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November 17, 2015

Gush & Gripe: Give Credit when Credit is Due


I've been mulling over this topic for some time now because I'm not sure how to present my question and/or pondering that's more probing and curious and less accusatory or provoking. 

Debit or Credit?

I'm talking about books and blogging in general. How do you give credit, if at all, to your inspiration and other related ramblings.


Plagiarism is a major thing in the book blogging world that's why these weekly memes have linky's attached to them and if you're to participate in one, you're required to cite your host lest be accused of being a copycat. Big no-no in this community.

If you've been around the book blogosphere long enough, you'll notice a lot of these memes are similar in theme with mild to moderate differences, just enough to make each one unique from the rest. But let's be honest here, I'm sure you've been inspired by at least one blogger that ended up influencing you to either come up with your own gimmick, made you change your review style, or other bits and pieces that helped make your blog for the better. And I'm not referring to the small stuff, I'm referring to the obvious ones.

Totally normal. Totally fine. But do you give credit to your inspirations? If you adapt another blogger's review style for example on an occassional post, do you cite their blog as the basis for your work every time you borrow/copy it? More importantly, do you think it's fair to even cite a "source" even if you came up with the idea regardless if it bears similarities to say an existing meme?

Speaking for myself, I do give credit and I like people who do too. Like my weekly book haul post, totally inspired by The Story Siren, who's In My Mailbox (IMM) meme Talk Supe had to quit when her scandal broke. Still I cite her as my inspiration for Bought, Borrowed, and Bagged because she deserves it and because it's the right thing to do. There is no way I can pass BB&B off as my own unique initiaive without looking like a total fraud. Like hello! If one is diligent enough, one can most certainly backtrack on the archives and connect the dots from there. Sure, the title is different and I added a few things here and there to make it my own, but the concept is the same, and I have to thank TSS's for the fun weekly post idea.

I know this is a slippery slope because most everything has been thought of and popularized so innovating is a challenge. And as we're all exposed to the same things, pursuing the same interests, talking to the same crowd, similarities are bound to happen. So how do you navigate this? I sure would like to hear your thoughts on this topic for future reference in case my muse strikes and "inspires" me to do a variation of Waiting on Wednesday. Ha!








54 comments:

  1. yes you're right, plagia is a big problem for the meme but also for everything else.

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    1. I am unsure how I would react if I've been plagiarized! I am not the confrontational type, but at the same time I know I would be totally pissed off

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    2. I would be mad too. But I have no worries because they would be stupid to steal my aweful reviews. LOL.

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  2. I haven't created any of my own meme, well, I use to do an Indie one but I stopped doing it awhile go but the memes I do participate in I absolutely give credit where credit is due. ;)

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    1. Yeah I think that's only fair that we do that because if roles were reversed I don't think any of us would appreciate not being cited as a source

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  3. Wow what a good topic. I use to love to do the meme Dirty Little Secret by Under The Covers book blog. Now they do not do it no more. I really wanted something like that to continue on my blog but I could never do it because it was not my own. Maybe if they were not up and running I would of consider doing it and give them credit like you did with BB&B. I think most of everyone's blog reviews/post have somewhat been inspire a little by others. So I do not think it is needed for credit. If that would be the case then almost every blog would have all these credits to the source. I think if it is big where one does a good amount from another blogger then yes I think that would be a good idea.

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    1. I am not talking about actual reviews/post more so how they are formatted.

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    2. Thanks for the clarification, and I do agree with you. But if it's the exact template then I feel credit should be given.

      As for DLS, you should totally go for an adaptation. I follow this blog who does a variation of another meme and what she did was she emailed the original blog o sort of let them know that she's going to do something similar just to avoid drama and be courteous. It obviously went well because her own little meme is still going plus she did share the backstory when she first started

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  4. I'm not sure how I'd respond to someone taking my ideas and making them their own. Let's be honest, It's been going on for decades; stealing someone's work and putting another name on it. And, my God, no one wants to copy my reviews. LOL! I will spoil the sh** out of a book. I've no memes to start, but a few discussions to consider.

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    1. I bought site copied one of the old reviews here so what I did was I disabled the copy paste function. Of course it doesn't work when you're on mobile but I think it works well enough for that instance not to have happened again.

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  5. You are right, it is a slippery slope. I think it is best when copying the idea of a major meme to give credit, but everyone has their own idea of a discussion post, so those are fine, like Tell Me Something Tuesday, is my weekly post where I ramble about whatever I want, and I know other bloggers have memes that are similar. However, when you are copying something that is well known like IMM, then you have to be careful. Very thoughtful post.

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  6. Yes, I don't participate in many of the weekly meme type things but if I get inspiration from another blogger I definitely site the source and link back to their blog.

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    1. That's cool! I do love your Raturday posts, you're the only blog I follow who does that on a regular basis. I never realized that some people have rats for pets til I started following you!

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  7. Yeah, I think it depends on the type of post you are doing. If you see something on another blog and want to do a version of that, then give credit, yes, like you're version of In My Mailbox. I think it becomes really touchy sometimes though - you might see a blog that has a similar feature to you and they aren't crediting you, but maybe they didn't know about your feature? They came up with that idea on their own; like you said, it's hard to be original. In that case, I don't think either of you necessarily have to cite each other. I guess we just hope most people are honest, right? haha

    -Lauren
    www.letsgetbeyondtolerance.blogspot.com

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    1. I think that happens too where people have the same idea not knowing that someone is already doing something similar. That said, if your the host, you can also tell if you've been "copied". Like say the "copier" have been leaving comments on your meme and one day s/he started doing her thing. It's in that scenario where I feel citing your inspiration is important if not a gesture of respect or manners.

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  8. It's tough when its one of those 'see it everywhere' sort of ideas that one wants to do. It was just an absorbed idea at that point. Just as evolving review style can be influenced by the multitude of reviews read and no one reviewer was the influencer.

    But specific concepts like structure of the review or meme should definitely be cited.
    I found that I wanted to do a reading challenge last year that involved pairing a tune with a book. No other challenge did this, but I got the idea from Sharonda's weekly tunes meme. It was easy as pie to message her and ask if she minded if I did a reading challenge based on her weekly meme. She said no biggie, challenge commenced and the rest is history. Same thing happened when Misty had a weekly vote on the favorite cover post and it gave me the idea to have folks vote on my TBR book. Misty didn't even want credit b/c she said it wasn't really the same. But she was pleased that I bothered to ask. (of course later I learned that several people did TBR book votes when I found their blogs)

    Guess I never understood what was so hard about getting permission and citing sources so I do get irritated when its done.
    But, I also think we need to be careful about making the accusation of plagiarism b/c I've been on the receiving end of that one and the accuser got it wrong and I could prove it, but folks jumped on it really quickly.

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    1. First of all, that's so cool of you to ask even if it ended up not being necessary.

      I've been in a similar situation a few years ago too. It was difficult because people, including myself, tend to get defensive over this issue. It's important to stay objective and to keep one's cool when one is faced with it. It's easier to come to a resolution when that happens versus swinging at each other.

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  9. Yeah, it's definitely important to link back to the blogs that actually host a meme, and also, to cite people who have inspired us!
    At the beginning of this year, I came up with an idea for a new challenge - new releases only - and I googled to see if there was already something like that going on somewhere else in the blogosphere. After a long time (it took me a couple of hours to find it!) I did find one, but apart from also using current year releases, it wasn't like what I had imagined myself. I still e-mailed the blogger and told her I had an idea that was a bit similar to hers, but that I wanted something a bit bigger, and with different levels, and I asked her if she minded. She told me to go ahead. I still link to her blog, though, even for the 2016 new release challenge, because while I hadn't seen her challenge before I had my idea, I did know about it before I posted mine.
    Great post, Braine!
    Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews

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    1. Hey, cool tip! I didn't think of that, but that's cool that you went through all that trouble before starting something of your own. Even cooler that the other blogger was amenable, I'm surprised she didn't offer to co-host

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  10. When it comes to memes, I mean everything is out there, I do not want to call it plagiarism if I wanna do a mailbox post and call it things my mailman brought. But if it is the same name, the same style, the same pic, then yeah.

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    1. Hahaha, maybe call it MY MAILMAN DELIVERED THESE and add fictional convos or something

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  11. Great post and yes a slippery eely slope. Since I don't participate in memes I'm not worried about that but there are some situations on my blog that a certain design type, comment, etc was inspired by another blogger/author/commenter and yes I do give credit where credit is due.
    Thanks for keeping us on our toes

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    1. Not trying to, just trying bounce off thoughts on ya. lol

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  12. It's very frustrating. I've had a couple bloggers who have snagged things from me without saying anything or who very much try to copy my style on certain things. It's pretty rude I think. I've had others who have asked to use features I've done or recipes or such and that's totally fine with me. I try to keep my blog fairly unique so it's frustrating as all get out when others start looking like mine :/ The one thing I was definitely inspired for (social blogger) I do mention the other blogger and link to their feature/set up even though mine's a good bit different.

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    1. Wow, did you reach out to them and voice your concern? I mean it can be uncomfortable, but really THEY'RE the ones who should be embarrassed! You definitely reach out to them and take credit for your creativity. I mean we don't get paid for this shit, the least we can get is CREDIT!

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    2. I posted about it vaguely in a blogger group not realizing the person was in the group and they contacted me. I'd not mentioned their name or anything and they knew it was about them. I was so dang annoyed. It was similar to what you mentioned of someone joining in on a meme then stopping linking up and just doing it on their own but not bothering to change anything or make it unique. They thought it would be okay since they weren't using the same name.

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    3. The cheek! How did you resolve it? Did they apologize or corrected their meme?

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  13. Such a good topic Braine! It's annoying when others steal another's ideas. I don't think I've had that happen to me, but really the only memes I do are Waiting on Wednesday and Thrifty Thursday. I need to edit the template for WoW though, I somehow cut off citing them awhile back from the looks of it *sigh* Thanks for the reminder <333

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    1. I love your Thrifty Thursday posts! You should totally own that

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  14. This shouldn't be a sticky topic but apparently it is. I mean Warhol did a painting of soup cans and called it his own and that was completely acceptable. And when I was in college studying art we were told as long as we made something "our own," then it wasn't plagiarism. So I can see why some people do this and feel like it's okay (I don't...at least not intentionally). But I agree that it's only fair to give credit where it's due. I worry about this in terms of writing. As a reader I read so much, and I get inspiration from the books I read. Subconsciously some of that stuff sticks and may end up coming out in my writing without me realizing it. I might accidentally use a line from a book and I'd never realize it until someone pointed it out. I doubt that happens to someone who makes a Meme, but who knows, maybe these chickies have horrrrrible memories :D

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    1. I think in terms of lines and subtle things, it's fine. Otherwise we'd be all footnoting ourselves. I'm referring to the big scale things like a meme that blogs hosts where they encourage participants, or a review format that was obviously "borrowed" from someone, those kinds of things. I guess bloggers in particular gets sensitive over ownership and credit citations because it's our only claim in this sphere, our chance to carve a niche for ourselves in this vast book blogging universe!

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  15. You always come up with these really cool topics and I love 'em. As you know, I don't really do themes, like you guys do, because I'm the world's worst when it comes to organization, however, I'm inspired by tons of people all the time. So I do try to send a shout out for topics that inspire or impress me. As Lily mentioned there's nothing worse than stealing the content of our fellow bloggers and very poor form. Even though there are literally thousands of bloggers, I've found it's a small world, and blogging conversations come full circle with someone you know, who knows someone else, knowing someone else. Not worth the drama. BIG Hugs and as always I thank you so much for your support.

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    1. Exactly! We're bound to cross paths with someone who would know if we "borrowed" something from someone else. Like the book blogging sphere has such intelligent members, I mean we solve crimes, plot revenge, and look for anomalies in our reads. What makes these thieves think their copies will go unnoticed?

      And yeah, putting your reputation on the line over something so small with a simple resolution? Totally not worth it. I agree with you 100%

      Thanks too, Ro. I hope you find your dream rental soon!

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  16. I ALWAYS give credit where credit is due. It was pounded into my brain growing up and going through school. I would never take credit for someone else's work because it simply isn't my own. I would be so angry if someone took something that was mine and didn't give me credit for it. People work hard on things.

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    1. That's true that's why there's patents, trademarks, & IPOs. On a blogger level, we all squeeze are creative juices to come up with something that stands out from the rest. It's inly fair we get at least acknowledged for that

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  17. This is such a great topic to discuss! It honestly really pisses me off when I see something that I know is inspired by something that I've recently written - and there's no credit at all. I mean I would at least mention it you know, when it's totally obvious.

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    1. And if you're an active blogger like us, it's so easy to spot these things. We might not say anything Coz it's not worth the drama but you're not fooling anyone

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  18. Great post, Braine! I have heard of plagiarism in the blogosphere but to my knowledge I haven't been a victim. I don't know how I'd react either - I'm very non-confrontational. I do give credit when I use someone's idea and make it my own - with a meme. I've created a few features of my own and I searched the web to make sure there wasn't something already out there - I didn't want it to seem as though I was taking someone else's idea. As for review styles, I'm sure I'm influenced by other bloggers' style sometimes. I haven't given credit there since I wouldn't always know where the influence came from and I hope I've not stepped on anyone's toes. But I haven't taken a 'format' from anyone and used it. I completely agree though that credit should be given if you're 'borrowing' or using someone else's idea. That's just plain courteousness and manners. <3

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    1. I agree with you all about the subtle inspirations. But if it's on a huge scale, then yes, credit should be given. Better to be safe than sorry

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  19. I think in a way this also sucks, because if you think about it, there is bound to be a person with a similar idea as your own. So, what if that person never seen your meme, and does something similar on their blog and does not credit, does it consider stealing? especially if they never saw the other meme? how do you prove you never saw it? Just something I was always curious about you know? similar ideas happen, so how does one handle them? I would think people would probably also feel disappointed if they saw someone else already doing the idea, even if it just a bit different from their own.

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    1. That's true! I remember when the TSS news broke out, all the back and forth led to IP tracing and it really got super technical after that. Like who needs all that drama?! Then again, I've experienced your example where myself and another blogger launched the same thing and we even had the same graphic! It was sticky, I'm glad we resolved it drama-free. However after that, I stopped doing anything large scale with link-ups save for my weekly book mail

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  20. This is a huge peeve of mine. I've had my own meme (that I don't do anymore) copied - word for word.

    Sometimes things are similar and you don't even realize it - which happens - but you should always give credit to the people who inspire you for memes/posts/etc

    Karen @For What It's Worth

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  21. Great topic, I try to cite if I use or participate. The Twilight Tuesday is only thing that I have been doing that I am sure someone did before but couldn't really find a place where that started.

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    1. I did see that. I think you're disclaimer is good enough, maybe the original intiator will see your post and you can host it together moving forward

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  22. Yep... I give credit when it's due, I do it with all the ones that I participate in.

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    1. I feel it's only respectful that we do that since we don't get paid to do this. Acknowledgement is the least we can offer each other

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  23. I think you are right it's a slippery slope, but I always try to give credit where credit is due. It's important to give your own spin to things. People are different, some give credit, others do not. I think people try to do their own things and try to be creative, but it's hard. I do like the topic. Plus people go to extremes at times, others do not. I try to be fair...and do give credit..when it's due to someone else.

    Grace @ Books of Love

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    1. Yeah, I don't think any of us would like it if someone copied us or borrowed our work and we didn't get credit for it.

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  24. Yeah, credit should be given for memes and such, but I don't think so for review styles. I mean there are so many ways of writing them and isn't really something someone can take credit for. Unless it's something massively unique. I hate when I have an idea but don't put it in action yet, and then I see someone else do it. I feel like I can't do it now because it'll seem like I'M copying them when I'm not. That's happened a few times recently. -sigh-

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    1. Hard lesson on procrastination. And yeah, that sucks, then again, it's one less thing for you to do ;)

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  25. Nice discussion! PLAGIARISM MAKES ME SO ANGRY.
    LIKE NO PEOPLES.
    LET'S RESPECT EACH OTHER, FRIENDS.
    IT DOESN'T HURT TO GIVE CREDIT - one sentence at least!!

    Because of my animosity towards plagiarism, I ALWAYS make sure I link back to a source or give credit when it's due! Like come on, common courtesy guys. Thanks for letting me rant hehe.

    -Aila @ Happy Indulgence

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  26. Yes, credit for memes and such. Review style is a bit tricker as I am sure the further you research the more you will realize it out there and origin may be tricky.

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My reviews are subjective & does not reflect that of Talk Supe's followers.

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