A Note of Courtesy for Prep Bloggers and Preppers who Read Them

Photo by randychiu

This week I received an email from an owner of one of the more well known preparedness websites out there.  Let’s just say that you would all know who I was talking about if I mentioned the site.  In his email, he suggested an older article that I might find interesting and informative to my readers.

I usually get home from work, eat something and start reading and posting on Prepper Website.  I usually check and answer email later in the evening.  When I read his email and clicked on the link to his article to read it, I found that the article seemed very familiar.  In fact, so familiar that I thought I had read it that evening.  Due to the fact that I was extremely tired and I read a lot of articles, I thought I might be mistaken.  But I wasn’t.  I found the article linked right there on the site.  The only problem is that the article was linked to another prep blog.

At first, I thought this well known prep site owner might have sent a mass email to a bunch of websites to share his older post.  So I went back to the email and noticed that it was only addressed to me.  I emailed him to let him know that I had already linked to the post, but at another website.  He emailed me a little surprised.  Apparently, this other website had not asked for permission to copy and post the whole article on their site.

Later the next day he forwarded the email that this “copy” prep blog sent back in response to his email to remove the article.  The email was rude and mean.  I couldn’t believe what I was reading!  A prep blogger was upset and rude because the owner of the original content that he posted on his blog was asking him to remove the article because he had not asked for permission. WOW!

The fact is, that this is very common on preparedness websites.  Some preparedness websites have become very popular.  All they do is copy and paste other prep bloggers articles on their site in whole, many times without permission or attribution.

This has happened to me too!  A while back I put together a Gardening Link Bomb.  Now, I did not write all the articles, but I took the time to reread them (I read them previously for PW), categorize them and link to them.  I didn’t copy and paste any of the content, just the name of the article and the link to the original website.  Needless to say, the article was/is very popular in the preparedness community, since many of us garden.  But as the article made the rounds, I started finding it on websites with no attribution to the original link bomb at all.  I would have been fine with something as short as, “I found this great list of links over at www.edthatmatters.com.”  But there was nothing!

Now, many bloggers out there will let you use their articles without asking.  For example, Mac Slavo over at the SHTFPlan includes this in every post,

Copyright Information: Copyright SHTFplan and Mac Slavo. This content may be freely reproduced in full or in part in digital form with full attribution to the author and a link to www.shtfplan.com. Please contact us for permission to reproduce this content in other media formats.

Michael Snyder of The Economic Collapse Blog has this posted on his contact page,

Many people ask if they can use the articles on this site.

The answer is most definitely yes.

I very much encourage others to take these articles and spread them wherever they can. The more eyeballs that see them the more of an impact they will have.

So please feel free to use these articles. I want them to be distributed as far and as wide as possible.

When you republish one of the articles on the site, if you could please include a direct link back to the original article that would be greatly appreciated.

I retain full rights to these articles, but please do not hesitate to spread these articles wherever you would like. I want as many people as possible to read them. Hopefully these articles are helping a few more people to wake up.

Gaye Levy over at Backdoor Survival states,

Second, you will never ever find ripped-off content or ripped-off photos on Backdoor Survival.  I do not want to dwell on this but having been on the ripped-off side of the equation, I will never do that to someone else.  That said, I am a Contributing Writer to Activist Post, a Guest Writer for Wake Up World and a Reporter on Before Its News.  I welcome others to post my material as long as a link back to my original article is included.

Earlier this year, I started to include this notice at the end of my posts on www.edthatmatters.com,

Copyright – Content on Ed That Matters (unless the work of a Third-Party) may be reproduced in part or whole with attribution through a link to www.edthatmatters.com. If you are interested in a Third Party article, please contact the author for permission.

On these sites, and many others, if anyone who decides to repost an article gives attribution, then everything is fine and someone who reposts the article doesn’t have to ask for permission.

However, other Preparedness Websites don’t have that information posted.  It should be assumed that permission should be requested to repost or use their articles.

What’s the big deal?  Aren’t you about helping people?

That’s a big YES!  Many prep bloggers do so because they are on THE journey themselves and they want to share and help others along too.  Many prep bloggers spend a lot of time writing articles, researching, spending their own money, etc…  They work hard on their sites.  Many times, it is another part/full time job.  You can read some of the responses on the question, “How much time do you spend dedicated to your website?” on The Featured Websites of the Month on Prepper Website.  One of the benefits of working so hard on our sites is the small (and I stress SMALL) monetary benefit from advertisers/sponsors, affiliate links and internet traffic.   Again, most prep bloggers are really there to help, but when someone takes an article without permission, or doesn’t provide attribution…or that attribution is so small that no one would ever notices it, then they are hurting the original content creator and hurting the preparedness community.

I don’t want to go into copyright law and all that.  Instead, I am appealing to courtesy and professionalism in the preparedness community.  I am appealing to do the right thing.

Maybe an example would be beneficial.  If an article is reposted, a simple line of attribution should be provided, hopefully at the top of the article.  For example, this sentence could be used: “This article was first published on www.example.com.”  or “This article is published with permission from www.example.com.”

Again, I’m appealing to courtesy and professionalism in the preparedness community.

What can preppers who read blogs do?

As you make the rounds on various sites and see articles reproduced, check to see if the website provides attribution in the article.  If not, a simple email asking if the website had permission to post the site would be beneficial and helpful to the original content creator.  If the website continues to copy and paste articles without permission or attribution, just stop visiting it.

In closing, the desire of all Preparedness Website owners is to help others become more prepared.  But original content is still their property. I have found that many will willingly share their content with others if they just ask or provide attribution.

I have found that the Preparedness Community is smart, made up of caring, giving and respectful people.  I am so glad that I have had so many positive experiences with so many of you!


Todd Sepulveda







This article first appeared on Ed That Matters.

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Copyright – Content on Ed That Matters (unless the work of a Third-Party) may be reproduced in part or whole with attribution through a link to www.edthatmatters.com. If you are interested in a Third Party article, please contact the author for permission.

Todd Sepulveda

I'm the owner/editor of Prepper Website, a DAILY preparedness aggregator that links to the best preparedness articles on the internet. I'm also a public school administrator and a pastor. My personal blog is Ed That Matters, where I write about preparedness and from time to time, education. Connect with me on one of my social media outlets below.

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22 thoughts on “A Note of Courtesy for Prep Bloggers and Preppers who Read Them

  1. Jennifer

    Thanks for writing about this subject! I think people just don’t think about this when they’re reading blog posts; they’re really just tying to absorb the information being presented. I know before I started blogging I really didn’t pay attention to this issue when I read blogs; I was just trying to learn about preparedness. However, that’s not to say I didn’t care. If someone had explained the issue or made me more aware I would have completely supported the original author, and I think most people would do the same! Thanks for making readers aware!!

  2. Jen

    The ethical question in this ownership of ideas debate depends entirely on your perspective. I don’t necessarily agree that it’s the “Right” or professional thing to do, yet you assume that your readers are all coming from a similar ethical understanding of what is right and wrong here– professional courtesy or otherwise. It seems to me that you’re being especially protective over the ownership you have of your ideas that you publish in a public forum here on the good ol information-super-highway. In my humble opinion, ideas are FREE! (unless of course you copyright them for your own legal and monetary protection.) My understanding is that we do not OWN our ideas–once they’re out in the open, (whether you’ve literally spoken words that came from your brain out loud in company, or whether you posted an article online where anyone can read it) your ideas become part of a collective. No idea is original, even when you write or say them in your own special, unique words. To claim ownership in general, and to be offended that your ideas are being spread to new audiences (without your name printed on it), in my opinion, is the “Wrong” thing to do. But life is always more complicated than the simple black/white, right/wrong. I just wanted to bring attention to the fact that you carry a huge assumption about the ethical “rightness” to your opinions about ownership in this article– that somehow, even in a public space, you are worried about what is “yours” instead of reveling in the wonderful ways in which the internet brings new ideas to anyone who seeks them out. To put it bluntly, quit your whining and keep sharing your brilliant ideas with the world! 🙂 peace

    1. Todd Post author


      I can’t believe you really believe this. You must be one of those who take others work and use it for yourself! Of course ideas can’t be copyrighted or “protected.” But taking someone’s research, work, article is wrong. What is the difference between an online article and a published book? Your thinking is what is wrong with society, taking what is not yours because you think you are entitled. You are wrong. Sorry, you are!


      1. PJ

        Actually Todd, Jen is right. Ideas (and our children) belong to the collective. I’m actually in the process of copy/pasting the entire Moby Dick novel over onto my blog, and then I’m going to attach my name to it. After all no ideas are original and once out in the open they are “free” for everyone. I’m also in the process of plagiarizing/copying every book Beck wrote, gonna slap my name on those too. I love being part of the collective, just need more free stuff to make my day brighter. I would also like minimum wage to be $50 an hour, college to be entirely free and all gun magazines limited to 1/2 a round capacity. Not one round…1/2 a round.



    2. Gaye

      Jen – I believe you have taken this out of context. Yes, ideas are in the public domain but wholesale cutting and pasting of an authors work and claiming it as your own is plagiarism. It takes a blogger three to five hours to research, write and proofread a high quality, informative article. Are you saying we should not get credit – even a one line mention – for all of that hard work?

      Perhaps you are one of those bottom feeders that scrapes sites so that you can make a buck off of someone else’s work. If so, shame on you. Those of us that share freely merely ask for some token attribution which costs nothing, yet means a lot.

      — Gaye

  3. Arete Dreamer

    This is a WIDE spread issue. NOT just within the prep community. I think it that there is a disconnect that exists when people are on computers and they dont think about the other PERSON or PEOPLE that their actions affect. :C

  4. Jane

    Researching an idea for yourself and then writing about it is not theft. A direct copy and paste of someone eles work without permission or attribution is called plagerism. Plagerism is theft pure and simple.

  5. Gaye

    I would like to mention one other scenario that is quite common. A copy-blogger will pick up an article from, for example, Wake Up World. They will give attribution for the article to Wake Up World and not to the original author. This is not WUW’s fault but rather is due to the laziness of the copy-blogger who did not take the time to determine the identity of the original author.

    This is also a problem with Pinterest. Copy-bloggers will frequently post a photo lifted from an author’s site and create a PIN linking back to their own site. As long as the original author is mentioned on their own site, no problem but in many cases,both the photo and article have been “stolen”. By the way, not all photos on the internet are in the public domain. Unless there is a creative commons license attached to them, using images, even with attribution, is a violation of copyright law.

  6. Marie

    Unfortunately this attitude is not limited to the preppie world. It’s across all sorts of written material on the Internet. As Jane said, a direct copy and paste of someone else’s work is call plagerism. And whether it is on the Net or in printed form, it is in violation of the Copyright law. We call these folks who do such as PIRATES, because that is what they are. They are stealing our work and taking credit for it. Theft of the hours of work we’ve done in research, in writing, in creation of the work. If it is copyrighted material, they can be prosecuted. If we hold the copyright, we can request to the web site administrator that our work be taken down. If they post materials not their own and a complaint is made, some administrations will shut down their web site.

  7. Andrew J. Jackson


    Thank you so much for your article. If I wasn’t a libertarian I’d say that it should be ‘required reading for every new blogger.’

    Seriously though, I hope that it is widely read and adhered to by our community. My most frustrating day as a website publisher was the day I found my ‘hot’ article was copied from the website of a copier which was copied from the website of a copier which was copied from mine…I think I found my article on 9 websites and only one had even provided a linkback to my site and a nice introduction mentioning whose work it was.


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  9. Angela R

    I’m in the ftugal living niche not prepper, but I too see some of this at work. I also follow several large homesteading/prepping FB pages and have to mention another trend I see that upsets me…. they will take a photo from a blog (not their own) and share the recipe/tip/thrust of the post and ask people to comment, like, or share their FB update. In the end, it brings reach & engagement to their page but may do little for the original content creator. I’ve even seen it happen where there is NO attribution whatsoever!

    This might not seem like a big deal, unless you just so happen to be the blog owner who spent a great deal of time & effort crafting a post = only for someone else to get the traction from it.

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  13. Ready4itall

    Thank you for this post Todd….Unfortunately there will always be people out there without morals that think they can steal their way to riches. Thankfully they don’t stick around very often, because as we all know, it takes a lot of hard work to make a successful site.

    Just wanted to say thank you to Todd and to a lot of the people who commented in this post for the work they’ve put in to make this community great…and for helping me get my site off the ground. You guys are awesome,

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  15. Elise

    Hey Todd! Just came here after reading your “Words of Appreciation” letter to your readers. I can’t believe I just found this now but I guess I must not even have known about Prepper Website back when this was written.

    I’ve had so many issues concerning content theft since I began More Than Just Surviving. Pictures stolen, used for Amazon monetization sites with really low quality content, whole articles taken and posted on websites with no link back, content scrapers who stole my whole feed and pushed it through their website, you name it it’s been done! And I haven’t been around that long either. It’s a shame because although, yes, I do want as many eyes to see my work as possible, I also want those who enjoy the content to know where it’s from and to be able to come back, read other articles of mine, and discuss these topics with me if they choose to, and content theft makes that absolutely impossible. My only hope to truly “beat” them I suppose is to get big enough where people know and recognize my images and writing, so that even if they see it someplace else, they can still come back, maybe even tell me that they’ve found my content elsewhere, and still engage in the community I’m trying to build up around my blog.

    Anyway, thanks for writing this. Glad someone like you with such a strong community of supporters is getting the word out about content scrapers and content theft in the survival/preparedness community at large.

  16. Elise

    Thanks for directing me to that article. Just finished reading it, and it’s absolutely correct.

    About the watermarks, I feel like watermarks in places where no one could crop it would really distract from my site, especially since I use so many images and they’re so prominent. I feel more strongly about making my reader’s experience enjoyable on my site than I do about some credit here and there. But it’s always on the table as a possibility in case I get really fed up with the scraping.

    And about contacting ISPs, I have sometimes filed copyright infringement complaints with Google, and those work pretty well, but it’s gotten pretty bad and I’m afraid I’d have to be up doing that all night for a week if I was to get anywhere with it, so I just report the ones that are really bad for my site (and even manage to outrank me in the search engine), and that’s about it for now. Glad it’s always an option, though.

    Thanks again for sharing,

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