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!
Wow, that’s quite the prominent quote of yours they’ve got up there! If it’s going to be such a big part of their site, you gotta wonder why they didn’t just ask. I’ve used comments from fans before, but only in the original context, and only after asking their permission. Isn’t it technically illegal for them to do that?
On the flip side, if you love salty-sweet, Coco Rouge here in Chicago makes some excellent truffles, caramels, toffees, and bars. They’re more artisanal than Lake Champlain, and use higher-quality ingredients. The hard part is, they don’t really have a website, so you have to work a bit harder to get your fix – but it’s worth it! That’s where I go whenever I want something new and different.
They put up an apology on their own blog. It looks like you might have actually hurt their feelings by not just talking directly to them by e-mail initially.
Thanks Kaz! The odd thing about this whole episode is that LCC and I are communicating by blog post without bothering to contact one another directly or even comment on one anothers blogs. (After all, what is a blog but a platform to whinge about perceived slights?) I’m going to go over there right now and thank them. Everybody go buy more salty chocolate.
And they didn’t think you’d have a Google alert set up to see their transgression?
Maybe you could at least extract some free truffles from them. I imagine they have some Valentines remnants to buy your silence…
While you are at it, how about poking at Cadbury’s while you are in the UK to create a transatlantic tiff?