January 31, 2009

When Blogs Plagiarize

I’m a huge proponent of digital media, as anyone who works with me knows. I love combing through the various architecture and design blogs—it seems like there’s a new one every day—and I often get story ideas from these sites.

But what I don’t love is when these sites poach Mockitecture's content without permission. We at Mockitecture work very hard—and spend a lot of money—producing original content. We appreciate when our online counterparts recognize our content by posting a headline, a few sentences, and a link to the original story (Architizer and Archinect are particularly good at this!). Too often, though, sites repost the entire story and photos without permission and without proper attribution. It’s plagiarism, hands down, and it’s a violation of copyright laws.

Here’s a recent example: BLOBBLOG recently reposted my news story titled “Blobbiness.” The author of the post, Isozaki420, made a few minor modifications to the story, and then slapped his byline on it. He used my photos, as well; fortunately, He gave me credit for those. But Iso never received permission to repost the story or the images. (See links below.)

When it comes to protecting creative content, journalists and architects often face the same challenges. It’s disappointing when someone else takes credit for your work. Can’t we all just play by the rules and focus on creating fresh material? Or, in the case of aggregation sites, know where the line is between cooperation and co-optation.


• Mockitecture version (the original):


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