If Copy/Pasting of Blogs with LinkBack is Legal?

Continued from Part 1

copy-pasteHere comes the much awaited part of our series of posts on Blogging for Money. We really thank you for all the appreciating feedback on the previous post.

As we have seen during last one year, blogging has emerged as credible and timely information source for masses. We have heard many of us calling it “New Media” or “Online Media”, meaning that blogging has been rising as a absolute form of News Media. In such a situation is it extremely important to adopt practices that are ethically and legally correct.

We are not at all trying to define rules of blogging here; in fact this is an effort to get a starting point of discussion, where you people will input with your thoughts and ideas to bring forward a better understanding of what and how blogging should be done. We all will learn through the process.

As it was seen in the comments of the previous post too, that people were desperate to find the ways of quick success through systems like Auto blogging or Copy / Pasting content in return of a tiny link back to the original post. I’ll be writing a detailed insight about such stuff in this post, that features webmasters / a bit mature bloggers or the so called probloggers.

Case Study # 2:

When this news that blogging earns you (huge) money gets in the ears of an experienced webmaster or maybe just a webmaster who has experience with installing scripts, scripts modifications or even the script developments, they immediately start looking for the shortcuts to start blogging as well. I mean what’s so wrong in having a blog too, umm… as a secondary income generator?? In such a scenario, what they do?.

Copying Pasting Content:

After having a blog setup, it’s quite easy to start generating content via copying / pasting it from various websites and when the content owner claims, a justification with a tiny linkback is given and it is assumed that now the copy pasting has become legal. Let me tell you, COPYING / PASTING content even after giving LINK BACK is ILLEGAL!! Now this is a very sensitive issue and most of the bloggers in Pakistan aren’t aware of it.

If you are copying from a commercial publication, they might immediately take legal action against you even if you have copied a single passage. No matter you have given the due link backs. I’d like to divert your attention to a recent lawsuit that was filed against New York Times for just fetching the headlines and initial sentences. Even New York Times was linking back to the original article.

Now let’s come straight to the copying pasting content and the content licensing of blogs.

Blogs are usually licensed under Creative Commons 3.0 Share Alike licenses  which allows the sharing, distribution of the content, and strictly asks to give the due attributes to the original content producer and the main and most important thing, THIS LICENSE DOES NOT ALLOW TO USE THE CONTENT FOR THE COMMERCIAL PURPOSES. That means you in no case can use the content for your commercial / money making blog or in simple words, you can’t put ads on the fetched content.

Of course this is not possible, so what usually acceptable is, to fetch the heading, an excerpt/first few lines of the writeup and then give a link back to the original writeup for the full reading. You can put ads only if the producer of the content allows. Otherwise Sorry!

Please be clear, my intentions are not to demotivate the bloggers but to be very honest, it all depends on the producer of the content. if original content producer has got no problem in re-production, re-distribution of his/her content, then it’s like Mian Biwi Razi tay Kee Karay ga Qazi. Otherwise, you are bound not to fetch his/her content. And if you violate, you have good reason to be sued.

In the 3rd part of the series, we’ll feature Auto Blogging / Automatic content re-writing stuff. Also, we’ll discuss legal status of some Pakistani Autoblogs like TeaBreak.pk and Bloggers.pk


  • Wah.. Are you trying to make them warn for auto blogging or trying to make them scared :p~~

    Well nice case study Farhan Janjua..

    • maddy

      You guys are sick, copying content of anyone has no benefit. Your website will not rank good in google and you will not get any traffic. Copied material is just bull shit.

  • Bilal Sarwari

    its really serious issue, i also see many webmaster in pakistan copy contents of diiferent website

    i have one question, if we copy some news with backlinks from any newspaper website,
    what kind of action they can take against us ???

  • Latest Technology News

    I think its legal as you giving that blog a backlink which can enhance its traffic.

  • Jamil Arif

    Nice article again… i totally agree with that the people copy/paste and then link back it its not enough to justify the content is yours. as fawad said just the excerpt should be allowed to copy and make a full rticle link to the original website with link back.
    Anyone who want to get their blogs copy protected check this link:- http://telecomnewspk.com/2009/08/how-to-make-blog-copy-protected/

    • Jamil bahi, thanks for your input and link.

      But i believe, we can’t protect our content this way, here are the reasons

      – Many students consult this content, and may want to read it when they are offline

      – PR departments and agencies circulate our news stories to their staff, so they need to copy

      • Jamil Arif

        i agree aamir bro but anyone need the content they have to contact the person tell him why they need it, on their request the data is provided. I guess this is better option.

      • Aamir bhai can I publish articles from your blog to our newspapers’ technology page? (with your blog reference and author name) ?

  • Rez

    Legal? thread title is funny. It is not the constitutional law which you are break by not linking back to original source, however, it is a bad practice to not to link back to original source.

    From a seo point of view, i would like to assume that even if you link back to original source which is a common practice, the original source still can loose on serps and natural traffic. Lets say if propakistani publishes a great article and some site like lifehacker.com publishes the same content with a link what do you think which site would rank higher in serps?

    • Farhan Janjua

      You too sound to be a newcomer. I mean don’t you know that laws already exist i.e. copyright act, attribution law and law against content theft.

      I mentioned in the writeup that it is the content producer’s choice to distribute the content whatever way he wants and if he opts to distribute the content under creative commons license, you are bound to give proper attribute and link back otherwise you are entitled to be penalized legally. Therefor law of course is there.

      • rez

        Well, if you think you comprehended well, i would like you to back up your comment with some links which prove that it is legal to link back! you are mixing up things dude.

        • Farhan Janjua

          Well, if you go through the writeup once again, you’ll see I gave a link of Creative Commons content license page that clearly says attribution to the original content producer must be given the way the original content producer wants.

          Things are very clear dude, but only if you want to understand them.

          • Rez

            Dude, i refrain from personal comments but apparently you have comprehension issues, let me clarify, there are legislations which favours the orginal author, copying content is a bad practice and you can get into a serious trouble as you mentioned earlier, what i am asserting on is the “link back”. This is how it goes.

            1: Copying content can get you into serious troubles. Plagiarism is not appreciated any where.

            2: In support to your argument, if you copy the content and think that adding a link would justify it then you are wrong, however, some authors don’t have the issues.

            3: Regardless of what you do with links, add them or not, it doesn’t make it legal or illegal. It’s the content not the links. I hope i was clear enough.

    • Jamil Arif

      if the content is original and the person is doing regular updates then its my personal experience that pakistan site get the higher serps.

  • I believe that when you published anything on website after that it is not your property anymore, that is for visitors now or for your target audience. I just seen some Pakistani proves that this is my website, this is my blog, this is my content and bla bla bla…

    Google do also same thing when you go at http://news.google.com so you think if your content published on Google News you will be making them call to remove your content urgently :) How stupidity man.

    However, you cannot stop anyone to copy/paste your content.

    Btw ProPakistani also work with some blogger who supplied his content for this website. Its indicating that if Google is your friend you will not deny him otherwise you will be warning them remove remove remove :)

    Huh..!!

    • Farhan Janjua

      Any sane person will tell you that even after publishing the writeup, property remains with the publisher/author.

      And all issues raised by u are already addressed in the above in simple English. I wish I was allowed to write in Urdu for the readers like you.

      • What I have asked answer me not trying to bluff :)

  • Salman Asghar

    i ave another question….
    if there is a share button there, i mean they them self want dt u r allowed to share it on face book, blogger, wordpress…then can u copy their material with the source defined???

  • محمداسد

    Good article. It must aware bloggers about what is illegal and what is not.

    In different discussion forums and multi/group blogging websites, like ProPakistani, many authors write articles and features on different issues. So, I want to know that who have the rights to re-distribute it? Either Author, forum/website/blog or both? If anyone want to this article for COMMERCIAL use, to whom it take permission?

    And Secondly, If any one copying/pasting content for NON-COMMERCIAL purpose, is it legal or not?

  • Ztauseef

    I have a simple question. under what law?

  • I have a website http://www.mobilezoneltd.com

    I rewrite few articles by myself (read few articles from GVenue or IR blog) and re-write those articles by myself.

    Here is link:

    http://www.mobilezoneltd.com/mobile-information/mobile-news/samsung-releases-details-messenger-ii-sch-r560-10988.php

    Now search google for (Samsung releases details Messenger)

    Website which have copied my article are coming on top ranking and my webiste is nowhere,even page is crawled by google.

    I have seen various examples where webmasters are using autoblog and their sites are on top ranking and original content writers are no where on google.

    Any reply on this?

  • ciit015

    Can any tell me, wht abt things like quotes….who owns it?

    If I want to share some of my favorite quotes wht should I do…. can’t rephrase them…..is it Plagiarism…?

  • Habib

    This may me off topic what want to say this is much common issue for Pakistani bloggers, most paki blogger have very little hart and not have open mind.
    Almost all paki use internet resources in their contents like images etc but they don’t want someone else use their contents.
    This is most common Asian nature.
    E.g. propakistani is using free script wordpress but you can see even not placed wordpress link but still may not want to use their contents on other sites.
    As legal for copyright claim you must first need to get copyright from copyright department.
    Internet second name is “share”. Like if I listen news from TV channel and then forward this news to friend is it copyright issue?

    On the other hand, we are using html, apache, Linux, wordpress etc for publishing websites all are free.
    If the developers of such stuff can provide their great work free of cost then why not we?
    I think this is most common Asian nature. E.g. Software developer will develop software and will use hardware/bios code in their software so no one can share this software to others.
    That’s most common reason there is no name of Asian software’s.
    If we want to stay in e-world we should need to change our mind