Saturday, March 08, 2008

Artists stealing from other artists

I found another artist has copied the text from my website word-for-word (again). I would love to say this is not the first time....but it has happened several times. The good news is, the more it happens, the better I am getting with dealing with it efficiently.

I won't sugar coat it, it's stealing. People think it's okay to just cut and paste portions of text they like, and pop it into their own websites. After all, it is easy to do that. To many people, it probably seems like "no big deal," but it's so important to have unique content on the Internet, and I've worked hard on my site's content....

If you have a flower in a pot on your porch, a flower you have lovingly tended, watered, covered when it was cold....may I wait until it's in gorgeous healthy full bloom and just take it out of your yard and stick it on my own porch and claim I was the one who grew it?!? The same people who would be aghast at this theft by taking, will cut and paste content from someone's site without a second thought.

I have worked hard on my website (I do it myself) and I have paid an expert to help me with my SEO (Search Engine Optimization - so Google and Yahoo will rank me). I do like to think I am a giving person. If any artist comes to me and asks for advice and help, I will give it generously, as artists like Kevin Candon took time out of his busy schedule to help me when I was trying to build my portrait business.

Of course, artists should be helping each other and building each other up. Stealing their work, whether it's written or visual, is definitely not part of that. I would love to see a world in which artists can trust each other.

Whatever kind of website you have, you should check out CopyScape to see if your content has been "lifted." To use it at the free level, you will need to enter each individual page's URL of your site into their search field. Their service called CopySentry will automatically monitor the pages of your website against everything on the Internet. The CopySentry service is currently $4.95 per month.

This page from CopyScape explains what plagiarism is, why it is a threat, how to prevent it, how to detect it, how to respond to plagiarism, and your rights.

8 comments:

Ahermitt said...

It's just so sad when people do that!

Jonathan Bailey said...

I'm sorry to hear that this has happened to you. In addition to Copyscape, I would encourage you to try Bitscan.com as they are a similar service that seems to catch different results. They are free at the moment.

If you need any help resolving some of these issues, feel free to drop me a line, I'll gladly do what I can to help!

Darla said...

Thanks Jonathan! I did try BitScan.com and now I've found another person copying my site! Thank you for the great resource. I added to this page I created of links to help people with their websites

painterofdreams said...

Hi Darla,
I just wanted to thank you for your comment on my blog. I am so glad you visited so I was able to find your site! I am sooooo very impressed with your work! It's absolutely awesome.
Sorry about the copy cats. I am not a fan of the copyright law just because I don't think it's enforceable until it's gone way too far. Maybe we can all work together as artists & get the laws enforceable! :)

Cindy said...

I hate criminals of all kinds! When you contacted these websites, did they take down the info?

My husband had a paintball site for a long time, and people would steal stuff off his site all the time. He took the time and effort to create these tables of items and pictures, and people would just lift them right off the site.

Hopefully you get some resolution.

Darla said...

I find that if I show people the areas of "concern" and give them a date by which to remove the stolen content, they usually comply. A lot of people recommend just bypassing the person and going directly to their web hosting company to get the kicked off...most hosting companies have plagiarism as a reason for booting someone. The hosting companies just don't want the hassle of being caught up in a legal argument. I prefer to contact the person first, and then if they ignore me or prove to be a jerk about it, then I go to their hosting company.

Genxster said...

Thanks for these tips. You are so generous with your advice that it's a shame that people just take things from your site like that.

Thanks for checking out my portraits. I really appreciate your comments.

Jonathan Bailey said...

Glad that Bitscan worked for you, keep trying both though as they seem to pick up slightly different kinds of misuse.

Let me know if I can help in any way and feel free to use the stock letters on my site if you need any aid in writing the hosts!

 

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