This post is a bit of a deviation from the theme of mental health, but it’s something I like to write about annually, as I feel too few people are aware of how widespread this issue is, what their rights are, and how they can help to keep their work safeguarded.
As you may or may not be know, content theft is one of my hot button issues when it comes to blogging. Copyrights and licenses are displayed everywhere on this blog, as well as a Copyscape banner (and yes, I actually do use this service). Additionally, each author has a unique copyright for their work on Canvas. I have personally been to the mat many times with sites that insisted on violating intellectual property rights, and I have won every fight.
Last year on this date I saw a friend of mine victimized in a way more shocking than I ever had previously. Another blogger had taken an entire page of this friend’s work and posted it as their own. No credit to the original author, no links, nothing. Fortunately, this issue was eventually settled between the two parties involved as a “misunderstanding” — but I’m very glad it inspired me to get writing about this topic.
Because many say “Such are the hazards of writing on the internet”; to which I respond (emphatically), “WRONG!!!” Your writing is absolutely protected. But taking additional steps will make you less likely to be targeted. WordPress has set up a wonderful page to help you Prevent Content Theft, and it is absolutely worth reading, even if your blog or site is not hosted on their platform.
If you suspect your work has been used illegally, there is also a page on Content Theft – What to Do.
Spam sites and large outfits for advertising (to name two major violators) often think we are easy marks. We’re just individual people, writing our blogs, telling our stories. What can we do about it if they take something from us? Let me tell you, we can do a lot. And the more of us that do it, the stronger a force we become, the more hesitant these thieves are to take us on as “easy pickins”. Help you brother and sister bloggers out. Take action on any content theft you are victim to, no matter how small, and notify other bloggers if you think you see their work being abused. (Just make sure you know what is and isn’t legal — someone linking to your site, quoting you in small portions with credit, or “reblogging” your posts is not content theft.)
Most importantly, be nice and don’t steal. Those aren’t just someone’s words, they are pieces of someone’s soul.
© Ruby Tuesday and A Canvas Of The Minds 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ruby Tuesday and A Canvas Of The Minds with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.