Monday, April 26, 2004

Be careful quoting blogs

There have been quite a number of blog posts regarding this original post on Inluminent entitled "Quoteblogs vs. Linkblogs". Essentially, the author explores the difference between Quoteblogs (blogs that quote entire posts by a different author) and Linkblogs (links that point people reading the blog to the original author's work).

One of the most glaring examples of a Quoteblog, according to Inluminent, is (was) Scoble's aggregator blog in which Scoble would post content directly from MS Outlook. According to this post from Scoble, he has stopped adding content to his aggregator blog in direct response to the Inluminent post linked to above (more importantly, read this post from Scoble where his wife told him to stop).

This whole argument basically builds down to intellectual property and copyright. Luckily, there is an easy solution. If you look on the right side of my blog you will see that my blog is covered with this Creative Commons license (please click on the link so that you can see how easy and straightforward this license is).

You didn't click on it did you? That's ok, here's the important part:

"You are free:

to copy, distribute, display, and perform the work
to make derivative works
to make commercial use of the work
Under the following conditions:

Attribution. You must give the original author credit.
Share Alike. If you alter, transform, or build upon this work, you may distribute the resulting work only under a license identical to this one.

For any reuse or distribution, you must make clear to others the license terms of this work.
Any of these conditions can be waived if you get permission from the author."

This licensing scheme seems to work very well (and yes, you can customize the terms of the license to fit your personal needs) and address issues brought up in Inluminent's article. What Creative Commons does not specifically address in its licensing is e-mail content -- Scoble was specifically posting e-mail content to his aggregator blog. Furthermore, the licensing does not necessarily translate across to RSS feed readers and aggregators. So what to do?

Here are my suggestions:
1. Paste in a link to your Creative Commons license (go get one, it's free) into the bottom of each of your posts so that it is picked up in the aggregators (I'm sure there's a way to make most blogging tools automatically insert this, I'll let you know if I figure out how to make Blogger do it).

2. Put a link to a Creative Commons license in the sig of your e-mail (if anyone's doing this, please let me know).

Just my $0.02 on solutions.

I've said before that I always try to give credit where it is due. I faithfully permalink to all articles I am referring to, and really try to Trackback (even though it's a pain in the ass as a Blogger user). I always use quotation marks (and Italics), and try never to quote entire posts.

Still waiting for those universal blog referencing standards.

No comments: