The internet can be a funny place when it comes to the ownership of content. Remixing and commenting is almost always a good idea, but straight-up ripping off an idea or content has negative social, search engine and site ranking effects. Remixing content is can be a great idea, but be careful to never rip it off.
What constitutes ripping off
When you copy and paste content directly from one website onto your own, you are ripping it off. When you take the idea or opinion of someone else and present it as your own idea, then you are ripping it off. The more difficult situations are where the author has been “significantly inspired” by someone else’s ideas. A good rule of thumb is that if the idea or text or photo or video is not expressly offered for credit-free sharing, you should credit it.
Copying content from one place to another creates duplicate content. Duplicate content damages your search engine optimization efforts.
If you find an idea or a piece of content you love and want to share, you have several options. First, you can take the inspiration from that post. Find the main point of the post, or the thing about it that you love (or hate). Include the original content, then post your thoughts about that piece of content. Not only will the link to the original content provide an opportunity for linkbuilding, it allows for opportunities for others to find and comment on your posts. Some of the most popular pieces of content online are remixes of or responses to original content. Some popular social networks, including Pinterest, are social networks based entirely on commenting on and sharing content that others create.
Crediting your inspiration
If you’re not taking a specific piece of inspiration from someone else’s content, then you should still credit the posts, blogs or information online that may have inspired your post. Providing that credit, either in line with your content or at the end of your post, provide authority and viability to your ideas. By crediting how an idea was created, you will be showing the respect to other content creators that is essential for building good relationships online.
Being a content creator online is about creating content that is readable, easy to share and provides useful information. Crediting your inspiration is a big part of that.