Thursday, April 29, 2010

Genea-Bloggers' Code of Conduct

DearREADERS,
Thankfully, Thomas MacEntee has today discussed an idea for a Genea-Bloggers' Code of Conduct. His blog entry describes his reaction to a genea-blogger's copyright infringement that took several attempts to resolve.

Ol' Myrt here has noted from time to time other genea-bloggers have "lifted" content from my site without attribution. While it is wonderful to spotlight the work of others, prevailing copyright law and common courtesy dictate that quotes should be brief with adequate source citations.

It took some calming discussions with fM to help me navigate a course through the murky waters. While I didn't want to discourage a genea-blogger, it isn't reasonable to permit unfair use of Ol' Myrt's materials.

Though I am not the "Miss Manners" of Genealogy, for some reason, other genea-bloggers have written privately for advice concerning copyright infringements of their blogs. They write, and I am glad they do, as I can be trusted to be the soul of descretion. Maybe folks think I know the offending party or parties in question. Perhaps they wish me to intervene to broker an amicable solution?


HOW FREQUENT IS THE PROBLEM?
Twice in the past 2 years, I've personally noted fellow genea-bloggers have used my materials without attribution.

Nine times in the past 2 years I've heard from other bloggers about how to deal with specific copyright issues they've encountered.

In all cases the individuals who stepped on the other genea-blogger's toes failed to CITE THE SOURCE.

MY ADVICE TO GENEA-BLOGGERS?

  • It IS pretty easy to say "I was reading so-and-so's blog, and that got me to thinking..." providing a link to the other blog's original entry.
  • Don't use anyone else's "stuff" without asking.

It is challenging -- figuring out how to deal with another genea-blogger's use of a our personal photos, or quote of multiple paragraphs.

WAIT A MINUTE!
Isn't ACCURATELY CITING SOURCES a criteria for competent genealogists?

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
DearMYRTLE,
Your friend in genealogy.
Myrt@DearMYRTLE.com

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