I have started blogging because I want to express my thoughts and tell my story. I have never expected a lot in return. Let’s be honest, there are millions of people online who love to tell their own stories. Whether it be by writing or filming, every creative artists’ pride is to have their own identity as a content creator. However, there is some that neglect the fact that a simple act of courtesy towards us creators could be a big deal for us.
After I coming back from hiatus due to my old pc breaking down, I suddenly noticed my site has been getting traffic somewhere unfamiliar. It seems that one of my blogs was linked over from another site. I was thrilled at first because I felt at least one of my works had been noticed. I visited the site and to my dismay, they didn’t just link it though, they copied exactly everything I wrote. They even took the images from my own site. I was at first confused and consulted blogger friends about it. In the end, it synced in me that this was not a simple re-blogging. It was literally stealing my work. Although they linked my blog page as “source”, there was no clear indication that it was me who wrote the article. It only looked like it was them who wrote it. I was hesitant to write them an email which I was suggested too. I had to make sure that in case I do send an email to them that my grounds of complaint were valid. I started checking on the terms and conditions of my website and it was clearly stated that all content that will be used should be notified to me before using. I also made research about copyrighting laws established. I wanted to be clear to my self that I do have the right to complain. Sadly enough, it all showed I do have that right.
Copyrighting is not a simple thing. It is in all its form, stealing. Not in a million chance that I would ever experience being cheated like this with my own content. I am just a mere novice blogger and I would never expect that anything like this would happen. Some would probably say I am overreacting but of course, most of these people do not really understand how I feel. This blog is simply expressing my thoughts and opinion about this incident. I am a writer. I write what I feel and think. I have the freedom to do so and it makes me at ease to express my feelings.
Copyright Infringement, according to Investopedia, is defined as:
Copyright infringement is the use or production of copyright-protected material without the permission of the copyright holder. Copyright infringement means that the rights afforded to the copyright holder, such as the exclusive use of a work for a set period of time, are being breached by a third party. Music and movies are two of the most well-known forms of entertainment that suffer from significant amounts of copyright infringement.
As of writing, I have emailed even the web developer of the site since it seems that it does not use WordPress as its host. I still not have received any response from both the website owner or the web developer. It is quite disappointing for such a business establishment to do this. If you wonder how can this had been handled better, see the points below:
- It would have been better if they wrote a one-paragraph introduction on top and added an excerpt of my blog, then added a link to read more about it.
- They would have rewritten the article and just linking over my page in one of their sentences.
- Asked me to write something for them and not steal my photos.
Any of these would have been the best move for them. I do not know what the future of this violation is, but I would just silently pray for the best. Right now I decided to work on all my content including images. I started adding watermarks on my images to make sure it is recognised properly. To all my co-creators, in any case, that you wonder to what extent you can claim for any grounds for similar concerns, here are the following items you can check for:
- Brand your images. Add logos or watermark brand name.
- Create a clear Terms and conditions page on your site.
- Uniform your brand name from domain name to brand logos.
- If you have enough credibility and you feel you have the right to claim patents especially on products you produce, do it.
I think, due to this incident, I grew more alert with the data I receive for my content. It may be my luck that I work as a digital marketer that I am aware of these kinds of concerns. There may be a lot of us that may not be fully aware of their rights but it doesn’t hurt to be wary and educate ourselves of such issues. It is good that there are a lot of resources online for us to know the facts about these acts. I am in the process of fixing all what I lack including the domain name and images. Yes you read it right, I will soon change my domain name in 2 months time. Looking forward to it.
As I said earlier, this blog is just my thoughts as a content creator. I did not fully disclose the website who did this to me because it is not my goal to defame them. This article is to provide awareness to readers that these things happen, sadly. People who relentlessly and nonchalantly violate this either by intentional or ignorance, do not know the effort and thought that the creator exerted just to come up with it. It’s not a matter of money or recognition anymore most of the time. It is simply a matter of respect, don’t you think?
I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Comment your 2 cents below and let’s have a nice discussion.