So, a few days ago I posted a link and excerpt to a fun article by Mary J Dresser that offered quite a pep talk concerning rejections. Ms. Dresser posted a comment to dress me down about my using an excerpt of her article without permission. Whereas I thought this was pretty common practice among bloggers, and often seen as a good thing (you want other bloggers to link to your blog because it increases your readership; it's like free publicity), the New York Times ran this news piece about the A.P. cracking down on the "unpaid use of articles on the web." So the comment from the unauthorized author is very timely. (By the way, I did ask for permission and it was granted, so we are cool on that point.) At the risk of seeming cheeky and for those of you without a subscription to read the article in full, here's an excerpt from the the New York Times article: "Executives at newspapers and other traditional news organizations have long complained about how some sites make money from their work, putting ads on pages with excerpts from articles and links to the sources of the articles. Another complaint is that a link to an article sometimes leads to another secondhand user, not the original source, which can deprive the creator of some of the audience for its own site and the ads on it. Some less-well-known sites reprint articles outright, or large parts of them, without permission, a clearer copyright violation. But there is little consensus on how extensive that problem is for news organizations." I liked it better when everyone was for the freedom of not charging people for information on the web. It just seemed friendlier back then.
*DISCLAIMER: Big Bird is not really dead. I don't want to get in trouble with Sesame Street; I just liked the cartoon.