Plagiarism = Content Theft = THEFT

My friend Jonathan Bailey over at Plagiarism Today has left a blog of links on how to prevent Content Theft. Content Theft is plagiarism in case you're not up on the lingo.

Plagiarism, Copyright Infringement, Content Theft: all issues writers need to be concerned with. If you're a blogger, you may have had your content "scraped" which means a thief copied it and posted it under his or her own name, an all too-common incident on the web today.

Stealing Made Easy

The dark side of the Internet is the theft of intellectual creation whether it be a blog, an article, a music file illegally downloaded, a novel, or artwork. It's so easy to copy something and then post it under a new name. What happens when there's no protection for intellectual property rights? That's the scary future we are hurtling toward.

How can you make a living writing music or books or creating art. How can you sell something that people can easily get for free? How much does it impact an author's bottom line when her or his books are posted on websites where anyone can download them? If you think this isn't a problem, then think again. There are numerous websites that have scanned entire books into their database and illegally posted them for download.

Bleak Outlook

Authors earn money only if someone buys their books. Musicians earn money only if someone buys their album. Photographers earn money only if someone buys their pictures. Same with artists. Why would any of us keep doing what we're doing if we can't at least earn some income from it? Writing is such hard work that I'd certainly find an easier way to make a living if my words were suddenly worthless.

Take Action Now

Copyright protection is poised on the edge of a very slippery slope. Do your part by educating yourself and others. Learn what you can do to protect your web content. Exercise your rights as a citizen and let your elected representatives know how you feel about intellectual property rights. Get your friends and family to do the same. Don't wait for crisis mode. Do it now.

1 comment:

  1. I'm sorry I'm so late with this but I wanted to say thank you for the mention and for the attention to this issue.

    The only thing I would point out is that not all artists and musicians need to sell copies of their work to make a living. I make mine through consulting and others use a "for hire" system. Granted, it's not the most creative or artist, but it can work for some artists.

    For most, however, you are right, they either need to sell copies or sell advertising against their work, one or the other. At least until new business models become viable...

    Thank you again for this great post and for the mention!