Be open to the unexpected – what you find might be better than what you were looking for.
We All Like to Reblog by Andy P, WordPress.com, June 1, 2010
Have you ever come across a blog post that you enjoyed so much you wanted to easily share it with the readers of your own blog? Sure, you can copy and paste the link and perhaps even a snippet of text with your own comments, but overall it’s not a particularly enjoyable experience. We wanted to change this and make sharing other posts with your readers as easy as posting to your blog.
On December 5, 2011, I got a notice that one of my posts had been Reblogged. When I clicked the link that pointed to the site that had reblogged me, this is the greater part of what I saw:
In the case of this particular post, the reblog contained about half of what I said, plus one of my photos in its original size. The Blog that copied my post consists entirely of reblogged content.
This bothers me. I was not asked for, nor did I give permission for someone to copy and post one of my photos. Reblogging, in this case, looks an awful lot like content theft.
Content theft happens all the time on the internet, but that doesn’t make it right. Each and every one of us holds a Copyright to the content on our blogs, as long as we are the original writer of the words, photographer of our photos, or designer of our graphics. We don’t even have to post a notice of Copyright for this to be so. (But it is a good idea to do this to remind others that your content is not free for the taking. WordPress discusses how to Prevent Content Theft. Among other topics, they discuss Copyright Notices that can be posted in your sidebar, and placing a watermark or copyright notice on photos.)
No one else is allowed to copy this content in it’s entirety without our express permission. They can, however, take small excerpts from it for inclusion in their work, provided they give us credit. These snippets should be for the purpose of criticism, commentary or news reporting and are considered “fair use”.
In the case of a photograph or graphic, the photographer or graphic artist has the sole right to produce and reproduce the photograph or any substantial part of it. No one can use that photo or graphic without permission.
All WordPress Bloggers signed Terms of Service. We agree that we will not “download, copy and use Content that infringes the proprietary rights, including but not limited to the copyright, patent, trademark or trade secret rights, of any third party”. In turn, we as bloggers “grant Automattic a world-wide, royalty-free, and non-exclusive license to reproduce, modify, adapt and publish the Content solely for the purpose of displaying, distributing and promoting our blog.”
I have contacted the owner of the blog that has violated my photo copyright. They have not yet approved my comment, responded to my complaint, or removed my photo.
I contacted WordPress and asked them to facilitate the removal of my photo from this site because I did not grant permission for anyone to use it. WordPress eventually responded by blocking the offending blog completely.
So, what do you think about Reblogging? Does it look like content theft to you?
Have you ever included photos or graphics in your blog that you have not obtained permission to use?