A Pearl Of Wisdom On Content Theft

“It needs to be said that I don’t think its alright to steal content from other blogs”

Following on from Darren Rowse at ProBlogger in his post titled Introducing A Shoddy Blogger. I guess it needs to be said that I don’t think its alright to steal content from other blogs. And I’m not actually sure I ever said that as much as someone interpreted what I said that way and ran with it while I was sleeping.

My views are simply that the web is about WE and US and not ME and MY, it was given to us by Tim Berners Lee who could’ve just commercially been greedy but he opted that there should be a World Wide Web for everyone. That was the ideal. The web is about freely hyperlinking between documents using the insecure HTTP protocol on what is now a 30 year old architecture - and when that hyperlinking utopia gets stomped on then the web will die - why? Well it’ll die because if we can’t link then we won’t link and there won’t be any point to using it. OK some won’t believe me but I do see that the greed of trying to own pieces of it commercially and pushing real world issues onto it like copyright will cause more harm than good. The web is still the Wild West and we haven’t figured it out yet but whatever it is it isn’t real life! Not yet. Not ever hopefully. I want to work and develop on a free accessible web for everyone with pretty much free hyperlinking. The theft cure might kill the good stuff too. Just take a minute to think about it.

So what I’m saying is accept that if you put your stuff up there and its there long enough it’ll get stolen. Its a fact of life. That isn’t saying I agree with the practice OK, just as I don’t agree with the idea of someone stealing your watch but might still advise you not to wrap it in a towel on a public beach when you go for a swim. I lost my watch that way and know its a simple fact of life.

If you really do have valuable information that is commercially viable then you should think of putting it in a book instead. Thats just a pearl of wisdom from the wise there.

Update: 10/9/05
Another blog I read a lot, Duct Tape Marketing, has an article relating to the ProBlogger one - Blog Content Rip-Off Is Stealing - that may be of interest.

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