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Aargh. The content pirates strike again!

Avast, ye mateys. I’ve been plagiarized again. I just found one of my poems in someone’s blog banner.

It’s called plagiarism. And plagiarism is piracy, plain and simple. Copying and publishing someone else’s stuff without permission is illegal. Lawyers call it copyright infringement.

And it happens all the time.

Well, shiver me timbers!

This time, I discovered one of my own original and copyrighted poems copied into artwork and stretched across the top of a blog.

Sure, the offending site is not a very popular blog. It’s ranked super-low on statistical internet search engine rosters. This blog doesn’t show up in most browser searches. And the newest post is more than two years old.

The copy pirate is not likely to steal a treasure trove of page views.

But it’s still wrong.

Maybe the blogger didn’t know better. Hey, folks can quote Shakespeare or Wordsworth or Milton till the proverbial cows come home. Those old salt writers are long gone, and their stuff has been around long enough to be classified as public domain. Folks can cite entire passages without worrying about hornswaggling anyone.

It’s OK to quote the Bible too, although publisher permissions may be needed for lengthier citations of newer translations and paraphrases.

Hey, I don’t pretend to be Shakespeare or Wordsworth or Milton. Not even close. But my poem is still copyrighted. I’m still alive. The content is only a few years old. And I am not happy about this.

I’m glad folks are reading and liking my stuff. That’s why writers write, after all.

But stealing is stealing.

Maybe the plagiarizing blogger thought he or she would be safe from detection, as the poem was typed into a piece of artwork, instead of appearing within actual verbal content sections of the blog site.

But I caught it. And it’s still stealing. And it’s just plain wrong.

Here’s the deal.

It’s OK to list the author’s original link (such as the URL / http coding) on a blog, social networking page, or just about anywhere. That sends readers to the legitimate source.  

It is also acceptable to re-share the content creator’s original social networking post, using the sharing buttons that often appear with it on the blog site, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, Twitter, or such sites.

It is NOT OK to copy and paste, republish, re-post, or otherwise reuse someone else’s creative work without express permission.

And there’s my warning shot to all would-be scallywags. Savvy?

Adapted by this user
 from public domain image

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