Saturday, August 16, 2008

A Word or Two About Plagiarism

This morning I was catching up on my favorite blogs and found a disturbing post on Suzanne's blog, Chickens in the Road. Apparently someone had been copying entire paragraphs from Suzanne's blog and using them within their own blog if they were theirs. It didn't take long for Suzanne to find other blogs that the offender had been stealing from.

The really pathetic part of this sordid story is that the blog using the plagiarized items is a business blog, not a personal blog. How could someone risk the reputation of their business by doing this? It boggles the mind.

One of Suzanne's readers recommended a website called Copyscape that has a service that searches for bits and pieces of your website throughout the web. So I went over to Copyscape and plugged in my blog's URL. Sure enough, someone had copied part of a post that I had written and posted it on their website. Their only saving grace is that they had included a link back to my original post so that folks could read the entire article.

When I created this blog I included a copyright notice at the bottom as a matter of course, not because I thought that anything I would write would be fascinating enough that someone would actually want to copy it. Little did I know that there are people out there who are so desperate for something to write about that they would actually copy my work. Jeepers...there are much better folks out there to copy from!

On the other hand, I know that when I first started out blogging a few months ago that I read more experienced people's blogs in order to learn about how to blog, how to come up with ideas about what to blog about, how to take good photographs, that sort of thing.

Pioneer Woman is my blogging hero, that's for sure. I love her breezy writing style and her photos are to die for. Oh, and her recipes; I tried out her Chili Con Queso recipe last night and it was a big hit at my house. It's because of her that I'm including my family recipes on my blog; now I don't have to make a cookbook for my kids, I can just send them to my blog. But it would never occur to me to pass off some of her writing as my own...that's just not cool.

Notice the little banner on the sidebar from Copyscape? That means that I'll be using their service to keep an eye out for peeps who are too lazy to write their own stuff and decide to borrow mine.

So if you like some of my stuff (you poor thing!) and want to "borrow" it, don't even think about it. But if you would like to have permission to legally use all or part of one of my posts and give me credit for it, contact me and we can discuss it.

Pam siggie 2


  1. Pam I saw that post on Chickens in the Road yesterday too - I just couldn't believe the audacity of someone - and like you said, on a business blog at that!!!

  2. What? Isn't that ridiculous? Why can't people be grownups? I'm sure that's how they made it thru school too. Thanks for the heads up and link to check!!

  3. Pam...I just made it to where people can't right click and copy my photos on my blog. I have found my hummingbird pictures all over the Internet lately!?! I work hard to get these pictures! Crazy-Because I too have a copyright notice on the side of my blogsite. Sad. Thanks for the info.

  4. Glad to help! I was flabbergasted at how people try to pass someone else's work off as their own.

    Robin, it feels like a violation, doesn't it? Disabling the right-click will help deter some folks, but not all. Have you contacted the offenders yet?

  5. Pam, Thanks so much for blogging about this and for the links. Plagiarism affects all writers, whether they blog, write articles, or publish books. I've had some of my blog posts stolen, too, as well as complete books that are offered as free downloads without my prior awareness and permission.

    Haven't these people ever heard of guest posts, where you give complete credit to the original author? I've used someone's words once on a blog post, and that was with their permission and a link to their blog.

    I have a copyright notice on all my blogs and websites, but that doesn't deter bottom-dwellers from stealing.

    I'm going to blog about this on my Writer's Workshop blog. I belong to a professional writer's organization (ASJA) and our work is stolen frequently so I'll be letting them know about the copyscape link.

  6. Gloria -

    Thanks so much for offering your perspective from the professional writer's point of view. It's one thing to steal someone's musings from their personal blog; it's even worse to take bread from the mouth of a professional.

    Spread the word...that's what I was trying to do after reading about Suzanne's problem. Maybe if we squawk about it enough, folks might think twice.


  7. I can't believe that someone would actually steal people's personal blogs let along professional one's. That never even crossed my mind! I agree with what Lisa said...if they are doing it right now I am positive that is what they did back in school.

    To me I started my blog to share what I do on a daily basis and to open the way I decorate to others who share the same. I met some wonderful people blogging and treasure their friendship :)

    Thank You for sharing this with us.
    I will have to check this out.


  8. Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!


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