Content Theft: Ethics Come into Play?

Apr 28, 2005 • 9:57 am | comments (11) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under SEO Copywriting

I am not a lawyer, I do not pretend to know copyright law, but I do have a pretty strong set of ethics and morals. I was shocked to see a thread at SEO Chat Forums where a member asked, and I quote:

I started a search engine marketing blog

A. Am I covering my butt when reposting articles as long as credit is given??

B. How do I make money with this thing?

Please take a look and let me know your thoughts.

Of course other members take offense to such a post. (1) I started a search engine marketing blog. (2) I want to repost articles, but do not want to ask for specific permission, just give the author credit. Credit how? A link? A name? Does it matter? (3) After reprinting other peoples articles and hard work, this individual wants to make money from it. You and I can do the same. We can all set up a blog in about 20 minutes and then copy and paste articles from other sites in the blog. It just doesn't seem right.

What is more shocking is that this member said he writes for SEO Chat's article section. As an author, would he want others to take his work and post it anywhere without his permission. I guess it doesn't bother him, but it must. If I knew about it, and someone was reprinting my original work without my permission, I would be very upset. It is very much like building a huge snowman and then having someone knock it down with one big push (maybe a bad example, but that is how I would feel). I know it is done all the time to my content, and I tend not to look for the reprints. Why? It takes way too much time and it is upsetting.

My thoughts on the topic; do unto others, as you would have others do unto you.

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04/28/2005 02:59 pm

Hi Rusty When you start a thread about what you read in a forum please be sure to post the whole content and not a partial bit of it. As you take this opportunity to jump up on the soapbox and pontificate your pompous view, as some construed bit of shock, save the drama. Content and it's use or misuse is as old as the tacticss you have taken in this post with only posting the part that makes you look like an angel Now why don't you go back...."READ" the thread title and then see if you can add something fof true value and not a way to make yourself look better. Clint (I asked a question) Dixon


04/28/2005 03:19 pm

Heh, right with you Barry, that's jsut out of line. Using other peoples work so you don't have to, interspersing some ads to make money, and asking how else to make money out of other peoples work, and he wonders why people aren't trribly forth coming and helpful?! Wow, lol.


04/28/2005 03:28 pm

Hi Barry Let's carry this a step forward...did you ask if you could post their forum content on your website? Clint

Barry Schwartz

04/28/2005 04:00 pm

Clint, These are my own personal beliefs. I linked to the thread, like I always do and the reader can read the thread. I will not reprint the whole thread here, that serves no good, IMO. I have nothing against you. I am sure you are a great and hard working person. Please just calm down. These are my thoughts and I can be wrong. Oh, in regards to SEO Chat. I have been a mod there and helped it grow since before Dev Shed was around. Its give and take. But I would never reprint an SEO Chat article or complete thread without approval from Dev Shed. Quoting pieces and linking to the source is 100% accepted and I know Dev Shed, as well as the other forums, appreciate it. They have told me so.


04/28/2005 04:11 pm

It's nice to see that you started a blog. Ill check it out from time to time. I hope you the best with this blog project.


04/28/2005 04:13 pm

Quote: " did you ask" From what I understand, forums must not claim the exlusive rights to most forum content, otherwise they open themselves up for liability of what people post. With legalities aside, it is more a question of courtesy in my mind. Barry provides the original author with links which drive relevant traffic. Swiping someone's entire article is a different story...there would be no reason for a visitor to go to the author's site. I think you need to worry less about legality, and more about courtesy imho. Showing up on someone's site and badmouthing them may be legal, but it definitely isn't very courteous, and certainly won't help YOUR site in anyway.


04/28/2005 04:38 pm

I took a look at the forum thread and the stuff posted here. Clint - you got called on something that many others felt was "over the line" and appear not to have liked it. Give it up. I thought RustyBrick was pretty kind with his comment in the thread - "do unto others..." Fact is that his was the nicest of the responses.


04/28/2005 06:36 pm

"Let's carry this a step forward...did you ask if you could post their forum content on your website?" - Are you serious with this questions? First of all, SERoundtable was created to provide readers with latest and interesting topics on forums. Opinions and thoughts are just that...if you are afraid of any feedback or comments, posting in the forums is not the way to go. You are opening yourself to potential comments when you post in forums, and so is Rusty when he is blogging on here for his readers. Making money of other people's content (even with credit) is already happening and spreading like cancer these days. I don't see what you are trying to accomplish with your question on the forum. Maybe it will help if you explained your motivations to ask that question Clint? Thanks. Please don't take my comments personally :-)

Kim (cre8pc)

04/28/2005 08:18 pm

Call me "confused". I'm not understanding why a blog owner would repost someone else's article. Linking to it, yes. Bloggers (myself included) do that all the time, and often to comment on the article. But to reprint it in whole? Anyway, the best blogs are those where you write with your own voice. Use your own style. The revenue comes from ads or affiliate links, but that won't happen for blogs that just re-hash stuff. Especially with the competition with SEO blogs. Be unique. The money will come. Don't take steroids. (oops sorry, had that baseball thing about building it and they will come thought.)


04/29/2005 09:27 pm

Hi Barry I am perfectly calm, I've been banned from the Seoguy forums because of a post I made about reciprocal links being useless months ago and people their din't like it. ...Life happens As far as my blog ..I asked for advice I got none but I did get the usual forum offerings of anger, feined dismay and the usual assortment of b.s. that clutter most forums and make them useless in most instances. As for the three ads in my blog they were in the posts section to see if that would work as opposed to displaying them in the static template form. Two other banners are actually places I found that will link to a users site with no link back needed. As for posting a link back to the forum, while it will help those with an investigative mind to click and read most are inherently lazy and take the short way out, so when you post just a part of the story and apply your "Spin" on it perhaps you hadn't looked deep enough at the issues. However it should be noted that is the past and I try not to live there. I would like to ask you to e-mail me privately so I could discuss something with you and don't know if there is a way to do that here. Thank you for your time and I will look to offer a better blog that doesn't step on peoples toes. Clint


04/29/2005 09:31 pm

Hey Barry Just for kicks lets make it two forums now !!!! SEO1, You do not have permission to access the forums, because you are temporarily banned, until the April 30th, 2005. SEO Chat Forums Team Now you gotta like that LOL YES!!!!!!!!!!!!! Clint (Banned) Dixon

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