Don’t be embarrassed. We all make mistakes.
We’ve been quietly noticing a few of our readers in the professional realm who have been quoting directly from The WOTC Planet . . . but have not been giving credit where credit is due. To put it politely, this is a No No.
We are flattered and appreciate the attention WOTC Planet readers have lavished upon the site in recent months. Readership has been expanding as evidenced by our growing subscribers list.
For now, we’re assuming that our friends who have re-published WOTC Planet posts without citation or permission have done so innocently, without recognizing the ethical and legal ramifications.
It is proper (and honest, ethical, noteworthy, praiseworthy, etc.) to follow the common rules of copyright and fair use when drawing from the work of another writer or publication. Even if another’s material is used only as a starting point, without any direct quotation – even then, it is still proper to attribute the source of one’s thoughts.
I found a nice summary, published by Susan Gunelius, author of the About.com Guide to Blogging. Her article is short and to the point. Please click through to read Susan’s one-page article: “Copyright and Fair Use Considerations: Don’t Forget to Cite Your Sources.”
“Copyrights protect the original author, photographer, videographer, etc. from having their original work stolen or misused. In essence, if you did not create a piece of content on your blog, someone else holds the copyright to it. Therefore, you must cite your source for that piece of information (to avoid being accused of plagiarism) and seek written permission from the original owner of the content you want to republish on your blog.”
Again, don’t be embarrassed. We all make mistakes.
If you or your publication has improperly used WOTCPlanet.com material, we ask that you simply review your published work and insert proper citations and web-links to the original articles as posted here at WOTCPlanet.com
Making this correction will win you a free pass . . . meaning that we won’t embarrass you by mentioning you or your publication by name here at WOTCPlanet.com.
Of course, the corollary is also true. If corrections are not made in a timely manner, we’ll have to blow the whistle. And then, you will be embarrassed.
In the future, also keep in mind that if you want to republish more than just a quote – as in cases where an entire post or article is republished – it’s not enough to simply give a citation and web-link. You need written permission.