My previous blog post was addressed to another eBook conversion company who copied large chunks of text from our website and reproduced this text on theirs. Imitation may be the most sincere form of flattery, but plagiarism is infuriating.
We were extremely annoyed, and contacted this company to demand that they write their own blooming text. We had a speedy reply, and several expressions of regret. The offending site was taken down, and the copy rewritten. Not wishing to get into a long running dispute, the original post, which named the company in question, has now been withdrawn. However, the temptation to continue the naming and shaming exercise was strong.
So we move on, but will add a “Check for plagiarism” entry to our weekly To Do list. Not because we think we represent the epitome of web prose in the eBook design world – but because with this incident, and another annoying case of ‘theft of blog post’ previously, it has suddenly become important to monitor our tiny output of original material.
So, if you are a writer, and you wish to retain your work under your name, the time has come to step up your web patrols. Piracy of eBooks is a hot topic right now, and will continue to exercise all those in and around publishing. However, I would argue that it is also very important to make sure that your blog posts and comments, are not recycled to someone else’s benefit.
In fact, anything that has been written by you, could be stolen by the simple act of copy and paste, and reused. Of course, if you are a prolific poster online, this could be an onerous or impossible task (or it may even be that you welcome other people spreading what you have to say without requesting permission). We came across our stolen blog post, on a site which simply recycles work, without credits, as a platform to sell Google Ads. If you see this happening, report the site (Google Spam Report is a good place to start) – and do your best to get in touch with the perpetrators and demand they take it down, or give you full credit and link where appropriate.
You may feel that you are fighting a losing battle, but it is possible to deter some of the bandits, and protect your work from blatant theft.
This company, Copyscape, offer a service to help you monitor use of your work. We have not used the service but it looks interesting, please let me know if you have experience of this, or similar services.