When is a Credit not a Credit?

A couple of well-known econo-bloggers are all upset about another blogger’s use of intellectual property, in the form of a linked-to but otherwise unattributed set of quotations:

It Has Nothing to Do with “Fair Use”: It Is About Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due – Brad DeLong’s Grasping Reality with All Ten Tentacles.

Fair Use, intellectual property and other copyright and courtesy issues come up for bloggers on a fairly routine basis for good reason: it is in the nature of the Internet to share information freely and widely, but it is not in the nature of humans to do so unattributed.

For myself, I have to say that a link to an article serves perfectly well as an inline bibliography. Consider yourself notified. What could be more direct a means of attribution than to give your readers the opportunity to read the entire text of your selected quotation in context?

The trouble in this case is that the link in question is a lot less-clearly a form of attribution. I prefer to only link vague phrases to additional resources, not the source of a quote, but that’s hardly a strict rule because, hey, I’m an irresponsible kind of blogger, sometimes.

Overall, I think its much ado about nothing. But then, doesn’t that perfectly describe blogging in the first place?

By Tommy Belknap

Owner, developer, editor of DragonFlyEye.Net, Tom Belknap is also a freelance journalist for The 585 lifestyle magazine. He lives in the Rochester area with his wife and son.