CityPages’ Generous Copy/Pasting of Other’s Work

NOTE: I originally wrote this two weeks ago but decided not to publish it at the time since it was so close to my previous rant about Emily Kaiser’s citation style. But since, as David Brauer pointed out today on MinnPost (via MNSpeak), this is an ongoing problem, I figured now would be a good time to jump in.

The Deets is approaching its 5th year anniversary. In that time, I have never, ever, consider copy/pasting 314 words of an original story from another publication.

There are two reasons for this.

1. Someone else worked hard to create that original work.

2. Why not just link to the original story while providing original commentary?

Those are my standards. They are different from those of the CityPages where Emily Kaiser ripped 314 words from a 1681 piece by the Pioneer Press and another 159 words from the StarTribune’s 643 word story.

CityPages Snippets

If this keeps up, the CityPages should start serving the StarTribune and Pioneer Press’ ads alongside the content they “reprint?”

4 thoughts on “CityPages’ Generous Copy/Pasting of Other’s Work”

  1. Ed, I agree in spirit. But it’s hard to put a hard number on fair use excerpts. I notice you don’t cite a number for yourself — except to say you’d never consider copying 314 words from another publication. Then I see you copied 202 words from the Minnesota Majority website in the previous post!

  2. Great point, Charlie.

    I don’t think there is a cut & dry measure of fair use, but when someone is grabbing what is essentially all of the red meat from stories, I have a hunch that they’re pushing things too far.

    In the case of my excerpt from Minnesota Majority, that was, essentially, from their press release which is information they likely want spread. They’re trying to push their agenda rather than create content ads will be served against. Of course, they would probably rather see their content framed with commentary that supports their positions, but that wasn’t possible in that case.

  3. The ‘Emily’ story, based on her current inability to add to intellectual discussions online, will likely be a short one.

    But, she is young, maybe she is smart, maybe she is reading your critiques and taking notes and improving where no one else at the City Pages has the skills to mentor her before she slaps mis-managed articles online. Let’s hope.

    In the meantime–this piece adds to the discussion–
    http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200811/andrew-sullivan-why-i-blog
    –and I am very happy to see a conservative east-coast intellectual admit freely that blogging is writing, it is a new and exciting medium with potential far above the old newspaper or magazine writing of the past. As Andrew states very clearly–“And make no mistake: it heralds a golden era for journalism”.

    Might I add a hardy ‘here here’. Well said.

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