Reporter’s Notebook: Borrowed Content, How Much Is Too Much?

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Muse is not a description I would hang on Mike Alton of Social Media Hat— but when I fall to writer’s block and need a source of ideas, that’s where I turn. Point in fact, his posting of “How Much Content Can I Quote in a Blog Before It Is Considered Duplicate Content?” from a few weeks ago. Perfect.

Avoid Copyright InfringementAlton takes you on a tour of the rules and regulations of what you can and cannot do as well as what you should not do when curating content to fill out your blog.

For example, my style is to run quoted content whenever I interview a subject because I feel this gives you, the reader, a sense of being right here. Third person, dry paragraphs are informative but they are usually passive.

When I am not interviewing a subject, but my subject is in fact an article that has info which I want to share, then I quote it. But you have to temper the drive to inform with awareness of copyright infringements.

Alton writes “One of the real issues with citing more than just a sentence or two is that you risk infringing on the copyright and usage restrictions of the source. Some sites forbid any duplication at all, while others may allow a certain limited amount of text.”

And that’s the only quote I will borrow. You’ll need to read Alton for the full scope of his advice.

His discussion covers citing your source, including your voice, and checking usage rights.

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