A TO Z CHALLENGE - N FOR NEVER LIE, STEAL OR CHEAT

#AtoZChallenge - 2018 and N for Never Lie, Steal or Cheat
Photo by christian ferrer on Unsplash

MY A-Z CHALLENGE - N FOR NEVER LIE, STEAL OR CHEAT

The next letter of my A to Zen of Life (via the Dalai Lama) is N for Never Lie, Steal or Cheat. This one is a no-brainer as far as I'm concerned. Why would anyone want to lie, steal or cheat? Well, it turns out that not everyone thinks like I do, and they'll use whatever methods they can to get ahead.

BLOGGING

In the blogging world you see people stealing the posts, images, pins, and ideas of other bloggers all the time. I don't even go down the rabbit hole of looking to see what has been stolen from me because it causes so much stress trying to close down people who cheat like this.

The other day another blogger pointed out that a blogger I'd never heard of had taken one of my original pin images and re-directed it to her blog with no acknowledgment of my ownership or copyright (at least my url was still left on the bottom!) When you try get this stopped it turns out to be an exercise in frustration and futililty.

ALWAYS STRIKE A FAIR DEAL

Every blogger I know would be happy to help out a fellow writer. We are more than happy to have our content shared with an acknowledgement of where it came from (we all have copyright disclaimers on our blogs). Yet, there are still the lowlifes out there who would steal someone else's idea and sell it as their own.

I've seen businesses use images from DIY projects and room decor to sell their product - with no acknowledgement of the creative person who put the project together. Who does that? And why would you rip off the person who put in all the effort?

Don't steal, don't cheat, and don't lie. I know you got mountains to climb but. Always stay humble and kind.

GOOGLE IMAGES

The other BIG lesson we all learn as bloggers is - DON'T use Google Images on your blog! None of us want to be caught out or sued for breach of copyright. Do the smart thing and use sites like Pixabay and UnSplash - don't make a lawyer happy by being naive enough to think it won't matter! It's considered stealing and none of us want to be known as thieves.

WHAT ABOUT YOU?

Are you honest? Do you give credit where credit's due? Do you make sure your work is authentic and belongs only to you? Have you had content ripped off by someone less scrupulous and how did it feel?


#AtoZChallenge - 2018 and N for Never Lie, Steal or Cheat


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#AtoZChallenge - 2018 and I'm tackling the A to Zen of Life (via the Dalai Lama)

25 comments

  1. I am a bit of a country bumpkin blogger - taken me a long time to get the hang of typing onto machine as opposed to writing in journal. I am in the process now of attempting to add pics to blog tho not sure how far I will go in that direction. part of me would like to be more sophisicated as you and your blog is but another the larger part probably only has the energy to write . meaning I am or have been largely unaware of the stealing of content - Not at all NIce. what to do? thank you for opening my eyes to reality leanne. It is a great shame that people feel they can steel anothers creative expression and also means that they needed admired envied and thought they couldnt do anything as clever as that. so yes to never lie steel or cheat - amen to that.

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  2. Hari OM
    it's a minefield, isn't it? The one time I came across one of my photos on another blog - having had the watermark trimmed off - a firm but polite email requesting correction was honoured. Like you, though, I just don't have the time or energy to go checking as I have endless images up now. I ensure they are all cut to a size that would be useless commercially, and if they land up on someone's blog I have to shrug and think it a compliment they thought it worth stealing. Am not entirely innocent myself, from early days in blogging, naivete and the availability of Google images did mean some got used; then I learned to trace source and ensure 'free range' OR to give due credit. Hardly ever do that now though, since discovering the various open domain sites - thanks for your two links to add! Mostly though, it is all my own work. My writing certainly is, but again, I have to work on the premise that my requests for honouring of copyright and no social media splurging will be honoured and rest my mind at that. I am, after all, not monetised and as long as no one else is gaining financially from it, I just have to trust. Would always be wary of saying 'that was my idea' when coming across similar things in others' blogs - unless it is clearly plagiaristic. In the ether, as in life, we tend to attract that which appeals to us most and there will always be a similarity. At least in Vedanta (my main theme) the message is a consistent one set by the tradition - there is only so much variation to be had anyway!

    In general life I have carried the burden of being one who calls a spade a spade, because a shovel is an entirely different tool. Not everyone is ready for such blatant honesty and it has dug me a few holes of trouble at times... YAM xx

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  3. I use Pinterest and use images on my blog. If people share these images it seems to me they become part of the public domain. I still give credit if it is an artist or something like that, but a scene in a garden, probably not other than to say images from Pinterest. This post will lead to my checking further on this practice. THANK YOU. I am finding your blog for the first time while participating in the #Challenge. If you have time or interest, I am writing about BOOKSTORES for my theme. I'll be back for more of your tips.

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    1. Every image on Pinterest and Google is owned by someone Stepheny - if you use it and they choose to take you to court for copyright infringement then you're at risk of being sued for a lot of money. Stick with the sites that give permission from the owner for you to use their image. I've removed any image I ever thought was okay to use on my blog and only use copyright free images now - better safe than sorry!

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  4. Leanne I'm really paranoid about making sure I don't steal images etc. theft of images and other people's work is huge in genealogy. It's a really big problem. I've had to warn off a couple of people but it's hard for a little blogger to do much about it

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  5. Hi, Leanne - You've shared great advice here. Especially about Google Images. As tempting as it may seem to use an image that you've Googled, the downsides of this is becoming greater and greater. As you say, sites like Unsplash are free and easy to use. I generally use may own images. Although they are far from perfect, I never need to worry about copyright!

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  6. I have really appreciated the encouragement and sharing from more experienced bloggers (like you Leanne!) in getting my blog up and running, as well as the really helpful tips for making sure I don't breach copyright in doing so. I had an experience a number of years ago, in another blogging life, where I posted some thoughts and tips about stepfamily life, and linked my post up on another blog, then found that my ideas had been used a week or so later by a much more experienced blogger with a much larger following (as compared to my fledgling blog with almost zero exposure at the time). When I contacted her privately, she ignored my very polite request to acknowledge the source of the ideas. I had to let it go, she had the power and the following, I had none! It would have looked churlish to insist that the thoughts were originally mine. I had to accept that there are some things over which we have no control!!

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  7. It is so difficult when starting out with a blog Leanne to know the pitfalls and Google is a big one. I don't think anyone has used anything of mine but I suppose you could take it as a compliment that they used yours. Branding with your website or logo is important because at least people can see where it came from.

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  8. Excellent post, thanks. I am a relatively new blogger and it's taken me a while to get my head round online etiquette and copyright. I am sure I have made a few mistakes along with way. Unsplash and Pixabay are my two favourite sites and a recent discovery for me was Getty Images - you can (legally) embed celebrity images. It's FAB. Thanks for this. Jill at Midlife Smarts

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  9. Quite an important lesson Leanne. I heard though Google images can be used with credits. https://akswrites.com/2018/04/16/not-the-perfect-wedding-atozchallenge-blogchattera2z/

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  10. Great advice about using images on one's blog. I try to use photographs that I've taken. If I can't do that or need a specific image, I give credit to the blog or source I found it from. I figure a link to the other site drives traffic to them which is always a good thing.

    Ann
    https://harvestmoonbyhand.blogspot.com/2018/04/hobbies-that-begin-with-n-blogging-from.html

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  11. Good advice. Pixabay is a great site for finding images to use although overall I generally just stick to my own so I don't have to worry about it. I also use citations at the bottom of my blog when needed. I'm with you - this one is a no-brainer. Weekends In Maine

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  12. I've gotten a lot better about this. Most of us did it out of ignorance in the beginning I think. I'm still a little murky about the images I'm using for my challenge--I'm using the image of the podcast I'm reviewing, which I'm pretty sure is OK, since it's all about them and I link back to them lots of times, and cite them at the bottom.
    Melanie's Stories

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  13. A very worthwhile post, Leanne. With my background in publishing, I'm very aware and concerned about copyright. I've spent thousands over the years on photographs from stock sites where you needed an expensive subscription to use their work. I'm grateful that sites like Pixabay and Unsplash have pretty much removed the need to do that anymore, although I still went and bought images from Dreamtime for a post I did about Dr. Seuss some months ago. If I use cartoons, I buy them. It can get pricey, but it's important to honour another's artistic creations.

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  14. Leanne I had no idea that the different images on Pinterest had copywrites I was like what someone else said thought once they were on pinterest they could be used unless they were personal pictures. I mostly use sayings and that sort of thing and never take off who wrote it. Blogging is sure a learning experience, thank you.

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  15. As an artist I have debated the copyright issue over and over again. I only use my own images in my own blog and go to great lengths to give attributions for information given etc. Many people who have used my images have done so in innocence so I see it as a (polite) education opportunity.

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  16. As a designer I have seen how people in my trade don't rhink twice about portraying someone else's work as theirs, just in order to get that client S account. it's quite sickening. But as you rightly said, there is no point in fighting over it as it only leads to a lot of stress. In India our copyright laws are pockmarked with loopholes- actually our entire legal system is. So there is no point in fighting over it.

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  17. One solution I use is to simply ask for permission. If I want to reference something, do a roundup style post or use another site's image, I email them asking permission. Then give them credit in the post with their site name and a link. The 'OK' remains in my files with the post for later reference. Most have been happy for me to link to them. Some bloggers even have a picture use policy on their site - use one pic with credit, etc.
    Golden rule for me - I don't want someone to take my pics, so I respect others... (thanks, momma)
    Kimberly
    Passing Down the Love

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  18. I agree with the comments about pictures. I was told this early on and love sites like Pixabay. (Unsplash is new to me... will check it out - thanks!). I will use my own pictures or something from there.

    Topics and words however is tougher. How often do I have a post half created and someone posts on the same topic? I have come to the conclusion that there really are no new ideas, just new ways to think about them. So my point of view will be a bit different. And if I am inspired by someone's post, I try and highlight that (a new skill I just learned this year!)

    In my work life I actually taught people to "steal and reapply" and to then give credit where credit was due. It was flattering to the person and actually helped them show their idea was bigger than they thought. And it prevented my folks from re-inventing the wheel (and it taking longer and not being any better). A win-win.

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  19. It's not just bloggers, Leanne. I once had a Christian devotion that I'd had published by a well-known Christian publisher. They had posted it on their website as well. Some person from an occult site printed it - with my name attached. (For once, I'd have been happy if they'd left it unsigned!) The publisher eventually got them to take it down, but a few weeks later another of mine appeared on the site. It seemed they enjoyed my posts! I gave up checking as it wasn't worth the stress.

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  20. I love this post. I am a big fan of unsplash. When I went to GoDaddy, along with hosting I get access to great pictures with no attribution required. It makes fore a cleaner looking site, although the images are often not as fitting as I would like. It's a lazy way of using images legally and fairly. Give credit where credit is due. :)

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  21. Good points! I know finding images can be difficult but you can't take credit for someone else's hard work. I have clicked on several pins recently because of the image only to find out the image wasn't from the linked website and sometimes not even part of a post! So its also misleading to the reader.

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  22. I used to contact people to ask for permission to use their pictures and giving them credit of course. I had a return rate of zero percent. So if I can't take the desired photos myself, I purchase from https://www.123rf.com

    There's a lot of monkey business going on on the internet, and it's hard to protect your intellectual property, and frankly, I'm too lazy to watermark all my pictures - also knowing that it can and will be removed, so I go by "people will do what people will do - everybody has to decide for themselves if they can look at themselves in the mirror."

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  23. Karma. It always comes back around. Good post.

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  24. Such good advice Leanne, I'm a bit paranoid when it comes to this sort of thing so tend to stick with my own images. I actually put some of my photos on Unsplash but they haven't been used to date, that I know of! It's all such a learning curve isn't it, which is why I love it, as it stretches my creative brain :)

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