Combining my work experience, life lessons and observations into a fun new topic that pertains to the book community, MY THOUGHTS will be a monthly featured post on the first of every month.
Disclaimer: These are my thoughts, my open, honest and complete thoughts. Please do not take offense/judge me for stating my opinions.
Imagine working forty hours worth of work and not getting paid. That is the life of a designer. Whether it be a web or graphic designer, this is the most likely scenario when one starts out.
One of my early fan sites!
When I started freelancing this is exactly what happened to me. I didn’t know anyone would be so evil or immoral to not pay me and they even took the credit in the end. I put in all the hours, the effort and I was left with nothing.
I learned my lesson the hard way, so EVERY TIME I do any work with anyone online, I am sure to outline every detail in a contract.
My Personal web site
There comes a time when you’ve had enough. The recent development within the book blogging community has me reeling. All these wonderful and respectful hard-working bloggers are being taken advantage of. I’ve become a bystander and I watched the drama unfold, but I’ve had enough. I don’t want to sit around while other people get hurt or taken advantage of.
This book nerd is saying her piece and I’m taking a stand.
First, I have to explain my own experience with stealing. I started web design as a hobby with my very first BackStreet Boys fan site, which then grew into an ‘NSync fan site. (I started when I was 12 LOL)
After that died down, and I grew up, I moved to the personal blogging world. (I hate to warn you as to how nerdy and old I am..) I found a small group of personal sites/web designers and we all used to chat with one another in forums. Then the trend of vectors showed up on everyone’s layouts. Being the competitive person that I am and wanting to join in all the hype, I created a vector of my own. This Britney Spears vector. That alone took me six hours of non-stop shading, detailing, colouring. etc.
The Britney Spears Vector that was stolen from me..
I was super excited to launch it and I quickly updated my site. I probably blocked it for my memory failed to remind me as how I found out that someone stole it. This person stole me vector right off my site and pasted it on her layout claiming it was her work. I felt devastated, I cried. How could someone do that to me? What kind of moral code does this person even abide by? I couldn’t understand it at that age. Now I know better.
People who steal have no moral code. They don’t care who they hurt. They don’t even think they’ll get caught.
After learning that the thief took my work, I have never vectored since. And it’s a shame because I really enjoyed it. It’s just like drawing but you use the computer instead. My fear of my work being stolen is what stops me from learning how to draw. Kind of sad but it’s the truth.
I design graphics as a living, that’s what I do. Being a designer, you’ll learn along the way that your work will be stolen. The art and design industry go through these struggles on a daily basis, and they always fight back. If someone stole my web site design that I made from scratch and worked 40 hours on, I have every right to sue them.
So what can you do to prevent plagiarism, copying, stealing?
Run your reviews through Google Alerts Search or Copyscape.
Watermark the images you take yourself . Add in copyright data in Photoshop.
Turn on your Trackback options on your blog.
Make sure no one is stealing bandwidth data from your blog (hosted blogs only) by using the CPanel.
What happens when someones steals your idea? Do you cry and move on? Ignore that blogger and make sure to never visit their blog again? Do you email them and tell them to credit you? Do you write up a rant about that blogger and post it on your blog?
Whatever method of action you do, it’s really up to you. Just remember there are consequences to those actions, so please think before you act upon them.
We as the book blogger community must decide are we going to stand by or are we going to do something about it?
Book Nerd asks…
How do you think you would feel if someone stole your review/content/designs?
What do you think you would do if they did steal from you?
What other methods do you think can stop people from copying all your hard work?
This is also a discussion post, so feel free to comment but be respectable to other’s comments. I will be moderating these comments.
- Basic rule of thumb: Pretend you’re face to face, would you say it in here, yes or no?
- Agree to disagree and healthy debates will commence!
All comments are welcome and each person’s opinions are their own. Please be respectful or I will have to use my web admin powers to delete comments, and in severe cases, BAN you from my blog altogether. Three strikes and you’re outta here!