Recently it was brought to my attention that our website has been plagiarized again. Someone took our ideas and words (verbatim), used it as their own to sell programs similar to ours, and didn’t cite where they got it.
Two days ago I received an email from a friend in Canada regarding a recent plagiarism episode where someone was copying their website in order to sell classes similar to theirs.
I see two parts to this problem. First, with the rise of the instant expert, people see something then immediately want to teach others in order to be an ‘instructor’. It takes a lot of blood, sweat and tears to gain a deep knowledge of any topic. If you want to be taken seriously, put in your time and gain a deep understanding. Then you’ll be ready to put things in your own words and won’t have to copy someone else. When you copy in order to ‘instruct’ but have no depth of knowledge, it shows. Second, many people are intellectually lazy, and won’t take the time to write down their own ideas. So they take from others because they think no one will know. But these episodes almost always make it back to the person you stole from.
To those who steal others work:
In your quest for legitimacy and to look like you’re the real thing, it must be tempting to steal intellectual property from those who have worked hard to create it. I ask you to think long and hard before you do so. Nothing will make you look like more of a chump and a poser than stealing someone else’s ideas and words. This is the exact opposite of the outcome you want. You think that taking from someone else will be a short-cut, but in the long run it will come back to bite you. There are many like me who consider it a big deal, and we don’t forget.
Don’t wish for it, work for it. And definitely don’t steal it.