They are scared their work is going to be stolen.
Many people are also scared they will be falsely blamed for stealing other people’s writing and photos.
This post is guest-authored by my friend Michael Rios in his return to blogging after a long hiatus.
The article will offer you solutions that will end those concerns and include a surprise, unprecedented at Mostly Blogging.
Consider this a follow-up to another guest post, How to Know if You Have Committed Plagiarism.
When I read the comments on that post, I realized just how worried people are. When Michael Rios heard how concerned bloggers are about having their work stolen, he offered to guest post for our site.
Consider this comment from a reader:
Just would like some help on something since you give advice on blogging.
Someone copied my work and posted it on another blogging platform. I really need help. Please reply back as soon as possible.
This site has been home to many guest authors, but this guest post is different. For the first time, a guest-author addresses MostlyBlogging’s readers directly.
I give you Michael Rios.
The Value of Having a Copyright Notice
Why is it important to have this on your blog or website?
Whether you are a poet, photographer, or any type of artist, your work is yours, period!
For example, let’s take this one iconic image that went viral, we saw it on T-Shirts, on posters among all other sorts of mediums.
Imagine you were the person that took this one photo that became history.
How would you feel when your photo, that lucky shot of a lifetime, slipped right through your fingers? Suppose you had a special design or a piece of writing, or song etc., only to find that someone stole your design and is benefitting from it?
I don’t think anyone would appreciate that someone else is taking credit and gaining possible financial freedom.
Why You Need a Copyright
Fortunately, there are some measures that we can take to protect our hard work and creativity.
- By adding a simple statement on your blog or website, you can protect your work from others using your material and placing it on their blog or website.
Once we create anything and it is in a tangible form, it is in a sense [only] mildly protected without a copyright notice, but by adding a simple statement you can safeguard your work and reinforce others (honest ones) from the temptation of stealing your work! Let’s face it; nothing is really safe on the Internet.
- Taking this a step further, if you notice someone who is using your material on their blog or website and not giving proper credit back to the original author (you), you can contact that person advising to provide credit or remove it.
- If they do not (give it a reasonable time frame, not all of us are on the Internet every day), I would then find the contact information for their service provider and write to them POLITELY, informing them of the URL that is using your material without permission.
Recommended Reading About Copyright Infringement
Janice from Mostly Blogging has a great article on a related topic from a guest author located at https://mostlyblogging.com/how-to-know-if-you-have-committed-plagiarism/, and I highly suggest all to take five minutes of your time and read it.
Here are other good articles that can help us all in our community of bloggers:
This is from the Lorelle on WordPress located here https://lorelle.wordpress.com/2006/04/10/what-do-you-do-when-someone-steals-your-content/ and another article from Brad Templeton who also has a great piece of writing entitled, 10 Big Myths About Copyright Explained located here: http://www.templetons.com/brad/copymyths.html.
Is There Anything Else You Can Do to Be Safe from Copyright Violation?
OK, this is all great, but what if I really want more protection? Good question indeed.
- While researching this topic and of hearing of a method of proving you are the original creator was to simply mail the item to yourself through the Postal Service.
This is known as the “Poor Man’s Method” and although some of us may have heard of it being done in old television shows and movies, this will not do anything for you in a court of law.
- If you have that one special design, photo or a great piece of writing, then the only sure method of truly getting it protected is by visiting http://www.copyright.gov/ and creating an account which is the free part.
There are costs associated with ensuring proper protection of your work. Nicholas Wells, who is a trademark lawyer, has a great cut to the chase answer of how much it could cost to copyright your work.
The article is entitled, How much Does a U.S. Copyright Registration Cost? Which can be found here:
This is an example of a copyright notice that anyone can use!
This is the one I use on my blog. I found this general Copyright Notice from a school’s website, and it stated it was free to use. Just replace my name and blog title with your own.
©Michael A. Rios and Michael’s Origins, 2016 (or 2014-2016). Unauthorized use and/or
duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s
author and/or owner are strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided
that full and clear credit is given to Michael A. Rios and Michael’s Origins with
appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
[Admin Blogger’s Note: This is exactly how I got my copyright notice you see in my right sidebar. Michael sent this to me, and I modified it.]
Here is another example that could be used
© [Full Name] and [Site Name], [Current Year or Year Range]. Unauthorized use
and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this
site’s author and/or owner are strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used,
provided that full and clear credit is given to [Your Name] and [Your Site Name] with
appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
The funny part for me is that after all that searching I did to find one while writing this blog post I realized it was in my own backyard this whole time.
Admin Blogger’s Commentary
Michael is an integral member of the blogging community, and I am sure I speak for many others when I state that he has been missed. We are fortunate he returned to blogging to bring us these important instructions for how to protect ourselves against plagiarism with a copyright notice.
You can thank Michael by visiting his site Michaels Origins and welcoming him back to blogging.
Readers, please share, so everyone knows these tips for protection. As I indicated, I wouldn’t have known how to get a copyright notice to protect my writing from theft without Michael’s tips.
What do you think? Have you ever been a victim of plagiarism like my reader whose comments opened this post? How did you handle it? Do you have a copyright notice on your blog? Do you feel it has been effective in preventing you from being a victim of plagiarism? I look forward to your views in the comment section.