Copyright and Plagiarism

 I really shouldn't need to say this, but everything I write here is my intellectual property and cannot be copied and pasted and passed off as someone else's work. Just because I share some of my research online, just because I make it available for you to read, does not mean that it's freely available for anyone to copy into their own work without crediting me. If you want to use my material, great, but you absolutely must cite it in an endnote or footnote. Copying my phrasing word for word or almost exactly word for word, copying entire paragraphs that I wrote and pasting them into your own manuscript, without indicating where you took it from, is completely unacceptable, not to mention illegal. Just because this is a blog and not a book or an academic paper, does not in any way give you the right to copy my work and pretend that you wrote it. Copyright laws do apply to blogs, and even if they didn't, stealing someone else's work and pretending you wrote it is just a really shitty thing to do. If it was only a sentence or two, I'd shrug it off - it's all too easy to take a phrase from someone else's work and forget where it came from, and genuinely think it's your own - but I've seen two published books by well-established authors where entire paragraphs have been lifted from my blog. This cannot possibly have been done by accident. This is theft, and you're opening yourself up to legal action.


Nikki Gibson said...

Well said. I for one thank you for your work. I am a History PHD student and find authors sharing work invaluable for filling in gaps in my knowledge and nudging me in the right direction. I have used some of your research on the Comyns family as I am looking at Edmund of the Kilbride Branch and found your entries on the more famous branches very useful and I have fully referenced my usage of your kind contribution.

Kathryn Warner said...

Thanks so much, Nikki! Best of luck with your research on Edmund!

Melisende said...

So true Kathryn.

Had it done to my own blog many years ago - some of it ended up on the first version of wikipedia!! Ended up pulling website and the contents - though if you look hard enough the bones are still there.

Knew of another case where the entire website of one person ended up in a "dummies" book by another person!

Keep up the good work - we all appreciate your sharing of your research.

~~~ Mel

Kathryn Warner said...

Thank you, Mel! So sorry to hear of your own experience, though. :( I was astonished to see entire paragraphs from my blog copied word for word in two published books. It's as though some people that anything posted online isn't protected by copyright - which of course it is. Using an entire website written by someone else in a book is just...beyond. :o