You Took The Words Right Out of My Mouth
Photo Credit: Alison Tedford (because I don’t steal other people’s art)

“You took the words right out of my mouth” is normally a pleasantry between people so familiar that they finish each other’s sentences effortlessly. That familiarity can be comforting and means that all the times you spoke before, you were heard. In the writing world, there is a darker side, and we call it plagiarism.

I’ve seen my work appear on other websites, uncredited. These were my thoughts, claimed and used for page views by someone who did not take the time to compose them. They did not agonize over sentence structure. They did not mull over how best to present their deepest thoughts and most earnest feelings. That is my process, I did those things. I feel a bit like the Little Red Hen, going to the trouble of baking bread now everybody wants some. Where were you when I was sourcing images that adequately conveyed my feelings on a subject? Where were you when I was up till three am writing it all down so someone else doesn’t have to feel alone? That’s why I write and it’s disgusting to claim someone else’s experience as your own.

They weren’t there. They just copied and pasted and saved themselves the trouble of having endured what I have. It’s like in Princess Bride when Prince Humperdinck says “Skip to the end!”I didn’t get the opportunity to skip through the messy bits that gave me the insight to write the things I do. I had to live through it. For me, plagiarism is minimizing. It invalidates where I have been and the process it takes to get here and now and claiming those lessons as their own. No. Just no. When I publish, I share with readers the things that I have learned. That does not give license for my words, used to describe intimate parts of my soul, to be appropriated for someone else’s financial benefit. It’s like ripping out the pages of someone’s diary and using it to decorate your business.

When you steal art from a gallery, an alarm goes off, but usually what is stolen has been insured. I have yet to find a policy that protects the pieces of my soul from being lifted. I can’t affix a dye pack to my feelings. It’s not just an emotional offence, but also a financial transgression. In the blogging world, page views are what makes a publication attractive for sponsored campaigns and advertisers.

When you take work without credit, you remove the ability for the reader to find similar work I’ve authored. You have taken away page views that could have made me some money. You’ve taken food from my kid’s mouth. That’s what happens when you rip off a mommy blogger. You’re stealing from a small business and more offensively, reselling my own content on the front lawn.

Plagiarism hurts. It hurts bloggers. It damages reputations. The next time someone wants to take the words right out of my mouth – DON’T. We aren’t that familiar if you don’t know how gross that is.

Plagiarism: You Took The Words Right Out Of My Mouth

16 Comments

  1. Plagarism does sting a bit – but think of it this way – you have arrived! If people are stealing your work – which unfortunately happens – then at least you know it’s good.
    Trying to be positive here – I get your drift totally though!

  2. Yes! I have been shocked to see someone else had yanked one of my personal photos – very personal, it was my big pregnant belly – from my blog and slapped it on their post without even so much as a “I took this from The Big To-Do List”. You know, I’m a sharing, giving, let’s-spread-the-love type of person, but when you go ahead and take what is mine without asking and crediting me, it cuts me. It cuts me deep

    Thanks for posting this! Plagiarism sucks!

  3. I’m so sorry you’re going through this!!! You’re right, plagiarism just hurts everyone involved. You’d think anyone who’s gone through university would have sat through enough lectures about it, but unfortunately, some people are just so lazy they keep doing it. And most of the time, they don’t get caught. 🙁 As a writer, I’m a huge supporter of copyright and anti-piracy and laws that protect creative people and their work. Thanks for sharing your pain… I hope it makes someone think twice about plagiarizing (and STOP doing it!).

  4. Plagiarism – the lazy way to produce content. It irks me so much. We all need to stand up and tell these thieves exactly where to go.

  5. That’s when you send them a good ol’ cease and desist letter. As eloquently or as plainly written as you prefer. Tell them to take it down and not do that again. Your work is your intellectual property, not theirs. Stealing is wrong.

  6. Ugh what a violation to have someone steal your heart and soul work. It’s a vulnerable thing to write for the whole online world to see and theft of that is disgraceful.

  7. I know what you mean. I spent some time doing a holiday DIY craft last year for Santa Sacks. They even had my appropriate holiday name on them.

    Some lady ripped off the patterns and was selling it on a homemade site using my blogged picture. Wow. Just wow.

  8. You are an incredible, articulate advocate for not only yourself but also for bloggers and writers everywhere. I have been impressed for quite some time now. Thank you for taking the issue at hand and presenting it in a meaningful way.

    • alliespins Reply

      Thank you so much! I appreciate your words. So sweet – and much needed 🙂

  9. That really sucks that someone took your words and is using it as their own. I wish their was a way bloggers could be protected from things like this. I hope you are able to fight it. Thanks for sharing this and getting the message out there that plagiarism is wrong on so many levels.

  10. EXCELLENT POST! It is so sad and hurtful what’s going on right now with all this plagiarism. I couldn’t even imagine stealing someone’s work and not giving credit. Well done.

  11. I have addressed every instance of plagiarism when I find it. I will contact the blog owner and request either removal or credit for the information. When that has failed, I have gone to the site HOST and shared my outreach attempts. In one instance, I had a site shut down. They stole knowing the information was not theirs to steal. Make Them Pay.

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