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My Thoughts: Plagiarism, Copying, Stealing

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.


Take Action?!

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?

 

Read More

 

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?

 

Discussion Guidelines

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!

21 Comments

  1. Susan T.

    February 20, 2014 at 6:18 PM

    I would be devastated if someone stole my work! I can’t believe that people are so awful!

  2. bemiown

    August 27, 2013 at 5:56 PM

    There are people out there who do some awful things. So sorry it happened to you. I really enjoyed your say and your stand on plagerism. Thanks

  3. Ashtrie Karana Putrie

    June 26, 2013 at 6:05 AM

    Plagiarism is the worst enemy of creativity!

  4. bn100

    June 17, 2013 at 7:24 PM

    Good tips. That’s terrible people would do that

  5. Alyssa Susanna

    June 17, 2013 at 4:32 PM

    I’m now seeing this post – and I’m horrified! I can’t believe this happened to you as well! I wish people could get off their lazy butts and create something themselves. I’m no web designer but I know how long it takes me to format and edit one BLOG POST – so I can’t imagine how hurt you must have been when you realized that someone was taking your work. I’ll have to take a look at protecting my reviews and content D:

    Thank you for such a well-written and honest post, Giselle! I have a lot to consider o.O

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

  6. Molli

    May 15, 2013 at 9:52 PM

    Gosh, Giselle… I can understand why you stopped working with vector art, but that makes me sad for you! Work, be it graphics, writing, art, it’s OURS, and no one should ever take it away from us.

    Great post, and thank you for the tip about Google Alerts! I’ve been meaning to try it, and now I will.

  7. Pabkins

    May 6, 2013 at 5:47 PM

    Don’t get discouraged girly! It does happen but don’t let that discourage your from trying to continue something you could love. Your vector was BEAUTIFUL! You should do more and then don’t post it just put it up for sale on one of the image sale sites so you can get PAID for it. I hate the whole image stealing thing. I bought my sister photoshop so she could use her photography and help us with images for our blog. They may not look super professional yet – but she’s working on it!!

  8. Melissa's Eclectic Bookshelf

    May 6, 2013 at 1:23 PM

    One really starts to wonder if people stealing others work can really be that clueless…or if it is intentional. I always tend to give people the benefit of the doubt but the older I get the more I realize that most people know what they are doing when they are doing things that are just plain wrong!

  9. Jaime Lester

    May 6, 2013 at 12:07 AM

    Your Brittany Vector is amazing. It pisses me off for you that someone took it from you, giving you no credit whatsoever. I have wanted to really get a blog going for a while now, when I can finally find the time, but now it makes me nervous to try. If I am going to sit down and spend the hours that it will take to get a blog up and running and a good place to come to, I am not going to be a happy camper if someone comes and steals my stuff. And I am not sure of the steps that are necessary to keep it from happening. I am sure that I can learn though, and I will. The bad thing is, even if someone stole something from me, I would have a really hard time confronting that person. I am shy, and quiet and I hate confrontation. I would more than likely sit and be pissed to tears, but not be able to do anything. That is the exact reason why it has to be a priority to secure your blog when starting a new one. Thanks for this post, and your honesty. For being willing to broach a topic and state your opinion even knowing that some people could take it wrong. You are awesome!

    • Giselle

      May 6, 2013 at 12:51 AM

      Thank you Jaime!

      Yes it’s unfortunate people don’t even care..But that’s how it works. I used to be just as shy and quiet and hated confrontation but then I realized (as I got older) that it really doesn’t do you good. People will walk all over you. I don’t let them anymore 🙂 If you’re too shy to confront anyone, let me at them LOL *hugs*

  10. Ashley

    May 5, 2013 at 9:28 PM

    I’m so sorry that you were a victim of this. 🙁 I’ve had my artwork stolen a few times too and it’s not fun! But honestly it is kind of laughable that people think they can get away with it.

    In one of the incidents where my work was stolen, they submitted my artwork into a competition on a site that I frequent on. I was just like, “Really? You thought I wouldn’t notice?” Their name was soon replaced with mine in the competition, but I actually thought it a little funny that they thought they’d get away with it.

    • Giselle

      May 6, 2013 at 12:49 AM

      Oh dear..That’s horrible! At least they were caught 😛 Cheats and liars always get exposed! That’s why I have to thank karma!

  11. brandileigh2003

    May 5, 2013 at 2:28 PM

    So sorry you haven’t done vectoring anymore. It is shame and people don’t realize who it hurts, or they do and don’t care.

    • Giselle

      May 6, 2013 at 12:48 AM

      It’s definitely sad that others don’t care 🙁

  12. Anna

    May 5, 2013 at 8:17 AM

    I had no idea that when you told me someone stole a design from you, it was the Britney Spears vector! the nerve of that person, argh.

    As an artist/illustrator, this topic is all too familiar. thanks for providing really awesome links and an overall insight of what to do in case this happens :/

    you’re clearly very talented and I hope that later on, you will be able to pick up drawing and totally kick my butt 😉

    • Giselle

      May 6, 2013 at 12:47 AM

      Oh yeah it was that vector they stole!

      You’re most welcome Anna!

  13. Lisa @ Just Another Rabid Reader

    May 5, 2013 at 3:31 AM

    I am sure I’m not in the minority when I say the thought that someone would take credit for another’s work is appalling. You have definitely given me a lot to think about. I need to think about what I am doing to protect myself.

    • Giselle

      May 6, 2013 at 12:45 AM

      Welcome Lisa! Definitely protect yourself 😛

      • Lisa @ Just Another Rabid Reader

        May 6, 2013 at 10:51 AM

        I have been following here for a while, but I tend to be quiet. I have found a lot of the things you post extremely helpful to my developing book blog. I have been at it for about a year now. I know a lot of bloggers have been talking about plagiarism and stolen content lately. I need to really get myself together and make sure that I am not just making it easier for people to steal my stuff without at least linking back to where they got it to begin with.

  14. Holly W

    May 5, 2013 at 12:10 AM

    Great post Giselle, and it gives us some good things to think about and to work with as well, thank you!

    • Giselle

      May 6, 2013 at 12:45 AM

      Welcome Holly! Thanks for commenting 🙂

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