If someone takes what you write and reprints it, should you view it as a copyright violation or be proud that you have written something good enough that someone else would like to reprint it?
Does it make a difference why they reprinted it? Does it make a difference who their audience is? Does it make a difference if they are profiting from the reprinting?
I have recently been reading up on copyright opinions. There are quite a few of them out there. Copyright means, if you created it, you own it and no one else has a right to do anything with it, other than read it, look at it, or listen to it. But there are some that feel that the original creator will benefit, and further that society will benefit, from freely copying others works.
On the one hand I agree that copyright is silly, but on the other, I think it is of the utmost importance.
What if someone takes what you have written, removes your name from it, and republishes it elsewhere that is not associated with you in anyway? I am not quite sure how that would help the original creator.
If someone wants to copy what I have done, and reprint it somewhere else, with my name on it, really, please do that. That would be a great favor to me. You would be helping to get my message out, as well as my name.
But I honestly have a large problem with someone copying my work and removing all identifying information from it. I don’t care that you don’t put your name on it; I care that my name was removed from it.
A comic creator that I enjoy, Nina Paley, draws a cartoon called Mimi and Eunice. I think it is super cute and is very well written. Here is an example:
Nina believes strongly in freedom from copyright. She tells people to freely copy her work and distribute it widely. But can you see closely between the frames? It is her website address, which could be removed but would be difficult. Also, she is distributing a fairly original and recognizable product. What do I distribute? Words. Words are not distinctly recognizable as any one particular author. If you remove the author’s name, you remove the only thing that attaches the piece to its creator.
It was with great surprise that I recently found one of my posts, word for word, reprinted somewhere else, without my permission. And more importantly, there was no identifying information printed along with it. The person who took it, did not try and pass it off as their own, but there was also no acknowledgment made that it wasn’t their own.
Here is what I think – if you want to reprint something from my blog, please ask, I will more than likely agree to it, but you will minimally need to state where you took it from.
Copying is not always great or a compliment. If you reprint my stuff in a pro cross dressing publication, cool. But what if someone wanted to reprint my stuff in something that was trying to prove that cross dressers are evil horrible people that should be crucified? I don’t think I would want anything that I have written reprinted as a part of that.
What do you think? Should people be able to freely reprint anything, anywhere, that anyone has done?