Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Book Blogging Drama: Disclosure and Plagiarism

Plagiarism has kind of been the theme of my week.  I caught a student plagiarizing at least 98% of her final paper this week at school.  Then, yesterday, I was checking my blog stats and noticed a large number of hits from one particular site, which I, of course, visited.  I found an article that used original content from this blog, along with pictures (taken by me with my camera in my house) but didn't mention my blog or my name.  To be fair, a link to a tutorial posted on my blog was included in the article, but my pictures weren't credited.  I wasn't asked if my material could be used and the author of the article was compensated for an article that contained my uncited original material. I wasn't pleased and emailed the author (nicely) to ask that the article be updated with appropriate credit.  She agreed (not as nicely), but whatevs, situation resolved successfully.

But today, as I was reading about last week's brawl over Friday Reads and blogger disclosure and all that (by the way a great summary can be found on Florinda's blog The Three R's here), it got me thinking about what reasonable expectation bloggers should have regarding compensation and credit from other sources.  It seems that one side of the argument is that bloggers are putting a lot of work into creating reviews and memes and site content to entertain and attract readers and that compensation is a logical expectation for that amount of work and that the disclosure of compensation is nice, but not a deal breaker for readers.  The other side of the argument is that it is dishonest to present book blogging as a hobby when you are in reality being paid by an author or publisher for your writing.

So I want to go ahead and address both of these issues head on in a post that I can reference back to if needed.  I may go ahead and make part of this part of an FAQ page in the future. 

1) All content created here is original and I (most of the time) put time and thought into what to write about and how I write.  I don't expect to ever be financially compensated (and wouldn't ever ask to be), but I do expect to be appropriately credited for my work.  If you'd like to use something from my blog, I'd be happy to let you, but please ask first.  Don't just take original pictures, ideas, or writing and pass it off as your own or use it to augment your own blog (to be clear, not all of this happened yesterday, but I want to take this opportunity to get rid of any confusion).  Appropriate credit, to me, means that you make it clear in your post or article or however you choose to use it that whatever content you use originated here.  A link to my blog at the bottom of your post doesn't convey that.  Use of my blog name or my name and a link to the original content source does.

2) While I do put a good deal of time (and occasionally small amounts of money) into this blog, I do not expect to be compensated for what is, essentially, a hobby.  I get the argument that bloggers put in a lot of time (often enough to be at least a part time job), but for me this is about my enjoyment and what I hope is my readers' enjoyment, and not a money-making venture.  So, heads up, no income coming from any of this.  I do gratefully acknowledge that I am given books by authors, publishers, and publicists and will continue to acknowledge those gifts in the future.


  1. What? She wasn't nice about you expecting credit for your original work? And she was paid for using YOUR content without permission / credit? And had the nerve to be NOT NICE to you when you asked for it? Dude. That's insane.