When Does It Become Stealing/Copying When You Are Inspired by Original Content?

So, you’ve written and published an original content and put all your heart, time and energy into it. After publishing the post, you receive a lot of comments and engaged with bloggers about the subject matter. You’re happy, you’re pleased, you’re riding high on a bicycle over the moon and never going home.

And then you see another blogger, a couple of weeks later, publish a very similar post.

The question is: when does it become stealing/copying? What makes inspired content not-so-inspired?

In my humble opinion, inspired content becomes copying (and stealing ideas) when you follow a strikingly similar format with very, incredibly, similar looking sentences. No amount of dressing changes the similarity. Your post may say something like: “A person like this would say something like: lah-di-dah-di-dah,” and the other content follows this same sentence structure. Literally, follows the same structure.

facepalm giphy

Now I want to ask you a question: would you and should you confront the blogger? As I’ve mentioned in a previous post on anxiety, confrontation is incredibly difficult to me when I barely know the person because I have no idea what to expect from them. Is there a polite way to confront a blogger?

Our words, as bloggers and writers, are really important to us and, in my case, my words and ideas (and I guess problem-solving random things) are the only weapons in my arsenal, they’re all I really have… so this is especially grating.

As a blogger, it is important to understand the ethics of blogging. Do you remember the plagiarism lessons you took in college/university? Do you remember you had to insert footnotes and give credit where it’s due? If you are inspired by a post and want to offer your own narrative on the subject matter, then here’s a tip: GIVE DUE CREDIT. “I was inspired by so-and-so” and insert the blogger’s name and add a link to the post you were inspired by. Another tip: REBLOG and, again, leave a link to the full post.

Blog with dignity.

Otherwise, it is copying.

awesomely luwie

A request to WordPress administrators: we should be allowed to block certain bloggers and, of course, provide legitimate reasons for doing so. I understand that there is an option to make your account private, but this isn’t an effective solution. Instagram, Snapchat, Whatsapp and Twitter allows us to do it… so why not WordPress?

Sophski out.


Have you ever had anyone copy you on WordPress? How did you deal with it? What advice do you have for me?

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(Photo credit: http://www.willett-ink.co.uk, giphy, awesomely luwie)

 

25 Comments

  1. First of all I am very sorry that you are going through something like this. The only solution to this problem is that the WordPress makes some strict laws. A lot of hard work goes into each and every post. It is horrible if someone gets away with plagiarism. I know it is hard but may be you should mention the blogger who is doing something like this so that no one else follows their blog.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you! ❤️ I will try that after I contact them and see what they say, if they could add credit then fair enough but if they don’t, well then I guess I’ll have to… the blogger is a writer too, so I’m sure she knows or has seen this post by now.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I’m sorry this is happening to you. And I wish I could give you advice but I’m pretty terrible at that. But I can try! Hm, maybe PM them? Let them know that their post is similar to yours and to please link back to it. But don’t get too confrontational. Um, I agree with you on the blocking aspect. Can’t believe that’s not an option already?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you and yes, I’m going to try that and make sure that I’m not confrontational 🙂 (wish me luck, I’m telling my anxiety it’s okay to do it). We really should, right? Not just block any and every one but because we genuinely have reasons too… WP needs some modernisation.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I honestly wouldn’t worry about it. I believe in justice, this probably will hurt when someone “stealing” your content, but I believe I’ll get justice, somewhere, sometime, any elses… I hope this makes sense 😁

    Liked by 1 person

  4. That’s a tough one, Soph. If it’s not out & out plagiarism, wherein the offender copied some or all of your writing word for word, how would you even go about proving the imitator was inspired by and seeking to copy your thoughts/work intentionally? I have noticed, among the billions of WordPress posts, that they tend to fall into very distinct categories of posts, and many many many of them wind up being awfully similar. I don’t know if WP could monitor apparent “thought copying” even if they were inclined to.

    I think the best thing to do would be to email the apparent imitator and politely say, “Hey, I noticed your blog the other day and enjoyed it. It REALLY reminded me of something I posted a few days before! Did you see my post and get inspired? If so, would you mind giving me credit or a pingback on your post? If not, wow, great minds think alike, don’t they?”

    I can see potential for really nasty conflict, though. What a tough problem. Good luck!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. The blogger has not previously written posts like that at all (the work is of the same format) except for the one I’m not happy about which is the recent one and looks very similar to mine. It’s also in numbered format in title and in the actual post like mine and has the same points I made except for one, and includes the same structure like: “this kind of person will say things like: ******) / “You did so and so? But I did so and so!” and the part after like (and that first sentence) is the same example, literally, just worded differently.
      I think I’m going to take your advice and send a message but if it’s not resolved, well, I’ll have to do what I need to do. And thank you for the advice!

      Liked by 2 people

  5. The big challenge is to prove it’s plagiarized. Perhaps taking a screen shot and tucking it away.
    There’s also the fine line between plagiarized and inspired. The person copying you may not even realize that they’re copying you.
    My biggest concern is losing one of my images so I micro stamp them. If you zoom in on the right spots it says either “unauthorized use or fees not paid etc. I do this because if I find the mark I know that they never paid the fee.

    Liked by 4 people

  6. I love your blog and how it deals with different aspects of blogging. I haven’t experienced anyone copying my blog post. I might take it as a compliment for how immensely they enjoyed my posts!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, I hope to write more posts like this soon. No need to worry, you write great content, you definitely do not hold back in your reviews and you also offer constructive criticism so both readers and authors would appreciate it. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. And there’s the collective unconscious…. What to do about that? Once in a while I write what I think is a unique thought only to encounter it later when I’m reading things written by dead guys. Hmmm….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t think you’ve done anything wrong there especially if you later discover that someone else has written it who’s long gone. I think it’s really down to intentions and circumstantial evidence if, for example, your earlier works are vastly different to the thoughts posed in the recent one. People have a right to suspect and then confront (privately) because this is a harsh world and things like this do happen so we must stand up for ourselves.
      In my case, I went for the private route (and no names were called in this post) only to find a public comment referencing words that I sent privately and then later denying that they never received no such private message which was just dodgy.

      Liked by 1 person

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