Everywhere you go, either someone is telling you to check out their blog or to read this blog. Blogs have become mainstream ever since the web went 2.0. With the ability to easily add your own personal comment on a website, it seems silly not to make your mark on a website. Everybody is doing it. Many sites including wordpress have become phenomenon’s in the digital realm thanks to their ability to make anybody feel life an html expert. Thanks to the abundance of information flowing through fiber optic cables, bloggers are free to make their mark on just about any topic or subject. From the presidency to the Oscar’s you can comment on any article. 

However, some bloggers forget that there is an etiquette to blogging. Just like in school when you learned about plagiarizing and work’s cited pages, you can’t just cut and paste without making reference to the original source. If you do, expect that you will be found and you will get in trouble. In fact due to the alarming rise in copy infringement, many bloggers better be wary as to the un-sourced material they provide:

Copyright infringement lawsuits directed at bloggers and other online publishers seem to be on the rise. David Ardia, the director of the Citizen Media Law Project, said his colleagues kept track of 16 such suits in 2007. In 2004 and 2005, it monitored three such suits each year. And newspapers sometimes send cease-and-desist orders to sites that they believe have crossed the line.

As a blogger, we have the right to write and discuss on any matter we want, thanks to the freedom of speech amendment. At the same time however, we must exercise that right RESPONSIBLY. The information that we gather to create our stories need to be credited when and where the credit is due. Just like a research paper, you let your audience/reader know that the information you are providing is from another source. That source took the time to research the information and they deserve the credit. 

One must also keep in mind that when articles are cited or referenced from a newspaper article, in essence we (the blogger) are distracting the reader from the original source. Doing this gives less revenue to the newspaper or magazine. Despite the fact that these articles are online, there is a real person writing and/or editing those articles. They may depend on the money that is taken from that article and when we do not credit them or link a blog to their article we are preventing them from being paid. Sort of like pirating (a form on stealing digital media), when you do not give credit where it is due, you are stealing from the author.

picture-1In the end, the blogger needs to realize that when we refer to someone else’s work, we are hoping to improve upon and/or strengthen our own blog. With that said the blog that is created in essence would not be made possible without the article that is being cited or referenced. The whole blog is partly yours, but it is also made up of other people’s words/thoughts. As the picture illustrates (taken from the NY Times article that is referenced in this blog) a blog that has other articles is only whole when the parts are stitched together. Without providing correct links and credit, the blog is not whole, and even more severe- to many illegal. Keeping in mind that lawsuits are on the rise and the fact that newspapers and magazines are increasing their efforts to stop copyright infringement, bloggers need to take a minute to realize that when they are blogging, they should also be asking, “If I don’t provide proper credit to the source (if any) who am I hurting or preventing from getting paid?”

As a publishing company, Editorial Campana understands the importance of protecting copyright material. When we blog, we make sure to directly link to the source that we are quoting (or any material that we are using to enhance our blogs). As a service to readers and as a responsibility to the literary world, check out this site: COPYSCAPE. Simply type in your website address and you can see where your material appears on the internet (other than your own website).  Also check out the U.S. Copyright Office Website.

Advertisements