I have always proceeded on the premise that re-blogs are a great way of demonstrating appreciation for the work of others, for what better means can there be of showing one’s approbation than sharing fellow blogger’s posts with your own followers. By so doing the person doing the re-blogging is enhancing the profile of a given post and the blogger who’s post they are sharing which can lead on to more likes, shares and follows on the originator’s site. I was therefore taken back when, following on from a re-blog by me of another’s post I received the following message both on my own site and via Twitter,
“Please make sure you are making it clear that this was written by another writer (me). Thanks. :)”.
My response was that:
1. I had no intention of passing off anyone else’s work as my own and
2. The re-blog clearly linked back to the originator’s site making it crystal clear that they (not me) wrote the article in question.
As a writer I do, of course understand the desire of others to protect their creations and it goes without saying that I would never in any manner whatsoever attempt to pass off work written by a person other than me as mine. Having said that, when one places sharing buttons such as Twitter and Facebook and, of course the re-blog facility on one’s WordPress site, you should not be surprised when people utilise these buttons to share your work with their fellow bloggers and the wider world. If an individual, for whatever reason doesn’t want their work to be shared via re-blogs, tweets etc they should not place sharing buttons on their site. Of course the removal of the ability to share would not prevent others from copying a link and linking back to a post which they find interesting.
In conclusion, one should (obviously) not pass off another’s work as one’s own. To do so is both ethically wrong and a breech of copyright law. However anyone who allows the placing of sharing options on their blog is inviting others to share content. A tweet or a re-blog of a portion of a post does not a breech of copyright make.
Despite being taken back by the response received to a recent re-blog, I will continue to share, via re-blogs and tweets posts that I find interesting. I am always grateful to my fellow bloggers when they share my work and I have no intention of ceasing to return the kindness.