Intellectual Property

By | May 14, 2019
Stealing someones written word and presenting it as your own is theft of intellectual property

Definition of Intellectual Property

Overview

“In general terms, intellectual property is any product of the human intellect that the law protects from unauthorized use by others.  The ownership of intellectual property inherently creates a limited monopoly in the protected property. “

From the Cornell Law School Legal Information Institute

Writing is Work

I love books. When I have a free moment, you will find me with my nose in an actual book or staring at the screen of my Kindle while I devour words. From my love of books, I have developed a deep love and respect for those who write, whether they be a published author or blogger.

I see the work that Kayla Lords does day after day as she sits at her computer typing out words. It was through her words that we met 6ish years ago when I found her blog and began reading through it.

Since that time I have come to know a number of other writers and bloggers alike and many I now call friends. I have traveled to London with Kayla and met many writers. I’ve met a few here where we live and spent a wonderful weekend surrounded by them and their energy.

Writers work hard, and they have a passion for what they do. I for one am very grateful for it. I see first hand the time spent to put word to paper or screen. The anxiety of every writer “Will they like my work?”, how an idea for a new story or article pops into their mind in the middle of the night and they can’t go back to sleep till they write it down so they won’t forget it.

Writers have passion for what they do

When an idea strikes Kayla and she begins talking about it I see the excitement, the bright sparkle in her eyes. Her voice fills with emotion as she outlines what she is doing and how the words translate to paper.

What I love about writers is that they transport me to their world. They teach me things I didn’t know about. They give me different views and different perspectives. Or depending on what I’m reading, they fill me with excitement and in some cases turn me on with the picture of words they paint the canvas with.

Being able to craft words is a talent that requires love and passion.

Taking someones work is theft

When Kayla is on a deadline for a piece she’s writing, she sometimes works late nights to get it done. When an idea comes to her for her blog and she is alive with the fire of those thoughts and words, she has worked many a late night giving those words life. Just as many other authors have. She and I have sacrificed personal time together on many occasions so she can write.

When someone takes those words and presents them as their own it is theft. You have stolen their passion, their love, their emotions, their ideas.

It is clearly stated on Kayla’s website that her work is copyrighted as the author of that blog. Technically, she doesn’t have to say that for it to be true.

There are quite a few bloggers out there in this amazing digital world. Some of them work together. Many of them support other new bloggers coming into the world of the written word.

Many more of them even write on similar topics but in their own way each one is unique. The topic may be the same but each perspective is different. Each person brings something new and fresh to it through their own eyes and thoughts.

Give credit where it is due

I myself have come across other writing that has pinged with me and spoke to me in a way that I wish to share it.

Always I ask the writers permission first and make sure it is alright with them that I share the work they produced. All that I have approached have been more then happy to let me do so.

There is a proper way to share another work from a blog. I usually copy the first paragraph, maybe two followed by the words “Continue reading here” with those words are linked back to the content creators web page. I’m make it clear these aren’t my words. I add my own perspective by talking about why I liked it or what it meant to me. But it’s the link that really matters for a blogger.

This brings not only traffic to that writers site but also people who may become regular readers of that persons words. Linking to the original creator isn’t just a “nice” thing to do. It’s the moral and ethical thing to do. They did the work, so they should get the opportunity for people to read their work where it was published, and they should benefit from any potential clicks through to their website.

Being a community leader

Being a leader carries a great deal of responsibility, especially when you put the label of Dominant on your shoulders. Part of that responsibility is giving credit where it is due and being honest with people.

Kayla writes on several blogs and the both of us speak to people through our podcast and videos. One of the things we often tell people is that what we say and the way we live our D/s is not the one true way. Seek out others and learn form them as well. Again different voices, different perceptions, different way of doing the same thing.

How can a person that puts themselves in a role of leader be considered so when they have stole not from just one but several people and presented these as their own? Each and every person that follows them is being deceived and lied to. That goes against what the D/s community is about.

Because yes, that’s what has happened in at least one example we know of. Someone who calls themselves a Dominant decided to build their following and audience on the back of other writers work — without permission, without credit, without ethics. They stole these writers work and passed it off as their own. Does that sound like a leader?

The bottom line of all this?

Writers deserve credit for the work they do. They pour their heart, soul blood, and sweat into each word they write. Don’t steal from them. Give them the well deserved credit due for what they bring into the world for us to enjoy and learn from.

13 thoughts on “Intellectual Property

  1. Cinn

    As a writer myself, I completely agree.
    I have had people steal my words… And even my name.

    It’s a very personal theft.

    Reply
  2. Li

    Well said, John. I’m sorry this happened to you :/ Maybe you should be explicit about the thief and put him in a mess, somehow ?

    Reply
  3. Mrs Fever

    Amen.

    My words may be free to read but that doesn’t mean it’s okay to steal them.

    I have “don’t steal my stuff” in print in several places on my blog. Someone once commented that they thought it was overkill, that it was bothersome to see it over and over.

    I was like, “Wait til someone steals YOUR stuff. You’ll put up alarms all over the place too.”

    *eyeroll*

    A n y w a y

    For general sharing/info/education, to do with as you see fit:

    Upon legal advice, I have copyright language visible on every post (it’s in my post footer), on my main/home page (in the side bar), as well as on my “Welcome to the blog” permanently-pinned post and a PAGE dedicated to the concept. (2 places was the minimal recommendation, 3 is considered best practice.)

    I used to have Creative Commons language on my blog, but changed it when I became self-hosted (because, logic).

    Reply
    1. John Brownstone Post author

      Kayla does have copyright notices on her pages as well. As this person had taken numerous writings for others and what I noticed is they were posts writing going back several years. My guess is they hoped that being older it would go by unnoticed.

      Reply
  4. Selina

    I am so sorry that you guys have had this happen to you and that’s not cool at all! I don’t think that anyone has ever stolen anything that I have written but I have re-blogged things written by others and always made a point of linking to the blog its self as well as the actual post and then WHY/WHAT it was about it that moved me. I’ve even done the same with podcasts but I am embarrassed to admit that I have never reached out to the actually blogger to ask permission to do so before hand.

    Why it never occurred to me I’m not sure but going forward I need to do better. Thank you for putting it out there so eloquently.

    Reply
    1. John Brownstone Post author

      So many people believe because something is on the Internet is is free to take and use. In most cases as long as there is a link back people are fine with that but to pass someone else’s work of as your own is wrong on many levels.

      Reply
  5. missy

    This must be so frustrating for you and for Kayla and it makes me mad. I write in the hope that someone will like what I have to say, and more importantly, find it useful. That someone would steal it is insulting and upsetting. Hopefully others can see the true leaders amongst us and will realise that this person is a thief and a fraud. This is a brilliant post which makes so many great points so thank you 😊

    Reply
    1. John Brownstone Post author

      It is very frustrating, what upset me most is the person who took her writing was showing themselves to be a community leader. There were several other writings he stole from various people as well.

      Reply
  6. little scarlet

    I know this feeling all too well! While I understand being inspired by someone, to steal their words and in my case even their persona is too damn much. It’s not only lazy and dishonest, It’s theft of the deepest kind. It’s kept me away from WordPress. I’ve wanted to come back but I guess that bad taste hasn’t completely left my mouth. Of corse most of the copy cats are gone after I stopped giving them material. Or maybe they just found someone else to feed off of. I sincerely hope not.

    Reply
    1. John Brownstone Post author

      I am so sorry that happened to you, I had wondered why you stopped writing. Having something like that happen to that extreme would leave a bad taste in my mouth as well. I have to do periodic searches online and have found numerous people using our LovingBDSM logo in a number of ways we never authorized. It’s sad people have to do things like that.

      Reply
  7. monniegal

    It makes me so mad when this happens especially when people like you and Kayla Lords are so giving of your advice and experiences. I’m new to the lifestyle and been binge listening to your podcasts (thanks so much). When someone rips you off it’s criminal.

    It’s unfortunately not just confined to the internet either. I wrote plays in a previous life mainly for amateur theatre companies and found that someone had got hold of one of my scripts and performed it in another state without my permission. Had they just done the courtesy of asking first, I would have been more than happy for them to present my show royalty free. Sometimes things take months to write and it’s so disappointing when people think they can just get away with stealing your work.

    Reply
    1. John Brownstone Post author

      So sorry this happened to you as well. It seems to be a thing that happens way to much.

      The same as with you, if they had just asked we would have been more then happy to let them post the article. Thankfully we did receive an apology and they linked back to the original source.

      Thank you for being a listener and glad you are enjoying the podcast.

      Reply

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