As bloggers we all worry to some degree about other people basically pinching our work and passing it off as their own. With the internet being so hard to police and so massive we couldn’t possibly search constantly to make sure our work is not being passed off as someone else’s elsewhere what can we do?
The true answer is not a lot, without some hugely elaborate program that could search down infringements of our copyright we are very limited in protecting our work.
However, we can at least do a few things to demonstrate that we are aware of the possibility of others trying to pass our work off as their own and that we disapprove of this and ask that we are properly recognised as the true owner of the copyright.
One of these things is the ‘Creative Commons License‘ in the sidebar of my blog you will notice that I have the following statement:
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. If you wish to share my work please attribute it as Copyright (c) Sharon Howard http://showard76.wordpress.com/ Thank You
Accompanied by the logo :
The Creative Commons Licence is a free to use tool that helps you to retain the copyright to your work whilst allowing others to share it so long as they give you credit for it:
There is no registration to use the Creative Commons licenses. Licensing a work is as simple as selecting which of the six licenses best meets your goals, and then marking your work in some way so that others know that you have chosen to release the work under the terms of that license.
All Creative Commons licenses have many important features in common. Every license helps creators — we call them licensors if they use our tools — retain copyright while allowing others to copy, distribute, and make some uses of their work — at least non-commercially. Every Creative Commons license also ensures licensors get the credit for their work they deserve. Every Creative Commons license works around the world and lasts as long as applicable copyright lasts (because they are built on copyright). These common features serve as the baseline, on top of which licensors can choose to grant additional permissions when deciding how they want their work to be used.
(Source: http://creativecommons.org )
Now of course this doesn’t fully protect your work, and to be honest there is little chance of ever having a 100% risk free way of sharing your work without risking plagiarism, but at least you will feel more comfortable that ‘most’ people will respect this and acknowledge the source – you when sharing your work.
You can go one step further and register with http://myfreecopyright.com/ which goes a bit further in utilising the historical ‘poor man’s copyright‘ mechanism of emailing you (rather than posting) a digital imprint of your work to act as a copyright protection. Again this is free to use and you can add the logo to your site to show that you are making a positive effort to protect your copyright.
I hope these things have been helpful to you, there are lots of other similar methods for achieving this same goal if you search google.
Regardless which method you chose to use you still need to bare in mind that sometimes unscrupulous people will still take advantage and plagiarise your work and unless you are Bill Gates you have very little chance of stopping this (I bet even he can’t to be honest!).
The only foolproof way to stop your work being copied is to not publish it anywhere in the first place – but the world would be rather dull if we all did that!
So, go be free, enjoy your writing and blogging and just take this small step to show you respect and value copyright – mark your work as your own and be sure to ALWAYS credit the original authors of any work you use/share!
- The ABC’s of Creative Commons (whiterabbitisme.wordpress.com)
- Data and CC licenses: I’m confused (walt.lishost.org)
- Creative Commons ponders ports and database rights for license update (arstechnica.com)
- The benefits of harnessing Creative Commons-licensed work in your content creation process (us.cision.com)
- How We Think About Creative Commons (commoncraft.com)