Does anybody read these?

Thursday, November 04, 2010

A matter of housekeeping...

So, this shit has hit the fan among bloggers and real, live journalists (of which I am both) about a bit of a plagiarism scandal.

Haven't heard about it yet? Check out this. And this. And this one, too. And come back when you're finished, OK?

Welcome back. Now on to my story.

What all of these articles reminded me of is two fold. 1) There are lot of stupid douchebags in the world, and 2) Apparently it would not hurt to remind people that I am a writer, and stealing my shit is not cool.

One time at work someone stole my shit. Yep, some lady took an article out of our e-newsletter, copied and pasted it and sent it out to all of her business associates. Some of those business associates were also our business associates, and it did not end well. As a result of that, we had to put a disclaimer at the bottom our e-newsletter. It was written by an attorney, but basically it says. We don't write this stuff so you can steal it.

But all this reminded me of that time I got plagiarized and how we had to get that disclaimer. And then I thought about this blog, and thought that perhaps it was time to issue a disclaimer here.

I am a writer, and even though I let all of you read this for free (not like you'd pay for it), the way writers make money is when someone pays for their work. I don't write anything here expecting to make money, nor do I make any money off of my blog; but, my point is: you'd better not make any money off of my blog either.

Let's say I do write something here that is worth sharing or repeating (stop laughing at me). Feel free to link to me and feel free to quote me. But don't feel free to post it on your blog without telling people it came from me.

To put it in layman's terms: don't steal my shit. Don't pretend you wrote something that I wrote. I know computers allow people to copy and paste, but that doesn't it make it right. If you want to copy and paste, at least include a link so someone can come here if they like it and want to see what else I've written. (Let me know if you are going to link to me, because that'd be kind of cool.)

And, if you make money off of my words, giving me credit might not be good enough. When in doubt, just ask. I'm a pretty reasonable person and I know that it doesn't matter if you're a writer if no one reads your stuff. My words and writings are not public domain. It's like what grandma said about that first boyfriend: no one buys the cow when they get the milk for free.

As always, 99.9 percent of the world's problems could be alleviated if people played nice and used a little common courtesy. That's how we roll in these parts.

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