I’ve been seeing a lot online about plagiarism lately & either it is on the rise or people are becoming wary of being prosecuted for theft; but it hadn’t really affected me personally until…
A couple of weeks ago I got an email from a prominent video marketer & about an hour later I got the exact same email from a different guy! I was quite shocked at the blatant copying & deleted the second guy from my list & Facebook. Actually I wrote & told them about it… what would you have done?
All of us who work online legitimately, need to be super aware of the consequences of being a copycat.
Google scans our web pages & blogs & just won’t rank us highly or at all. Website owners, when they find out they have been copied, will send a Cease & Desist letter or ask Google to take the site down. There is just no need to cause offence in this way.
I always tell my clients “people buy you before they buy a product” & in this cut-throat marketplace the words ‘know’ ‘like’ & ‘trust’ are of the utmost importance. You will have a successful business if you stick to what you know best & share it with others in your own unique way. Much as I am doing writing this… this information is available but I am telling you about it in my own words.
Attribution is another minefield. My advice is to get to grips with your integrity & behave ethically.
We all draw inspiration from published works but there is no point in being unscrupulous & trying to pass off someone else’s work as your own… you could get sued for $500,000 or more.
Here are some ways to keep safe:
If you quote someone do it like this:
“The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts.” – Bertrand Russell (1872-1970)
Give credit to the source of your information:
“It is possible to build Apps without knowing any code” as is described in Entrepreneur Magazine’s September 2106 article about Tara Reed
Tell people where you got your facts:
“This year, more than two-thirds of college graduates graduated with debt, and their average debt at graduation was about $35,000” said Mark Kantrowitz [writing for time.com/money]
If you are giving someone else’s opinion or you are not sure of the facts, find a source:
“No matter how much doctors push the treatment, chemotherapy might not be the best option in the fight against cancer, as a new study  shows up to 50 percent of patients are killed by the drugs — not the disease, itself. ”
Insert a hyperlink to your source or insert   etc, hyperlink & create a list of sources the end of your article or post. Remember that hyperlinks can get lost when people share articles so writing “…as a new study by the Lancet ” would be belt & braces in this case!
If you know something is common knowledge or in the public domain you don’t need to attribute it. If you watch an incident & photograph it no-one can complain either.
More About Images …
Image copyright is yet another area where you can make a costly mistake [a]. The best way is to take your own photos or use an image from one of the many royalty free sites – I wrote a blog post about where & how to find free images here & another here. If you want to use a photo belonging to someone else ask them for permission.
Now for the Good stuff:
If you say something like “my opinion is… & so&so agrees with me” – see here … [& provide a link] you are increasing your own personal credibility as a writer/blogger
If you know it is okay to share do so by mentioning the author/copyright owner by name & link to their original image
Did you know any of this? What do you think? I would love to hear