Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Whatever you Do, Don't Irritate the Grump

I have a real hard time coming up with content for this blog.  I mainly started this blogging process to help me further enjoy something I only recently came to realize.....Disney makes me happy.  But, it's not always easy to come up with stuff that I think others will enjoy. 

I am a The Disney Geek in training, and that means I frequent many of the Disney Blogs and listen to quite a few podcasts.  Sometimes they inspire my posts like it did when Lou Mongello had a listener rail on people carrying around electronic devices in the parks to provide "entertainment" and distractions, which resulted in my post:  Disney Magic Falling on Deaf Ears or my blog posts about the Dining Plan or Disney's California Adventure's $1.1 Billion dollar upgrade.  Other times, it's an inadvertent exposure to something Disney that inspires my posts as in:  Can You Feel The Love Tonight

As I said, I don't find it easy to write my posts.  Sometimes, I feel like the planets need to be aligned just right to get the creative juices flowing.  But, even when I'm stuck for days, I would never think of copying & pasting someone else's work into my blog post even if I was providing a link back.

Recently, I have noticed that several of my posts have been showing up on German blogs not related to Disney.  In the blogging community it's known as scraping.  I'm not happy about it but there is not much I can do about it because those are picked up by the bloggers who are scraping content from my RSS feeds using automated scripts.  The upsetting part to me is that they are getting Adsense dollars and other advertising revenue by putting ads on my content.

Now, what is really upsetting me is I'm noticing some bloggers in the Disney Community who are deliberately (as opposed to using an automated script) taking the entire content of someone else's blog post (pictures, links, text, etc) and putting it on their blog and their byline is there instead of the original author.  There is no attribution to the original blog.  If they had provided a link to the original source, that would be OK, but in many circles that is still wrong. 

On some forum sites like About.com and DelphiForums.com it is a violation of the terms of services to copy an entire copyrighted piece and they consider e-mails, blog posts, online articles, books, etc as copyrighted works.  Doing so will get you reprimanded then banned.

I'm pretty sure that if I dug into the Terms of Service for Blogger you'd find similar verbiage. 

What you are supposed to do is provide a snippet and then a link.  This will cause your readers to go to the other source to get the rest of the content.  Yes, it will cause your readers to leave your blog, but when you link to others there is a strong chance someone will link back to you (if your content is good enough).

Another thing that bothers me is the "theft" of images.  If you notice, when I did my first Devine Inspiration blog post, I made every effort to inform others that the image was Tim Devine's and he holds the copyright and I was using it with permission.  This keeps artists from getting angry at you.  My brother is an artist and has had several pieces stolen and used for other's gains and he doesn't see a cent from it.  Some artists will swap the image you are stealing with one that is not so Disney-friendly (if you know what I mean). 

On top of having the pieces used without permission, if you are direct linking to their images, you are stealing bandwidth and that costs them money.

So, if you find an image that you just need for a blog post, please ask the author for permission and then properly attribute the image back to them.

Most of the bloggers out there seem to be very good at scratching each other's backs and that is what I love about this community, but those few people out there that aren't doing that are going to be opened up to a whole world of hurt.  I'd hate to be a fly on the wall when one of these people accidentally bump into one of the people they scraped from at a place like MouseFest.

But, as that little ditty from the Humphrey the Bear short called In the Bag went:

First you stick a rag, put in the bag, bump bump
Then you bend your back, put it in the sack, bump bump
That's the way it's done, it's a lot of fun, bump bump
Whatever you do, don't irritate the grump

EDITOR'S NOTE:  I added the last line to those lyrics


1 comment:

kuri said...

Several years ago on a Delphi forum (not a Mormon one), there was woman who used a link to a picture on someone else's site in her sig. The picture owner found out, and substituted a graphic male-on-male porn image. So suddenly each of the poor woman's hundreds of existing posts ended with a big gay porn picture. It was the funniest case of on-line revenge I've ever seen.