How Do You Feel When Someone Copies and Pastes Your Post?

This is probably one of those posts where not everyone is going to agree with what I say or why I say it 😎

But it’s one of the most common traps for new people — so we do need to discuss our views!

Here’s what I say:

It’s really great to love someone else work!

But you can’t copy and paste large sections or complete articles from other bloggers posts directly into posts on your blog or website.

You don’t do it for a few reasons.

Firstly if a blogger doesn’t include a Creative Commons license it means every thing that is written on their blog or website is automatically copyright.  Direct copying  of large sections or their complete article is only allowed with permission from that blogger.

Secondly most people consider it breaking blogging etiquette and a form of plagiarism.

Yes, publishing content online is about sharing and collaborating but it’s important to remember it can take considerable time for the original person to create that content.  Copy and pasting their content takes you seconds.

It might be harsh words but think of it as no different than copy and pasting a school assignment.

The whole idea of sharing is you build on their original work and input your own ideas/thoughts.

Attributing Another Person’s Content

Appropriate blogging etiquette is you can use a few paragraphs of their work and attribute them as the original source by including a link to their post.

Ideally you would also write a few of your own paragraphs expand on the topic.

For example, I’ve taken a paragraph from Larry Ferlazzo’s post and used it in my own post.

Here’s how I’ve attributed his words:

Example of attributing another bloggers content

Please note:

  • It’s common practice to indent if you are quoting other people’s content.

Posting Content With Permission

It’s not fine to copy an entire post written by another person, even if they use a Creative commons license, and even if you have attributed them as the original source, unless they have given you permission.

Key aspects when someone gives you permission is to acknowledge the original author, the website, their permission and link to the location where the content is from.

For example, Kathleen McGeady gave me permission to republish her post on Teaching Commenting Skills on this blog.

Here’s how I acknowledged her work:

How you show someone has given your permission to publish their posts

What To Do If Someone Copy/Paste Your Content

It’s generally a new person that gets caught out copy/pasting content because they aren’t aware that it isn’t appropriate.

Your best approach is to contact them privately, by email if possible,  to request them to remove your content and explain the reasons why.  Remember they are new and they didn’t realise.

Final Thoughts

So there’s my thoughts!

Feel free to leave a comment to share your thoughts:

  • Do you agree?
  • Disagree?
  • What other important advice would you give new people?

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70 thoughts on “How Do You Feel When Someone Copies and Pastes Your Post?

  1. It’s also poor form not only outright copy and paste content you received from email or speech, but any information and guidance you received from subject matter experts, without crediting them. In the agency world, one common mistake that many bloggers make is to publish a post about a topic that they were assigned to write (and knew little about) without crediting the subject matter expert from which their content was built.
    My point is, if someone helps you to write a blog post based off their knowledge and experience, give them credit, even if you’re not copying and pasting their content word for word.

  2. so the ny observer and the gothamist recently copy and pasted an entry from my blog to one of their articles on a major news case, they did put in a link to my blog however i wasn’t otherwise notified they’d be using my content. is that allowed?

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