is Article/Content Re-writing unethical/illegal ?

69 replies
Hi,

I'd like to know your views on the legitimacy/authenticity of Content or Article Re-writing for one's own sites or for other people (being paid)?

Any past case studies will be highly appreciated.
#article or content #rewriting #unethical or illegal
  • Profile picture of the author alkantenik
    Speaking is illegal?
    Writing is illegal?
    Did you know them at the age of 1?
    You can get some ideas from other articles. If you do not copy and paste them, no problem.
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    • Profile picture of the author xatsmann
      I think its up to you, as far as I know there is nothing wrong with rewriting an article.

      I think most people would agree that quoting an article verbatim, without giving credit, is wrong, but rewriting is fair game. I think you're more likely to be sucessful in terms of not getting flagged for reusing someone's material if you rewrite it in your own words.

      The only first hand experience I have is an academics where you are suppose to give credit in your footnotes and bibliography of all the sources you used in composing your work.
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      • Profile picture of the author Chris Grable
        Be careful... There is a big difference between "rewriting" and "rewording".... If you rewrite the article... using the original for inspiration but with your own "spin"... you will be fine.

        If you simply change some words (even all of them) without changing the structure/order of the article... you'll be guilty of plagiarism.
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        • Profile picture of the author rickdearr
          Originally Posted by Chris Grable View Post

          Be careful... There is a big difference between "rewriting" and "rewording".... If you rewrite the article... using the original for inspiration but with your own "spin"... you will be fine.

          If you simply change some words (even all of them) without changing the structure/order of the article... you'll be guilty of plagiarism.
          I'd have to go along with Chris on this one, get inspired, don't try and go all black hat on us.... LOL
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    • Profile picture of the author createyouwealth
      Originally Posted by alkantenik View Post

      Speaking is illegal?
      Writing is illegal?
      Did you know them at the age of 1?
      You can get some ideas from other articles. If you do not copy and paste them, no problem.
      very good advice. I believe there's nothing wrong with getting some ideas from others.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kierkegaard
    plagiarism - while naughty - is not illegal. If you are a student at a university/college/school etc. it is cheating so you'd get punished for plagiarism as you would for sneaking notes into an exam or stealing a copy of the exam the night before. As a journalist you would get in big trouble because you'd damage the reputation of the newspaper, magazine, etc. As a writer you would be held up to ridicule if caught and damage your own reputation.

    Academic plagiarism is more common than people think

    TV doctor Raj Persaud faces disciplinary panel on plagiarism charges - Times Online

    To catch a thief | Education | guardian.co.uk
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    • Profile picture of the author HeySal
      Originally Posted by Kierkegaard View Post

      plagiarism - while naughty - is not illegal.
      When plagiarism violates a copyright it can be prosecuted if the violated party wishes to do so. I would call that illegal.
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      • Profile picture of the author Kierkegaard
        Originally Posted by HeySal View Post

        When plagiarism violates a copyright it can be prosecuted if the violated party wishes to do so. I would call that illegal.
        Then you're being prosecuted for copyright infringement not plagiarism.
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        • Profile picture of the author HeySal
          Originally Posted by Kierkegaard View Post

          Then you're being prosecuted for copyright infringement not plagiarism.
          Yes - because the material was plagiarized. Plagiarism is the act of violation of the copyright --- you are trying to mince words and play semantic games. If you PLAGIARIZE material and get caught, it's not "naughty" it is "illegal". You can't violate a copyright without plagiarizing. Think about it.
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          • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
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            • Profile picture of the author HeySal
              Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post

              Thanks for your posts here, Sal.

              I've noticed, in forums, that some people use the words "legal" and "illegal" differently from others. Some seem to imagine that if something isn't directly contrary to a statutory law of a country's criminal code, or whatever, that automatically makes it "not illegal". It's as if some people don't quite appreciate the difference between criminal law and civil law.

              Plenty of things are clearly and unambiguously illegal that aren't expressly listed in a statute as a crime. Breaching copyright is one of them.
              You and I crossed paths on our last post I guess. Copyright is covered very thoroughly in college writing courses - but I can't remember if it was journalism or Public Relations or what, but I can't believe that someone can come out of college writing courses without a knowledge of copyright law - or out of business classes without an understanding of patent infringement.

              The official copyright and patent websites really do a pretty good job of explaining the laws and what is considered an infraction. None of it is quite as ethereal as people want to think it is. It most often is the people who are trying to infringe or risking infringement that seem to think things they are doing should be okay. Someone sharp enough to just write their own material doesn't worry about copyright infringement legalities. Frankly, when I see someone asking such questions, I don't do business with them. I don't trust the "exactly how much can I get away with here" attitude.

              There is such a thing, if you don't want to write your own material for your blog or site as posting someone else's material who has allowed you to or from a submission site - always with full credits to that author.

              Never hurt my business to hand the reigns over to another knowledgeable person for a blog or two here or there. My viewers don't care where the info came from as long as it's got value for them. Networking with others who know aspects of my genre (niche) doesn't make me less of an authority in their eyes, either.

              Seems some people are much more worried about looking like the leader dog when networking a bit would probably do wonders for their own endeavors in many more ways than putting a little content on their sites. Problem is - when material is not original, people do notice that. When your material is too close to someone else's, people that read that niche often will start to get the drift sooner or later and it can eventually hurt your credibility. So why bother?
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              • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
                Originally Posted by HeySal View Post

                There is such a thing, if you don't want to write your own material for your blog or site as posting someone else's material who has allowed you to or from a submission site - always with full credits to that author.

                Never hurt my business to hand the reigns over to another knowledgeable person for a blog or two here or there. My viewers don't care where the info came from as long as it's got value for them. Networking with others who know aspects of my genre (niche) doesn't make me less of an authority in their eyes, either.
                If more people would let this sink in, a lot of this "how much can I get away with" nonsense would go away.

                In fact, when you cite a credible source and validate it, you actually increase your own authority. By seeming to give approval to the source and what you're quoting, you are putting yourself on the same level as the source.

                What perception do you get when I write "Here's something important. Authority Figure at Really High Authority Source explained it this way..."? Do you assume I don't know what I'm talking about? Or do you think I know enough to acknowledge AF's expertise and tie it into my own?

                Of course, for the terminally lazy, the next question is always "so, how much can I quote?" But that's a subject for another day.
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                • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
                  Originally Posted by JohnMcCabe View Post

                  If more people would let this sink in, a lot of this "how much can I get away with" nonsense would go away.
                  There's a general principle of software development that applies just about everywhere.

                  Whenever you find yourself asking what the limits are, chances are you are doing something wrong.

                  The limits, in most cases, are far beyond what anyone should ever be doing. You can accomplish any task at all without getting anywhere close to the limits. You don't need to know how many kernel handles your application can acquire at once, or how many active semaphores can be held by the same thread; if your behaviour is sane, you will never get close to them.

                  So if you are worried that you've hit the limits, you are actually worried that what you are doing is insane. Don't even bother asking about the limits. Ask whether your overall plan is insane in the first place.
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          • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
            Originally Posted by HeySal View Post

            Plagiarism is the act of violation of the copyright
            Not precisely. But it comes down to the whole "can or cannot be copyrighted" question which - in general - is very difficult for the layman to establish. Plagiarism outside of certain very limited categories is in almost every case outright copyright infringement.

            Sal is, in almost every instance, completely correct. If you're not writing an academic paper, it's generally the case that plagiarism is copyright infringement.

            The distinction on plagiarism is that where "plagiarism" is a big deal (in academic society, primarily), the material in question is frequently not subject to copyright. You can't copyright a mathematical equation or a principle of economics or a law of nature. All you can copyright is the exact way you chose to describe it. But when a long and complicated equation appears in more than one scientific paper with the respective authors claiming personal credit in all cases, it's a case of plagiarism - the equation was almost certainly discovered by one author and then plagiarised by the rest - without being a case of copyright infringement.
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            "The Golden Town is the Golden Town no longer. They have sold their pillars for brass and their temples for money, they have made coins out of their golden doors. It is become a dark town full of trouble, there is no ease in its streets, beauty has left it and the old songs are gone." - Lord Dunsany, The Messengers
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            • Profile picture of the author HeySal
              Originally Posted by CDarklock View Post

              Not precisely. But it comes down to the whole "can or cannot be copyrighted" question which - in general - is very difficult for the layman to establish. Plagiarism outside of certain very limited categories is in almost every case outright copyright infringement.

              Sal is, in almost every instance, completely correct. If you're not writing an academic paper, it's generally the case that plagiarism is copyright infringement.

              The distinction on plagiarism is that where "plagiarism" is a big deal (in academic society, primarily), the material in question is frequently not subject to copyright. You can't copyright a mathematical equation or a principle of economics or a law of nature. All you can copyright is the exact way you chose to describe it. But when a long and complicated equation appears in more than one scientific paper with the respective authors claiming personal credit in all cases, it's a case of plagiarism - the equation was almost certainly discovered by one author and then plagiarised by the rest - without being a case of copyright infringement.
              You are right. There is no way to copyright intellectual material. There also is public domain material, too - that is, you can use it as is, but it not claim it as yours. In academia - material can be quoted and cited but not claimed if it is someone else's. In journalism, sometimes fair use laws are in effect and you can copy it on your website - but still you can't claim it as yours. There are many reasons you can use the materials of others, or quote others in your material -- you just can't claim their stuff is yours. If material is considered general knowledge in any field, you don't have to give anyone credits, as long as you aren't copying the the actual material about that subject that someone else wrote.

              Frankly, I see only one reason for people wanting to copy and claim material. And I don't like it.
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  • Profile picture of the author Josh Anderson
    Yes its wrong to simply "rewrite" or "reword" a copyrighted work and publish it as your own without permission. Additionally you may be liable for copyright infringement: U.S. Copyright Office - Copyright Law: Chapter 5
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    • Profile picture of the author Ruth Hendrickson
      Originally Posted by Josh Anderson View Post

      Yes its wrong to simply "rewrite" or "reword" a copyrighted work and publish it as your own without permission. Additionally you may be liable for copyright infringement: U.S. Copyright Office - Copyright Law: Chapter 5
      The words "rewrite" or "reword" do not appear anywhere in the citation listed.

      Authors take ideas from others all the time, but they put those ideas in their own words. If you copy someone's words exactly, that's "plagiarism." If you take what someone wrote and put it into your own words, that's called "research." Isn't that the same thing as "rewording"?
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  • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
    Originally Posted by vuwavai View Post

    I'd like to know your views on the legitimacy/authenticity of Content or Article Re-writing for one's own sites or for other people (being paid)?
    The line between legitimate and illegitimate here is both fine and subtle.

    There is a class of ideas and thought which simply cannot be copyrighted. However, distinguishing between what can and cannot be copyrighted is difficult, and in general... I don't recommend you try it. It's easier to just write your own stuff.
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    "The Golden Town is the Golden Town no longer. They have sold their pillars for brass and their temples for money, they have made coins out of their golden doors. It is become a dark town full of trouble, there is no ease in its streets, beauty has left it and the old songs are gone." - Lord Dunsany, The Messengers
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    • Profile picture of the author bgmacaw
      Originally Posted by CDarklock View Post

      The line between legitimate and illegitimate here is both fine and subtle.
      It sure can be...

      My Sweet Lord - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

      In the U.S. federal court decision in the case, known as Bright Tunes Music v. Harrisongs Music, Harrison was found to have "subconsciously" copied the earlier song. He was ordered to surrender the majority of royalties from "My Sweet Lord" and partial royalties from All Things Must Pass.
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      • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
        Originally Posted by bgmacaw View Post

        It sure can be...
        And, on the other end of the spectrum,

        Campbell v. Acuff-Rose Music, Inc. - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

        The members of the rap music group 2 Live Crew--Luther Campbell, Fresh Kid Ice, Mr. Mixx and Brother Marquis--composed a song called "Pretty Woman," a parody based on Roy Orbison's rock ballad, "Oh, Pretty Woman." The group's manager asked Acuff-Rose Music if they could license Roy Orbison's tune for the ballad to be used as a parody. Acuff-Rose Music refused to grant the band a license but 2 Live Crew nonetheless produced and released the parody.

        Almost a year later, after nearly a quarter of a million copies of the recording had been sold, Acuff-Rose sued 2 Live Crew and its record company, Luke Skyywalker Records, for copyright infringement. The District Court granted summary judgment for 2 Live Crew, holding that its song was a parody that made fair use of the original song under § 107 of the Copyright Act of 1976 (17 U.S.C. § 107).
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        "The Golden Town is the Golden Town no longer. They have sold their pillars for brass and their temples for money, they have made coins out of their golden doors. It is become a dark town full of trouble, there is no ease in its streets, beauty has left it and the old songs are gone." - Lord Dunsany, The Messengers
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  • Profile picture of the author jonbeebe
    It's certainly not illegal.

    It might be considered unethical to some, but to satisfy your conscience, you can simply add a paragraph that contains your personal opinion or experiences on the matter.

    That would make it unique in a way that nobody else can (nobody is YOU).
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    • Profile picture of the author Kay King
      Some people have flexible ethics and not much conscience.

      Doesn't make it right - just excuses them from what they are doing wrong.

      Of course it's wrong - I think the OP knew that before asking.

      kay
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  • Profile picture of the author Kierkegaard
    What about Einstein and Poincaré?

    One guy comes up with a nifty theory on relativity.
    The other attends a series of meetings discussing this guy's theories.
    Then writes a paper on the subject with NO sources mentioned whatsoever.
    Then DENIES he's ever heard of the other guy.

    Conclusion: plagiarism? it's all relative.
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    • Profile picture of the author HeySal
      Originally Posted by Kierkegaard View Post

      What about Einstein and Poincaré?

      One guy comes up with a nifty theory on relativity.
      The other attends a series of meetings discussing this guy's theories.
      Then writes a paper on the subject with NO sources mentioned whatsoever.
      Then DENIES he's ever heard of the other guy.

      Conclusion: plagiarism? it's all relative.
      When people come up with "nifty theories" they submit them to boards, panels, etc for validation. Anyone doing the work later, may actually think they came up with it by themselves. The person who first had the theory submitted for accreditation gets the credit.

      Now if someone had come up with, for example, the theory of relativity before Einstein and had submitted it, they would have received the credit for it. If someone had STOLEN the work of Einstein and submitted it, if he had no way of proving otherwise, the guy who stole it would have gotten the credit. Right now there is some research suggesting that the work was that of Einstein's wife and not his own. Can we prove it? I don't know. I'll have to wait to see -- but the fact remains, that Einstein could have stolen it (or in this instance, probably was given it) and submitted it first, and so got the honors of the discovery.

      That is why when you write material that you want to protect, you have to be able to submit PROOF that it is yours and not someone else's. BTW - plagiarism is actually nothing but stealing, it just only is used to refer to written material. It's the same thing as patent jumping (infringement) but, as stated, refers to written material only.

      It seems that if people are going to be in IM - they need to at least look up terms such as "patent" "copyright" and find out what the rules are. Sometimes you can get away with skimming the rules or stealing copy -- sometimes you can't. It can really devastate a business to be caught if the rightful patent, copyright owner wants to get serious about it, so why take the risk of not knowing -- especially since knowing the business laws are part of being in business. If you were trying to get a liquor license would you just go to a forum and ask what people think or would you actually read up on the liquor laws and requirements for the license - or at least pay a business lawyer to do it for you? If you are going to be in business, your best bet is to act like a business person instead of a 7 buck an hour hamburger flipper.
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  • Profile picture of the author Takuya Hikichi
    Hi Vuwavai,

    My suggestion to you is if you find yourself asking opinions of others about ethical/unethical, legal/illegal issues, don't do it.

    You'll probably feel much better.
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    • Profile picture of the author vuwavai
      Originally Posted by Takuya Hikichi View Post

      Hi Vuwavai,

      My suggestion to you is if you find yourself asking opinions of others about ethical/unethical, legal/illegal issues, don't do it.

      You'll probably feel much better.
      Thanks for your suggestions but I really like other people's comments, views about various things. I know FBI or other authorities won't run behind me but at least I can know what others are thinking about certain topic.

      Suppose, one rewrites an article (not re-wording) with the help of five or six articles, increasing the length, paragraphs, ideas -- will that be termed as illegal?

      Suppose, there are articles on like-

      5 tips to ...........
      10 tips to ........
      top 3 tips to ........

      Now, one re-writer simply extracts 7 Best Tips from those 3 articles and express differently with or without exact words -- will that be illegal?

      thanks for all of your wonderful thoughts about this thread.
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      • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
        Originally Posted by vuwavai View Post

        Thanks for your suggestions but I really like other people's comments, views about various things. I know FBI or other authorities won't run behind me but at least I can know what others are thinking about certain topic.

        Suppose, one rewrites an article (not re-wording) with the help of five or six articles, increasing the length, paragraphs, ideas -- will that be termed as illegal?

        Suppose, there are articles on like-

        5 tips to ...........
        10 tips to ........
        top 3 tips to ........

        Now, one re-writer simply extracts 7 Best Tips from those 3 articles and express differently with or without exact words -- will that be illegal?

        thanks for all of your wonderful thoughts about this thread.
        Now you are talking about doing research. Very weak research, but research nonetheless.

        If you extract those seven tips and express them in your own words, you're probably okay as far as liability goes. Then again, I don't even pretend to know what a judge might say or what it might cost you to find out...

        As for extracting tips from three articles and using the exact wording without attribution, it just means you are stealing from three people rather than one. Four, if a client is paying you for original articles.
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      • Profile picture of the author HeySal
        Originally Posted by vuwavai View Post

        Thanks for your suggestions but I really like other people's comments, views about various things. I know FBI or other authorities won't run behind me but at least I can know what others are thinking about certain topic.

        Suppose, one rewrites an article (not re-wording) with the help of five or six articles, increasing the length, paragraphs, ideas -- will that be termed as illegal?

        Suppose, there are articles on like-

        5 tips to ...........
        10 tips to ........
        top 3 tips to ........

        Now, one re-writer simply extracts 7 Best Tips from those 3 articles and express differently with or without exact words -- will that be illegal?

        thanks for all of your wonderful thoughts about this thread.
        Reading a LOT of material then condensing main ideas at the angle you want is called....................

        RESEARCH.

        You aren't going to go get funding, set up research labs and figure everything out yourself just to write. You read a lot of different material about the subject and figure out what questions about it you want to answer - or what info is what you want to cover. If you have learned enough (that is where, expert in the field comes in) and you are at least an average writer, you can spit it back in a way to make sense and have value to your readers.

        If you are just trying to rewrite one article of someone elses, you are not an expert in your field and risk a bad rep or worse if you do a bad job of it. If you like the field you are in, research is not a problem -- if you like it enough you will know enough about it to cover material that you don't see a lot of in print.....and that is where people start looking to you specifically for information. The more unique, yet factual, the information you can hand out -- the more you are seen as an expert, and fun to read.

        Hey - face it, any idiot can write for a search engine -- but search engines don't buy products.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kierkegaard
    While we're on the subject of plagiarism and ethics let's not forget self-plagiarism which is just as naughty. This is the re-use of previously published ideas repackaged as a new work. For instance, I produce a WSO on 10 ways to a #1 listing on Yahoo in 24hrs and then release the same ideas, rewritten in a WSO entitled Cracking Yahoo, getting to the top for newbies.
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  • Profile picture of the author kea55
    yeah it's unethical. The best thing to do is take a thought or an article idea and maybe a few facts from that article. Then make it all your own.
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    • Profile picture of the author Kierkegaard
      Originally Posted by kea55 View Post

      yeah it's unethical. The best thing to do is take a thought or an article idea and maybe a few facts from that article. Then make it all your own.
      That's the definition of plagiarism (unless of course you're crediting all your sources).
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  • Profile picture of the author shaggard
    I agree with everyone on it being a fine line. Since we need to constantly learn and improve ourselves, we must read A LOT.

    One cannot help but to write what they have learned. So, if I am reading tons of books on self-esteem, when I go to write about improving your business, I cannot help but to interject self-esteem.

    Many of us read articles to get ideas. However, we do not copy the article or reword the article. We take the idea and write it from our knowledge bank.
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  • Profile picture of the author jafris
    Creating a variation of your own written article is fine -- I guess!

    In my opinion, re-wording or re-writing articles written by other authors are ethically not correct. It's like conducting a neuro surgery of author's brain without taking his permission. That would be quite painful for him.
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  • Profile picture of the author frqhuss
    Re-Writing article is not a illegal but on some point it is not legal also...
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  • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
    Originally Posted by vuwavai View Post

    Hi,

    I'd like to know your views on the legitimacy/authenticity of Content or Article Re-writing for one's own sites or for other people (being paid)?

    Any past case studies will be highly appreciated.
    It depends on your definition...

    If, by "re-writing", you mean taking someone else's work and simply substituting words as a lazy shortcut around original thought and effort, particularly in an attempt to get past Copyscape-type filters, then I'd say the practice is neither legitimate nor authentic.

    Add in the question of liability and possible consequences, and you're better off writing your own stuff from scratch based on what you learn from a variety of sources. You could even try the Monty Python approach ('Now for something completely different...') and credit your sources.

    As for being paid, if you are hired to steal and rewrite articles and other content, it's on your conscience whether you take the job. If you are being hired to write original articles and you take the re-writing approach, you are stealing from both the original author and your client.

    As others have already pointed out, when it comes to questions of ethics, if you have to ask on a forum you already know the answer. Trust your gut and don't do it.
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  • Profile picture of the author Love2KnowU
    Here's something that made headlines about a year or two ago:

    "Steve Harvey STOLE His Best Selling Book?!"

    "A writer named Sharon P. Carson is claiming that comedian Steve Harvey's new much talked about book "Act Like A Lady, Think Like A Man" is not his---it's HERS! She claims she holds the copyright to a book of the same exact title with the same exact premise. And much of his book is way too similar to hers. She wrote her book back in 2004 and is speaking out about Steve (or his people) stealing it and changing some words, then slapping his name on it so he could go make money for the publishers and "writers".

    "This wouldn't be the first time a celeb claimed a book was theirs and it was actually stolen. Sadly, stuff like this happens everyday. But when the person in question is getting Oprah publicity--it becomes an extra serious matter. You be the judge. Scandal?"
    __________________________________________________ _
    From the looks of it, nothing ever really became of it. The author, who clearly wrote her book version first, seems to have faded off, to lick her wounds in silence, while a very famous comedian has gained even more fame because of "the book." He got a strong, full time, relationship advice dispensing radio gig out of it and many people stood up for him. She got a how dare you go up against a famous figure like him, backlash. Go figure. Seems like the courts never did. Sad.
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  • Profile picture of the author cashcow
    If you are so lacking in writing skills and imagination that you can only rewrite an existing article, then why not play it safe and rewrite PLR. You have the rights to do that - plus it's all legal and ethical.
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    • Profile picture of the author Love2KnowU
      Originally Posted by cashcow View Post

      If you are so lacking in writing skills and imagination that you can only rewrite an existing article, then why not play it safe and rewrite PLR. You have the rights to do that - plus it's all legal and ethical.
      And I agree!
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    • Profile picture of the author redzafahmy
      Originally Posted by cashcow View Post

      If you are so lacking in writing skills and imagination that you can only rewrite an existing article, then why not play it safe and rewrite PLR. You have the rights to do that - plus it's all legal and ethical.
      I agree as well. The more you rewrite PLR, the more you get an in-depth knowledge of the subject, and it would be just a matter of time before you would be able to convey your own take on the subject.
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    • Profile picture of the author theemperor
      Originally Posted by cashcow View Post

      If you are so lacking in writing skills and imagination that you can only rewrite an existing article, then why not play it safe and rewrite PLR. You have the rights to do that - plus it's all legal and ethical.
      Genuine question here - how do you trust the PLR seller? Maybe they infringed copyrights. How can you check?

      I worry about that sometimes with PLR stuff.
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      • Profile picture of the author niffybranco
        Originally Posted by theemperor View Post

        Genuine question here - how do you trust the PLR seller? Maybe they infringed copyrights. How can you check?

        I worry about that sometimes with PLR stuff.
        There will definitely be PLR sellers who infringe copyright just as there are people that sale fake goods the right way is to buy from a trusted seller do some research or ask fellow warriors and you will find the right sellers to buy from, and if you need content for some particular niche markets you can always find good content in the public domain.
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  • Profile picture of the author Begbie
    Personally, I believe it is only unethical if you do not get permission. For example, I have had article stolen from me and I was given no credit. That is not ethical. But, I have bought PLR's were it was made for me to use.
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  • Profile picture of the author jennypitts
    If you find yourself in the need to rewrite content or articles that others have written then perhaps you are in the wrong business. BUT if you really MUST because of lack or creativity or time, whichever may be your case, then I agree with others, do so using PLR articles. AT least you know that you are paying for those and it is totally FINE to rewrite the content.

    And YES, plagiarizing is illegal. There is a very fine line between paraphrasing and plagiarizing so you have to be extremely careful. When it comes to FACTUAL information there really is not much new to be said except in the way obviously that each person presents this information.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mark Jordan
    I think borrowing from one source is plagiarism but taking from multiple sources with full references is research or 'review'.

    To make sure that what you're doing is legal and ethical just buy a private label rights (PLR) membership where you can do all sorts of things with the articles .
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    • Profile picture of the author nelsonbiglar
      Originally Posted by Mark Jordan View Post

      I think borrowing from one source is plagiarism but taking from multiple sources with full references is research or 'review'.

      To make sure that what you're doing is legal and ethical just buy a private label rights (PLR) membership where you can do all sorts of things with the articles .

      Yes, PLR Articles would be the key to all this I think... heck pay someone to write a PLR article ($3-$20), use it in your content, website etc. A month or so later, re-write the article, then post it again. About 6 months later either rewrite it again, or pay someone to re-write it so you don't have alot of the same lingo etc and post it again... this way you'll have 3 totally unique articles using alot of the same keywords but unique in their own way.
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  • Profile picture of the author nelsonbiglar
    If you take an article title and rename it doesn't it become a different article?

    If you take paragraph #1 and rewrite it, add your own experience and/or info from different sources, doesn't that make paragraph # 1 unique and different?

    If you take paragraph #2 and rewrite it, add your own experience and/or info from different sources, doesn't that make paragraph # 2 unique and different?

    If you take paragraph #3 and rewrite it, add your own experience and/or info from different sources, doesn't that make paragraph # 3 unique and different?

    And on and on and on!

    I wonder how unique this article would be compared to its original?
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  • Profile picture of the author AshtonWebb
    There is nothing wrong in getting ideas from popular articles in the niche or topic you are going to write about.

    I will be the first to admit that I am not the best as to come up with fresh new content ALL of the time so what I do is I read up on the latest and greatest articles on the topic that I am trying to write about to come up with great original content of my own.

    One of the things that you should never do is to copy other peoples articles... just makes you look like a jack a@!.
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    • Profile picture of the author Kay King
      Rewrite and reword come under the phrase "derivative copy" which is another way you can violate copyright. There are several in this thread I would never hire as writers:rolleyes:

      The whole purpose of research is to LEARN enough about a topic that you can write your own content from your perspective. If all you do is take someone else's work and tack a bit on, that's shoddy.

      IANAL - but I've read enough to know it's best to stay far away from violating copyright or trademarks.

      Rewriting another person's content or article and calling it yours isn't right - and no amount of explanation makes it right. But people will keep coming up with new "exceptions", won't they?

      kay
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  • Profile picture of the author ACGroup1
    As long as you're not flat out plagiarizing, there is nothing wrong with it. When you do research, you find reference sources and put that information in your findings in your own words right? Whether you get the information from one source or one hundred, you're rewriting it in your own words and making it original.
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  • Profile picture of the author shaggard
    As someone who spends a lot of time and effort writing high quality and unique articles, it is always frustrating to see someone take my ENTIRE article, change 3 or 4 words or maybe a phrase and doesn't give me credit.

    I know my own writing and I put my stuff up on Ezine and other article directories. If you are going to use it, then just give me my little link.
    Reading a LOT of material then condensing main ideas at the angle you want is called....................

    RESEARCH.
    Absolutely agree! that is what writing is all about
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    • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
      I use to have a article re-writing service.

      Closed it down to move onto more lucrative things.

      Anyway, one client example was a seller of high end enterprise software.

      He wouldn't entrust anybody to write articles for him because of the technicalities, understanding and intricacies of the software.

      Yet once he got that done he wanted another view point which still conveyed the same meaning.

      Re-writing was the answer.

      Never came back to adjust it, just nailed the meaning through different words.

      Another example was with a doctor who had a passion for helping men in relationship troubles.

      He was the expert and didn't feel anybody else could have the same authoritive tone to the articles as he could.

      Yet he knew he needed to produce more content to help promote his book.

      Once again we re-wrote his articles once we got the message, at a gut level,
      he was trying to convey.

      It was about spending the time up front to really, really "get it".

      Then re-writing is fast and conveys the message from a slightly different angle.

      Client is stoked, because he has finally found somebody who has the same understanding and "voice" as him/her.

      Yes there is a right and wrong way to re-write articles
      and it is in the deep and subtle nuances that get the job done,
      so you avoid the grey and black areas of law and ethics.

      Hope that helps,

      Ewen
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    • Profile picture of the author Vogin
      Just get "inspired" by any other article and be sure you'll give some extra value to it.
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  • Profile picture of the author niffybranco
    Everybody wants to sound like a saint oh it's wrong oh it's unethical i believe the guy asked a fair question and we should try an provide an unbiased answer. Before you go on and say article rewriting is plagiarism ask the right questions first .

    1. Are the articles PLR ?
    2. Are the articles in the public Domain?
    3. If they are not PLR or in the public Domain can you get the authors consent or are you willing to credit the author?
    4. If you cannot get the authors Consent just go out and get PLR or Public Domain material.

    The aim of being an internet marketer is to work smart not hard there are tonnes of content in the public domain that you can legally use even if you do not decide to re-write them, also there is a lot of PLR content out there a lot are poorly written but if you take a few minutes to clean them up and rewrite them you will have quality articles you can use , you can also get PLR books and courses and break them down into articles. You can get 2 or 3 PLR books on the same topic get similar chapters and merge them to create a unique article. The possibilities are endless.

    A lot of people have become millionaires just by rewriting or modifying public domain material a few examples are

    1.Turner classic networks: Most if not all the films Showed on TCN are in the public domain
    2.Walt Disney: Stories such as sleeping beauty,beauty and the beast,snow white and the seven dwarfs,jungle book were all in the public domain Walt Disney took them and put their own spin on it.
    3. The wizard of OZ >> Public Domain, Sherlock Holmes >> public Domain,The Bible Public Domain

    Would all these people have made money if they said OH its unethical to rewrite or modify these works?

    Although you might not be looking to create movies i am just pointing out that there is so much free stuff out there you can legally use there really is no reason to go after stuff you cannot legally use. There is so much free content on the internet you can legally rewrite. SO do not let anyone scare you , it is fine to write your own articles when you can but if its been already written and you can legally use it WHY WASTE YOUR TIME?
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    • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
      Originally Posted by niffybranco View Post

      Before you go on and say article rewriting is plagiarism ask the right questions first.
      Why are you pretending he might have PLR to the articles he's rewriting?

      We all know that if he did, he wouldn't ask.
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      • Profile picture of the author niffybranco
        Originally Posted by CDarklock View Post

        Why are you pretending he might have PLR to the articles he's rewriting?

        We all know that if he did, he wouldn't ask.
        Bring out the bashers lol

        I am not pretending lol i was just asking him a legitimate question did you read my post or are you trying to sound like a saint what i said was before going on about it being plagiarism you need to know if the articles are PLR
        and please do not assume that everyone knows about PLR when i first started internet marketing i did not even know what PLR meant or how to use it. So instead of moaning and saying it is wrong to rewrite why not advise him on what types of articles he can rewrite and what types he cannot, you cannot just say re-writing articles is plagiarism as that is not true if it is copyrighted material it is wrong to rewrite but if it is plr or public domain you can legally rewrite .
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        • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
          Originally Posted by niffybranco View Post

          did you read my post
          Yes, I did. You basically talked a lot about how it would be okay if he had PLR or it was public domain.

          But you know damn well the chances of this are near-zero.

          And if you bothered to read the thread, you'd know you aren't the first person to suggest PLR articles as a solution to the problem.
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          • Profile picture of the author niffybranco
            Originally Posted by CDarklock View Post

            Yes, I did. You basically talked a lot about how it would be okay if he had PLR or it was public domain.

            But you know damn well the chances of this are near-zero.

            And if you bothered to read the thread, you'd know you aren't the first person to suggest PLR articles as a solution to the problem.
            Dude i know he is not talking about PLR , what i am saying is he might not know about PLR or public domain and if he doesn't, won't it be better to advise him that he can use those types of content legally instead of saying rewriting all articles is wrong . I did read the thread i must have missed the part about PLR did the post also suggest public domain?
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            • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
              Originally Posted by niffybranco View Post

              Dude i know he is not talking about PLR
              Then why did you suggest we ask him whether the articles are PLR?

              I did read the thread i must have missed the part about PLR
              Then you didn't read the thread. See how that works?
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              • Profile picture of the author niffybranco
                Originally Posted by CDarklock View Post

                Then why did you suggest we ask him whether the articles are PLR?



                Then you didn't read the thread. See how that works?
                So you can state for a fact he knows about PLR? Instead of saying it is wrong to rewrite articles which is even wrong to say as i stated it depends on what type of articles, as there are types of articles you can legally rewrite , yous should point him in the right direction.

                And when i said i know he is not talking about PLR i also added he might not know about PLR that is why i suggested you ask him. If he does not know about PLR then you could have advised him that it is better to use them as opposed to rewriting copyrighted material.

                Just quoting parts of my post that suit your argument really makes you look good doesn't it

                And yes i did miss the part about PLR after all i am only human.
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                • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
                  Originally Posted by niffybranco View Post

                  So you can state for a fact he knows about PLR?
                  I don't care if he knows about PLR. We weren't talking about PLR. You've already admitted you know that, so I don't see the problem.
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      • Profile picture of the author Brian John
        as the article below explains is how i understand copyright infringement regarding rewriting to be...

        REWRITING: It is NOT OK to rewrite an article or book and claim it as your own. That is an infringement of the original author's intellectual property. If you rewrite a small portion, cite the article as the source and provide a link to the original article, that is acceptable, but you cannot claim someone else's research, experience and thoughts as your own simply be rewriting them.

        Plagiarism and Copyright Infringement: Thou Shalt Not Steal - InfoBarrel
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  • Profile picture of the author balsimon
    I'm not an attorney and looking at the Code from the links provided early on in this thread leave me dazed.

    My own sense is that I want people to respect me for what *I* say and do. I don't cut corners. If I'm not an expert in something, I'll source the info and provide credit to the authority.

    That said, I see nothing wrong in surveying 5 or 10 articles in an ezine directory or on a number of blogs, taking notes - with citations - and then cobbling together my own original, based on the notes.

    This usually involves providing some kind of value added. After all, if I'm not providing value added, why should anyone pay attention to what I have to say?

    Value added comes in all forms. Expanding knowledge; providing unique twists and insights; clearing up muddy confusions; weighing in on controversies, to name just a few.

    All of this takes far less time than trying to game the system with some kind of dodge; it improves you as a writer as well; and it will tend to let you sleep well at night (very important, yes?).

    Seems kinda straightforward to me.

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  • Profile picture of the author balsimon
    The discussion about PLR has always been of great interest and concern to me. I started a thread that had some legs awhile back:
    http://www.warriorforum.com/main-int...-concerns.html

    It seems to me that all the problems discussed in that thread remain and have NOT been resolved.

    Your mileage may vary.

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  • Profile picture of the author Aira Bongco
    vuwavai,

    Why did you even use the words 'unethical' and 'illegal' in this thread? Now we are faced with an endless debate of law and ethics.

    You could have asked if it is okay in an Internet marketer or search engine standpoint.

    My take on this? Well, copying other people's ideas is always against the law. If you create an idea, you hold the intellectual property. Ethics-wise, it is also not good. That is because you step on other people's toes when stealing ideas.

    On the search engine's point of view, it is not encouraged but it is okay. I am pertaining to rewriting here. Why? Well, think about newspapers and even Yahoo and Google news. They are rewritten content.

    I hope I have skipped on the debate here and directed a helpful answer to the OP.

    Aira
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  • Profile picture of the author Vishal Mahadik
    Nothing is illegal or unethical when it comes to content rewriting.

    This is true only when you read 2-3 original articles for your reference and put the new article in your own words with your own unique twists or propositions.

    The article you rewrite must not be rewrite of every single words or single sentences.

    Rather it should be your own thoughts and ideas based on the points from the articles you have already read before.

    This is called true article/ content re-writing. The majority of people just rewrite few words and sentences which can be considered unethical in few cases.

    If you can write 100% original article which can not feel like a derivative article then you are completely safe. Remember this all the time.
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  • Profile picture of the author cashcow
    Genuine question here - how do you trust the PLR seller? Maybe they infringed copyrights. How can you check?
    A valid question - sometimes I forget that people will do most anything for a buck and you have to always double check.

    You have to use PLR sellers that you trust. Ones that write their own PLR are good because you know they have the rights to license it however they want. Of course, then you need to ask yourself if they really did write it......
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      Originally Posted by nelsonbiglar View Post

      If you take an article title and rename it doesn't it become a different article?

      If you take paragraph #1 and rewrite it, add your own experience and/or info from different sources, doesn't that make paragraph # 1 unique and different?

      If you take paragraph #2 and rewrite it, add your own experience and/or info from different sources, doesn't that make paragraph # 2 unique and different?

      If you take paragraph #3 and rewrite it, add your own experience and/or info from different sources, doesn't that make paragraph # 3 unique and different?

      And on and on and on!

      I wonder how unique this article would be compared to its original?
      Now it sounds like you are taking the structure of the article and completely reworking it, adding both additional and original material. You're on much safer ground here - if you are being hired to re-write articles. As I mentioned a couple of times, if you are being hired to write original articles, your client is expecting your work. Not something that you can change enough to pass Copyscape or some similar service.

      A point was made in an earlier post that I want to touch on. If someone is hiring you to rewrite their own original articles, it's a totally different ballgame. As different as soccer and American football, even though both are called 'football'.

      If I write an original article, and I hire you to rewrite it, go to it with rephrasing the original. If I use a peculiar turn of phrase, copy it so it still sounds like me. The degree of uniqueness and originality is between you and the client.

      One more thing for you to consider before you decide to simply rework a single article...

      What if the article you choose to reword and rework is a piece of crap when it comes to the actual information in the article? If you don't do the background research to get to know your subject, you'll be putting your name (or your client's name) on a reworked "unique and different' piece of crap. Which will blow your credibility with anyone who knows the subject better than you.
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      • Profile picture of the author paulie888
        Originally Posted by JohnMcCabe View Post

        One more thing for you to consider before you decide to simply rework a single article...

        What if the article you choose to reword and rework is a piece of crap when it comes to the actual information in the article? If you don't do the background research to get to know your subject, you'll be putting your name (or your client's name) on a reworked "unique and different' piece of crap. Which will blow your credibility with anyone who knows the subject better than you.
        Good point, John. There is a very real danger of this happening when you're trying to rewrite an article about a topic that you're not familiar with, and this will result in pure trash that is an utter waste of your time. There's no two ways about it.... Garbage in = Garbage out.

        This contributes to the overall pile of crappy articles out there (some of which you can see in all their glory multiple times on the first page of Google, providing the user with a very poor experience). Is it any wonder that Google is working aggressively to weed out these poor examples of rehashed garbage from the first page of their search results?

        If you're going to take the time to research and know your subject matter, then you'd probably end up possessing sufficient knowledge to write about it from your perspective, and doing this would be far better than trying to rewrite some other person's material.
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  • Profile picture of the author bmillionaire324
    I agree with others, just take the idea from it
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