4 Basic Content-Sharing Etiquette-Rules

Synopsis
All content creators and authors want their work to be shared. But, when you take too much information and content from them, it can become a problem for you and for the original author. Especially if you take credit for someone else’s work, or don’t credit them properly. Here are the basic rules, as I see it, you need to follow.

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What You Will Learn In This Post
1. You will learn my 4 basic rules for sharing another author’s content.
2. You will learn why linking to another author, or providing backlinks, in imperative.
3. You will learn some of the fundamental ways that you shouldn’t be claiming the work of others as your own.

Introduction
If you would like to share, use, or copy, any of an author’s content or work to use on your website, in your article, in your blog post, in your book, or anywhere else, that’s great. It’ll help that author expand their audience, and it will help you and your audience too. Sharing content is expected. The entire internet is about sharing content.

Pirate-cartoon-red-jacket-hook-hand-content-pirate-text

And all content creators and authors want their work to be shared. But, when you take too much information and content from them, it can become a problem for you and for the original author. Especially if you take credit for someone else’s work, or don’t credit them properly.

So, I’ve made a list of some of the ways that my own content is taken and used without giving me any credit, or not the proper credit, for my work. Many of these offenders don’t even include a backlink to my website. I’m sure that many of you have had these same things happen to you too.

Here are the basic rules, as I see it, you need to follow:

Content Sharing Etiquette Rule # 1:
Use The Author’s Name As They Use It

a. You must use the author’s name, as they use it on their own online and in-print work. If the author’s name is Joseph C. Smith, Jr., don’t re-write it as Joe Smith. Or as Joe Smithjr. The author has a reason to write his name the way he does, and you should respect that.

Content Sharing Etiquette Rule # 2:
You Must Include A Backlink To Original Author

a. If you are sharing or using another person’s online content, such as you might find on their website or blog, a link back to the author’s website or blog is mandatory. Simply including their name is not enough. Backlinks are a major part of blogging. You want them, and so does the author whose work you are using.

“Sharing content online & in print is expected & appreciated by most authors and readers. But, there is a proper way to do it, & an inappropriate way to do it. And, as an author and content creator, you are expected to know the difference.” (CLICK to tweet this quote)

Content Sharing Etiquette Rule # 3:
You Must Notify The Original Author

a. If you are sharing or using another person’s content in your own book, ebook or print, notifying the author is mandatory.
b. Sending the author an email letting them know that you are using their content in your book is expected because it’s just common courtesy, and a sign of respect.
c. The original author can then let their own readers see how and where their content is being used, and share and promote your content too. It’s a win-win-win for all involved. This is how you succeed as an author, blogger, and business person.

Intellectual Property Rights Concept, Copyright Infringement

Content Sharing Etiquette Rule # 4:
Don’t Put Your Name On Something That You Didn’t Create

a. You cannot re-post an author’s content and then add your name as co-author.
b. You cannot re-post an author’s content, then delete their name, and sign your name to it, claiming that it’s your work.
c. You cannot re-arrange the paragraphs, and then claim the original author’s work as yours alone.
d. You cannot re-post an author’s content, word-for-word, and then claim it as your work, by simply changing the title.
e. You cannot re-post an author’s content, word-for-word, and add a few of your own paragraphs, and then claim it as your work.

All of these are outright stealing and copyright infringement. All of these are outright stealing and copyright infringement. Doing any of this, but adding a backlink to the original author, doesn’t make it any less creepy and underhanded.

Conclusion
Following these simple rules will help you stay out of trouble. And these rules will help you build good relationships with other content creators and authors. When you show others respect, courtesy, and fairness, they in turn will show you the same. It can, and should be, a win-win-win-win for both authors and their respective audiences.

Questions For Us To Think About And Discuss
1. Do you have your own thoughts on sharing the work of others? Please share it with us.
2. In what clever or silly ways has your own content been stolen or repurposed?
Let me know in the comments section below.

Thank you for reading this. I hope you found it helpful. Please share it.

Hashtags: #selfpublishing #copyright

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About Joseph C. Kunz, Jr.

I help make it easier for anyone with a passion for a subject – and a desire to help others by sharing their experience and knowledge – to self-publish nonfiction books that will help them build authority and credibility, establish them as thought leaders, and help them make more money. Kunz is a husband, father of twins, and the co-founder of Dickson Keanaghan, LLC, a medical training and publishing company near New York City.
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