My understanding of copyright on the web is that as soon as you publish something whether it be words or image it is then copyrighted and it’s then an offense to reuse it on your own blog. Some people are happy for you to reuse their works so long as you acknowledge them and put in the appropriate links while others are not quite so happy. Some works are listed in Creative Commons and you can therefore use them as you wish but with appropriate attribution. If you’re not quite certain have a look at this article on Problogger.
Here I’ve used both an attributed quote and a brief excerpt in one and linked back to the original article so that’s perfectly fine. As an aside, if you’re photocopying from a book I believe you’re allowed to copy 10% of the book before it becomes illegal but maybe I’m wrong as my information on that goes back 20 odd years and things may have changed.
This came up as I’ve discovered my articles are being copied in their entirety, modified slightly and then published on another blog, totally and entirely without my permission. I have friends who are being plagiarised by the same blog and I can’t help wondering how many blogs these people are ripping off.
If we can prove to Google they are plagiarising our content then they stand a good chance of being taken out of Google indexing completely which is great but there are other search engines. Here’s another article from ProBlogger about this topic.
The interesting thing I’ve found out recently is that there are a number of websites out there which can check for plagiarism, you only have to put in some content from your article and look at the results. Some of these services cost but at 5c per search it sounds well worth it.
Anyway, I will be following this up with more research and more action, preferably when I’m not meant to be writing. I may include a follow up article to tell you what I’ve done and whether it’s worked but that may not happen for some time.