what to do if your writing has been plagiarised

@winterose (39918)
Canada
July 9, 2009 12:39am CST
my good friend had a bad experience lately where her work was stolen and someone else claimed it as her own. My friend is a professional writer like myself, the difference is she happens to be married to a lawyer. she tried to contact the website where she found her work but there was no way of doing that, so she found out how to find a website that is unfindable and how to file a complaint about copywrite violations, that whole website was taken down in a few weeks. here is the url for information purposes, nobody is selling anything or making you a referral for anything, http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/1892014/taking_down_a_plagiarist_pg2.html?cat=3#comments to make this work into a discussion have you ever found your work was plagiarized, and if you did how did you deal with it?
8 people like this
19 responses
@scheng1 (24795)
• Singapore
9 Jul 09
Happened to me once. The worst was that AC accused me of plagierising, when I was the victim. That time a few AC writers including Fabletoo also suffered the same thing. We made a lot of noise in the forum in AC. I hope AC can do due diligence, and not accuse writers this way.
4 people like this
• Spain
9 Jul 09
I can do better than that. Helium accused me of plagiarising my own article! I adapted an article from my website to a Helium title, which we are allowed to do, as Helium does not ask for original content and there was no upfront payment involved. Next thing I know, I'm threatened with having my account deleted for plagiarism! It took several emails to get an admission of their mistake and an apology. Thing is, the website is mentioned on my Helium profile, so it only needed a bit of joined up thinking from admin to avoid the problem in the first place. I was all set to leave Helium, but I calmed down and realised I'd be cutting my nose off to spite my face, as I enjoy my time on there and make a respectable residual income from my articles.
3 people like this
@scheng1 (24795)
• Singapore
9 Jul 09
haha Sandra, that is really very funny! Do you use the same user name in both places? Since you have adapted the article, I dont see how there is plagierism involved. Once during the study of tort law, we discussed about trademarks, patents, and copyrights law. It was a very interesting discussion. My lecturer, a practicing lawyer, mentioned that once you had sufficiently rewrote the article, and able to convince the court that you had put in sufficient effort, there was no plagierism. Copyright laws protect the words, not the ideas. Even if I rewrote the novel by any famous writer, from third person POV to first person POV, I did not commit plagierism.
3 people like this
@winterose (39918)
• Canada
9 Jul 09
really, that is interesting I thought you could not do that with a book, but I do know you can rewrite an article though, thanks sheng, what a story sandra, it is something isn\t it.
2 people like this
@mtdewgurl74 (18118)
• United States
10 Jul 09
I don't think that anything I have written has ever been plagiarized. But I wouldn't know how to go about it if it had happened. I am sorry to hear that this happened to your friend and glad she was able to do something about it.
2 people like this
@winterose (39918)
• Canada
10 Jul 09
she shows the way to get a site taken down or to protect yourself from copyright violations in the link I gave
1 person likes this
@mtdewgurl74 (18118)
• United States
11 Jul 09
I tried the link before but it said error..so I wasn't able to view it at the time of responding.
1 person likes this
@byfaithonly (10716)
• United States
11 Jul 09
Thank you so much for this information, I read the article and bookmarked it so I can go back - I have a similar situation except they have included my work in an e-book they are actually selling :( tried contacting the site but no response at all. I also had the reverse happen though - a lady contacted me stating she was 'flattered' that I used her work on my web site but would I please give her credit for the 'poem'... Now, I am not a poet but did write one poem, in the middle of the night one night, 2 weeks later I read the poem at Easter Morning church service in front of over 1000 people, service was also broadcast on the radio, and had audio tape as well... My first response I 'acted stupid' and asked when she wrote 'the poem' the 'time' she stated was 2 years after I had read the poem at church... I emailed her back with all the 'proof' that the work could not have been her's - never heard from her again....
2 people like this
@winterose (39918)
• Canada
11 Jul 09
good for you, I hope she is not using it, have you looked to see if it is on the net
@ShellyB (5244)
• United States
9 Jul 09
Not to my knowledge. It seems worth while for professional writers to look for their work in a search engine and see what comes up. I wonder what kind of excuse did they give and why did they do it.
2 people like this
@winterose (39918)
• Canada
9 Jul 09
as far as I know they didn't give an excuse or say anything just took it down.
1 person likes this
@ShellyB (5244)
• United States
9 Jul 09
That's too bad and well I do not see any pride in stealing someone's else's work. I hope they learned their lesson.
@cynthiann (18619)
• Jamaica
10 Jul 09
I think that you have done an incredible service to Mylotters who write winterose and I thnak you. (even though I am no longer writing at present - haven;t done anything for years) I have copied this info and will keep it safe because maybe it wil help one of my friends one day. Many blessings dear friend. How is your mother doing?
2 people like this
@winterose (39918)
• Canada
11 Jul 09
thanks hon
@K46620 (1996)
• United States
10 Jul 09
Thankfully I have not really found my work plagiarized, except for a paragraph or two on Ciao, but that was removed.
2 people like this
@winterose (39918)
• Canada
11 Jul 09
excellent
@Citychic (4078)
• United States
10 Jul 09
Plagiarism work....... Hello my friend winterose. I would think that it would be rather difficult to prove that a person's writing has be plagiarized. If you really think about it, as human beings, we are not as different as we'd like to believe. What's to stop a person from taking a certain piece of work, changing a few lines in it and then saying it's their own? I can just imagine how nasty that could become in a court of law, not to mention that one would have to take time out from their work to go to court. They would have to pay court cost and they might even loose the case. I'm not here to discourage anyone, I just don't believe that it would really be worth anybody's time, trying to drag them into court. Not unless the person had a lot of money. That might just bring up other issues entirely. Well I wrote a piece the other night and I"m just hoping and praying that nobody decides to plagiarize it. So far the only thing that I know of to stop that kind of action is that you must date your work, sign it. Then mail a copy of it to yourself. And be sure to not to open it when it comes to you. That is the only legal way I know of as far as trying to safeguard it against something like that from happening. Happy mylot!
2 people like this
@winterose (39918)
• Canada
11 Jul 09
it is not that difficult, and she shows you how, when you have a filed your copyright material that is your proof, there are forms you fill out extra, basically all a writer wants on the internet is to have credit for the work they did, if someone else claims the work they either have to retract the article or give the real writer their dues.
• United States
10 Jul 09
Never had the experience myself but if I did I would consult a legal expert for their opinion and advice but be sure you have done your homework first and feel confident that it is indeed plagiarized.
2 people like this
@winterose (39918)
• Canada
10 Jul 09
she shows the way to get a site taken down or to protect yourself from copyright violations in the link I gave
1 person likes this
@gtargirl (5385)
• United States
9 Jul 09
Uw, what a pain that must have been. Plagiarism is on the rise, I guess. To the best of my knowledge none of my work has been plagiarized. Maybe I should check into it though.
2 people like this
@winterose (39918)
• Canada
10 Jul 09
yes if it is you will know how to protect yourself by her article
1 person likes this
@stephcjh (32327)
• United States
9 Jul 09
That is terrible. I have never had anything like this happen to me before but I have heard that it does happen to alot of people. I hope she can get her work back legally since her husband is a lawyer.
2 people like this
@winterose (39918)
• Canada
9 Jul 09
it was explained in the link what she did, the site was taken down.
2 people like this
@celticeagle (118535)
• Boise, Idaho
11 Jul 09
WOW! This is very valuable information. Thank you so much.I am sorry she had a bad experience but am glad it was taken care of. And, I am glad to hear that things are being sucessful in this area. I hate to think of plagiarisers being sucessful. Thanks for the information.
1 person likes this
@winterose (39918)
• Canada
11 Jul 09
You are welcome hon
• Philippines
11 Jul 09
Hello, winterose. I just found out lately that four of my articles which I submitted to a writing site as samples of my writing ability were published in four different webistes. Those articles weren't paid and I wasn't even notified that those were published. I only learned they were sold to clients and published when I was about to place them in article markets. I feel so frustrated about it and I emailed the owners of the writing site. Until now I have not received a response from them. I am thinking of writing to the site where the articles have been published and let them know that I hold the copyright to the articles. I understand how your friend must have felt when she found out her work was plagiarized.
@celticeagle (118535)
• Boise, Idaho
12 Jul 09
Boy, I am really thankful for you bringing this to our attention. I would not have thought that much of these type of things if it hadn't been for you bringing it up. Thanks again.
@mommaj (22779)
• United States
16 Jul 09
Thanks for sharing this information. I know alot of ACers are having this problem. Hopefully, the fact that contributors are aware of this will slow it down. I read your friends work. Thanks for sharing her writings.
1 person likes this
@winterose (39918)
• Canada
16 Jul 09
you are welcome my friend
@KrauseHome (35277)
• United States
14 Jul 09
This is quite interesting, and Thanks for sharing it. I know that plagerism does happen especially when we expose ourselves here to the Internet. I know that I have had discussions even here copied as their own here and had others who caught it even and reported them. So it happens, but Glad to hear that there is a solution for this as well.
1 person likes this
@winterose (39918)
• Canada
14 Jul 09
why somebody would want to copy a discussion here is beyond me.
@Canellita (12058)
• United States
11 Jul 09
Anything Art recently experienced something like this on AC. I wonder if she knows about this information...
1 person likes this
@winterose (39918)
• Canada
11 Jul 09
I don't know hon but do send her the link though
• United States
9 Jul 09
I never have. I do have one work published, and my PC has a thing in the contract that say's that if they ever did find that my work was plagarized that they will take that person to court and I will get some of the money if they do sue said plagarizer. So that's cool. I write in the fanfiction world as well, and plagarism is that unwritten rule that you never ever do. However, someone did find that their story was plagarized, plot, words, sentences. Some of the words were changed, obviously someone very young. I told them to make a complaint to the website. It is all about who wrote the words first after all. I think that people who plagarize aren't writer's at all, they are lazy bums and should be slapped!
1 person likes this
@winterose (39918)
• Canada
10 Jul 09
I agree they are thieves taking credit for other people's work.
@cher913 (25890)
• Canada
9 Jul 09
well, on the internet i dont know that there is a lot you can do unless you copyright it depending on what country you live in and what the laws of your land are. the internet is like (to me anyways) the middle of the ocean - no country is the governing body of it.
1 person likes this
@winterose (39918)
• Canada
10 Jul 09
she shows the way to get a site taken down or to protect yourself from copyright violations in the link I gave
@worldwise1 (14887)
• United States
9 Jul 09
To my knowledge, winterose, none of my work has ever been plagarized, but I can imagine how anyone must feel when it happens to them. It goes without saying that our thoughts are our own, and when we put them down for the benefit of those who are interested in them we should be the one to profit from them if a profit is derived. I learned a long time ago that there are cheaters in most every aspect of life, and it is not surprising that there are those who are not above reaping the benefits of another person's labor if they think they can get away with it. Your post reminded me of a high-profile case that happened recently when a well-known writer of fiction was found to have used plagiarism in some of her work. I don't understand why anyone would risk their reputation in this way.
1 person likes this
@winterose (39918)
• Canada
10 Jul 09
she shows the way to get a site taken down or to protect yourself from copyright violations in the link I gave.
@tammytwo (4304)
• United States
9 Jul 09
I found one of my reviews copied on a website. I emailed the site but never got any results. Other than that I haven't found anything of mine copied. I'm glad this woman was able to get something done about her situation. I guess when we put things on the internet we have to be really careful because there is always someone else out there looking to make a quick buck.
1 person likes this
@winterose (39918)
• Canada
10 Jul 09
she shows the way to take action, that is why I put up the link
@GardenGerty (100309)
• United States
9 Jul 09
I have not found my work plagiarized, but I am glad that she took action about it. It is not a victimless crime or an untraceable crime.
1 person likes this
@winterose (39918)
• Canada
10 Jul 09
she shows the way people can take action that is why the link is so important