I’ve been in blogosphere since 2007. From my first time there, sometimes I found a lot of blogs saying that blogger mustn’t copy paste carelesly another article to their blog. They were saying that blog content is a creation that must be respected. It means you couldn’t just duplicated blog content without authorization, reference, or at least a trackback.
WordPress has its own trackback system. If a blog content leave a reference to another blog (usually as a link), the referenced blog will be notified. The notification itself usually came as a comment on the referenced post.
I didn’t believe that someone could do something like that. Just duplicating blog content without reference or a trackback isn’t ethical to me. I wasn’t believe until couple days ago. Someone just copy-pasted my writing. For your information, I also write at another blog. In that blog, I wrote a tutorial on how to build your own WordPress blog. I divided the tutorial into several posts. Each post referenced (or link) to the previous and the next step of the tutorial. So every post got a trackback from another part of the tutorial.
My posting there got a trackback from another blog. It used to be the usual trackback. But when I checked it out, I found out that the other blog has my post written on it. Just exactly as what I wrote them. The trackback was sent from the link that I created to link my tutorial. So if I didn’t divide the tutorial and create referenced to the part, I’ll never know that someone copy-pasted my post. This other blog didn’t bother giving a reference to my post (not to mention my own trackback).
I was furious. But I controlled my emotion and write a comment to that blog. I wrote as polite as possible, telling him to give a reference to my post. The comment saved as moderated. I couldn’t expect more, and I left it.
The next day, an email came to my inbox. It’s from the copy-pasted guy! He said (I translated and edited some part of it):
I’m really sorry for the repost.
I’ll delete the post right away. I just doing your tutorial, thanks for the article.
From the tone, I guess he freaked out. So I calmed him and explained that I just need him to give a proper reference to my post. That’s it. I think that was the ethical way. And I didn’t hear from him anymore. The post also disappeared from his blog. I dunno if he is still blogging or not. If he’s not, maybe it’s my mistake too. Somehow, I’m feeling sorry for him. But at least, I got my own lesson.
Do you have any experience like this?