Don’t Blog Like a Pirate

"Pirate walks into a bar" (2008) by Bloody Marty, CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0, via Flickr
“Pirate walks into a bar” (2008) by Bloody Marty, CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0, via Flickr 
Image Source: img source/

Since dipping into the murky digital waters of the blogosphere, I realized there is a lot I don’t know about the law and etiquette of reposting, attribution, linking and the like. I like posting pretty pictures, but I sure don’t want to get sued (a cautionary tale.) I want to be a responsible citizen of the internet, paving the way for Protopian Society (but that is another post.)

Also, there is the ethical matter of plagiarism, which I abhor. Ask my 9th grade biology students when I was student-teaching, after I busted them for unsubtly copying articles about cloning from Wikipedia. (“Kiddos, I just read 50 papers on Dolly the Sheep. Don’t you think I’d notice that they’re all exactly the same?”)  Correct citation and attribution have been important to me since I learned MLA style for my 6th grade research project on Madagascar. (Lest you think I was an overachiever, it was part of the project).

“Avast, ye mateys! I don’t want to blog like a pirate.”

So what’s an blogger to do? Well, I started with reading the internet. The Electronic Frontier Foundations’s Intellectual Property FAQ assured me that it’s generally accepted and encouraged to post links back to things (thank goodness!) I also quizzed the Hierophant over at the Open Siddur Project for information on Creative Commons Licensing and attribution.

I found out that you can’t just grab random pictures off of Google Image search even if you credit them, that it’s best to stick to stuff in the public domain or licensed specifically by Creative Commons, and that there are a variety of way to attribute them. Librarian by Day has a great post on how to credit CC photos. I also found GCF LearnFree’s article on Copyright and Fair Use very useful.

Even so, once I found the image I used for this post on Flickr and ascertained I had the correct license to reproduce it for my blog, it took me over an hour to figure out the formatting and uploading. (Per the Hierophant, it’s preferred that you post the file locally and link back to the original to preserve the bandwith of the original site.) Still not quite sure I’ve found the optimal citation/attribution method, but as Librarian by Day points out in the previously cited piece, “This may be a case where good enough works.”

I was explaining to my friend the gist of the “Don’t Blog Like a Pirate” ethos and he exclaimed, “You’re going to have the most ethically sourced blog in history.”
“Dude,” I replied, “if I’m going to blog about about ethically sourced chickens, I should also have ethically sourced pictures of chickens.”

While we’re on the topic, please enjoy Doug Savage’s Pirate Chickens. He says it’s okay to link here.


2 thoughts on “Don’t Blog Like a Pirate

  1. Good information! I’m always concerned about committing a photo faux pas so I always use my own photos. Now maybe I can try to branch out a bit.

    I’ve saved this to my Blogging folder in Internet Explorer. Thanks for posting!!


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