Call it stealing, call it copyright infringement, call it damned annoying, but answer the question: Have you had your blog content stolen?
I’ve written a lot recently about what to do if your content is “violated” by others using it without permission, about the growing trends in content theft through feeds and other methods, how to find out if others are stealing your content, and more, so now it is your turn.
If you have had your content stolen, what happened? How did you find out? What actions did you take? Which worked? Which didn’t? Was the issue resolved, and if so, how? What advice do you have for others? What did you learn from your experience? What is your story about copyright infringement?
I have many but one of my favorites comes from a well known nature photographer and author. Driving through a small town in the Midwest United States, he and his wife stopped in at an interesting cafe with an upstairs open balcony. They sat down for lunch, tired after driving for many hours, and ordered lunch. Lunch arrived and they started to feel better and look around from their balcony seat above the old, small downtown area. What greeted them was a full wall mural on the windowless side of a building across the street, towering three stories high, painted with an exact duplicate of one of his most popular selling nature images.
If the image had been close but different, they would have laughed and gone on their way back home, thrilled to be the inspiration of the artist. But the image was exactly the same. The artist had captured the lighting, head position, the branches, and slight scar on the elk’s body as it stood majestically snorting in the woods during rut – everything, right down to the smallest detail. This was no longer inspiration, it was duplication. And copyright infringement.
The waitress was very glad to brag about the artist, so he was easy to find. They explained copyright law to the artist, who was surprised that anyone would care about such things. In the end, they received compensation for use of the image to the current date, and the artist changed the mural to be “more original than duplicated” so the work could be honestly called the “original work” of the painter, not a copy of someone’s else’s original work. I believe a note was added to the painting about how the work was “inspired by the original photography” of my friend.
No lawyers, and it was resolved within a day or so. Still, imagine the shock of looking up from a randomly picked luncheon spot and seeing a huge reproduction of one of your photographs painted across a building!
Being very familiar with the shock of reading my own words and seeing my own photographs used as someone’s else’s content, and knowing how wide spread this problem is, dating back to well before the Internet, and knowing how prevalent copyright infringements and violations are, I’m sure you are familiar with that feeling, too.
Sure, my friend’s story is not about content on the Internet being stolen, but it shows the lengths people go, knowingly or innocently, to use the work of others without understanding that while work can be used as inspiration, it cannot be used for duplication. There are words for that: theft, stealing, copyright violation, intellectual property violation, infringement, plagiarism, and stupid.
So what are your stories about copyright infringement, plagiarism, and plain stealing of your content?
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- The Growing Trends in Content Theft
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- Big Brother, Government, Corporations, and Perverts May Be Reading Your Blog
- Splogging or Clogging: The Worst of the Worst of Blogging
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- Blogs That Look Like Blogs But Ain’t – Splogs
- Full Disclosure on Corporate and Commercial Blogs
- The Biggest Copyright Infringement in the World but Nobody Cares Enough
- Content Theft From Feeds – It’s Time to Take Action
- Proud to Showcase Your Work – Sploggers turn Dopplebloggers
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Copyright Lorelle VanFossen