Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Being nice - don't use other people's content

Hey, you guys. I am so busy right now and I haven't got a lot to show for it at the moment, I'm afraid. I hope you're doing some fun stuff and creating some creative things.

I thought I'd just drop in to write a little post about something that's not cool. Not cool at all. And it has happened to me. Just yesterday - well, I only found out today.

Using other people's content without their permission is not cool. I know, you guys are all awesome and wouldn't do that, but I thought I'd just throw it out there in case you are a bit new to the internets and not entirely sure what is the cool thing to do.

Sure, there are some grey areas. Like, most people won't object if you borrow one of their pictures to tell your readers how awesome that person is and go check out their site. Most people don't even mind if you don't ask them permission in a case like that. If they are really busy, they'd probably rather you didn't, because then they'd feel obliged to reply back and these things all take time. And stuff.

But back to using people's content without permission. As in, a complete blog post, a tutorial for example. Swiping all the photos and text and using them in their entirety without permission is not cool. Not even if you link back to the original blog post. Attribution and a link is not a free pass to do whatever you want.

And cropping out the copyright message from the photos only makes it worse. Because that means you're trying to pass the content of as your own. Yeah, even with a link back to the original post, it's not cool. It's just a copyright infringement.

Maybe you think it is ok to do it if you are translating it into a different language? No, that's still not ok, because you're using someone else's hard work taking photos and writing the tutorial.

I know, it would be madness to think you can protect your content if you put it online - however, what happened to common decency? Huh? People who "borrow" (is stealing too harsh?) content without playing nice are hurting the whole crafty community.

Generally, the crafty community is a very nice place where people share their ideas and techniques and other content freely. If we can't do that without worrying about being ripped off, even amongst ourselves, then what kind of a community is it?

If you see someone using someone else's content and you suspect it is without their permission, let people know. Both the meanies, let them know that you are on to them; the crafty community isn't that big and people do get around and recognise other people's work. And let the person being 'abused' know too so they can try and stop it.

It might not work every time, but atleast we can try. And try to educate people so they play nice in future.

That's it from me today. Be nice! ;-)


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