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Content, Writing and Copyright Forum

Professional Writers Encourage Theft Of Content
Apparently, they think blogs are open game

 8:12 pm on Sep 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

I just read a write-up about a recent Garden Writers Association [gardenrant.com] conference. At the confrence, a panel of writers basically told the entire audience that it is okay to lift articles and information from blogs.

"These people put it out there and it is there for the taking" and to basically not worry about any attribution, link, sourcing, etc.

Now, these are professional newspaper and magazine writers. Do most professional off-line writers think this way?



 8:39 pm on Sep 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

A weird statement... I definitley not think in those terms.. So basically according to them I can just go and rip a blog, wonder if they already do it?


 12:00 am on Sep 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

I am listening with careful ears. Are you sure you didn't take something out of context? Also, how do you know they are pros? What papers and magazines do they work for?

To answer your question though, pros don't advocate this. In fact, we talk a lot about blatant theft, plagiarism and other copyright issues. Remember, just because someone works "at" a media outlet doesn't mean they are a professional.


 11:08 am on Sep 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

These were professional garden writers on a panel at a writers confrence. Not everyone in the audience was a professional, but the panel was.

They were firmly against plagerism on "normal" terms, but felt that blogs were somehow not under that umbrella.

It wasn't that they were advocating copyright violations across the board, but just felt that blogs were not copyrighted and therefore could be copied from. That by puting the information on the internet, the people who wrote blogs put the information out so that it could be copied, in a sense.

I think that this may happen alot in professional circles because many off-line writers don't give much credence to blogs. I think many are older as well and may not realize that the DMCA exists and protects this work. I am not sure of that, but I have to wonder. I have seen other profssionals (such as graphic design) in other fields do similar things.


 11:46 am on Sep 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

Without seeing a transcript of the discussion it's difficult to comment. From what you're saying though, some members of the panel do appear to be remarkably ignorant - and, with the position of trust and influence they have, that's a real shame. I doubt that the comments of a few numbskulls reflects the professional attitude of the entire sector.

The commentary in blog link states that better informed attendees did protest against these assertions, so, in the world of gardening, all is not lost. It's just have a case of a few dinosaurs having been let loose in the vegetable patch...



 6:13 pm on Sep 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

Well, true "professionals" in the writing world know about copyrights very well. They would know that the creation of a person is under copyright no matter what platform it's on. However, I can only speak for those of us in the USA.

I know a fair amount of non-web writing professionals and they don't share the views of the panel you mention. The panel you mentioned was probably filled with undereducated writers.

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