like. read. laugh. love.
Growing up, I’ve always been taught that copying is the sincerest form of flattery. But at what point does simply copying someone stop being flattery and become all out plagiarism?
When I decided to start writing a blog it never occurred to me that someone would steal my ideas and my words, but that is exactly what happened.
There are precisely 1.25 Bazillion people on this planet, so at some point you are bound to have the same ideas and thoughts as someone else and even say the exact same thing as them. This doesn’t make either of you any less unique, and in fact it is what helps us find people with common interests and build our own self-worth and belief in our ideas and values.
These things usually start off quite harmlessly in your younger years, for example you buy a bright blue dress and wear it out. One of your friends comments on your bright blues dress and tells you that they love it and asks where you got it from. Being the lovely person you are you do not lie, you tell them ‘I got it from H & M!’.
Next week while you are sipping a latte and checking Facebook, you notice your friend wearing the same bright blue dress and getting comments that should be yours, comments like ‘Love the dress! You look stunning’. Of course the dress is amazing and of course she looks stunning, that’s why you bought it! It’s hot and you look hot in it!
It is flattering though, that this friend saw how hot you looked in the dress and thought ‘I want to be that hot too’. However dresses and flattery are not my personal beef today. My personal beef is words and plagiarism.
Having written every word on this blog myself, I’m extremely proud and protective of each and every single one. Also, given that writing and travel are my passion I’m very excited to be doing something I genuinely love that makes me happy.
Part of writing a blog is that you share these words, thoughts and ideas with the whole world and find other like-minded people who find your words interesting and can relate.
If someone were to draw inspiration from something you wrote, you would be proud of yourself, to know that something you thought and said had a positive impact on another person.
There is a line that should not be crossed however, and that line involves the power of Copy and Paste.
It is one thing to draw inspiration from someone’s work, it is another thing entirely to Copy and Paste it onto your own blog and claim it as your own.
While our mother’s told us as children that copying is the most sincere form of flattery, and to some extent I do believe that’s true, I also think it’s disrespectful and hurtful to claim another person’s work as your own or not give them significant credit for it.
Let’s put this into context, I’m certainly not arriving at my day job, doing all my work then giving it to someone else at the end of the day and saying ‘Hey Sandra! Just tell them you did all of this, don’t mention me at all and in fact, tell them not to worry about paying me either – you can have my pay too’. Of course that’s not happening, because it’s crazy talk.
I suppose that in putting your work on the internet this is the risk that you run and it does happen to thousands of people every day. In giving your all to your dream, you open yourself up to being disappointed, but because it is your dream – it’s worth it.
This article was not aimed to name and shame the person that did a Copy and Paste job on my article, but to ask other people out there if they’ve had the same thing happen to them and how they feel about it now. Let me know, I’d love to hear back from you on how you’ve dealt with it!