Tuesday night I returned home to find an email waiting from WordPress, the people through whom this and my five other blogs are available. Apparently, back in November 2010 at Christianity 201, I re-blogged a very short poem from a UK blogger who failed to mention that he had borrowed it from someone else. The someone else turned out to be a rather high profile poet, who had noticed it on my site — or had it pointed out — and was invoking copyright action to have it removed.
No problem, I was happy to comply within about 60 seconds.
But the notice also said, “…Republishing this material without permission of its copyright holder – or continuing to publish material that results in DMCA Takedown Notices – will result in a permanent suspension of your WordPress.com site and account.”
I suddenly realized that this blog — five years worth of my thoughts on various issues including some pieces involving extensive research — exists only by the grace of WordPress.
And I realized that the success this blog — and others like Book Shop Talk and Christianity 201 — have achieved is a bit of a source of personal pride. I would be very sad to see it end and more sad to see it disappear, a fate that has befallen a few of my fellow bloggers who published on other platforms. But pride isn’t a good thing; and I needed to be reminded that everything we think we are doing whether it be for God or for ourselves, is all basically here today and gone tomorrow.
So yes, I put a lot of work into this thing, but I can’t let it consume or become my identity. (I know bloggers whose success has, I believe, created a monster that must be fed and watered several times a day.) But I will check out sources on articles (and pictures) more carefully to make sure I’m not stealing anyone’s intellectual property that wouldn’t want their material disseminated on other platforms, which fortunately is the desire of most writers in the Christian blogosphere.
Besides, we have a five-year blogaversary to celebrate on Saturday.