Occasionally I am alerted by my readers to the fact that someone is republishing my articles on another website. Sometimes they include my name as the author, sometimes they don’t, but most times the site owner has not received permission to reuse my copyrighted work, and does not include an incoming link to my website.
And I realized that perhaps there is confusion about how to appropriately share the work of others through social networks. After all, we want to share value with our contacts, and it’s perfectly fine to share the work of others. However there is a way to do so appropriately. Let’s take a look at how to do that.
- If you simply want to share a LINK to an article, that’s always OK. This benefits the author, because it exposes new people to his/her site, and it also helps to raise that person’s search engine rankings. (Incoming links are one of the things Google looks at.) To share a link, you may want to type the title, include the name of the author or blog if there’s room, and then provide the link.
- To share a QUOTE from an article, be sure to put the original quote in quotation marks, credit the author, and include a link to the author’s original work. It’s also good form to hotlink the author’s name to either their website or a social networking profile of the author.
- If you want to republish CONTENT from the article, you must find out from the author if you have permission to do so. If you look at the bottom-right corner of my sidebar on this blog, you will see that there is a copyright notice. If you wish to republish content from this blog, you have to ask first. And when you do ask, I provide you with a specific bio that I want you to include with my work, along with how to link to the original article and a social networking profile, so I can gain new followers. You see, the articles I write on this blog take a lot of my time, and I have a specific business purpose for writing them. Yes, I provide these articles for free on this site. But it doesn’t give everyone the right to use it on THEIR sites, to promote their work. I have to specifically say you’re allowed.
In this day and age, with content so freely available, it is easy to fall into the trap of thinking you can use whatever you want, wherever you want, in whatever way you want. But this is not the case. The person producing the content has worked very hard to create that content, and deserves to benefit from it. Make sure you have permission to reuse the content of someone else. And ALWAYS include a link to the original work. That’s good manners, good business, and it conforms to copyright laws.
Do you reproduce the content of others? How do you make sure you have permission? How do you credit the author? Would love to read your thoughts in the comments!