Backstage at the Blog: C is for Copyright

This stuff is mine, all mine.C-Holy Ravioli-Purple

(Okay, mostly, but more on that further down.)

When I first started writing, I was very open about sharing everything I created. I figured, hey, I’m not making any money at it anyway, why not share the bounty?

My Muse, however, was not amused. I never realized how sacred my creations were until I considered what it might feel like to have someone else take credit for, and even profit from, my words and images. Fortunately, in the eyes of the law, everything I do here is copyrighted the instant I create it. To remind my readers, I display this official looking notice at the bottom of my page:

Screen shot 2014-03-17 at 10.59.34 AM

(Please note that I’m not a lawyer, or giving legal advice here, just passing on wisdom I’ve gained from my perusal of Writers In The Know. For example, Molly Greene, blogging specialist, discusses copyright here.)

As for the images that grace this site, I’ve been careful to not only procure them from stock image sites, but also, as a bonus, credit their creators. More on that in future posts though …

Have you ever had anyone rip off your content? How would you feel if someone used your words and images without your consent?

(Here’s your link back to the A to Z Challenge Sign Up list.)

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24 thoughts on “Backstage at the Blog: C is for Copyright

  1. People who steal others’ work suck. It’s one thing to explore the same ideas, because no writer would really ever be exactly like another in just doing that. But when people actually lift someone’s prose or images, that is just lame. It’s straight up stealing.

    1. I think exploring similar ideas is interesting, because it’s almost like writing an essay on the same topic. We all have different slants and different voices. But taking words verbatim would be awful. I don’t know what kind of person would do that … (and this gives me an idea for a story villain!)

  2. The only writing I’ve posted online are very short snippets from upcoming releases. And I create most of the images on my blog as well. (Except for movie and music covers of course.)

    1. I’ve often wondered about posting movie posters and music covers. They’re so beautiful that it’s tempting. I’ve posted book covers with a link to the ‘Buy’ page on Amazon, so that’s probably more than okay.
      I think the line might be where the intent is to promote, (which is laudable!), versus the intent being to promote the work as one’s own.

  3. Thank you and Muse for your nudge, and for Molly’s link so I can understand how to do that for my blog. I can’t imagine anyone wanting to use what I post, but I also know it is important to be proactive about protection. I have it on my “blogging maintenance to-do” list, and will move it to the top of the list for May projects.

    Your C is head-smacking gorgeous and perfect Choice of Color!!!

    1. Thanks, Sammy!
      Technically, I don’t think you have to ‘do’ anything, as the work is protected as soon as it is written, but I think it’s a good idea to remind people of that.
      I feel the same way as you do about my stuff. Who would want THIS? Once I turned it around and asked myself how I would feel if it were stolen though, I realized that it has more value to me than I first realized.

  4. Lovely C. Fine typography is a joy to behold.

    As far as taking credit for other’s work, some say that if your creations are stolen it’s a compliment. Hmm. Not so much. If someone stole Juan I would hunt them to the ends of the earth:)

    1. I was of the ‘Imitation is the highest form of flattery’ school as well, but I agree. On one hand, I know my ideas are formed as an amalgamation of my experiences, including other writers’ stories, but on the other hand to steal my stories directly would violate me deeply.

  5. Yes, I have. It’s a miserable, miserable feeling. The copyright statement is a good idea–I’ll have to figure out how to add one to my own page. Thanks for this post!

    1. Wow, that would be a terrible experience. I’ve heard stories of writers who walk away from writing because something of theirs has made someone else look smarter than they are. I never thought that would apply to me, since I seem to have a multitude of ideas, and if one or two of them went missing it wouldn’t matter all that much. There are so many, after all.
      Oh no. It matters.

  6. to my knowledge no one has ever stolden my work. But we (my writing group) had some big decisions to make a while ago about photo credits

    1. Hi Susan,
      Welcome to A Scenic Route!
      Photos are a great way to brighten up a project, but it’s true that permission must be granted and usually credit must be given. That’s why I rely on stock photo sites.
      (I’m even doing a post on that next week sometime. 🙂 )

  7. This is why my goal is to eventually get into Overdrive’s catalog. Free without the piracy.

    As for putting bits on my blog, I have the first three chapters of a novel up, as well as the entire first part of a three-part book. I think the benefits outweigh the risks.

    1. I’ll have to look into Overdrive. Is there way they ensure the material stays copy protected?
      Awesome that you have chapters on your blog! I’ll have to check those out. 🙂

  8. I recently wrote a blog post about plagiarism because my father (who is an amateur photographer with no plans of making any money with his photos) was informed that other photographers were swiping his photos from his Facebook page and claiming them as their own. It’s a topic that really, REALLY frustrates me. I’ve never had anything of mine stolen (that I know of) but I know plenty of people who have and it makes me mad every single time it happens.

    1. Yes, people seem to think that just because someone isn’t making money with their work that it’s free for the taking! So not true.
      I don’t think we can stop that from happening, but raising awareness is at least a good start. 🙂

      1. In my post I suggested that we, as writers and artists of all type, be sure to watch each others’ backs. 🙂 Most of the artists I know who had stuff stolen only found out because fans let them know.

        Unfortunately it’s just one of those things that is always going to be a possibility, but at least we can help each other take the thieves down!

  9. No, has not happened as far as I know to me. Thank you for telling me about this, before this post. You are the reason I added it to my sidebar.

  10. I’ve never had anyone use what I’ve blogged, but someone did plagiarize my dissertation. Even though I had no plans to make money from or ever use that material again, I was deeply hurt (it was a former friend.) Also, it’s a problem for her future career, but that’s another story.

    I ran into someone using my material, so to speak, years ago, in college. I have this really funny story about being on the news during a sex education class when I was in 7th grade. It comes up a lot in life, some how. Anyway, I was out with some friends one evening, and sex ed classes came up. A friend of mine, who was a bit tipsy at the time, told my story to this group of guys we’d just met as if it had happened to her. I was stunned into silence, and I remember the guy I was dating at the time telling me, “Your friend is seriously funny.” Not one for conflict, I didn’t say anything to her ever, but I never trusted her after that.

    1. Hi Rory,
      Wow.
      The nerve of some people just amazes me, and I find it equally amazing they don’t get caught. I understand the difficulties though. Once the plagiarism happens it’s hard to distinguish the plagiarist from the ‘plagiaree.’
      You got some good stories anyway. 🙂
      Welcome to A Scenic Route!

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