In my previous post, I “copied and pasted” an article written by my high school classmate, whose permission I was granted to repost it in my own blog. Ironically, the situation coincided with a discovery I made about a certain advertising site that takes blog posts about Philippine tours and destinations and “copies” them directly onto the site – with indicated sources, mind you – but without the knowledge of the source themselves. Well, I don’t know about you, but to me, that was wrong. So wrong, that I couldn’t sleep at all last night, just working it around in my head trying to find a logical or even just a reasonable explanation why someone would do something like that. Even for advertising’s sake.
So anyway, I made a comment on the site and the owner has written me back. My reply (which I spent the night tossing and turning for) follows:
Now that I’ve had time to think, I am going to further elaborate on my initial reaction, just so that you’re aware if or when others may react.
Everyone considers themselves unique. Especially writers. Yes, that includes you, even though you explained that the site was never meant to be a personal blog. The words that are put on paper, the arrangement of those words and the resulting effect they have on the reader – all come from the writer’s mind. Some words may have been borrowed, no argument there, but the order in which they were placed in the sentence is always, always original. Once it is copied “word-for-word”, it becomes damaged goods.
You said (and I quote) “This website aims to promote local adventure destinations in the Philippines. The contents, most of them, come from its own sources and never claimed as our own.”
Okay, granted. However, it might have gone easier on me if you had asked my permission first before posting it. Even if it was just a short note. You could have posted a comment or sent me a message through the blogs’ page.. you could even have taken a few minutes to search my email address because I include it almost everywhere, even on Facebook.. Here on the internet it is so easy.
Yes, on the internet it is so easy. Copying anything is simply done with a few clicks and if it is not acknowledged, it could go unnoticed for.. ever. But your site is a public advertising site, one which people – tourists, travelers, you and me alike – seek out in search for somewhere new to go. I learned of it when I was contacted for the ultralight tour. Unfortunately, it has been unavailable since November 2010. I have posted updates on both blogs of this development last year.
My point. I appreciate the free advertising, unsolicited as it is. But next time – and I speak for all the writers, authors and bloggers out there – please inform the source FIRST that you are going to “copy and paste” it on your site. They will give their permission wholeheartedly (I would have) and this way, you will also be updated on the status of the tours/activities which you market.
In this day and age of unbelievably advanced technology, one tends to forget the ethics that brought all these fantastic toys to life. I hope you don’t forget that it is the people who write these words and not the computers.. and that people have feelings, too.
Thank you and good day!
p.s. You can use this if you want.
At this point I’m sure you’re asking the name of the site. I don’t think I’ll post it for now. Let’s see their response. I prefer to give each and every person their right to acknowledge their mistakes in their own private way. Less embarrassment, less pain.
Have a Blessed Day!