Writing & Blogging: A Quick Note About Sharing Content

*This is NOT today’s regular post and comes to you because of today’s comments*

Sharing Blog Content

None of the content on this site is is “officially” copyrighted (aka registered with the US Copyright Office) on purpose. While I would love to spend the money and time filling out the paperwork to put the official “copyright” symbol, etc. on here, I also want to share this content for free and make it available to anyone who finds it beneficial.

Yes, I am proud of my work. No I don’t want to see other people plagiarizing it or using it out of context or for unethical purposes. At the same time, I’ve read  through al to of information about what an official copyright can and cannot do. You can learn more too at their FAQ page. But here is the main reason why I will not register this site for copyright on its own.

Do I have to register with your office to be protected?

No. In general, registration is voluntary. Copyright exists from the moment the work is created. You will have to register, however, if you wish to bring a lawsuit for infringement of a U.S. work. See Circular 1, Copyright Basics, section “Copyright Registration.”

~from the Copyright in General (FAQ) page on the US Copyright office site

When I think about registering this site for copyright (and I think about it at least 1x a year), I also consider these three personal values:

  • Will going through the copyright process help or hinder my goals to provide free, high-quality content to my guests?
  • How will the stress of worrying about plagiarism and going after plagiarists affect other parts of my life? Especially if I am giving this content away and asking people to share it?
  • In the event that I do start an on-line blog/web site/business that does get registered with the US Copyright office, will I include Untangled Connections then or leave it out? I don’t make money off of this site or use it for any purposes related to meeting financial needs, so how important is protecting my work from plagiarists and copiers?

Finally, worrying about plagiarism and how to combat it sends me to a dark place full of triggers and flashbacks. Personally, I’d rather not go there unless it’s absolutely necessary for healing or recovery.

If you want to share my content, please do. All I ask is that you give credit to my site or my pen name AlterXpressions when you do share it. If you don’t, that’s your choice too. But please don’t do that in such a way that it does get my attention and force me into changing my sharing policy.

Thanks!

Plagiarism – No I don’t approve of or knowingly participate in any acts of Plagiarism

A guest wrote me a comment today asking about my thoughts on plagiarism and ways to protect my work from being copied and pasted all over the Internet without permission. Unfortunately, I lost the comment going through the spam folder and couldn’t respond directly.

Instead, I’m sharing it here in  this impromptu post:

Plagiarism is a serious problem. If I did a search for my own content, I’d probably find sites that have used my work as their own. No, I don’t approve of plagiarism. No I don’t participate in it here or anywhere else. Yes I do believe that paying other people to write for me is a form of plagiarism.

Unfortunately, I don’t know much about preventing plagiarism, fighting back, or stopping it from happening to my work or anyone else’s work short of registering my original work with the Copyright Office and talking to an attorney. However, some of my favorite fiction authors have blogged about and even had to respond to people who plagiarized their work.

Ilona Andrews wrote this post

Courtney Milan (not someone I read, but mentioned in the Ilona Andrews post)

Nora Roberts wrote a few articles (also linked in the Ilona Andrews post)

These writers, whose original content is their livelihood, also offer writing and blogging tips on their site. I often visit them and read their posts for writing tips and other resources. They are generous in sharing their knowledge with their readers.

So there you have it.

*Please remember that my opinions are just that. Opinions. Take what you want and leave the rest.*

Thanks for reading.