Copying vs borrowing

copying.jpgThe issue of authorship and authorship protection is a sticky problem. There isn’t a clear code of ethics involved with this issue. Because the internet moves at such a fast pace, it’s hard to spot people who copy or borrow your work. They have software scripts that change your posts just enough to bypass copyscape. My blog is young but I’ve had to deal with a few people stealing my work. What exactly can be done about this? The honest answer is…not much. You can report the culprits to the hosting provider. You can shoot the webmaster an email regarding the issue but aside from that, you’re really out of options. You could take legal action, but 99.99% of the time, it doesn’t make viable economic sense to do so.

Don’t stress too much about people copying your work. Most likely the guys that steal your work will not make much off of it. You could take it as a compliment. If you really want to take action, you should post your rant on your blog stating the situation. Post a few statements on webmaster forums like DP, Sitepoint, and blogcatalog. Just get it out there and be done with it.

If you have questions on borrowing other people work, you should use the golden rule. Ask yourself if you would have a problem with someone borrowing your work in that manner. If the answer is yes, then don’t borrow it. If you wouldn’t have a problem, then go with it and put a link to their site. I’ve found that giving people credit and acknowledgment eases any potential tension. Putting a link to their site is always a nice gesture. They might even thank you for the shoutout.

If you receive a complaint about borrowing, then you should remove the content immediately and send an apology email. Quick replies are detrimental.

2 thoughts on “Copying vs borrowing

  1. Helene Zemel

    Good post. I found that Google Alerts was a good way to track whether your posts and articles were being copied. I had this happen to me about 2 or 3 months ago. One of my articles was copied all over the place. Fortunately the article directories removed the offending articles as soon as I contacted them. Now I post my articles first to the directories where they had published the pirated articles. In this way, I beat them to the punch, and I haven’t had any trouble since with this group.

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