Copy This, A-Hole.

copyright

Horla Varan / Flickr

I am steaming mad as I write this. Sure, they all say, calm down, don’t write in anger, but I felt that I had to get my words out on the screen.

A short while ago, I got accepted into the LinkedIn publisher program – I was very excited about this as I feel that LinkedIn is a very powerful professional network and I would love to share my knowledge on startups, innovation and the future to my network. So when it happened, I thought this is great.

So I wrote a few articles for LinkedIn, put up a few articles that I felt were important to my network. These were

My last article got great reach and at last count has over 970 views and 156 shares. It was going great. I even joined the Publishers and Blogger group on LinkedIn and started to network with those awesome folks. One their top contributors, John White, even commented on my post that I was featured on Pulse. Wow I thought, this is really great – my work is getting noticed.

So I went on Pulse and looked for my work. I see the headline:

6 Reasons Your Company Is Not Innovating

but wait. That’s not my picture beside it. Hold up. I went into the guys profile and looked at the article. It was a direct copy and paste, no attribution nothing. A direct copy of my post, under his name. And it had more shares than mine because the guy has more followers. But what burned me the most is all of the comments about how great that article was were of course attributed to him, not me. I had half a mind to reply to each one of those commenters and tell that that this guys ripped off my post completely, but I decided not to stoop to that level.

So I posted on his article that it was a direct copy of mine. Twice. He went in and deleted my comment. Twice. I reported him to LinkedIn and am now waiting for a response.

I think I hate this even more that when people expect you to “create content” for free. When you steal someones content – the content that they worked so hard to write – and then present it as your own – well, I can’t think of any words that I can post publicly about this person and still make this post safe for work.

Suffice to say that all of us people who write original content need to stay on the lookout for those who blatantly steal their content. I’m sure that there are tools out there to quickly identify this kind of thing, so I will need to research this. If you have any tools that you personally use to ensure that your copyrights are not broken, I’d appreciate it if you could share in the comments below.

 

 

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