I went to my WordPress dashboard this morning and saw an incoming link to the article Building Subversion 1.2 on Solaris 9 that I wrote back in May of this year. When I click on the link, I see this complete copy of the article with what seems like no attribution whatsoever, until I get to the bottom. Then I notice the posted by links from the site is included. I also notice that the header that was copied does link to the original posting, even though the posting is still copied word for word.
So as I sit here thinking about it, I realize that I’m not really sure how to feel about this. On the one hand, I’m flattered that someone thought that the article was informative enough to post word for word on their site. On the other hand, it looks like a sloppy attempt to assume content that the site owner didn’t write, with only accidental attribution because it was copied and pasted from a web browser that happened to include the links with attribution.
From time to time, I actually go back and update certain articles if I learn more about the subject I was writing about at the time. Wouldn’t it make more sense to just link to the article in case new information becomes available or additional comments are posted telling me how completely off base I am?
The bottom line is I realize that I don’t really care that much as I think about it, but I wouldn’t be thinking about it at all if I understood the intent. It seems kind of stupid to post content like this if you haven’t done it, rather than link to something where a conversation can begin about whether the diagnosis is right or not.
It just seemed weird. I really don’t care about “ownership” of the content very much. It just seems odd behavior considering the subject matter.