Copying and pasting makes life so easy these days, wouldn’t you agree? I use it all of the time! It’s so easy to look up an address and copy and paste it into my navigation. No need to toggle back and forth between pages, no need to remember it. It’s so simple, right? Wrong! While the example I used does not pose an actual threat, there are instances when copy and pasting are illegal and considered plagiarizing.
Plagiarism, as defined by dictionary.com:
An act or instance of using or closely imitating the language and thoughts of another author without authorization and their presentation of that author’s work as one’s own, as by not crediting the original author.
You’ve heard of plagiarism time and time again in college and even on the radio or in the news, when someone gets sued for stealing an entities intellectual property. Marvin Gaye’s estate was protected against Pharrell and Robin Thicke, your writings are governed by the same rules. Your original writing is yours. You are the creator of it. How devastating it would be for someone else to get the credit for it. Who knows what you had to go through to get the inspiration to create that work. In the world of “copy and paste” I came up with some ways to protect your creations:
- Register your trademark and copyrights
- Use watermarks and if possible trademark on your pages
- Include copyright notices on all pages of your work and content
- Place a plagiarism warning notice on each of your pages to deter plagiarists from stealing your work; this can usually be placed at the very bottom of each page.
- Use an automatic plagiarism services to detect and identify illegal copies of your content as they appear, there a several to choose from: Grammarly, Small SEO Tools, Plagtacker and Plagscan
- When you find your content has been copied without permission, take immediate steps to have it removed
- Enlist the help of a lawyer to ensure that you have the best clauses in your terms of service/use policy
Remember, there are so many social media sites and websites that your work can show up on! Take these precautions to protect your work and prove you are the rightful owner. More importantly, respect others work and don’t do it to them. If you know someone who is plagiarizing, speak up and let them know why it’s wrong. Let’s give credit where credit is due and respect the thought provoking writing one has shared.