Friday, January 23, 2009

Protecting your Blogs content?

Who would have thought you would need to protect your blogs content. But I guess these days you can never be sure. I had a surprise earlier this week when I found out that someone had taken one of my blog post, turned it into a PDF, and was distributing it. The only credit he gave was a link to the post. This all confused me greatly since this is a public blog and anyone can read the post. After speaking with this person I found that he was just trying to share some information I had posted here, which I appreciate. I think that one of the reasons I blog is to tell people about things I find interesting and about things they should be aware of (in my opinion).

I think sharing blog post is great! But I do think that credit should be given to the author of the blog when it is shared so folks know where it is coming from. This is usually common practice and good form in the geoblogosphere, as far as I have observed. I have begun to add the copyright notice to the bottom of my blog post, just in case someone is not sure who wrote the post. I also registered my site to protect any work I “publish” here with a Creative Commons license. Now, I am all for open access, don’t get me wrong. But in these days of scooping, alleged scooping, and circulation of work without proper citation, some may want to turn to this option, particularly those that blog on their current research. I chose to go with an “Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike Creative Commons License” (by-nc-sa). So what-in-the-heck is that?! According to the Creative Commons website [link]:This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work non-commercially, as long as they credit you and license their new creations under the identical terms. Others can download and redistribute your work just like the by-nc-nd license, but they can also translate, make remixes, and produce new stories based on your work. All new work based on yours will carry the same license, so any derivatives will also be non-commercial in nature.The by-nc-nd license (Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives) is the strictest, statingThis license is the most restrictive of our six main licenses, allowing redistribution. This license is often called the “free advertising” license because it allows others to download your works and share them with others as long as they mention you and link back to you, but they can’t change them in any way or use them commercially.The simplest license is the Attribution –This license lets others distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon your work, even commercially, as long as they credit you for the original creation. This is the most accommodating of licenses offered, in terms of what others can do with your works licensed under Attribution.[all quotes are directly from the Creative Commons website - link]

If you are interested in protecting your work with a Creative Commons License, just swing by this webpage [link], fill out a short form answering a few questions, and the code is given to you to post on your blog or website.

There is a great blog post over on Lost Art of Blogging where I found all of this information (and more!). I encourage anyone who is interested in protecting their blog to take a moment to read it. Lorelle at WordPress also has a great article on this topic.

I would really appreciate thoughts on this topic from the blogosphere. Is this something you would consider doing? Why or why not?

© ReBecca K. Hunt-Foster


Darren Naish said...

Interesting area. I've become used to seeing my blog's content reproduced at other sites, but typically not in full and usually with a link. The ScienceBlogs network seems to prevent this, at most allowing people to reproduce the leading paragraph alone, and with a link back to the source being mandatory. That's ok with me. However, I was a bit put-out recently when one site (1) reproduced an article of mine in full without permission, and (2) tweaked my text slightly because I'd used a swear. Had they asked for use, I would have said yes. But they hadn't. This is just plain rude, so I made moves to get their use of my article stopped.

However, other than that - and apart from spam-blogs of course - I haven't seen any reproduction that bothered me. I've been thinking for a while about setting up a Creative Commons license. The problem, however, is that I now frequently recycle blog material for books and articles (after all, I currently work as a freelance author) and therefore need to ensure originality.

Jazinator said...

I noticed that you had done this and was gonna message you (via facebook) but since my facebook has been blocked at work that didn't happen. Anyway I was considering it myself but how did you find out about the distribution?

ReBecca Foster said...

That was how I felt Darren. If you want to use part of the blog post, fine, just ask me or at least give me credit. I would not want anyone to change anything with out specifying the changes they made.

Jim, I found out about the distribution when one of the paleontologist he sent the article to emailed me to tell me about it.

ScottE said...

So far, this hasn't been a problem for me on the internet (to the best of my knowledge, I should add).

But I have had images nicked from my blog and reprinted in small-run tabloids without my knowledge or permission. In that case, I generally contact the publisher and either demand payment for same or at the very least, insist on attribution and permission in the future (there's art I post on my blorgh that probably really shouldn't ever see print in any form--incomplete and what-not.)

I don't make use of creative commons licenses or such for my visual work, because I do do work for pay, and expect to be compensated for that work.

Shakespeare gotta get paid, son.

nico said...

Creative Commons licence are absolutely compatible with paied work.

You can get paid for a work which you release under a CC licence, even a non-commercial one (which does not allow OTHER people to profit from your work, but does not restrict you from being paid for it)