Today will be my last entry for the DELIGHTFUL Armchair BEA, and I must say I’ve had so much fun participating! All the Armchair BEA-ers who have been hopping around and commenting have been so welcoming and fabulous. I want to give the whole darn internet a hug right now!
Today’s topic is a sticky one… ETHICS! I can’t help it. I hear the word “ethics” and my brain immediately recalls Adam Sandler in Billy Madison attacking his opponent with the “business ethics” category in the academic decathlon.
Seriously though. Blogging and the internet in general can be such an untamed jungle roars and posturing. Where are the lines drawn? I’ve heard a lot of stories from other book bloggers about plagiarism. Like, there are people trolling the internet just waiting to steal your awesomeness. What the what? Isn’t the point of blogging to put your OWN voice out there? Let your freak flag fly? Tell the world, “I like big books, and I cannot l lie!” See that right there? That’s a take off of Sir Mix-a-Lot’s CLASSIC tune, “Baby Got Back.” And see THIS? This is me, crediting Sir Mix-a-Lot. Alright. To be fair, “Baby Got Back” has reached ubiquitous pop culture status. It’s so obvious where the joke is coming from that it really doesn’t need crediting. Most book bloggers? Not so ubiquitous. If you borrow someone’s ideas, credit them. If they inspire you, let them know.
To my knowledge, nobody’s ever ripped off my writing to pass as their own. I’m happy about that, because DUDE. All the essence of Katie comes out up in this piece. Someone stealing my words would be like stealing my SOUL. Bad form y’all. There is a tiny piece of me that hopes some lazy high school student will try to plagiarize one of my blogs to use as a book report, only to have their teacher read my nonsense and chastise them. Serves you right, lazy school child! Read the book! Read it!
Image copyright laws confuse the heck out of me. I’m no saint when it comes to ye old google image search, but recently I’ve been making an effort to list sources of my images where possible. I like to find images on Wikimedia Commons because they’re posted specifically for the borrowing. A little courtesy goes a long way. If you see something cool on someone else’s blog, ask them if you can use it. Andi of Estella’s Revenge was incredibly gracious when I asked to borrow her image of a red alligator for my Swamplandia! review. Most people are only an email away, and EVERYONE appreciates being credited. Plus, you know. A little effort put toward good manners could save you from being sued down the line… And being sued? Ain’t nobody got time for that! (Sweet Brown said that. Her clip went viral, so probably no need to cite. I’m just making a point. POINT POINT POINT!)
Let’s see… More ethics. Oh! It’s super shady to say that you loved a book if you didn’t. I mean, you don’t have to be a complete jerk face about it, but tell the truth. Honesty- it’s a thing. Most book bloggers I know give the stink eye to the concept of being paid for reviews. Accepting a free copy of a book for review purposes? That’s standard practice. Being paid by a third party to provide an unbiased review? No problem. But being paid by an author or publisher to review their book? That crosses a line. Shoot, it’s not like any of us are going to become millionaires by book blogging. No sense in selling your integrity so cheaply.
Anybody else out there got any hot button ethical dilemmas? What’s your take on things? Where are the lines in the sand? And WHY haven’t you entered my contest to NAME THAT BOOK CLUB yet?! Go do that right now. Then come back here and talk about ethics.