Ask Dave Taylor: Tech and Business


Mailing list discussions are not free blog content!

Quick: if you're part of a mailing list and there's a splendid discussion, a really informative back and forth dialog that transpires, can you copy and paste both sides of the discussion on your weblog without requesting permission?

This very topic arose on the LinkedIn Bloggers mailing list -- a list that has some minimal member requirements and closed list archive -- and generated what I thought was a surprisingly wide range of answers.

I spent some time on list trying to clarify my own thoughts on this matter, detailing where I believe it's acceptable to quote others without permission and when I believe it's imperative that you seek and receive permission before quoting even a single sentence. I'd like to include my thoughts here on my weblog too, for more general reference purposes and to hopefully spawn some dialog on this topic too.

The discussion started out with the following question...