Mmmm, Smells Like Plagiarism...Yes it does!

in writing •  last year

MMmm, smells like Plagiarism!.jpg

(image created with Canva)

What is plagiarism? Plain and simple, if you take somebody’s intellectual property, call it your own, and don’t give any kind of credit to the creator of said content you are plagiarising and are a thief. It’s that simple. Even if you take that content, change it around, and slap a pretty sticker over it somewhere, you’re still a fraud. The First Amendment does not give you the right to steal somebody’s intellectual property, even if you’re stupid enough to think you can bamboozle your way into saying you can. The Supreme Court, and most people within a community, would consider you a thief, a fraud, and a liar.

Take the picture on this post. I created it using Canva, which pays artists to produce font styles, pictures, and templates for commercial use. I pay them a monthly fee so that I can use that service. I don’t know how they distribute it from there, but I use a reputable site and give credit to the company that helped me produce that image. It’s not MINE, even though I created the final product, but I can use it because I’ve been granted that privilege by the creators. See the difference?

Freedom of speech covers your rights to state your opinion, it does NOT give you the right to steal intellectual property to use as your own. You can ASK a creator if you can use their work, get their permission, and then use it, but you cannot just take it or use it, and say it is yours. Just as when you are in school and have to write a paper, you can’t just take somebody’s paper and call it yours.

Taking it further, only a certain percentage of that same paper can have quotes in it before many universities will consider it unoriginal and plagiarism. You can only have 10% or LESS of someone elses work, even if you do paraphrase it. Paraphrasing means you’ve used their words but restated the original work. Think of it like taking a picture, covering it with borders, throwing some font over it, and maybe putting a picture you took, right beside of it.

So what is plagiarism? Finding a picture on the internet, pasting it into your post, and not giving credit (or getting permission from) to the artist. It’s taking someone’s words and reposting them as your own. It’s using a quote without giving credit to the writer. It’s taking something that is not your intellectual property and saying IT is, even if you don’t mean to, or saying you didn’t know it was. That is no excuse. If you are going to be a content creator on Steemit then it’s time you learn what is plagiarism, before you get bounced out of the club!

If you aren’t sure what is or isn’t plagiarism, there are these really helpful tools on the internet called plagiarism checkers. There’s tons of them free online. As for images, if you don’t get written permission from the creator or use a site to legally produce such content, then you’re a theif. Canva is free and has many options for producing images for free. There are other places like it but I use it to make my book covers and have found it the simplest to us. Other than that, use that thing you’re using to produce content and do some research. It’s not that hard.

This post was produced in response to the “it’s not plagiarism it’s freedom of speech” brigade found over on @allasyummyfood post about their content being stolen by a supreme jerk. That post can be found here, go and upvote it, they deserve it, not that jerk that stole their content!

https://steemit.com/steemit/@allasyummyfood/plagiarism-on-steemit-stop-it-we-will-flag-and-report-you#@smuggly-sparrow/re-joeyarnoldvn-re-willymac-re-joeyarnoldvn-re-sjennon-re-allasyummyfood-plagiarism-on-steemit-stop-it-we-will-flag-and-report-you-20170623t190949564z

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I agree with all your points but I have a question. I'm a memer on Facebook and other social media sites. I've created around 200-300 memes some spread far, some didn't. But I have a meme bank with over 10,000 memes that I regularly use.

These are pictures that inherrently have almost no attributable rights attached unless someone signs it with some form of their web handle, trademark, or web address.

I'm going to be using memes in my articlea from time to time, but I know I didn't make many of them, and beyond that there is no valid way of attributing credit for that meme unless they signed it.

Do you think that people give up intellectual right of pictures that they share on social media for the explicit purpose of creating a viral quip or comparison?

I have never signed my memes, and so I don't really have any valid way of attributing ownership of even memes I've made to myself.

Thanks for your response if you have time to think about my question.

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I'm not a legal expert on it but I did spend years being told what was and wasn't plagiarism and had to take several classes on it in university.

To your question: I don't think people give up their rights to their intellectual property, even when it's meant to go viral, I think in our present age it just happens.isn't questioned. By this I mean, people just don't understand the legalities of intellectual property and may believe they've given up those rights. Some may not even know intellectual property is a concept. Some may give up those rights without explicitly stating it.

On the other hand, some get very upset about it. When my books are pirated I'm very upset and try to stop it. When my pictures were downloaded and used in other places on Photobucket I was very, very upset about it. I understand intellectual property though. What I didn't understand was it can happen. That doesn't mean I think it should though.

In my opinion, and it is only my opinion, using someone's property without a commercial license, or their consent, is an act of plagiarizing. If you've made memes with your own pictures then they are yours. If you decide to let people use them, that's up to you. In other cases, the creator may say "here's your lawsuit, now pay up." From now on, if you're worried about it, sign your work, it is your intellectual property. Even if you give up your rights to it, it's still a way to promote your work.

If you're worried about future use of other memes, I'd say try to find a way to attribute the meme to at least a website. Steemit is trying to create original quality content, memes are an iffy subject, as far as I'm concerned. We've seen articles being ripped off, photographers having their pictures stolen, and chefs having their hard work stolen by some shady people. THAT has to stop.

My motto has always been, if in doubt, find something else. I hope that helps in some way, I've spent the day making my brain work on author stuff so I may not have answered you as you expected or wanted, but I'm tired. If you have more questions, ask away. :) I do hope I helped somehow, though. :)

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Thanks for your response. Yeah you really cleared up the gray area I was forseeing. From now on I think I will attribute memes i use to a source on facebook, at the very least the person I got the meme from

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Great, I'm glad to have helped out. That sounds like a good idea, cover your own self, and stay aware. It will make life easier in the long run. :)

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Smuggly-Sparrow is totally right of course, but excellent question @envy112.
The truth is, Facebook would collapse and burn without people like you pushing out the memes. It's basically all I enjoy on FB lol
There are however sites with millions of free pics for making your memes you can seek out. Probably even the ones you are using now will be on there.
Keep on meming man! I love em!

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thanks lol. Gotta love meming lol. I can share an article on facebook and get like 50 likes and 10 shares, but memes man, they can be liked thousands of times and shared hundreds of thousands. Its crazy how biased facebook algorithms are towards pictures over the written word.

Especially steemit. Ive noticed facebook algorithms tend to bury steemit posts. I can post an article from any other website on the web and it will get 10x the exposure than a steemit article

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I got to believe the FB algorithms seek and destroy posts about Steemit. They did that back in the day with blocking posts about Tsu and got a bunch of bad press for it. FB eventually reversed its decision!
Good question and I followed.

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Thanks man I returned the favor.

Yeah I honestly believe without a doubt they do. Not only that but if you have a page on facebook, It will tell you how many views you have and try to sell you advertising by boosting the views. But I dont think that the number of views they display is at all accurate. Not only that but they limit your posts if they become too popular without you paying for it on a page. I once had a meme that I shared that got seen by over a million people on facebook, but as I watched it cross 1 million, its popularity massively nosedived to almost no more engagement. That doesnt just happen lol

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Yes I believe that. I try to get my FB people to come over here. I wish they could see how much money they would have over the course of a year here, for doing the same stuff they do there for free!

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Im slowly trying to do the same thing. Best way ive found is to just talk about steem without linking it. Posts without a picture or a link tend to spread really far in your friendlist.

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A well put together meme is worth a thousand words aye.

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The post I made about online friendships went wild on FB, I mean serious sharing and likes occurred. On here, it barely made a blip on the screen. It's crazy, but it is what it is.

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Yeah. I just try to have a media presence on all major platforms. An earlier post I made called "What does Political Correctness Do?" that made here in steemit got a ton of attention on minds.com. too bad many people on there haven't discovered steemit yet

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We'll just have to keep trying. :) Spreading the word.

And you should know. You've had enough of your books stolen.
On here, knowing how little most people are really making, I'd strip them of every cent and reimburse to those that have been victim.

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There's more BS about that today...if you republish your books on Amazon and it appears on one of those download site where they've stolen your work, you have to jump through a hundred hurdles to republish it. Maybe.

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Hanging isn't good enough for em.
I hope steemit doesn't go the way of Amazon too.
Remember to share this on slack on the upvote channel.
Makes it all a bit pointless trying for the crumbs when thieving gits are up there creaming in the top money.

A hot topic! Thanks

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I've been meaning to write a post about it and finally got all steamed up about it today and did haha. Thanks for reading! :)

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You're welcome, following and looking forward to more!

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Awesome and thanks!! I'll follow back.

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Thanks so much!

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