Tuesday, October 17, 2017

BUSINESS: Did You Write That? Well Who Did?

Often as I read around the Internet, I have to ask if the OP wrote what I am reading. This is when there is not a byline, and no sources, references or other info on the origin of the material. I think some wonder why I am asking and does it matter, so this is why I ask Did You Write That?
  • When we publish something, it is assumed that the person who created the post also wrote it, but without a byline, by so-in-so, there is no proof.
  • I love to meet fellow authors and poets, and I might want to talk shop with you sometimes.
  • If I really enjoyed what you posted I want to congratulate you and maybe discuss your motivation behind and plans regarding further publication on the subject.
  • If it was written by someone else I may want to locate and read more of that person's writings.
When we run across content, books, poetry and other writings that we enjoy, we love to share it to benefit others. To lead others to think that you wrote it by either intentionally or unintentially leaving out from where it came or who wrote it is a form of intellectual property theft, especially when money is made through it. In the academic world it is called plagiarism, and it is a serious offense.

There is nothing wrong with sharing any content that we enjoy, but it is wrong to not share the origin. It doesn't matter from where it came. If you read it on the back of a cereal box, or on the side of a bus, state that. If you don't know who wrote it, you do know where you found it. If you don't remember where you found it or who wrote it, you should state that at the end of it. If it was written by Anonymous or Unknown, state that. All of the info that you can give about the origin should be shared to give credit where credit is due.

Why should you go through this trouble?
  • The owners of intellectual property often have workers scouring the Internet for offenders. The least they will do is contact you and ask you to remove their property and to not do it again. The worse they will due is to sue you. They do watch and many will prosecute. This is especially true in the creative industry.
  • You project a professional image that may serve you well one day.
  • You develop an honest and trustworthy reputation in writing and social circles.
  • You don't have to repetitively answer questions like Did You Write That?
  • You save your readers from having to repetitively ask Did You Write That?
  • If you don't take steps to respect the intellectual property of others, when it matters most to you someone will not respect yours.
As a creative person, I am aware of an increasing amount of intellectual theft that is perpetrated today, especially on the Internet. Sometimes it is just an oversight, because many don't even realize that they are stealing from others when they don't provide credits. Even if you are not making money from what you have shared or used, it is stealing to receive accolades and appreciation from readers who enjoy what they think you wrote or created.

Take a little time to include all that you know about the origin of what you publish, and join the fight against intellectual property theft. It does matter and I don't like to have to ask Did You Write That?

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