A fellow freelance writer, Lori Widmer, has been dealing with a blatant content thief. This thief probably doesn’t think he’s doing anything wrong. He’s pulling the content straight from her blog and uploading it onto his site. But he’s giving her credit for the posts (posting her name and the name of her blog) so that makes it okay. Right? Um, yeah, not so much.
This content thief is financially benefiting from her words and ideas. Sure he’s giving credit where it’s due recognizing her as the author of the posts, but he’s using those posts to drive traffic to his site in hopes that once visitors show up searching for information about freelance writing, they will click on the ads so he can get paid. So he gets paid, but what about Lori and the other bloggers he’s stealing from? Think he’s paying them for the use of their content? Yeah, that’s what makes him a thief.
Plagiarism is a major problem on the Internet. The web is such a vast space that it can be difficult to monitor and control the problem. Within the past two weeks I’ve heard of at least four other bloggers besides Lori dealing with content theft. It’s no secret that there are some clients who hire writers to “re-write” content so that it comes across as unique content when run through plagiarism detection services or software. Please be clear: rewording someone’s words and ideas IS plagiarism. Some writers are completely unaware of what actually constitutes plagiarism.
I recommend visiting Plagiarism.org for more clarification. This site specifically covers the problem as it relates to the theft of online content. The site also provides tips to help you avoid web content theft.