Since apparently it is time for my periodic hostile reminder
Reprinting something that someone else has written, in whole or in substantive part, without permission, is copyright infringement. It is also not cool.
Yes, even if you just really liked it and wanted to share.
Yes, even if you add attribution.
Yes, even if it is for a good cause.
Yes, even if it is ‘just’ a blog.
If you like something so much that you want to distribute it, link it. If you absolutely must have it on your very own website, secure permission to reprint it.
Permission can be as easy as ‘hey, this website has a creative commons license that says I can reprint and redistribute with attribution! I can even remix it! Yay!’ Sometimes it requires a little bit of extra work—you have to contact the person who wrote it and ask for permission. There’s a good chance that person will say yes! That person might also say ‘no, sorry.’ Deal with it.
People who write things get authorial control over how their writing is used; where it appears, who is allowed to reprint it, even if it is not paid work. We don’t get to control how you respond to it, how you choose to excerpt it, your entirely fair use parodies or quotes for commentary.
We do get to control what happens to our writing. And since some of us are also relying on our writing to build a career, or to sustain a career, you are actively depriving us of livelihood when you infringe our content. Maybe you’re writing because you like to write, or for a cause, and that is great and I support you in that. Some of us are writing because we care, and because we need to make a living. Every time you take traffic away from us, it hurts us.
Yes, even if it is for a good cause. Even if you just want to aggregate relevant/interesting stories for readers.
Links are a thing you can use. Use them. Lots of sites, every day, all over the place, manage to do roundups of interesting links; check out Racialicious, which includes links with fair use excerpts, for an example.
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