Saturday, July 16, 2005

Online Use Restrictions

Online Use Restrictions?

Ever think about it?

Do you ever check the Terms of Use, FAQ, Content Republishing Policy, whatever they call it, pages of a site?

You should.

Be careful about copy and pasting content from other web sites or blogs onto your blog or web site.

Some internet resources are very protective of their content, some may be tempted to say, "needlessly paranoid", or "excessively self-impressed".

Or, to be fair, they may have had some serious problems in the past. If so, they should explain specifically why their stringent policies are enforced.

Most normal bloggers seem to be of the opinion that you may copy and paste quotations or even entire posts, and put this content on your blog.

If you post an entire essay or post, along with proper credits and links back to them, they often express the wish that you'll add your own thoughts, running commentary, or introduction and conclusion, to their content.


So then, you're not just lifting their content to deposit in your blog, like you're a brain dead content bandit.

You're interacting with their content: enriching, criticizing, reinforcing, clarifying, questioning, or negating it.

This adds interest to the original post.

The author, if normal and not paranoid or psychotic-hostile, will greet any decent, non-vulgar interaction as a compliment, or an interesting challenge.

[However, if the blogger throws a hissy fit, a temper tantrum, over your being "harsh" or questioning their posted content, what a crybaby, out of touch with the rough and tumble world of blogs and forums.]

Just be sure to display, in your reblog post, author's name, affiliation, URL to post content is taken from, and date of post content is taken from.

An email to the source, the blogger, author is also nice. Put on subject line: "Using your post in my blog" or similar. Direct, simple, clear.

Also indicate that you will modify or delete your post if the author is not happy with it. This is being very diplomatic.

Sometimes they will request specific URLs to add to the post, if they have multiple sites and are really gung ho into promotion. Or will request you insert a sentence or paragraph of biographical details.

Be nice, and grant their request.

Gain a reputation of being an online lady or digital gentleman.

Legally, if the requirements for using their content are more restrictive, you must comply.

For Example (from a real FAQ of a respected internet source online):


Which forms of content reproduction require permission?

Any other reproduction of [web site]'s content requires permission from us and some forms of reproduction will require you to pay a licensing fee.

This includes:-

* Use of [web site name]'s content in advertisements or promotions

* Use of [web site name]'s trademarks or logos (excluding award logos)

* Use of quotes, excerpts or full text of [web site name]'s reviews, articles, or features

* [web site name] does not allow the reposting of its online content (including video, audio, text, graphics, layout, and code) on a Web site or public discussion board except in the case of a specific licensing agreement.


I don't like this. Reblogging, as an astute commenter to my blogs has stated, is the life blood of the blogosphere, and comments are its breath.

I have to pay and get a licensing deal, just to quote some content from your site's post on my blog?

This is not how the blogosphere works. I wonder if they're just paranoid, or simply solving past problems, of which I know nothing?

I just don't like this policy.

So, what say ye?

What do you think of such restrictions of online use, or "reblogging" content from other sites?

You'll never see me enact any of these schemes.

Copy and paste my content all you want, if you want, when you want.

Just follow the "normal blogger" guidelines already detailed above.

[signed] Steven Streight aka Vaspers the Grate



carrie said...

it's funny. a lot of times i come to your blog and i start to read the post looking to see if there's something for me to learn.
i wonder if i will feel criticized or chastised somehow, but then i usually end up finding that you affirm what i already thought in the first place.
you come at it from a different angle and take me by surprise every time, though.
that's why i keep coming back, i guess.

steven edward streight said...

You are one of the most creative and intelligent people I know.

Thanks for the compliment, it means a lot coming from you.

Not because you agree with me, or reinforce my values, but because you do your own thinking, and if our thinking coincides, that is interesting, since we are involved in quite different experiential realms.

I need another coffee. My own writing is boring the daylights out of me.

I'm working on a post about a Chelsea Hotel blog and a post about disruptive technology.

Don't ever feel personally criticized or chastised by anything you read here.