Ethical Sharing

Marco Arment:

The proper place for ethics and codes is in ensuring that a reasonable number of people go to the source instead of just reading your rehash.

Codifying “via” links with confusing symbols is solving the wrong problem.

He’s debating against Maria Popova’s creation of the Curator’s code, where she suggests the following:

The Curator’s Code will use a symbol resembling a sideways S to express that a piece of content came directly from another source, and a different figure — a curved arrowlike symbol — to signal what is commonly known as a “hat tip,” or nod to a source that inspired a further thought. The Curator’s Code supplies the appropriate symbol and then the blogger or writer simply puts in a hyperlink behind it as they normally would.

Beside hybrid articles-and-links posts, I do a third kind of post here at the Journal: a portfolio/image gallery link — like this one, in which three (or more) layers of attributions are enforced:

  1. Present the image at the highest possible quality with the least amount of distraction, and avoid wording the post at all cost. For some gallery/portfolio which has some unique or less obvious appeal, I word them as little as possible.

  2. The ‘alt’ HTML tag must be filled with the caption of the original image (when available), or a brief description of the content. (For the observant ones, I also name the files with the name of the shooter and I host them on my own server to handle the bandwidth cost.)

  3. Always display the © copyright information immediately at the bottom of the image to ensure proper recognition. Include a link to the photographer’s main portfolio homepage when available.

Behind this page is an RSS publishing engine where I codify my posts accordingly (you see different post styling here). Since I post more links than original articles, only the full-length article posts are codified (¶) in the RSS, rendering links as regular posts with the link to the external page embedded directly at the title field. Hat tip to DF and Tumblr.

Wonderful things must be shared, and sharing such greatness is wonderful. But selflessly sharing with proper recognition and attribution to its creator is simply divine.