I love the internet. I wish it’d been around when I was younger. I would’ve done a lot more research on colleges and early career choices. I love the fact that information is literally at your fingertips. Yes, you have to always consider the reliability of the source. And you have to respect people’s attempts at copyright.

When I borrow an image or anything else, I always try to cite the original work. As a matter of fact, I plan on using three images in one of my next blog posts that I found through other bloggers and am more than happy to pass on their site information. I love having people, especially other Foreign Service bloggers, link to my page.

As a relatively new blogger, I’m still excited to see evidence that other people are actually reading my posts. So I like to peruse my site stats on occasion and check out my referrers. I also acknowledge that lots of people aren’t as conscientious in their information sharing as others. Many countries probably don’t even have copyright laws; they have bigger issues to worry about.

But today I came across something that surprised even me. One of my recent referrers was the website for Belize News. I dug a little deeper and discovered a forum of sorts where the site manager posts articles and blogs from all over the place that have anything to do with Belize. All interesting, good touristy, responsible stuff.

Among the collection, I found a reprint of my last post about going to the zoo with my friend C.L., complete with all the text and photos. And it cited me at the bottom as the original source. Totally acceptable.

The one thing that caught my attention was another photo, not mine, inserted into the middle of my story. It was a completely relevant photo and fit right into the material. If you were to see it, you might think it was a photo of my friend, since there is a photo of me in the “About” page of my blog, and it’s obviously not me.

So I did a little more digging, found the home page of the individual that reposted the article, found HIS “About” page, took a good look at the one photo of his family and realized that the woman inserted into my blog looked a good deal like his wife.

That is definitely a first for me. I’ve heard of borrowing other people’s work and inserting it into your material. But I’ve never seen anyone insert their media into someone else’s story…and then cite it…so that you can go to the original and confirm that it wasn’t there to start with.

But, hey, it’s not exactly libelous defamation of character, so I’m not that worried about it. I just find the fact that the manager of a site linked to the Belize News reposted one of my stories, and inserted a photo of his wife into it, to be a little…odd. 😉

And if you’re just dying to see it in person, click here.

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