gives credit to the original poster and may even pass traffic to them as a thank you for good content. The second way creates confusion about who wrote the post and doesn't thank the other person at all.

Toni Spilsbury found herself in this situation recently when her post appeared on another person's blog.

And in one mouse-click it was copied by another blogger, photos and all. With the addition of a short intro (a sentence or two) from this blogger, their post was an exact carbon copy of mine (say copy-and-paste everyone).

Have you ever had this happen to you? What did you do in that situation?


Photo Credit: Stealing Computer via Shutterstock.

Read more from Stealing Creative at Toni Spilsbury

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