When Quoting

This has come up a couple of times in the last couple of days, so a quick comment on quoting articles, etc in comments:

Generally speaking, it’s not kosher to cut and paste an entire article from somewhere else and put it into your comment here, and also generally speaking, if you do it and I see it, I’ll probably excise the whole bit. That’s because it’s generally a copyright violation to post the whole of someone else’s work. So: if you’re tempted to just cut and paste a whole article from somewhere else, please don’t.

Instead, do this: Excerpt one to three paragraphs of the work (generally the opening three, but whatever’s directly pertinent is good), and then provide a link back to the whole article. That way, you’re probably not violating a copyright (three graphs of a longer piece pretty easily fits into fair use), and those folks who want to read the whole thing can do it. Everybody wins. 

(If it’s a really short piece — a couple hundred words or less — just excerpt a couple lines.)

Likewise, if you’re quoting a poem or song, usually one stanza/verse and a link should do it.

Exceptions to this are if you know the work is public domain or licensed under Creative Commons, or if you’re engaging in a critical response to the piece (known in Internet circles as “fisking”). But when in doubt: Three graphs and a link. Thanks.

8 thoughts on “When Quoting

  1. htom @ 1:
    If you did, do it quickly using only the knuckles of your clenched hand. Then you’d be the:

    First frisk fist fisker.

  2. You know, i just read something about this subject. Allow me to quote:

    This has come up a couple of times in the last couple of days, so a quick comment on quoting articles, etc in comments:

    Generally speaking, it’s not kosher to cut and paste an entire article from somewhere else and put it into your comment here, and also generally speaking, if you do it and I see it, I’ll probably excise the whole bit. That’s because it’s generally a copyright violation to post the whole of someone else’s work. So: if you’re tempted to just cut and paste a whole article from somewhere else, please don’t.

    Instead, do this: Excerpt one to three paragraphs of the work (generally the opening three, but whatever’s directly pertinent is good), and then provide a link back to the whole article. That way, you’re probably not violating a copyright (three graphs of a longer piece pretty easily fits into fair use), and those folks who want to read the whole thing can do it. Everybody wins.

    (If it’s a really short piece — a couple hundred words or less — just excerpt a couple lines.)

    Likewise, if you’re quoting a poem or song, usually one stanza/verse and a link should do it.

    Exceptions to this are if you know the work is public domain or licensed under Creative Commons, or if you’re engaging in a critical response to the piece (known in Internet circles as “fisking”). But when in doubt: Three graphs and a link. Thanks.

    </smartass>

  3. C’mon, John! You know that’s still theft, right? Or are you one of those “fair use” commies! Get with the program. The AP says no way.

    You know what Jim Kennedy says:

    “As content creators, we firmly believe that everything we create, from video footage all the way down to a structured headline, is creative content that has value.”

  4. Kills my joke, too: I was going to quote the first three paragraphs and link to this same page. Oh well.

This is the place where you leave the things you think

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s