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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Like what you're reading and seeing? Then let's talk, but please don't steal my content

Every now and then I discover that a story we've published or a photo that Terry or I have shot has been copied from my blog or from a website it has legitimately appeared on (i.e. a website we've sold it to) and been used elsewhere. This has been increasingly happening lately. You know who you are. Essentially, copying photos and text without permission is theft, so you are stealing my content and it's illegal. I'm confident my regular readers know this, but for those who don't: copying a photo or text from a blog or website to use on your own blog or site is not okay and you need to learn about copyright. As a full time professional travel writer, I make my living from selling the words and images I create, so essentially by stealing my content you're depriving me of income. There are two other considerations: 1) years ago I started a PhD on the connections between travel and film and their inspirational abilities, and occasionally reflections on those ideas appear on this blog, so when I resume the degree they'll be transferred to that project; 2) Terry and I are writing a book about our 2.5 years (so far) living out of our suitcases and some of these posts and images are likely to appear in that book. Either way, it wouldn't look good to be plagiarizing content that will be published in books. So, if you want to use text or photos that appear on COOL TRAVEL GUIDE, please email or leave a comment so we can first discuss usage and payment. Obviously, fellow bloggers writing about one of my posts and linking to me can certainly use an image to accompany the post, but please don't permanently place the photo on your banner or elsewhere on your blog as one travel site recently did. Thanks for reading!

6 comments:

Wendy said...

Lara,
Do you contact the offenders and if so what have been the results? I've found my photographs and content on a number of sites recently. I am in the midst of a redesign and will be displaying the copyright notice even more prominently. Some people really don't get that they are stealing (with photographs) and need to be educated while others know full well what they are doing. And for all the sites found stealing how many others are undiscovered?

Travel Guy said...

I hope that wasn't referring to me as I have a new blog and gave you full credit in the article. Plus I didn't even use one of your pictures.

laradunston said...

Hi Wendy, I have contacted offenders and in a couple of cases they've removed my content, but it's sometimes hard to make contact when they're just those fake sites that exist purely to bring in the advertising dollars. In one case I'm sending emails to no avail and yet the story is still up there and content is changing each day, so someone is there doing something.

Hi Travel Guy, no I wasn't referring to your blog actually. I haven't seen it, but I'll check it out. I've found a few sites have used my articles in their entirety without permission or paying - with a credit, but regardless they can't publish a whole article without paying for it, I'm afraid. Writing and selling articles is what I do for a living. I don't write them to give them away.

If you've referred to my post or blog and linked to it, that's great though, thanks - I, like all bloggers, appreciate the shout-out.

Christine Gilbert said...

Sounds like you might also have an RSS scrapper. I have had that with my blog, where I get a ping back from some credit-card-4-u.com or something and they have my ENTIRE post on their site. They are just stealing my feed content and publishing it. I don't think there is much to be done to stop them, those sites flitter in and out of existence as they try to make a couple of bucks. I've seen some people hard code their RSS feed to say, IF YOU ARE NOT READING THIS AT MYSITE.COM THIS CONTENT IS STOLEN.

But then all your RSS readers see that too.

Frustrating though! Especially when you work so hard on your content then someone is trying to sell prescription drugs online with it.

Lola said...

Sorry to hear that. Frustrating indeed.

. said...

Hi Lara,

I was wondering if you'd be interested in linking sites. We have a travel blog where we post the answers to travel related queries.

If you are interested, my details are:

URL: http://mytravelguideposts.blogspot.com/

Description: Comprehensive travel posts contributed by a whole range of posters and travel writers. Featuring travel ideas, suggestions and much more.

I hope to hear from you soon,

Regards
Leona