There has been a recent fervor involving my last post here on Hammermarks – 5 Things About Me. It wasn’t about what I wrote about myself, but basically just one word I used – “stole.” There was a whole conversation on Facebook and it was even posted on the blog of the woman who took offense to my language.
I pointed out (as did Ken Mueller, the person I “stole” from) on the FB post and at her blog that I know Ken, I didn’t really steal anything (it was a meme type post after all), and that the word was used playfully. This woman has blogged extensively recently about stealing in the context of intellectual property such as workshop curriculum, trade techniques, and design. I am opposed to these things as well. It isn’t right to steal someone else’s idea and pass it off as your own.
But that’s not what I did. I attributed the post (and linked to it) and the only content that was copied were the five questions. All the answers were my own. It all came down to the use of one word – “STOLE.” Plus Ken is my friend. He isn’t upset about what I did.
So is one word enough to to talk like this about someone online? To put their name up there as someone who is akin to people who appropriate other’s designs and workshops for their own profit? Is it really like stealing a puppy from a pet shop because I think it is cute? (This is an actual comparison from the FB comments.)
What are your thoughts on this? I’m not asking you to pick a side, but where do you stand on the issue of appropriating content? What about memes? What about stealing puppies?