There’s an important story here that is in some ways hilarious, but also disturbing as it is such a common practice. In this case, an article was lifted from a writer’s website and republished by a magazine. When she protested, they told her she was lucky they didn’t put someone else’s name on the article and that she should thank them for editing it for her, claiming anything posted on the internet was public domain. Their careless statements created quite a bit of outrage, which is a good thing. While writers often take creative license with their own work, others should not, and in fact cannot, take creative license with someone else’s work. Anything posted on the internet is not free to lift at will. I encounter this issue frequently with my creative content, both text and photographs, being lifted word for word, photo for photo, from this site. For awhile, I put a right-click block on my site which prevented copy-paste of my text and photos. I received quite a bit of complaints over it because the right-click block also caused problems in innocent right-clicking, so I took the block off. (I also get complaints because I only offer a partial RSS feed. Some people have asked me if the reason I do that is because it makes you have to come to my site to read the entire post. The reason I have a partial feed is because a full feed allows more free stealing as there are sites that use feeds to copycat content by auto-posting full feeds onto their websites.)
Please know that I love, appreciate, and am so, so grateful if you link to my posts, but please, please don’t lift my content and paste it directly onto other sites. I know that there is a lot of confusion about internet content (the above article highlighting it in a rather bizarrely funny way), but internet content is not free. It’s not free for writers to write it (they give their time and creative energy, for which they deserve the credit and the pageviews), and it IS copyrightable. All creative content on my site is copyrighted. While it’s okay, for example, to post a recipe to share elsewhere, if you copy all the creative commentary surrounding the recipe (and even the photos) in addition to the recipe, that is lifting my creative content. (It’s not the sharing of the recipe itself but the copying of the creative content surrounding the recipe.) When content is lifted and reposted without permission, it hurts me. Thank you for being here and understanding!