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Is Syndicating Other People’s Content on Your Blog OK?

ProBlogger-Community-Discussion.jpgThis weekend I’d like to throw open a couple of discussion starters for the ProBlogger community. The questions come from some of my Twitter followers.

flabuless asks the following question to you the ProBlogger community:

“Is syndicating content is kosher or not…ie running someone elses content through rss into ones own blog?”

This is a particularly important question that I see a variety of opinions on in my travels around the blogosphere. Do you syndicate other people’s content? If so, do you have some standards or guidelines around how you do it? What is your reaction to when you see others doing it to your content?

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. Lara Kulpa says:

    I have a huge issue with this, for a number of reasons, most outlined above, but another is that the “auto-fetchers” out there are subpar.

    I get links to Anubis Marketing saying “In an interesting post, The Doctor said…” where “The Doctor” is linked to my post.

    Or, “Yesterday, Marie Von Clair said…” where “Marie Von Clair” is linked to my post.

    These are creating links to my stuff that are neither relevant or related. It dilutes the power of my valid link popularity.

    I would have NO problem with someone actually keying in a snippet and (properly worded) link without asking for permission, to either illustrate a point or begin a conversation on their own blog.

    I wouldn’t even have issue with someone fully syndicating full feeds on their site, IF they asked my permission, IF I had the ability to decline for whatever reason (like, “No, you can’t use my weight loss posts on your Viagara site.”) and IF it was set up and linked to properly, like an online newspaper would. (It’d be nice to receive some kind of compensation for it, but even the ability to say “no, thank you” would be great.)

    However I hold HUGE issue with people who republish full feeds or pull these auto-fetch things. They’re lazy and are trying to rank for certain terms by using my hard work. It’s happened on my weight loss blog more than anything, but it does happen to all of them. I’ve had people doing it so that they’re even hotlinking to my images, which steals my bandwidth, and causes even more problems.

    I’m sorry, but I really don’t think that RSS was intended to be a way for people to fully syndicate like this, with no respect to the author.

  2. Mike says:

    Do you syndicate other people’s content?
    Yup

    If so, do you have some standards or guidelines around how you do it?
    Ya, obvious links back to the original blog and post. Also, we just use a summary. We don’t pull an entire post, even if they allow it.

    What is your reaction to when you see others doing it to your content?
    It happens…

    “Is syndicating content is kosher or not…ie running someone elses content through rss into ones own blog?”
    It all depends how you do it. Don’t display the entire article, make it obvious that the content is not your own and provide links back to the entire content on the original blog’s site.

  3. Using someone else’s content without permission is TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE! I’m a professional writer so except for my blog, I get paid for what I write. My career is well beyond writing articles for free to get exposure. That said, I do sometimes give permission for people to reprint something I’ve written and am happy to be a guest blogger occasionally. But not asking is infringement of my copyright.

    Once you write your intellectual property down, it’s copyrighted. Since my writing is my livelihood, I don’t want it spread around randomly. If someone takes it without asking, it’s not just unethical. It’s stealing—illegal. When I find my writing on another site, even with attribution to me, I always notify the person that they’re infringing my copyright. If they apologize, I often let them leave it up. It’s a case by case decision. I value my writing and protect it when I can.

  4. Juha Ylitalo says:

    Using someones full RSS feed as content for your blog is something that I consider to be content scraping and I haven’t yet seen any serious bloggers who would love to see his/her content been scraped by someone else.

  5. teamray says:

    its lame and speaks value for folks who has no content but to steal others

  6. Dash Chang says:

    If another blog steals uses RSS to create their content, that is copyright infringement.

    If a Google or Yahoo user puts your RSS feed on their portal page and shares the page with friends, is that syndication? How about Facebook profiles with your RSS feed?

    Are these latter cases a problem?

  7. Sam says:

    Do you really see a variety of opinions on this issue? That’s ridiculous. I can’t think of any way shape form that would be considered ok.

    I’m interested to know who the hell thinks its ok. I can’t imagine anyone saying so – unless that’s what they do for a living.

    I seriously can’t believe you see a variety of opinions on that – unless the variety is in “how many different ways can you say no.”

  8. Josh says:

    There is one aspect of syndication people don’t seem to be getting. Think about syndication the way it is handled on TV.

    When Nick at Nite replays Mr. Ed, no one screams and stomps their feet because N@N is being deceptive. No one thinks TNT made Star Wars because they play it every Thanksgiving. Channels that replay syndicated content provide a service for their viewers.

    Why can’t properly syndicated and attributed blogs serve the same purpose? If a blog could pull together content for different sources (RSS, Flickr, Twitter, whatever) with attribution, then how is that any different from using Google Reader or NetNewsWire to do the same thing?

    Copyright infringement is bad, but there must be a model whereby a blog can create value by using syndicated content with attribution.

    Some Ideas:
    -Side-by-Side feeds from Left- and Right-Leaning sources.
    -Top News Stories compared by region.
    -Side-by-Side reviews of competing products (iPod vs Zune?)
    -Flickr Feeds from popular photographers
    -Aggregation of Tweets about a specific person or topic

    As long as these are attributed, it is all fair use, providing links and exposure to the content producer. Isn’t this the core value of the web?

  9. Brad says:

    Syndicating, as long as you credit the source and keep the original completely intact, is like a deejay playing tracks. You’re, in many case, introducing people to something they may not otherwise find., If people like the “song,” they’ll seek out the source. There’s no way to prevent syndicating – learn to live with it.

  10. Muscle Post says:

    I don’t think syndicating content provides any real benefit for the original blogger or the re-user. You are stealing someone else’s ideas and trying to generate traffic off of them. If you want to use their ideas, then paraphrase what they say and give a link back to their site for more information. But simply copying their content verbatim is bad because it will hurt you in the search engines also for not having unique content.

    Come up with your own ideas. If you want to base your ideas off of what someone else wrote, then do that. But don’t just reproduce what they already wrote and call it your own.

  11. Gerald says:

    I think syndication can serve a purpose. From time to time an author may find some content that is particularly compelling, and may wish to syndicate it with proper credit.

    If that author relies solely on syndication as a style, then I think their readership and success will naturally take care of themselves.

  12. james says:

    I feel very strongly about this, because I often write fairly detailed original posts on my site. It reduces my posting frequency because I can’t simply bang off three posts in an hour, but it dramatically increases the quality of the site and ensures that people keep coming back.

    Copying content from another site merely adds noise and duplicate content to the web. It’s also incredibly frustrating to have large and very popular sites copy an image you took along with a paragraph or two of your text and get dozens or hundreds of links as a reward for what basically amounts to plagiarism.

    Of course, I have a secret weapon on my side – I love the topic I write about and have no shortage of great ideas.

  13. anonymous coward says:

    Hilarious actually. Most people clearly say no to this kind of use.
    Note that we’re discussing syndication here. But let’s be honest, it makes no difference if you do it manually or with some form of automation if the result is the same. A spam email remains a spam email whether I’ve written it personally or let my bot write them much faster.
    Yes, some people don’t mind when a proper link is given. But the black blog (as someone called it) is a big no-no for most here. Ironically they all come here and follow the person who does what they just told they think is wrong.

  14. anonymous coward says:

    I want to add that just because you do it, an authority in their eyes, will have a lot of people saying it’s ok (if you’d show them). But if they’d were shown the same blog by an unknown person first, they surely would say it’s stealing and unethical.

  15. It looks like there might be some misinterpretations of the definition of “syndicating content” here and there in the comments above.

    Syndicating content means that someone else is taking your RSS feed and reposting it on their site. They are not writing/blogging anything of their own and adding value to the blogosphere but instead are regurgitating other bloggers’ hard work, sweat, and passion that they put into writing their original content.

    Sydicating content does Not mean this – if I had a blog about blogging and I wanted to link to Darren’s post above and I wrote my own post about it, including a link to his article (of course, besides credit you want to get the attention of the other blogger) and wrote in my own post –

    “one of Darren’s readers asked the question today: “Is syndicating content is kosher or not…ie running someone elses content through rss into ones own blog?” Here’s what I think about this (insert my thoughts) and when I read the comments on Darrens post here’s what the majority of bloggers thought (insert what I read and more of my thoughts about it). Then I’d go on about my experiences with this topic, etc. and suggest that my readers read the original post on Darren’s blog and especially to check out the comments section.

    That’s Not syndicating content – that’s linking to another blogger whose post struck a chord with you and you wanted to write about it and tell your readers about it. It’s also a major way of building relationships with other bloggers in your niche, something that you read about often here at problogger. And actually, if I did have a blog about blogging I’d have done this instead of writing all of these comments on this post (lol).

    There’s a HUGE difference between linking out to other posts to build relationships with other bloggers and simply scraping RSS feeds to try to make bucks with Adsense. And like Stephanie said at the top, why wouldn’t you just go to the source? Isn’t the reason that blogs like Darren’s are popular is because he’s writing his own content and speaking his own thoughts? How many times do we have to hear that content is king, but not just any content, Original content? ;)

    You know if a splogger wanted to they could start a legit blog and start writing their thoughts, too – but that would involve a lot more work than just reposting another blogger’s feed and trying to piggyback on their labors.

  16. Mike Colonna says:

    Some of these folks are taking their words to seriously. We create blogs so people can read and comment. Pass along our ideas, if they are meaningful, and judge them if they’re “off the wall!” Some bloggers write to vent and others create ideas so that readers will implement them. Famous bloggers talk politics, quote newsmakers, write about their own life experiences. My take is if you use others material, be sure to give them credit, if you don’t know where a story originated, then make that clear. Our words are translated around the world. In what context, who knows? If you do not want your words copied or rewritten, then warn your readers in advance. If your idea is quoted on radio, or TV, is that a copywrite infringement? Most bloggers, TV and radio commentators and newswriters, do not have a clue about copywrite laws! If a story originates with you than comment on it…and be grateful someone is reading your material!

  17. Cathy Moore says:

    A bigger annoyance for me these days is people translating my content without linking back to my blog. They present my content as theirs, or they just mention my name without linking to me. These are complete translations, not paraphrasing.

    I want to expand into the Spanish and Portuguese language markets, so it irks me to see my content already appearing there without any benefit to me.

  18. Markus says:

    I think its fine, as long as the site links back to the original post, and does not claim it as their own. Would you all have a problem if Google News syndicating content from you page? Of course not!

  19. Flabuless says:

    Hi all, Thanks for your comments! The reason why I am asking is that on my blog i want to have a section ‘Blog Showcase’ where I showcase other health/dieters blogs that are brilliant but may be new or obscure. As a way of introducing my readers to new great content out there. I have it set up so that those blogs are shown on their own unique category and permalinks point right back to the blog in question for commenting etc. The posts from this category are excluded from my own personal blog page so that people don’t get confused that I am writing it. And the author and blog name is clearly displayed underneath each post. I have been trialing it out with a mate’s blog- Steph, backinskinnyjeans. (with her permission of course) but I don’t want to do anything that is not ‘kosher’ thus my question.

  20. Lara Kulpa says:

    I agree that most commenters here aren’t getting the difference between sharing points and quoting another blog, and ripping the post in it’s entirety to put on their site.

    To quote another, cite (give credit), and add your own commentary is one thing (and perfectly acceptable in my opinion).

    To post my full post on your splog and call me “Marie Von Clair” is NOT okay, NOT acceptable, NOT forgive-able, and just flat out laziness and rudeness.

  21. JoLynn, I agree there’s some misinterpretations of the definition of “syndicating content”. There are companies that syndicate articles to many publications, like newspapers and regional magazines. But the writer must give permission and there’s a formal agreement. Then the syndication company offers the article for use. There are fees paid for the use. There are several online syndication services that provide content for websites. They also need formal permission from the writer and then license use of the article to websites for a small fee. There are syndication companies that allow sites to use the articles for free. But they still must get formal permission from the writer.

    Since I make my living from my writing I value any content I create. No one has the right to post an article in its entirety on their site without my permission. I write my blog because I enjoy it. But I still completely value the content, and my copyright.

  22. Chris says:

    I think that syndicating someone else’s content isn’t cool. If you have found something that you really like and want to share it then you should make a short post with what you liked about it and a link.

  23. Hilton Jones says:

    I received a comment on a post of mine about a local sushi restaurant. It seemed to be regarding posting a link from a site that specializes in assembling all blog posts on the Internet about sushi. After checking out the site, I approved the comment. The site links to my article permalink. This seems like a legitimate kind of referencing. It’s a little annoying that the person who refers the your site to the sushi site has their name listed in such a way that it looks as if they maybe wrote the article (it’s simply not clear), but the link is to me so there’s actually no ownership confusion, and…I guess it makes sense to list the person’s name who does the referring. Had they reposted the actual content as their own, however, I don’t think that would be legit.

  24. I syndicate content all the time, it’s perfectly all right if you give the writer credit and link to his/her blog.

    I also syndicate webisodes from Revver. this is more than “Koser,” as the craetor of the video ond the magazine both get revenue from the syndication thanks to Revver.

  25. Lisa says:

    It’s just plain wrong and lazy to syndicate someone else’s content without their permission. I spend way too much time tracking down blog scrapers who are syndicating my content on a splog (often with no link to my site whatsoever). It’s amazing the rude responses I get when I contact these people. The arrogance is just startling. Be original. Write your own content. Don’t try and profit off others’ content.

  26. Luis Cruz says:

    Syndicating other people’s content on your own blog is NOT ok.

    The only example of this I’ve seen that I actually approve of is a blogger that links to his girlfriend’s latest 3 posts (via RSS) on his sidebar.

  27. Is syndcating titles only without permission OK? The site you are syndicating is getting free backlinks and traffic without anything in return. But you are technically using their server resources. I am doing it on the site below. I cache the feeds for 6 hours (if I remember correctly).

    http://www.webpageblueprint.com

  28. Bob Morgan says:

    Dont syndicate the whole feed… just a paragraph and a link

    =]

  29. Sue says:

    I know I’m late with this, but I too see people misinterpreting the difference between scraping and syndicating.

    There is a blog that syndicates my content, in the form of headlines, through two ways. One is in the Spring Widget, which posts the headlines, and another is through some Google blogspot widget that does the same thing. I believe it’s set up through Google alerts. If you have a Feed Flare unit on your site, which someone can get easily from Feedburner to place on their page, that is also syndication.

    Another way is if you are a member of say, Blogburst, which offers your feed to other sites such as Reuters, Chicago Tribune, and others. A link to your post that’s picked up will be placed at the end of the story on the main site.

    All the above are syndication, and all of them are okay.

    Trackbacks and pingbacks are not syndication, which some have mentioned as an argument.

    Scraping, which most people are confusing with syndication, is NOT okay, and is NOT syndication.

  30. Mitch says:

    No, I absolutely hate this. It’s irritating when you publish a post and immediately have a trackback to your blog, wondering who could have read it so fast, only to learn that your content is now on someone else’s blog because of your topic. That’s just not right.

  31. About 10% of the hits I get on one of my sites is from a site that has syndicated the content from my site.

    I don’t mind as I have ended up accessing people from different communities that I feel would not have without this ‘partnership’.

    I feel as long as both parties aim for a win win and nobody is cheating the other then it is cool.

  32. Amber says:

    Lately I have found some unsavory sites aggregating my feed. It is annoying to find that your content is the only content comming from these blogs. Especially if your content is no way associated with the blog “theme”.
    In most cases there is no way to contact a person who uses your content – without your knowledge.

    When a blog owner wants to showcase a post that is geared toward a certain subject, and properly links and names the source, I am all for it. It can be a great way to find new readers.

    Or a site that you join allows syndicating of your feed you submit – This too is a great way to find new readers.

    I use feedburner so I make sure now to add an attribution notice of where the content is from and the copyright, via feedburner’s “feedflare” on my outgoing feeds. This helps a little to appease my anxiety about content theft.

    In most people’s opinions all content on the web is at their disposal for use as they please. This unfortunately is a huge problem – and it spans across language barriers too, because copyright notices become lost in translation.

    I have noticed since being a flickr.com member, since the very begining, people assume all images on flickr are approved for use via creative commons. This is a common misconception and a very false one. In cases like flickr or bigger corporations that syndicate blogger content, I think it could be of value to the Internet as a whole to be more vocal about copyright and try educating people on it’s importance.

    It is also unfortunate that the same copyright laws that we as content creators are trying to uphold – do not always protect our beloved content, due to gray areas associated with the Internet itself. Countless court cases have sided with the copyright holder – but due to the international laws not meshing with US laws, an offender ends up getting away, leaving the copyright owner with fees and lost money from over published images and content.

    There is now a way to copyright mass images and digital files online – but you must pay to have it done. For allot of us this can be too costly – and if people are not upholding copyright in the first place, a waste of time.

    I think that this subject will continue to be a hot circulating subject via the blogosphere.

    A way of copyrighting content that is universal , is a must. Once that is settled then maybe we can discuss “syndicating” other people’s content – because we will all understand the complications involved.

  33. For me it is not ok to syndicate others content to you own site. I think it is ok to grap topics and write further information on it. It’s also ok to quote others but just syndicating others is a no go for me.

  34. @Daylle Deanna Schwartz, hi, I agree that it’s a totally different subject if you give permission. Blogburst, like Sue mentioned, is a company that will syndicate your content In Full (they will repost your complete article) BUT you are giving them permission to do so. Completely different situation if you’re giving permission – RSS scrapers feeding splogs don’t have permission.

    @Flabuless, hi, it sounds like you’ve also got a situation where you have the permission of the blogger. If you don’t I personally would not repost another blogger’s full post (I wouldn’t want to do that even if I had permission, but if you have permission then you’re all set) but again it’s just the process of linking out when you post one or two sentences from the other blogger’s post and then write your own post about it with your opinions and comments about what they wrote.

    Another idea to showcase other bloggers would be offering them to guest post on your blog – then the content would be unique and you’d still be showcasing the other blogger.

  35. I syndicate my own content to my own blogs, where there is overlap. Also, I don’t see why more bloggers aren’t getting syndication deals and selling syndication rights, radio personalities and columnists have been doing it for guess at least a hundred years. The AP is one giant syndicate. Why not syndicate blog content?

    The main difference is that one blog is just as available as the next, whereas radio only broadcasts to a geographic area, and papers only distribute to a geographic area. Still, some sites have a sort of geographic presence because of the volume and mix of their content, think MSN.com, etc…

  36. Rob Norton says:

    I agree with at least the first few posts, which I’ll syndicate here: :)

    I *have* on occasion plopped a post onto one of my blogs fully intending to go and edit it to fit my blog’s content and have gotten distracted by some other late breaking thing or another, and so syndicated it sits until I delete it.

    What I _try_ to do is take other people’s great ideas for stories, or breaking news or whatever happens to be going on out there and relate it to one of my blogs somehow — i.e. when the “Emergency Party Button” was posted by Lifehacker Australia (http://lifehacker.com.au/) then syndicated by LifeHacker, I dugg it, and put it on my Musicology Site and talked about the choice of Haddaway’s “What is Love” as the “Emergency Party Song” which I thought was interesting and fit what I am talking about on that blog.

    That’s my tusense.

  37. Sue says:

    @Amber:

    I agree with you about Flickr. I am always careful to use only CC licensed photos, unless I can’t find any. Then there are two alternatives: one is using the Blog This feature on most of the images, or, asking for permission to use the photo. I’ve never been denied that permission, btw.

    One thing a lot of people forget when using the photos, no matter what the license is, is that there has to be a notice of the license, along with attribution. I hope and think I’m doing it properly.

    Another site I will use is Webshots. Those allow for direct posting also.

    But to get back on topic, once again, scrapers, splogs, pingbacks and trackbacks are NOT syndicating. People need to make that distinction.

    @Flabuless: If you’re syndicating the way mentioned in this or my other post, I think it sounds kosher. Are you using one of the widgets or Google Alerts to do this? It almost sounds like you’re doing a blogroll, slightly enhanced. As long as it goes to the original post, then it’s really only known as linking, which is what the world wide web is all about. Good luck, and it’s great of you to highlight and give link love to other, lesser known blogs.

  38. Caleb says:

    I have to agree with Popular Wealth. Also,It’s not plageurism if you have a few of their posts titles in your sidebar…it actually helps them as well as the readers.

    We’re not talkng about straight-up copying a whole post and repasting it on your blog as if it’s you wrote it…

  39. I assume you are referring to the use of free, or properly licensed content here–stealing people’s Intellectual Property is definitely not OK.

    I have nothing against syndication per-se, but as a publisher I avoid it, because the quality of available content is so very low. In my experience, people keep all the best articles for their own sites, and shovel their not-so-great stuff onto article repositories as a link-building tactic.

    As a reader and subscriber, I avoid syndicated feeds like the plague. I certainly don’t want to tarnish my name/brand/reputation by inflicting them on others!

  40. Mitch says:

    I think we should be clear about what we’re talking about. In my case, I’m talking about writing a post, saving it, and suddenly I see that it’s shown up on someone else’s blog literally within seconds. In essence, the other blog was created only to post what other people have written, even if it’s not the entire post, and doesn’t accept comments because it was set up only to make money, hopefully for those folks. This is what I have a major gripe with.

    Intentionally linking to someone else who has written something you like and that you want to share is something entirely different, which we’ve all done, hopefully. The intentions are entirely different from someone who has no intention of ever creating any new content.

  41. Kyle says:

    There is a way to syndicate feeds and link back to the permalinks of the original post. If someone was syndicating my content but all of the syndicated posts actually linked back to my permalinks, I’d be happy because I’d be building linkbacks.

    If there is no link back to the permalink, then its a big no-no.

  42. Here’s an archaic (print) term which might clear up a lot of this confusion: review.

    If you quote a part of something and attribute it, whether yuou discuss it or just link to it, that’s a review. (In the last case, the review consists of the fact that you like it enough to have the link on your blog.) If you take an entire article, you need to ask permission first.

    If you take an entire article, don’t attribute it, don’t link, and don’t ask permission, that’s plagiarism. And yes, it is against the law, at least in the U.S. Once a person creates a work, they have automatic copyright, even if they don’t post the copyright notice or register.

  43. I publish a community web site. The main articles are news and information on the area. But there is a section where I have syndicated feeds from local bloggers. An intro to the post is imported with a link back to the blogger’s site.

    It is a win-win for both of us. It gives my site the flavor of local voices, and while some aren’t “article quality” it is very clear that they are blog posts from individuals. The bloggers have the advantage of added exposure for their site that they wouldn’t otherwise have and they are identified as a local. People like to follow who they know.

    I’ve been adding the feeds very slowly because first I have to find them. Most of the people just blog to blog and do no other site promotion or networking.

    Second, I have to determine if they are writing the types of posts I would want to promote on my site. I’m not going to give exposure to some obnoxious idiot.

    If I think a blog would be a good fit, then I contact the owner and ask if they would like to participate.

  44. Wayne says:

    Ya know, funny this post should pop up….

    I recently shut down a site due to my own ignorance on the socialized rules around this. If a blog offers up an RSS feed, it does so at it’s own risk as far as I’m concerned. If you didn’t want people to take your content and republish it, why would you offer an RSS feed?

    Yes, you may say it is there for the RSS readers of the world, and only them, but it’s a technology that you don’t control like that. An RSS feed can be used by the RSS readers, perhaps their intended purpose, but they can also be republished by blogging packages like Community Server. If the feed is put out to the world as full text, guess what? It will be full text where it is republished (most likely).

    I don’t think that blame should fall on the republishers, after all, you provided it for them to use. To some extent, it’s like putting a candy bar in front of a sugar-hungry kid and telling him not to eat it. The world isn’t the utopia you thought it was, everyone is here for themselves these days (I blame overpopulation).

    You can also say that, well, they should ask first or only republish the first xx characters of each post. Again, it’s there for the taking, and it will be taken, history teaches us that.

    If you don’t want the full post to be republished, don’t allow your RSS feed to provide that. YOU need to control that. If you don’t want people republishing at all, don’t provide an RSS feed. You can control it in this manner, but most probably don’t and then complain about it.

    All this “it’s a no-no so please don’t do it” is only asking for people to police themselves, which may work a bit, but in the end, it’s not 100% effective.

    Here is an idea, what if RSS feeds required authentication? Hmm…problem solved? This would put the onus squarely on the bloggers lap to control who gets access to the feed. Now think about that a bit. If there WAS a security mechanism in place, you then would now have to manage and maintain all your subscribers..adding another level of administration to your duties of running a blog. Is that what we want?

    I’m playing devil’s advocate here a bit, and hopefully I don’t sound overly obtuse. IMOHO, it’s the bloggers responsibility, after all, it’s their content. If you don’t control it, someone else will.

    Welcome to Earth, enjoying your stay?

  45. Reginald says:

    I agree with Stephanie wholeheartedly.

    One hundred percent syndication of someone else’s work could very cause that persons website to get a higher ranking and leave your site without a valid rank.

  46. kerwood says:

    I do not believe syndication of someones work is appropriate especially if you do not have permission.

    There are other areas involving creative commons works but taking someones content and passing it off as your own or providing their entire sites worth of content on your own is just in bad taste.

    I had an experience once prior to my blogging days where I would write articles for “syndication” as long as you followed the rules involved in posting the content.

    An attorney no less used one of my articles on his site to promote his law practice without following the proper terms and I complained.

    It took me a while to “convince” him that the article was my own, and he took the proper action to continue using the article.

    However, to my own amusement he used the article of someone else as well without following the TOS either. The article was based on copyright infringement. Knowing what I do, I do not think he is probably a great attorney either.

  47. Quoting an excerpt and linking back to the original source is simply using the internet the way it was designed to work.

    Taking the full content of an article and reposting it on your own site (even with a link back to the original) without permission from the author is wrong. Duplicate content penalties, control of distribution, and the appearance that the reposted material is your own all add up to it being a no-no.

    If you contact the author and they give you the go-ahead then obviously it’s OK, otherwise just quote an excerpt of the article and link back to the full, original article.

  48. Michael says:

    Do not repost someone elses content, if you quote some text from someone else’s blog and comment on it that would be okay, don’t just cut and paste or run their RSS feed into your blog, that is just terrible.

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