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I'm not sure if this is the correct exchange group to ask this, but I came across this article, Alternet_Paul_Krugman_Article, in which it basically just quotes Paul Krugman's NY Times column word for word without adding any additional information or context.

Is this common practice? Is this frowned upon? It is basically making a blogpost using someone else's work so I feel like it may be plagiarism even though the original author is attributed. Is my interpretation too conservative?

(Paul_Krugman's_Original_Article)

  • I don't know if it's because I need to subscribe or something, but the Alternet article appears to me to only consist of two paragraphs. One of them quotes Krugman's article, but there's no verbatim copy-paste. – F1Krazy Jun 6 '19 at 15:40
  • You may have an ad-blocker interfering. I don't have a subscription, and I don't frequent this site (I just stumbled upon it) The first paragraph introduces P. Krugman, half of the second paragraph is composed of Krugman quotes, and the rest of the article (4 paragraphs) is ~97% Krugman quotes. But it does attribute both Paul Krugman and the NY Times where it was originally published – jyapx Jun 6 '19 at 16:10
  • I'd say it crosses the line from Fair Use to plagiarism. Just because it attributes the source does not make it okay. But that's for the NYT to decide. I'm sure they're well aware of it. – Cyn says make Monica whole Jun 6 '19 at 18:55
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Copying someone else's work wholesale, without attribution or compensation is plagarism/theft, while quoting or summarizing small pieces of a person's work with proper attribution is fair use. In between the two can be a gray area.

I am not a lawyer, so I can't tell you exactly where the line lies, but I'd say this is probably arguably fair use. It cites the original article and author, and doesn't include so much of the original text of it that you wouldn't look up the original article if you're interested.

Aggregated digests of other sources is an old practice, predating the internet. The work of the new "author" is summarizing the source and pulling out the relevant quotes. Clearly, this could be done in a predatory or unethical way, but it has legitimate uses as well --being noticed by the right aggregator can make a person's career.

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