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Reblogged = stolen, so how can WP justify theft?

  1. Andy P's WP June 1 blogpost is headed "We All Like to Reblog". I disagree. It is not flattering when somebody posts entire articles or my images on their own website – usually stripped of all accreditation. The process does nothing but diminish the worth of the original.

    Every photograph has rights attached to it. And usually, so do words. To lift, paste, dupe or "reblog" = to steal from other websites.

    Andy P's post says "If the post includes any images we’ll also automatically add a thumbnail image to the reblog post." I cannot believe US copyright law allows you to do this.

    Now that WP has jumped aboard the "reblogging" band-wagon, how do you justify naked theft?

    The blog I need help with is shapersofthe80s.com.

  2. PS - The form when submitting the above post showed the URL for my blog but it doesn't appear in the published version, so fyi it is http://shapersofthe80s.wordpress.com

  3. SIGH ... http://en.wordpress.com/tos/

    By submitting Content to Automattic for inclusion on your Website, you grant Automattic a world-wide, royalty-free, and non-exclusive license to reproduce, modify, adapt and publish the Content solely for the purpose of displaying, distributing and promoting your blog. ”

    I usually don't like closing threads, but there seems to be a spiral of misinformation going on here. People are confusing our feature, which drives traffic to your blog, increases engagement, and builds your community, with spammers who leech off the internet. ...

    http://en.forums.wordpress.com/topic/reblogging/page/5?replies=147#post-472791

  4. RATS! I forgot to put the two quotes above in blockquotes and it looks like I'm saying stuff I didn't say. I'm quoting from the TOS and from a closed forum thread above. :(

  5. @ontheliner
    You can link your blog to your user name:
    http://shapersofthe80s.com/
    by doing this:
    http://en.forums.wordpress.com/topic/7-things-to-know-before-posting-in-wordpresscom-forums?replies=1
    "2. How to make your name link to your blog:
    Go into your dashboard -> Users -> Personal Settings -> then scroll down to 'Account Details'. In the spot where it says 'website' fill in the address of your blog and save the changes."

  6. I'm thinking that you have not looked at the issue timethief has linked to?
    http://en.forums.wordpress.com/topic/reblogging/page/5?replies=147#post-472791
    and
    http://en.forums.wordpress.com/topic/reblogged-stolen-so-how-can-wp-justify-theft?replies=5#post-475865

    There are quite a few people who have objections to the rebloging (splogging) new 'feature.'

    It might be remotely possible to have an "opt-out" option, (the "try it for 2 weeks" message ~~~can't find the link now~~~~~) but it's not likely.

    Sorry there is not a more copacetic answer.

    :-((

  7. Thank you both, Timethief and 1Tess, for those links. (Loved discovering the word "copacetic" too.) Part of WP's charm is always being a victim of unwritten rules, eg, never knowing which Forum to post into. Before posting I did spend half an hour browsing all the forums and didn't even come across those pages of Reblogging complaints under "Support", or "Showcase". "Questions" seemed the appropriate department for discussing an ethical issue, rather than a geek one.

    If only WP had a Zuckerberg figurehead members could harangue publicly in the mainstream media. Who are the people who run WP? There is clearly a global conspiracy among web hosters who value data-capture-and-share above privacy and rights. Am starting to understand why Murdoch wants to deny Google any access to his news services.

    I'm as mad as hell about WP actively facilitating plagiarism, just as I was appalled last week when I surfed for the first time into various Tumblr photo albums to find some of my images there stripped of all accreditation by web users who seem part of a chain of dominoes passing each other my images without any understanding that they are undermining the livelihood of professional writers and photographers.

    As for WP's dreaded Terms! I cannot see how this new Like/Reblog feature is "solely for the purpose of displaying, distributing and promoting your blog. ” I certainly don't want any of those three options.

  8. IMHO, the people who actively make decisions on how internet should be evolved, are really not participating in curbing the unethical and inappropriate use of the internet. For them, the quantity matters and not the quality. Content is valuable when it is duplicated. The opposite is difficult, hard and simply invaluable. We are responsible for policing our own content, so do whatever you could do to safeguard the content you deem valuable because there's always a screen scrapper hiding near you.

    http://en.forums.wordpress.com/topic/if-wpcom-want-to-get-into-the-social-networkingmicro-blogging-field?replies=3#post-474114

  9. The cool thing I've found (and tested) to work really well with Re-blog is the ability to "republish" an old blog post in a way similar to how people "bump" a forum post to get noticed. If there's a post I want to re-publish or "bump" without resorting to manually changing the dates AND have Feedburner push it out to subscribers ... Reblog is the key as I've demonstrated below.

    http://shimworld.wordpress.com/2010/06/04/a-wide-eyed-powershot-g11-via-shimworld/

    I know the way WordPress markets this feature may appear controversial but like any good tool it can be used for good or bad.

  10. @ontheliner - your blog makes extensive use of material from other sites including quotes, excerpts and images. Your blog is an interesting one and promotes other sites, it leads me to material I would not otherwise see.
    That to me looks like you are reblogging because that is what I see reblogging as - promotion, not theft.

  11. "I know the way WordPress markets this feature may appear controversial but like any good tool it can be used for good or bad."

    Unfortunately, the bloggers whose thoughts and words are being stolen are not the bloggers who are deciding in which way their posts will be used-- for good or bad. No, those bloggers get no say-so at all about it.

    I just spent several days editing and tweaking a Blogger blog I imported, but unless I hear very soon that an opt out feature is coming, I will delete it altogether and go right back to Blogger, where all my comments that didn't import still reside, and I don't have to pay to embed YouTube videos.

    So how about it, WP, will there be an opt out feature, or not? May we have an answer here, please?

  12. ... I don't have to pay to embed YouTube videos.

    Excuse me but we don't have to pay to embed YouTube videos in wordpress.com blogs. Please see here > http://en.support.wordpress.com/videos/youtube/

  13. @timethief, I think lesiavalentine is referring to VideoPress.

    @lesiavalentine, Blogger just takes long to kick-in its SEO features, otherwise they have recently introduced new Themes and designing features, not bad. With $10 private domain redirection and unlimited restriction less features, I think they make a compelling case for traditional blogging.

  14. @lesiavalentine,

    I totally agree with your viewpoint. Like, knives are bad, because criminals use them, but they come to good use in the hands of a surgeon.

    I have done a series of posts on how to reblog PROPERLY.
    tag: wordpress reblog

    More posts are coming up regarding wordpress reblog.

  15. Thanks, Mark, for your sympathetic appreciation of my blog here. I would nevertheless prefer not to describe what I do as "reblogging" which is a neologism designed to make activities in the blogosphere sound innocent. I regard the word as disingenuous.

    As you have seen, I am a lifelong journalist and as such regard what I do as traditional information gathering and dissemination, taken not exclusively from blogs – in fact I aggregate highlights mainly from professional sources, always hotlinked, and blended with my own reporting on the front-page blog, which links when possible to the more substantial pieces of original writing within many inside pages (which is why I chose the versatile Cutline theme).

    Throughout, however, I assiduously credit every writer, photographer and illustrator referred to. I have agreed deals with individuals and offer appropriate watermarking of photos, and as my site is essentially a platform for a chapter of social history, specifically the 1980s (with a topical edge), I would rather have use of most relevant images, even if they must be watermarked.

    What's sad is that, even so, I remain reluctant to post most of my own archive photos because of the ease with which people already drag-and-drop. But with Tumblr, Facebook and now WP encouraging people to duplicate other people's work at the press of a button, I am now unlikely to post my back catalogue anywhere publicly viewable on the web. I simply don't understand how US copyright law allows blatant theft. And I don't see how bloggers posting my stuff on their own blogs does anything to "drive traffic" to my blog, as Matt fatuously declares.

  16. And I don't see how bloggers posting my stuff on their own blogs does anything to "drive traffic" to my blog, as Matt fatuously declares.

    As far as driving traffic to your blog, it does. Again, I quote the one and only Reblog I've tried and tested below. If you visit that page you'll see that the source is referenced in 3 places: the image, "read more ..." and finally "via Shimworld" link.

    http://shimworld.wordpress.com/2010/06/04/a-wide-eyed-powershot-g11-via-shimworld/

    In this context, I'd say it "works" as designed. Unlike Facebook when you paste a URL, the text is completely editable and someone could intentionally "redirect" readers to another site other than what the thumbnail is referenced to originally.

  17. @ontheliner: For the moment, see extensive discussion here:
    http://en.forums.wordpress.com/topic/reblogging?replies=80

  18. We all like splogging? I think not. Reblogging and splogging - same difference...

  19. Thanks, panaghiotisadam - I had ploughed through all five pages you commend in the Support forum after being directed there on Monday. All rather too techie for me, except for the last word from fatuous Matt - who I now discover is the Big Cheese around WP.

    Frankly, it's pretty dispiriting that the boss should take it upon himself to shut down the discussion there. That's rank. And flies directly in the face of blogging.

  20. Rebloggging is a primitive form of referral blogging, which is what ontheliner does. Boingboing.net also does this. It is one of the oldest kinds of blogging there is.

    Anyone who would equate reblogging with theft (splogging) is simply not understanding the way it works.

    Could the Reblog feature be improved? Absolutely. Is use of it theft? Absolutely not.

  21. I'm technically on vacation, so I haven't tried the reblog feature here, but I use it on Tumblr all the time (like 10-30 times per day) and here is what it looks like:

    My reblog of a post:
    http://raincoaster.tumblr.com/post/703706806/clients-from-hell-client-thats-way-too-much-money

    Word count=56 reblogged plus 5 of my own. This was the way the reblog function chose to truncate the post.

    Here is the original post:

    http://clientsfromhell.net/post/701876876/client-thats-way-too-much-money-to-charge-for

    Wordcount? In the thousands.

    I'm sure any sophisticated person sees the difference.

    Yes, WP.com should enable "reblog trails" and hopefully all on one line, rather than the way tumblr does it. But not enabling it isn't the same as enabling theft. How many times have we all blogged something we saw somewhere without being aware it started somewhere else? Even BoingBoing does this, constantly posting links to Russian sites that simply reblog stuff from other places but UNCREDITED.

    The WP.com function isn't flawless, god knows, but it's better than nothing, which is what we had a week ago.

  22. Thanks, Timethief (good on you for not being a CONTENT thief, too). When I imported, one or two of my videos worked, the rest didn't. When I looked it up in "help," I recall reading something about needing the paid subscription. I just worked around it. Took a lot of extra time, but I managed.

    In any case, as much as I love WP, and as long and hard as I worked on making my category and tag clouds, I am now going to delete the entire blog because I understand there will not be a reblog opt-out option. And shimworld, I checked your reblog to see how it appears, and that's just not good enough.

  23. you could always just set it as private.

  24. pornstarbabylon
    Member

    If it links back to the original writer during every single re-blog, then I don't see a problem and see it as traffic to your blog. Unless the person rips the entire post and claims it's theirs with never linking back or saying your name, like what happened to me recently, then that's a case for public flogging!!

  25. If it links back to the original writer during every single re-blog, then I don't see a problem and see it as traffic to your blog

    Apparently, "that's just not good enough."

    So, this beg the question .. how much more "sense of ownership" does WP have to incorporate into "Reblogged" feature before people feel comfortable with it. If 3 points of link backs don't it I don't see how else it can be improved upon? The feature is after all completely optional like a buffet meal, you don't have to scoop every dish on your plate.

  26. pornstarbabylon
    Member

    But if you look at it this way how hundreds (or is it more?) of search engines pick up your writing, how millions (possibly? ... lol) of aggregators pick up your writing too, then what's the difference of an actual human versus software doing it? So I see it as if an actual person is picking up what I wrote and has the decency to link back, then it's okay. But this re-blogging thing is a software though. I rather see the person do the actual cut & paste and linking back themselves instead of relying on software to do it for them. Somewhat lazy I say. I have no use for this re-blogging contraption and won't be using it.

  27. I've read this conversation, and here is my two cents. I would be upset if my posts and photos showed up elsewhere without a credit to the source, for example, "The following article is quoted in its entirety from (name and date of blog a.k.a. bibliography or reference)" at a minimum. It would be even better if "with permission from the author" was included as well. I am a working/starving photojournalist and artist, admittedly from the old school, and those like me insist on being credited, and I don't mean with a link button. Otherwise we call it plagiarism. If you blog, you know it's a lot of work. When I happen to see a blog that's not original, with at least some added original comment, I'm turned off by it and tend not to return. I use a lot of space in my sidebar to explain copyright because I feel so strongly about it. I'm not saying stuff isn't being lifted. I'm saying it upsets me. Thanks for reading my two cents.

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