30 June 2006

Stealing work

A few months ago, I joined an online network for women in business. A young mum on there was busy setting up a website for mums working from home. She works from home herself (unsurprisingly) and asked members for tips about getting the balance right. I responded with a lengthy post offering top 10 tips for homeworking. She mailed me to ask if she could use my post on her website. I agreed, even though it would be unpaid, because I wanted to help her out with some content, and I turned it into a full-blown article.

Earlier this afternoon, I was hunting around for said article on the net. I eventually found the website in question, only to discover the home page is currently inactive. However, a google search showed she had posted my article on another networking website (of which I am not a member). I was quite stunned, as I had offered her free content for her site, but had certainly not given her permission to post it elsewhere. At least I still have a byline on it.

I've e-mailed the website in question to complain and to try and find out how come they had published it. No one has bothered to ask me if it was ok to republish. If they had, I probably would have said yes. But I'm just very pissed off that people seem to think it's ok to just nick other people's hard work and post it anywhere they choose. I await a response with interest...

This is not the first time someone has just reproduced my work without permission. Last month, while tinkering with my MySpace profile, I found a MySpace member in California had "borrowed" an article on glam rock I wrote in late 2004 and posted it on her profile. A message to her ensured it was quickly removed under threat of legal action.

This has left a bad taste in my mouth, just when I was looking forward to an exciting weekend of partying and mayhem.

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