Why do people do this, in your opinion? Are there any benefits to doing it? Has anyone to your knowledge passed off something of yours as their own?
This thread is inspired by Someone stole my pictures from my blog and used them on their site!
This is not the first incidence of this I have heard of or read about. It seems that not only do people try to pass off the photos of others as their own but also blogs and comments. I have even heard of some cases of entire forum threads reappearing on other sites with members making the posts who are not the original people who made the posts.
Someone stole hundreds of my pictures once and passed them off as their own on their Facebook page, pretending that my life was theirs. It made my blood boil for a week or so, but it doesn't bother me any more. It's unbelievably sad that someone doesn't have the imagination to take pictures of their own, even more so that they would enjoy any compliments that people give them about them.
Now I put watermarks on my favourite photos - I suppose the next step would be to Google the titles of all my blogs, but I don't have the time.
I am only too aware of this, I had chunks of my blogs stolen and added else where. Then i found this site copyscape
List your URL (blog) to it and it gives the last 10 times someone had used your words, or if you lifted words from others! I think you have to sign up and pay a fee to get your whole blog checked. Its not good with photos, but as I discovered my words had my photos usually along side them, especially Chinese, Vietnamese and Indonisian sites took them more, maybe thinking I'd never find out. I sent simple emails to the sites and within 2 weeks they had been removed. I have a warning now on my profile page, I now get people who do ask to use my stuff for various sites.
The positive side to copyscape is I also found sites who had used my blogs in a good way, eg USA today travel section who redirected the reader back to my blog and travelblog.org. Or Charities who highlighted my childrens and chinese soup kitchen charities, although they still could have asked me.
Why do people do this? Ego, lack of imagination, creativity, original material and guts.
I havent yet searched for people using my stuff. I wouldnt much mind them quoting me, but I would feel some disgust if they were trying to pass off what I said as their own. It seems like such a pathetic thing to do. As if they have not stories of their own.
I also read the following on your profile page last night Claire and it was another thing that prompted me to start this thread. I didnt realise just how much this sort of thing happens until recently.
COPYRIGHTS Please don't steal my work and pass it off as your own, I have already caught some of you cowards and frauds out there doing this.
I've had lots of work stolen online and it irks me as I have much better things to do with my time than track down website hosts and file DCMA complaints and get all riled up. I could sit around reading Travelblogs all day, for instance.
Lots of people are lazy, and want to capitalize off the work of others. This is particularly prevalent in the online writing world where want to "get rich quick." Some people invest time and energy learning effective SEO, keywords, etc to get their page ranked highly by Google, and others come along and steal the work, pass it off as their own (basically getting this nicely indexed site for free) and then profit from Google ads or other revenue systems.
None of my blogs were written with SEO or Google-speak in mind, so I haven't seen any of them stolen. But I have seen photos and other online works that I've done republished. For photos, there's not much you can do, but for your blogs and other online writings you can set up a Google alert with a particular phrase or sentence (in quotes) that is unlikely to be replicated short of it being stolen from you.
I've even had people copy/paste my copyright statement "The article XYZ is copyrighted and the property of Stephanie Jolly and cannot be duplicated with permission of the author." Talk about nerve!
i found this one stole many blogs from travelblog. the funny thing is they just copy a few paragraphs and sometimes, change the title just a bit. check it out: http://en.gotowuhan.com.cn/Default.aspx
I assume I don't care too much...I've seen it before. I guess the only thing that would annoy me is that somebody is trying to make a profit out of someone else pic or writtings without permission.
If it does happen on travelblog...would be fun to allow the original owner of the pic/words to have a "sponsor" banner on the guilty blog.
I live in Shanghai, and there is a simple word here. If you are copied, it's mean you are creative and successful...so let's not take it too bad.
And for those who try to have a life by using other pics/words...we should advise them to go on secondlife site. Never went there...but it's so fun how some people need to create a life they don;t have. They should save the energy for their own life. Let see what's happen to one of my last pic...a manta and a whaleshark on a single shot...seems this is more than pretty rare!...for a diving diving pic!
It only helps to a certain extent, but I recommend Picmarkr
for adding watermarks to your photos.
I don't really care if someone decide to copy my stories or pictures and use them in their own website. Of course I do appreciate when people ask for permission, and in those cases I always answer that they can take whatever they like. But, in my way of seeing things, the act of stealing this sort of material offends the thief rather than the victim. After all, the material is not going to disappear from the author's page, is it? And if such a "crime" can make someone happy (by misterious ways, admittedly), be welcome.
I don't think I would ever dream to use sites like this Coyscape, as Claire suggests, not even if it was for free, I mean. It's just pointless. We all know what internet is: it has its advantages and its risks and this is one. And if I was so concerned about others using my shared pictures as their own, I would simply not upload them and, instead, print them and hang them in my living room.
Anyway,as the saying goes: "Better be robbed once than spending a lifetime in fear of being robbed!"
Marco, I disagree with you completely: what we write is our intellectual property, which we create with our time, energy and imagination - no-one has any right to earn money or congratulations from it. It should be possible for people to enjoy it without me having to invite them to my living room, and without someone using my efforts for their own use.
If a risk is unavoidable - like our TravelBlog pages being plagiarised - it doesn't mean that it is reasonable, or that we should not get angry.
Well put Jonathan, I also disagree with Marco.
I worked hard on my written stuff and photography, all original work, why should someone else get credit for it.
I see Marcos last blog the photos came from wiki, did you need/get permission to use them?
I dont use copyscape or try to find out if anybody is using my blog material, because weird as blog poaching is I dont want to spend any time chasing after the blog thieves. It would just be too time consuming and I just write my blogs for fun so maybe it does not really matter enough if somebody else is taking them.
There are plenty of other thieves in my life that I have to chase after already without adding those who might be stealing my blogs to the list. Companies charging for the services even though I cancelled what I used to want from them etc.
Whether or not you get angry at the thought of plagiarism depends on how much pride you take in your writing and photo taking. The irony is that the more pride you take, the more likely it is that you will produce something worth stealing - which is why Lili and Claire have suffered.
I saw few of my photos incorporated in other people's blogs. I was surprised that it didn't worry me. Instead I felt flattered that my stories and photos somehow inspired them to go to the places I've been and included my photos in their blogs. If my photos touch others in a positive way, then the more reason for me to keep blogging.
The internet is a public domain. There are times I hesitated hitting the publish
button knowing that my blog will be available for the whole world to see ... and maybe even subject to abuse. But I still took the risk to share the experience with family and friends.
So in my case, they used my photos because it's what compelled them to travel. But if my photos were used in malicious manner, I'll probably also take reasonable action to reprimand them.
How about if someone used one of your photos to enter a photography competiton, and won $500? Or, as happened to me, photos of your loved ones were taken and passed off as people the thief knew, with different names?
I see Marcos last blog the photos came from wiki, did you need/get permission to use them?
Is using pictures from Wikipedia not allowed either? I actually was not aware until a few months ago that permission has to be got before using some of the photos on the internet. I thought it is OK as long as I provide a link to where I got the photo from.
Sometimes I wonder if people are getting a little mean about things. If somebody uses a photo or a piece of text to illustrate something they want to say and provide a link to the source, it is not in the same cathegory of plagarism as trying to pass off stolen blogs as ones own. Not allowing others to show and share information on the internet at all, just because you wrote it or took the photos seems a but too posessive. Surely, information is for sharing?
As I said, I'll take reasonable action to reprimand them if my photos were used in a malicious manner. Stealing personal identity is a serious crime, so I can understand where you're coming from.
But if they win something on my behalf, I'll be happy for them to take the winnings.
I'll be even happier
if they share it though 😊.
I saw few of my photos incorporated in other people's blogs.
Were those blogs on TravelBlog. TravelBlog members are allowed to use the photos of other TravelBlog members in their blogs without asking permission, so long as they imbed the photo into the blog as a link so the owner of the photo is acknowledged.
Or, as happened to me, photos of your loved ones were taken and passed off as people the thief knew, with different names?
The person who did that is a weirdo, in my opinion. Dont they have any friends and family of their own to photograph??
This brings me to the question of how alright is it to take photos of strangers. Where would you draw the line when it comes to strangers taking photos of you, your family or your friends?