Tags:

Reposting a Metafilter post
May 4, 2009 12:29 PM   Subscribe

I'm wondering about re-posting something from Metafilter on my site, The Rumpus. If someone posts something that's say, 2 paragraphs, can I copy and paste the first paragraph in quotes. Then I would give full credit to the poster, metafilter, and link to the original post. I'm imagining there is actually a document on this site somewhere detailing the answer to this question, but I haven't been able to find it. We often link to things we find on Metafilter with a "via." But I'm talking about quoting text. Thanks!
posted by Stephen Elliott to Etiquette/Policy at 12:29 PM (46 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

All metafilter posts are copyrighted in the name of the original poster. If such quotations would fall under fair use then you should be OK.
posted by muddgirl at 12:31 PM on May 4, 2009


Generally speaking having a pullquote with a full attributive link is fine provided it's not something that happens on every post (see other more contentious MeTa thread about this). It's generally accepted that it's a fair use of the text. That said, if for some reason people object -- you could ask the poster if you'd like to be really polite about it -- taking it down would be the decent thing. There are some thing, for example, that I'd be happy to say on MeFi that I might feel a little weird seeing quoted out of context on a totally different site so think a little bit about the context in which you'd be doing this.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 12:32 PM on May 4, 2009


Additionally, your safest bet would be to obtain permission from the original poster before quoting them. That shouldn't be to difficult to do considering there is this new Mefi Mail system.
posted by muddgirl at 12:33 PM on May 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


My words are like my children, man!
posted by box at 12:43 PM on May 4, 2009


My words are like all those illegitimate children I sired on overseas work-study programs.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:44 PM on May 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


My words are like my children-- sold into indentured servitude as soon as they're issued.
posted by dersins at 12:48 PM on May 4, 2009


My words are like my children--better behaved in my mind than in reality.
posted by found missing at 12:53 PM on May 4, 2009 [6 favorites]


My words are like my children--delicious and meant for consumption.
posted by zerokey at 1:01 PM on May 4, 2009


My words are like my children--they will destroy this world and many others one day.
posted by eyeballkid at 1:03 PM on May 4, 2009 [3 favorites]


Now that the question's been answered and we're veering off into silliness, I was wondering if anyone knows what happened to ikkyu2. His last activity was from January 18th and the account's disabled.
posted by ooga_booga at 1:08 PM on May 4, 2009


Oh, boy.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:14 PM on May 4, 2009


Yes, he left in a bit of a huff. If you know where to read his livejournal I think there's some discussion there about it.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:14 PM on May 4, 2009


Xenu finally came for him.
posted by dersins at 1:16 PM on May 4, 2009


I've been trying with Xenu for the longest time with no luck. He must know a neat trick to get Xenu off.

/shameless
posted by Burhanistan at 1:25 PM on May 4, 2009 [2 favorites]


Hmm... I must be missing something or maybe he's made whatever relevant commentary friends-only since I see nothing on his livejournal from June '08 until Jan 25th '09. I guess I'll have to get an lj and ping him there.
posted by ooga_booga at 1:26 PM on May 4, 2009


My words are like the children that were pawned off on me as my own. I've spent all these years thinking they were mine when in fact I was just responsible for the work of others.
posted by allen.spaulding at 1:35 PM on May 4, 2009


Looks like you decided it was fine.

Neat site you got there. I got derailed and read two essays.
posted by cjorgensen at 1:44 PM on May 4, 2009


While reading MetaTalk today, I came across a question by Stephen Elliot, quoted below:
"I'm wondering about re-posting something from Metafilter on my site, The Rumpus. If someone posts something that's say, 2 paragraphs, can I copy and paste the first paragraph in quotes. Then I would give full credit to the poster, metafilter, and link to the original post. I'm imagining there is actually a document on this site somewhere detailing the answer to this question, but I haven't been able to find it. We often link to things we find on Metafilter with a "via." But I'm talking about quoting text. Thanks!"
I chose not to respond directly to his question, but rather to quote it. Perhaps this can serve as a suitable response?
posted by blue_beetle at 1:45 PM on May 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


Yeah, quoting an entire post at your site seems a little bit more than fair use - since you've included all the links, which doesn't really direct people to where you found the information.

If you had quoted the post without the links, but directed your readers to Metafilter, that would have been better. Now you've essentially got a brand new post for you blog and the attribution is almost meaningless.
posted by crossoverman at 2:30 PM on May 4, 2009


I should have come back over here. I emailed the author based on your suggestions and he said I could go ahead and use the whole post. I did get the author's permission before posting it.
posted by Stephen Elliott at 2:38 PM on May 4, 2009


You might want to put a note on your site to that effect, even from your point of view. Someone stumbling across yours and the original via Google might think you'd scraped it or something.
posted by djgh at 2:59 PM on May 4, 2009


Hmmmm. The website looks like it could be interesting, but as I start to look around I'm suddenly concerned that I'm falling for a cheeky traffic-driving ruse on the part of Mr Elliott. Should I be worried?
posted by criticalbill at 3:03 PM on May 4, 2009


My vote is sketchy.

http://therumpus.net/2009/05/nick-cave-and-the-ass-saw-the-angel/
posted by Roach at 4:14 PM on May 4, 2009


My vote is sketchy.

Yeah I'm totally confused. Did you just take this MeFi post and quote the entire thing, without quotes and without MeFi attribution? I guess you can technically do that with the prmission of the poster but it seems a lot more sketch than what you were saying you wanted to do. I'm confused.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 4:19 PM on May 4, 2009


This is really weird, because at the time I posted the above link there was a via metafilter credit. Now it's gone. Also had a link to the author.
posted by cjorgensen at 5:13 PM on May 4, 2009


Yeah, when I read the post at TheRumpus.Net it was just the "above the fold" post by koeselitz, with attribution and MeFi link. Now it's the whole post and not attribution - which is even worse than before!

Also your admission of your profile - I found myself linking via Metafilter a lot, so I joined - looks like you're trawling for content. Not cool.
posted by crossoverman at 5:20 PM on May 4, 2009


I've looked at your history and decided that you sure talk a lot about your site. 2 project posts, 3 comments (out of a total of 16) and a couple of dodgy deleted posts. And now this.
posted by tellurian at 5:20 PM on May 4, 2009


To my mind, the kosher-level plummets when there's not a direct, easy-to-spot link back to the original Metafilter thread. Two thumbs way up for your seeking the original author's permission, but you really ought to point plainly to the actual thread. An uniformed visitor to your site (which looks pretty slick, btw) would likely think the author worked for your site or something.
posted by EatTheWeak at 5:25 PM on May 4, 2009


Yeah, kinda sketchy.
posted by Burhanistan at 5:30 PM on May 4, 2009


ooo .... hurm ... and even the "via Metafilter" links don't go back to the original thread, but just to the main page ... sketch level up, kosher level down ... you're close, but this ain't horseshoes.
posted by EatTheWeak at 5:35 PM on May 4, 2009


The majority of Stephen Elliot's comments here serve to flog his site, also. This Metatalk post seems to be no exception. Just give it a rest, man.
posted by Burhanistan at 5:39 PM on May 4, 2009


Oh, is there a via Metafilter link? Not right now, there isn't.
posted by desuetude at 8:38 PM on May 4, 2009


desuetude - not on the post currently in question, no, but on his prior "via Metafilter" posts in Burhanistan's link.
posted by EatTheWeak at 8:57 PM on May 4, 2009


The Rumpus: The Literary Equivalent of Stolen Wi-Fi
posted by avocet at 9:48 PM on May 4, 2009


Hmmm, is that melting tar I can smell?
posted by dg at 1:37 AM on May 5, 2009


My words are like my children--stashed away in an underground cellar for when i need to make use of them.

(it's an austrian thing)
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:49 AM on May 5, 2009


I was wondering if anyone knows what happened to ikkyu2.

He's in a real better place, my friend. He's in a real bar, talking to real people, paying for real drinks with real specie of the realm, maybe a silver dollar, something that really rings when it hits the real zinc bar. Really.
posted by octobersurprise at 6:00 AM on May 5, 2009


I asked Jeff about quoting and linking back to Meta-filter and he said I could repost the entire piece, which I did, under his name. He's credited as the author. If I'm reposting the entire piece, with the original author in the byline, with the author's permission, should it still say that it was originally posted on metafilter? I sometimes cross-post here and on The Rumpus, but I don't make note in either place that I'm cross-posting.
posted by Stephen Elliott at 6:33 AM on May 5, 2009


OK. I updated the post to say that it was originally on Metafilter and reposted with permission of the author and with the author's name. Also, when we link to things we find on Metafilter we'll link to the original Metafilter post, not just the Metafilter homepage.

I have to point out here, I'm the one that asked the question. I'm trying to do things respectably. If I was just looking to steal stuff I wouldn't have asked.
posted by Stephen Elliott at 6:38 AM on May 5, 2009


I have to point out here, I'm the one that asked the question. I'm trying to do things respectably. If I was just looking to steal stuff I wouldn't have asked.

I get that and I think most people get that, but the example that you used "can I copy and paste the first paragraph in quotes. Then I would give full credit to the poster, metafilter, and link to the original post" was totally different than what you actually did which was

- the whole post, no excerpt
- not in quotes
- no credit to poster or metafilter
- no link to the original post

I'm aware that you have probably quoted stuff from MeFi in a number of different ways and this may have just been a bad timing situation, but in a situation where you were basically asking "how do I do this in line with etiquette?" and people told you and then you did something else and sort of vanished for a while, that's not strictly speaking kosher.

I'm happy that you like it here, but there are tons of websites that quote other websites out there and there are sort of de facto standards

- pull quotes not full-on copying an entire post
- clearly quoted so it doesn't appear that you wrote the post you're quoting (we have trouble with that here sometimes)
- a via link

Generally speaking, a post on another site should have some of the voice of that site, not just be content that comes from other sites unless it's a Harper's Review sort of place in which case then yeah we're back to a clear [via] link situation. The fact that you asked -- which we appreciate -- doesn't mean that's where your responsibility ends to do the right thing.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:06 AM on May 5, 2009


Hi Jessamyn,

Originally I posted it as an excerpt in quotes. But then the author said I could post the entire thing, which I did under his name. So the author of the original metafilter post is still the named author of the same post, Jeff Johnston. It never for a moment looked like I wrote the post, but I realize that it's not obvious that Jeff Johnston is also the metafilter author. I've added a note now at the bottom so it says "Posted originally on Metafilter and republished with permission of the author."

It's ironic because someone wrote in the comments that I should just contact the author of the original post and ask him directly how to do it, and I did, and so I changed the post to reflect his wishes.
posted by Stephen Elliott at 7:30 AM on May 5, 2009


Has the motherfucking rumpus been brought yet, or should I check in later?
posted by box at 7:38 AM on May 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


I just deleted the post. I'm not here trying to make enemies.
posted by Stephen Elliott at 7:51 AM on May 5, 2009


I don't think anyone's becoming or trying to be your enemy, just that there are standard conventions and for some reason you seem to not want to use them. If people write something for MeFi, even if they give you permission to republish, it's courteous to mention that the content was written by a MeFite, for MetaFilter. That's all I think people have been saying here.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:57 AM on May 5, 2009


Yeah, following on what jessamyn is saying: it's possible for an individual author to nicely grant you permission to do something that still comes off as kind of weird and unconventional and sketchy-looking even if you don't mean any harm by it.

Ultimately, what happens with you and that writer's content is up to him and you and beyond that you have the strict right to tell everyone else to arse off about it if you want to. You don't seem to want to tell everyone else to do that, which is nice and, again, we appreciate that, but you also need to take into account that you're not dealing with some lone fellow blogger here, you're interacting with what's happening on this site.

And so the notional path from A Writes, B Republishes With A's Permission isn't really the one we're dealing with. There's a big X in the middle there, Metafilter, as a nexus for all of this, and functionally pretending to whatever degree that that doesn't exist for the purpose of putting content on your site comes off as not really caring about this community so much as seeing a gold mine of content for your personal venture, which makes people very edgy.

So, again: good on you for being responsive on this. We're not looking to make an enemy of you either. I appreciate you taking the time to talk this through and try to figure out what's cool and what's not. It would be reassuring if less of your interactions here seemed to come back in one way or another to the Rumpus and more of them felt like you just spending time on Metafilter because you like it here and want to be a mefite for the sake of being a mefite.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:06 AM on May 5, 2009


Hi Cortex,

I do like it here. I didn't join Metafilter with the intent of promoting The Rumpus, even if it seems like I did. I appreciate this discussion. It's actually really helpful.
posted by Stephen Elliott at 8:09 AM on May 5, 2009


« Older My question is prompted by thi...  |  You know you're a mefite if...... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments