It recently came to my attention that I have become a spokesperson for Lake Champlain Chocolates. Specifically, they have taken a liberal quote from this very blog and featured it on their chocolaty web site. [Looks like Lake C have updated their site with a different quote. For the moment, you can see the cached version of my semi-quote here, further proof that nothing is ever truly erased on the internet.] Read the original post here. I suppose I should be flattered, but instead I’m annoyed. Why?
1. They didn’t ask, or even tell. How hard would it be to send an email,”Hey, we love what you wrote, can we use it on our site?” or even an after the fact notification that they had done so. This stuff is copyrighted, you know.
2. They didn’t link. Seems to me that internetwise, the proper form of attribution is a live link, so readers can click through and view the full context of the quote. On the plus side, they did attribute the quote to “David K., Limeduck.com”
3. They edited the quote. This is the worst sin in my opinion. They clipped out a few words without using ellipsis. The changes didn’t alter things in any substantial way, (we all know my writing could use a nip and tuck now and again) but it’s still lousy journalism.
I don’t run the sort of blog where I talk up products and expect glory, samples or schwag for my efforts, but a quick note from a vendor, or even an appearance in the comments section, would go a long way toward my continued goodwill, and probably that of both of my regular readers.
So, my cocoa-dusted friends from Vermont, if you’re still scraping the interwebs for juicy words of praise for your products, I call foul on your policy of not so fair use and urge you to mend your ways. It’s not so hard. You can do it. And when you’re done, get back to the chocolate mines!