Possession is 9/10 of the law, right? Or some fraction like that. But how does one own an idea? Or a collection of words? When you quote someone, and don't give proper credit, is that the same as stealing?
There is a multitude of legal standards when dealing with journalism and, more recently, blogging. The cyber-written word is available for everyone to quote (or misquote) the moment you hit Publish Post. We, as bloggers, have to understand that not everyone is going to give credit where credit is due. But when credit IS given, but presented improperly? That's just an extra rub on an already raw wound.
Kelly recently experienced a situation where she WAS given credit for the words she had written on her blog, Don Mills Diva. Unfortunately, the article (and, potentially a book?) were written without her knowledge, though her name was used in a manner that suggested she had been interviewed for this specifically!
Really, is it so difficult to contact a blogger? To ask for permission? Or, at the very least, alert them that their information IS going to be used, as are there any corrections that should be made? I would think, as a "professional journalist" that one would be incredibly concerned with getting the story straight. I would think, that letting a blogger know that their piece struck a chord to the point of having an article in the Times Online in the UK would be flattering and exciting. Most bloggers are NOT professional journalists (as Kelly is) and would not only be giddy over being quoted, but would direct traffic BACK to that article. Was it really that hard for the journalist to just link back to Kelly? Or to send an email alerting her to her full name being used?
Good Press! Good Press!
Isn't that what we all want? More traffic for our sites? To reach more people? Truly, any blogger who claims to not want people to connect with them is lying, at least a little bit. If you are honestly writing for only yourself, you would password protect it, or find a pen and paper. No, we are looking for input and opinions on our writing. We are ALL looking for validation.
I write here, on my personal blog, but also at Chicago Moms Blog and Root & Sprout (btw: new issue is UP! Check it out. A whole new layout is scheduled for next month which will be FABULOUS!). And, would you look at that? I just linked to them. Without fear of you not coming back to read me again. I just added a whole BUNCH of links in under 60 seconds.
And I? Am NOT a professional writer (though I may pretend, from time to time!).
Write on, Blogging brothers and sisters. Stand up for your ideas and collections of words. Check out Don Mills Diva for other posts regarding this topic. Write your own opinions and let me know. I'd love to hear them. And, like Kelly, I'll even LINK them here! (Cuz I'm talented like that.)