Don't Copy that Bloggy
I'll respond to a discussion over at Scoble's site here because I noticed that one of my posts was on the experimental blog which is causing a bit of a fuss. This is something I've been meaning to write about anyways, so here goes.
First, I'll make it plain and simple: Everything you read on this site which is written by me is copyrighted by me, including my image above and any photos that used to be here as well. Though it doesn't need to be, the copyright notice is plainly viewable in large text at the bottom of each page. The RSS feed of this site is for personal use only, any re-publishing of my content without my permission is illegal.
Now let me tell you why I'm like that. To me it's about Google (or pick your favorite search engine). It drives me insane when someone culls my blog for the most informative or interesting posts then "aggregates" them somewhere where Google can find them. Then I'll notice a referrer from a Google search, follow it back only to find that my site is *below* the pirate's site. That burns me. Then later I start noticing traffic from that blog because Google is driving traffic to them (because of my post). This is happening right now. There's this site called stargeek.com which has stolen more than several of my better posts about the Nokia 6600, but gives very little indication that its my copyrighted material. I've been trying to get their ISP to take them offline for a few weeks now (after being ignored in my original emails and requests).
When I make an effort to write my thoughts here, put my time and sweat into analysis (I can spend hours and hours getting some of the longer posts written) I do not want them copied wholesale by another site where they get the credit for them by readers and search engines. I've given "permission" to Artima and Javablogs to aggregate my site (I went and added my site to their index myself with full-knowledge that they aggregate the content which is available to Google) but any other site better ask my permission or I'll call their hosting provider, it's as simple as that.
You see there are some pretty dishonest people out there. Now for the rest of us, yeah you can use my content on your weblog, of course. Just don't quote all of it and make sure my name and link to my site is obvious. That's what I do for the quotes on this site, I expect the same from people using my content as well. The cool thing is that since my litmus test is Google, it's pretty easy for me to find out when people don't do these things.
Now, here's a question. What would I think if someone copied my site wholesale (or just the most informative posts) but then blocked Google from adding them to its index. If a tree falls in a forest and Google doesn't index it, is it actually published? Honestly I probably wouldn't care. I don't make money from these posts in the same way that a musician makes money from a CD track. I make money by the status and connections that my weblog gives me. I put effort into my weblog, I get "whuffie" and then I get paid back for that effort in a variety of ways. The credit I get from Google and links from other blogs is part of that process and "quoteblogging" breaks it, which pisses me off.
I hope that explains my thoughts on the matter, I'm sure there are others out there that feel simililarly strongly.