Quite some time ago I ran into an AR Member from South Florida, who was posting wonderful blog posts, and the only problem with it was that he used to copy the content from Miami Herald and paste it into his blog, and, of course, there was no attribution, nothing.
Well, attribution in this case is just an ethical point, it is not a legal one, and it does not mean that once you attribute it to the author and link to the source, everything becomes fine...
It does not.
The member took critique very personally and turned nasty, declaring that he was doing it as a service to his customers, and that he had the permission from the Newspaper. I contacted the newspaper, and they directed me to their Copyright page on their website.
This fight is long over, AR gods intervened, but I keep running into stolen content on AR and every time I confront «authors» (I think «author» of stolen content sounds hilarious), I get this same lame answer that members are doing it as a service to their customers. They are sort of good thieves, so it is perfectly OK to do it.
So, let's first look at what we actually can (using Miami Herald as example):
«5.2. License grant to access MiamiHerald.com
Subject to these Terms of Service, MiamiHerald.com grants you permission to access MiamiHerald.com and view the Content solely for your personal, non-commercial use. In addition to viewing Content online, you may electronically store a reasonable portion of MiamiHerald.com Content for your personal, non-commercial use by making a single electronic copy on your computer's hard drive, or a single copy on a disk or other media or a single copy in printed form. You agree, however, that you will not store or archive a significant portion of the Content or create a database using the Content.»
And here is what we can't:
«You will not in any way infringe or misappropriate any of the intellectual property in and to the Content accessible through MiamiHerald.com. This means you agree not to copy, modify, publish, transmit, create derivative works from, transfer, sell or display the Content, including logos, trademarks or service marks, or otherwise violate the proprietary rights of MiamiHerald.com or others except as expressly permitted herein.
You will not reuse, republish or otherwise distribute the Content or any modified or altered versions of it, whether over the World Wide Web or otherwise, and whether or not for payment, without the express written permission of The Miami Herald or a third-party copyright holder, except that in some cases you may use individual stories that appear on MiamiHerald.com as specifically designated by the functionality of MiamiHerald.com (e.g., e-mail a story to a friend or purchase the rights to reproduce a story for other use). In such cases we communicate such rights to you directly in the applicable portion of the Content.»
And let us try not to BS ourselves. You do not do it because of love to your customers. You do it because of:
You are too lazy to write your own content;
You think that nobody cares on AR;
Actually, you think that other members are plagiarists stupid, and do not see your gimmicks
You do it for points only;
And, of course, you can't care less about your customers after all...