I understand that a lot of sites are offering “blogging news” and are trying to gain popularity by capitulating in this niche market. Since I tend to keep track of a handful of blogging tools, I tend to find a lot of blogs that are blatantly copying the articles from another blog and passing them off as their own. Some of these blogs are adding attribution, but that is not enough.
Let me elaborate a little. I come from a very strict educational background where any sort of plageurism is looked down upon with extreme disgust. Now that might not apply to the blogging world, but I still consider blatant disregard for intellectual property to be a major problem. In academia, usage of material from external sources is encouraged. There are however, very strict rules of identification of sources and proper punctuation of external information so as to designate their origin and provide the required attribution. Though these very strict rules cannot be adhered upon in the fragmented blogging world, nominal rules of respect for Intellectual property still applies.
I encourage bloggers to use external sources. I strongly encourage discussion of these bits of information in personal blogs. However, please do not copy every word and every punctuation from another blog and call it your own. Providing a “source” or a link to the original author is simply not enough when you are copying the whole article. If you are going to post the exact information from another blog to your own, make sure that the external information is blockquoted or somehow designated to not be your own. Readers are not stupid and they will catch on. Providing unoriginal content can only go so far.
I have identified a couple of blogs that are completely made up of posts from other blogs. Most of these are the new fangled “blogging news blogs”. This has irked me to the point that if these people do not stop, I will take it upon myself to maintain a list of these blogs and prevent their access to this site and any other that I might have influence in. I will go so far as to suggest that my readers do the same.
Please respect other people’s intellectual property. You are very welcome to provide parts of posts as text in your entries with simple attribution. You are even welcome to quote large parts of posts as long as they are designated as being completely from another blog or website. But please do not steal the work of others and do not think that a small source identification is enough to make a whole article your own work. I hope other authors feel the same way!