Mar 23, 2013

To Post or Not to Post, That is the Question

I recently wrote an article about blogging and reviewing, and the merits of the three star review versus the five star review. Also discussed was whether bloggers should be told how to review, as in which review should go live if it is indeed a negative review.

I got so much attention on this post! Thank you so much for your comments, and I wanted to take this chance to express to all of you how happy I am to hear that everyone prefers honesty in their reviews, regardless of what that rating of the book is.

Along with honesty that is to be expected in the blogosphere, as bloggers we appreciate and EXPECT respect. We write these articles to get those comments, to have a discussion on our blog, to feel the love from fellow readers. We do NOT expect to be copied verbatim on to someone else's blog so that other person can benefit from the blog hits and then garner a discussion on their own site. If my content is getting taken 'fairly' for someone else's site, why should I bother posting anything?

This happened to my "To Review or Not To Review; That is The Question" post. Fellow blogger, yet a lawyer, so he knows the law -- took my post, and even the title of the blog post, and reposted my thoughts on his site. 

YES.. he linked back to my original post. So it is not plagiarism. As he was very quick to point out in response to my comment requesting permission or a heads up:

Marie - Do you understand Fair Use?

My use of an excerpt from your site is clearly within the Fair Use provisions of U.S. Copyright Law.

Passive Guy

I feel slighted and abused in the way this unethical lawyer behaves. As a blogger one expects that their words would belong to themselves. I would not mind if my reviews were posted anywhere with a link back, but this was clearly a discussion post, meant to gather readers in one spot (on MY blog) which he did not ask me for permission to use.

He is moderating comments on his blog, so feel free to leave your thoughts here. On MY blog.

Be careful out there folks, it's a slippery cliff we are heading towards.


  1. He should have contacted you and asked. All his stuff is taken from other sources, I wouldn't even call him a blogger. He is just a reposter who has no original ideas so he takes them. He does no work, lets other people do it for him. Regardless of the law, there is the fact of basic human consideration. He does not have this.

  2. How hard is it to write your OWN post on the subject? Apparently this guy is very lazy. And unoriginal. I hope his followers like reading regurgitated fruits of OTHER people's labor.

  3. Slippery slope indeed. Personally, I don't see how that is really fair use, for many reasons, but in particular the fact that you highlighted -- this is a discussion post that would garner responses and traffic, both of which should be going to YOUR blog, not that lazy guy.

  4. Not cool at all to lift posts from other people's blogs, even if credit or a link is given -- without permission!! It might be within the law, but there is (in my opinion) a feeling that someone has used your "intellectual property" (i.e., your thoughts, your writing, your time) for their gain. There's certainly nothing wrong with using the same topic from another blog; just write an ORIGINAL post.

  5. Seriously annoying, Marie. You work very hard on your blog - those of us who 'do the work' as Stephen Pressfield said, appreciate the effort and the value YOU create. No doubt this guy will soon be outed for what he is.

  6. Fair Use only entitles him to a brief excerpt, and it doesn't matter if he links back or not. Linking back doesn't make it not a copyright violation. It's debatable whether or not he used too much to qualify as a fair use exception. Plagiarism is an academic term and it's not illegal to plagiarize; what's illegal is the copyright violation. And like I said whether or not he violated copyright is debatable. what bothers me is his trying to intimidate you by saying "I'm a lawyer, I know better," when in fact he may be in the wrong and just trying to push you around. Either way he's a jerk.

  7. I don't understand why he had to steal your discussion post. How hard can it be to even rephrase your topic? Lazy. Creepy.

  8. You have every right to be upset, but keep on posting. I value what you have to say and I am sorry this person treated you disrespectfully.

  9. Please don't be mad at me for saying so, but I disagree. I'm a regular reader of the Passive Voice blog, and one of the things I like about it is that it leads me to new blogs I hadn't heard of before. If I read an interesting excerpt on his blog, I'll click through to check out the other blog. By quoting directly instead of rephrasing things, he's giving us a sample of the other blog, and that makes it easier for us to know if it's writing we might like. I hope I'm not unwelcome as a new reader on this site just because I came from that other site.

    1. Thank you for coming here to visit and comment I appreciate it!

  10. I just think that is so unprofessional. I agree with everyone else. He can't even come up with his own original content. Very sad that there are people who think this is okay just because they linked back to the original site. No telling how many of our blog posts are floating around out there on other people's sites.

  11. I really appreciated your blog the other day, as I do all of them, now that I am following you. I read the other comments, and I certainly would agree that it does seem unprofessional to take someone else's hard work, and post it without asking first if that is OK.
    Other than that, I don't mind links from other blogs, as then I can check them out. I just think credit should be given where credit is due!

  12. I am slighted and abused on your behalf. Fair use? Really? regardless, there's something called common decency. He could have contacted you ahead of time and said, hey would like to feature your post.

    Yes, we are on a slippery slope and i don't know of any way of walking that path. Post or not post and deal with the consequences I guess is our only option. sorry Marie but i have your back.

  13. Thank you for recommending Bloglovin'! I was using feedly for awhile and I didn't really like it very much.

  14. That's terrible, Marie. Like you, if there's a link back I would think that's reasonable.


But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. Hebrews 11:6