Rick Strahl is one of my favorite bloggers. Recently he discovered that some moron was stealing all his articles and placing them under own name on another blog. Unfortunately, this is nothing new and I’ve seen it happen to talented designers such as Dave Shea on several occasions.
Since the web is all about openness, the issue could be more complicated that I make it sound. Someone might argue, “if you don’t want it copied, don’t put it on the web at all” or “think of it as flattery”. I find both these explanations flawed.
Yes, most material on the web can be copied and modified by anyone with half a brain. But does the possibility justify the action? I think not.
And flattery? I wouldn’t find it at all flattering if someone grabbed my stuff and took credit by placing their own name under it.
On occasion I’ve been asked by other people if they could use my material. For instance, one of my photographs was used in a travel guide for Rome. The author asked very politely for permission and got it.
But I guess most people never even consider asking for permission. There are even sites such as Facebook which clearly states that we lose copyright over all material we upload to the site. So much for intellectual property.
If you ever wonder whether anyone has copied your material, there is a tool available at Copyscape for scanning the web.