Most bloggers invite you to share their content far and wide on any one of many aggregation sites.  But some people get really upset if you post that article on your own aggregation blog (even with full credit and back links).

I am always amazed when I get that proverbial chest thumping quasi-barrister “cease and desist” letter, followed by remedial citation of copyright law, and always ending with some pathetic accusation of irreparable damages and criminal violation.   They get upset if you change the content and they get upset if you don’t.  The worst is when it comes from a self-proclaimed social media guru who touts all ‘dat social media Kool Aid in their consultancy propaganda.

Reality Check:

1.    Ummm…nobody is an island in SM, you get ideas from someone else too.
2.    If you are pissed off – this means that you have nothing else to offer.
3.    Social media is a conversation – you have no claim to my response.
4.    So you think you are better than Wikipedia?
5.    Maybe your content is not so great – just convenient.
6.    Your feed is public, your content is public.
7.    If you’re not giving it away – lock it up.
8.    Implied Copyright?  Go ahead, sue someone.

Regarding ‘my own’ content, If I feel that I earned the right to request that my reader spend their valuable time to promote my stuff across their hard earned social networks on TWT, MS, FB, LI, then they also have the right to share whatever, wherever, and however they want (with full credit and back links, of course).

To those who participate with others in this great journey – we will bend over backwards to help you along in any way we can now or any time in the future.  Give us a call next time you’re in Seattle.  Need a contact of LI? A referral?, Book review? PR shout out? let us help out! Thank you.

David Meerman Scott provides qualified research that demonstrates how authors that offer free downloads of their whitepapers and books (with the minimum of barriers), enjoy readership success increases several orders of magnitude over restricted content.  If you love it, set it free.

The moral of this story is give, give, give, and the magic of social media will return your royalties- otherwise, thanks for the C&D letter – now I can delete you from my blog, social network, and corporate referral list – with full credit and back links, of course.

By the way, our research would cost millions to reproduce – all of it is committed to the public domain through Creative Commons.  Go ahead, take it – it’s yours (apply full credit and back links, of course).

Picture credit