Plagiarism is Theft

plagiarism is theft

Plagiarism is Theft

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.

How to avoid any of this? Be Yourself!

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]

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 [1] shows up to 50 percent of patients are killed by the drugs — not the disease, itself. [2]”

Insert a hyperlink to your source or insert [1] [2] 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 [1]” 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

& with thanks to Sue Fleckenstein who has been advising me on PLR copy, here is a plagiarism checker site she showed me where you can check your own words!

Did you know any of this? What do you think? I would love to hear






  1. Sarah Arrow says:

    Lack of attribution is one of the things that prevents bloggers from “making it”. In the blogging challenge I cover it, yet of all the things I share in those 30 days no one asks about this. More people worry about words, images and word count over correctly attributing content, ideas, quotes and inspiration. I think it’s an ego thing; the writer believes they will look “less than an authority” for sharing thoughts by someone else.

    • Susie says:

      Yes it possibly is an ego thing Sarah… or just lack of experience. Maybe you could set another mini challenge [where I do link to sarkemedia] on attribution. “Write a post containing 5 attributions without upsetting anyone?”

  2. Good article. As a photographer, image copyright is close to my heart and I’m always amazed by how many people think it’s ok to copy any image they find on the Internet.

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