Don't Call Yourself a Writer If What You Really Are Is a Thief

258 replies
Hey Warriors!

I’m being a bit harsh in my thread title, I know. Thief is such a strong word – especially for people who are just uneducated about what writing is. But it doesn’t make it untrue, either.

As we all know, writing is one of the primary foundations of Internet marketing. We do it for eBooks, articles, blog posts, email autoresponders, forum contributions, viral and opt in reports, Tweets, FB posts, G+ posts, etc etc etc.

It’s a necessity.

So when there’s a necessity, there becomes a demand for shortcuts. Some shortcuts, like outsourcing your writing to a ghostwriter or buying PLR are 100% legal.

Other shortcuts are not legal or ethical. It’s just that chances of you getting caught or punished are low.

I saw a comment in another thread today where someone said, No where you will find a 100% unique article at present. All writers need a source to copy and edit.

That statement makes me want to pull my hair out, hiss and scratch someone. And I just might!

This is the uneducated “writer’s" way of creating content. You do NOT just find a source to copy and edit. UGH! Patooey!

What you DO when you need to write about a topic you don’t know enough to write off the top of your head is become educated about it and write from scratch.

So please alter that sentence to say, “All writers need several sources to learn from so they can write from an informed perspective.

We can’t expect everyone to go take college level ethics in Journalism and legal Journalism classes (I have). But you can educate yourself here and now about what it means to create good, original content that isn’t ripping anybody off – and I believe most people WANT to know how to avoid being unethical.

I know people who would be horrified to learn they’d plagiarized someone else’s content, because plagiarism is also the use of ideas, not just copying and pasting verbatim.

You can’t take someone’s content and rewrite it and be safe. And if you think that cute little copyright symbol HAS to be included, you’re wrong, thanks to a 1989 law that says original authors don’t need it anymore.

Anyway, I know legalities aren’t what you’re worried about. But please consider ethics when you simply go to EZA or Google and find an article and “rewrite” it – you’re a thief, pure and simple. Whether you realized it or not.

Now you know, so don’t do it again.

Tiff
#call #don’t #thief #writer
  • Profile picture of the author R Hagel
    Yep, that needed to be said.

    You know what line makes me want to hiss and scratch? This one:

    "Passes Copyscape."

    Just because it "passes Copyscape" doesn't mean it's NOT totally plagiarized.

    Argh.

    Becky
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    • Profile picture of the author onSubie
      Originally Posted by R Hagel View Post

      You know what line makes me want to hiss and scratch? This one:

      "Passes Copyscape."

      Just because it "passes Copyscape" doesn't mean it's NOT totally plagiarized.
      I agree. If an article is pieced together from snippets and re-edited content of others then "passes Copyscape" is just a marketing term that means "changed enough".

      Mahlon
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      • Profile picture of the author TerryL
        Plus, if you're just re-writing someone else's content, it's hard to write in your own, distinctive voice. If you're a professional writer, your "voice" is often what keeps clients coming back to you (that, and your excellent content!). If you're an independent author, blog owner, or any other type of writer, it's your voice that brings you a following. You won't get that if you're re-writing the work of other people.

        Tiffany is right about knowing enough about a topic to write about it off the top of your head. You'll come up with totally original writing that way that has your distinctive tone to it. That's actually important when branding yourself.

        Of course, if you're ghostwriting for someone, they may ask you to write in a different tone, perhaps to match their own. That's a whole other story, but even then, you should be writing original content, not re-written content.
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        • Profile picture of the author smadronia
          Originally Posted by TerryL View Post

          Plus, if you're just re-writing someone else's content, it's hard to write in your own, distinctive voice.
          That's what I find to be the hardest. I re-wrote one article, once. I'd purchased a pack of Tiff's plr, but I wanted to submit an article to EZA, but I had spotty internet access. So, I decided I'd rewrite the plr article rather than wait 2 hours for my internet to come back (I was in a moving vehicle).

          It was the only time I ever did it. I think I finished right around the time my internet access came back. 2 hours to re-write something was ridiculous, I could have researched and written 3 articles in that time.

          Come to think of it, I never did submit that article either.
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        • Profile picture of the author Kifayat
          Originally Posted by TerryL View Post

          Plus, if you're just re-writing someone else's content, it's hard to write in your own, distinctive voice. If you're a professional writer, your "voice" is often what keeps clients coming back to you (that, and your excellent content!). If you're an independent author, blog owner, or any other type of writer, it's your voice that brings you a following. You won't get that if you're re-writing the work of other people.

          Tiffany is right about knowing enough about a topic to write about it off the top of your head. You'll come up with totally original writing that way that has your distinctive tone to it. That's actually important when branding yourself.

          Of course, if you're ghostwriting for someone, they may ask you to write in a different tone, perhaps to match their own. That's a whole other story, but even then, you should be writing original content, not re-written content.
          Yes, I agree with you - people tend to stick to the same person because of their "voice".
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    • Profile picture of the author Joan Altz
      Originally Posted by R Hagel View Post

      Yep, that needed to be said.

      You know what line makes me want to hiss and scratch? This one:

      "Passes Copyscape."

      Just because it "passes Copyscape" doesn't mean it's NOT totally plagiarized.

      Argh.

      Becky
      Especially true now that software exists that just changes the coding and not the content, which passes Copyscape but is still plagiarism since none of the content is changed even a little.
      Spinning PLR is fine, but other people's original content is a definite no-no.
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  • Profile picture of the author JeremiahSay
    Thanks Tiffany for posting this thread..

    I've been scam 2 months ago from such seller

    Not sure if you are referring to the same seller thou..

    Anyway.. thanks, I'm sure this thread might at least help a little..

    Jeremiah
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    • Profile picture of the author TiffanyLambert
      Originally Posted by R Hagel View Post

      Just because it "passes Copyscape" doesn't mean it's NOT totally plagiarized.
      Oh God I know Becky. I can rewrite your reply perfectly so it passes copyscape. Doesn't mean I didn't rip you off.

      Originally Posted by JeremiahSay View Post

      Not sure if you are referring to the same seller thou..
      Ah no I'm not referring to anyone in particular. It was a comment I saw in here but really, that bad advice is like a disease - many marketers teach people to rewrite content.

      In fact I often had gurus send me a competitor's product (Often one of their BFFs) and tell me do a "knock off" by just rewriting it. I always educated myself about the entire concept, using many resources, and never once did a rewrite - which is WHY they were so impressed and kept coming back.
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      • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
        Originally Posted by TiffanyDow View Post

        Oh God I know Becky. I can rewrite your reply perfectly so it passes copyscape. Doesn't mean I didn't rip you off.
        On the devil's advocate side - it's entirely possible that what I "ripped off" wasn't copyrightable expression in the first place.

        It's not always so simple as whether someone else said it first, and we all know a LOT of writers aren't really saying anything copyrightable in the first place.
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        • Profile picture of the author George Wright
          Originally Posted by CDarklock View Post

          On the devil's advocate side - it's entirely possible that what I "ripped off" wasn't copyrightable expression in the first place.

          It's not always so simple as whether someone else said it first, and we all know a LOT of writers aren't really saying anything copyrightable in the first place.
          CD, I'm not kidding, I'd like to hear you expand on that a bit, very interesting.

          George Wright
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          • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
            Fascinating. And the path of the thread is the same one it always takes.

            I think it's hysterical when people claim to be good writers, yet insist they can't get more than $5 an article.

            People who make that claim are not writers. They're not even hacks. They're keyword pimps, whoring out the language to cheap little thugs in poorly fitting SEO suits.

            "Hey, Joe. $5. Me write you long time!"
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          • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
            Originally Posted by George Wright View Post

            CD, I'm not kidding, I'd like to hear you expand on that a bit, very interesting.
            Copyright is extended to something which represents original artistic expression.

            By way of example, a recipe cannot be copyrighted. Nor can the directions to follow it.

            If I say "spread peanut butter on one slice of bread, then jelly on another, and put them together to create a sandwich" I have said nothing copyrightable.

            It honestly doesn't matter how I say it, the process is not covered by copyright. Even if I get all dramatic and say "slather the butter of peanut with aplomb upon the slice of baked grainly goodness, then do likewise with a preparation consisting largely of berries or other fruit, and combine them forthwith to make a pleasant and tasty comestible" - not copyrightable. That can be copied, and spun, and reworded, until the cows come home. There is no court in the land that will find anyone guilty of infringement, because I am describing a process.

            Similarly, a lot of articles out there represent no original artistic expression. They are simply a repetition of facts, or a conglomeration of ideas, and there's no art to them at all. And as such, they are not even eligible for copyright protection in the first place.

            In order to be copyrightable, what you express must be distinct from what is already available. And in a lot of cases, particularly in the article marketing field, this is simply not the case.
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  • Profile picture of the author 2ndopkate
    Somewhere I read that the best writing comes from people who have actually experienced living the topic. I think there is a lot to that. I know the writing I do that involves my personal experience is much richer and has a different tone to it. I also try to fit outsourced articles to writers with experience in that niche.

    Kater
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    • Profile picture of the author agc
      Originally Posted by 2ndopkate View Post

      Somewhere I read that the best writing comes from people who have actually experienced living the topic. I think there is a lot to that. I know the writing I do that involves my personal experience is much richer and has a different tone to it. I also try to fit outsourced articles to writers with experience in that niche.

      Kater
      Gasp! Can you imagine telling someone that if they want to make money on an authority site that they should.... wait for it... actually bother to BECOME an authority on the subject?

      OMG! The sheer audacity! What? Go the the library? Read? Actually do REAL WORK in the REAL WORLD before presuming to tell other people what they SHOULD do?

      Hooo boy that's rich. Of course, it'll never fly.
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      • Profile picture of the author AlphaWarrior
        Originally Posted by agc View Post

        Gasp! Can you imagine telling someone that if they want to make money on an authority site that they should.... wait for it... actually bother to BECOME an authority on the subject?

        OMG! The sheer audacity! What? Go the the library? Read? Actually do REAL WORK in the REAL WORLD before presuming to tell other people what they SHOULD do?

        Hooo boy that's rich. Of course, it'll never fly.
        Amen! Expect an authority to really be an authority? Wow, what a concept.
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        • Profile picture of the author kalgutman
          Tiffany,
          Back to the point of "copy and paste and put in your own words"

          Other than one gentleman mentioned a course where an individual marketer taught this way, I can think of at least 2 marketers right now that do the same.

          Where is this stuff being taught originally? And I bet you dollars to doughnuts it's a common practice.

          As a matter of fact there is one tutorial by a marketer where a mic is used and the person reads a sentence and uses Dragonally Speaking (speech to text software) and puts it in his own words and has copy written by this software in a couple of minutes.

          So these folks need to be told to spend time researching material and take notes, swipe files for the purposes of referencing and reading and interest in specific areas of interest or highlights and then go about your writing creatively???

          Sounds reasonable to me.

          Kal
          PS. I think leaving Rooze out of it, is good, I think he was misinterpreted and the thread misunderstood (where I read and interpreted it differently and thought it very honest and thoughtful) for adding a genuine sincere point in his first posting on this thread.... Really!!!
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  • Profile picture of the author trytolearnmore
    Well, everything you said is true and pretty much obvious. But one thing though, i don't thing people who steal content call themselves writers. They steal content not because they want to win a Pulitzer price or get followers, but because it's a necessity to have some sort of optimized content to rank in Google.

    People tend to look for the easy way, not the right way!
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    • Profile picture of the author TiffanyLambert
      Originally Posted by trytolearnmore View Post

      Well, everything you said is true and pretty much obvious. But one thing though, i don't thing people who steal content call themselves writers. They steal content not because they want to win a Pulitzer price or get followers, but because it's a necessity to have some sort of optimized content to rank in Google.

      People tend to look for the easy way, not the right way!
      No - I know many people who USE other peoples content (they rewrite it) and consider themselves writers. They don't know any better. They think it's only if you cut and paste verbatim.

      I'm not talking about "content thieves who scrape content - that's a different unethical animal. I'm addressing people who think it's okay to rewrite content, as if it's not stealing, when it is.
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      • Profile picture of the author JNFerree
        Well said Tiffany ◘ Since you have Sr. status as a Writer and a successful PLR Pro, maybe you would want to include for your audience that using one of those article SPINNER APPS are mostly bunkola too?
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        • Profile picture of the author John Coutts
          Originally Posted by JNFerree View Post

          Well said Tiffany ◘ Since you have Sr. status as a Writer and a successful PLR Pro, maybe you would want to include for your audience that using one of those article SPINNER APPS are mostly bunkola too?
          This article says it nicely.

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      • Profile picture of the author PLRExpress
        Agreed.

        I can easily see why people think it's acceptable to rewrite content that they don't own the original rights to it - it looks like it's all down to the "Copyscape mentality" where "writing" is "trying to get an article to pass with flying colors".

        Just because it's been put in new words doesn't mean that's an original article.

        I often wonder who clients think they're dealing with when they have to order content from a ghostwriter and they tell the writer that the content that they're looking for must pass Copyscape. Anyone who feels the need to say this to a writer really needs to think about who they're hiring to write their content.

        Also though, I don't think it's just about ethics why it's important to always make notes and come up with something original; it's also quite pointless writing an article that's already been written and published somewhere else.

        If you're just looking to copy an article in your own words, what exactly are you adding to the mix? You're not helping people by arriving too late to the party and being the last to write that same article. If marketing is really about solving problems (even if it's problems that people didn't even know they had!) then there's really no benefit in rehashing material.

        For me though, I find it much easier to write from my own notes on a topic than to even rewrite an article anyway because I find it difficult to find the flow of what I'm writing when I'm just rewriting.

        Also, if you're just rewriting an article that's just like getting all of your research from one source. To actually ensure that what you're writing is of benefit to someone, it's important to do something new with the topic and use a variety of different sources presented with your own perspective on the topic - even if that's contradicting a source, backing it up, finding new data, adding opinions etc.

        Even without considering ethics, we really don't need the same article written 100 different times all over the internet - and neither do readers; they want something new. In fact, it would be better to spend 2,3,4 times the amount of time writing a well researched article than just rewriting one that's already existing because it would be worth a whole lot more for branding, building a following, building a community and generating traffic.
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        • Profile picture of the author TiffanyLambert
          Originally Posted by JNFerree View Post

          Well said Tiffany ◘ Since you have Sr. status as a Writer and a successful PLR Pro, maybe you would want to include for your audience that using one of those article SPINNER APPS are mostly bunkola too?
          I don't personally like spinners much but it's not unethical to spin your own content or even content you bought as PLR to use. However if you spun someone else's content, you're a thief.

          Originally Posted by cjbmeb14 View Post

          I would love to be able to charge more, but it would be impossible, people would simply not buy our articles.

          Yes, I do state all articles will pass Copyscape because this is what everyone of our customers would ask anyway.
          People do pay more for articles and if your articles were well researched and unique, you'd build a reputation just like I did - it's what made me the "ghostwriter to the gurus" for so many years.

          And yes, it's sad that the copyscape mentality has to be addressed - it's a sign that too many "writers" just rewrite (aka: steal from) other people's work.
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      • Profile picture of the author John Coutts
        Originally Posted by TiffanyDow View Post

        I'm not talking about "content thieves who scrape content - that's a different unethical animal. I'm addressing people who think it's okay to rewrite content, as if it's not stealing, when it is.
        I've seen that advice in more than one ebook:

        "Go to EZA, find a suitable article, rewrite it in your own words."

        As you say, most people don't realize it's wrong. In fact, some people even think it's OK to take someone else's article and spin it, presumably thinking that the spun garbage they produce is somehow unique and original, and has no relationship to the article they stole from.

        Research thoroughly and properly, then write. That works!

        John.
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    • Profile picture of the author cynthea
      Originally Posted by trytolearnmore View Post

      Well, everything you said is true and pretty much obvious. But one thing though, i don't thing people who steal content call themselves writers. They steal content not because they want to win a Pulitzer price or get followers, but because it's a necessity to have some sort of optimized content to rank in Google.

      People tend to look for the easy way, not the right way!
      I'm sorry, I don't resonate with this. I want to make sure I understand you..."Stealing content is necessary to have...optimized content to rank...?"

      I'm not jumping all over you; I'm just wondering if you really believe that stealing content, first of all can be justified, and secondly helps in ranking?
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  • Profile picture of the author cjbmeb14
    As you can see I provide an article writing service on here, and I state that all articles are 100% unique, and I stand by that.

    Because we at most charge $5 for a 500 word, we can only spend so much time on research, otherwise we would never make a living. Having said that the main part of our article writing service involves research, simply because we are not experts on every subject we write about.

    I would love to be able to charge more, but it would be impossible, people would simply not buy our articles.

    Yes, I do state all articles will pass Copyscape because this is what everyone of our customers would ask anyway.
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    • Profile picture of the author Karen Blundell
      Originally Posted by cjbmeb14 View Post


      I would love to be able to charge more, but it would be impossible, people would simply not buy our articles.

      you're looking in the wrong places for clients. This topic has been actually covered many times. You'll actually do much better if you charge more because then you won't have to compete with the rest of the writers who charge a pittance. And the quality of your clientele will improve significantly.

      Real business people value good writers and pay them accordingly.

      Tiffany, I'm wondering how you explain news outlets who cover the same stories? They've basically re-written the news item. Another example is books: for example let's say the topic is "law of attraction". There are many books on the subject, and many of them say the same things but in different words. Are the writers then thieves?

      Many songs have the same chord progressions. Are the song-writers thieves ?

      I don't know if it is quite so black and white. Do you see what I mean?
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      • Profile picture of the author TiffanyLambert
        Originally Posted by Ckrismoney View Post

        What about PLR articles? I edit those because I have yet to find a PLR article without typos. While I edit the typos I also give clarity on some of the points made in the article to my own liking of course.

        I do learn a lot from PLR articles as I proof read them I gain insight on several topics.
        I said in the original post that ghostwriting and PLR are both okay - you're getting permission to use the work. But scraping or rewriting someone randomly online is what I'm addressing
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        • Profile picture of the author Tina Golden
          Originally Posted by cjbmeb14 View Post

          I would love to be able to charge more, but it would be impossible, people would simply not buy our articles.
          Nonsense. What you mean is cheap people looking to slap up any old thing to stuff keywords into wouldn't buy your articles. Take a close look at your business... what percentage of those "customers" are still your customers six months down the road? Or often even two months down the road?

          When you write only for those type of customers you have to devote a lot more time to customer acquisition because you are constantly losing prior customers. Not because of your work, but because they don't know how to build a real business.

          Plus the vast majority of those $5 customers are the most demanding and obnoxious customers you will ever work with.
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          • Profile picture of the author adbullock
            Originally Posted by Tina Golden View Post


            Plus the vast majority of those $5 customers are the most demanding and obnoxious customers you will ever work with.
            Amen to that!

            The entire post was right on but that line is one that I wish every writer or person who wants to be a writer would understand.
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        • Profile picture of the author JimMichael
          Totally agree with the OP.

          I also believe that you get what you pay for with writing. People jump to Fiverr for good, honest, original text - which is unlikely for just five bucks.

          Good writing can make or break a business - and, like everything else, you have to make a good and healthy investment in it to get a tool that will give you a good ROI.

          As an example, I pay my writers well above the average rate. However, in return, they produce press releases for our clients that are responsible for our business growing as quickly as it is. I'd be totally lost without them and their skills, even though it comes at a cost.

          Original content is the only way in my opinion. As for Copyscape - blah - it means nothing.
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        • Profile picture of the author Hanz
          Originally Posted by TiffanyDow View Post

          I said in the original post that ghostwriting and PLR are both okay - you're getting permission to use the work. But scraping or rewriting someone randomly online is what I'm addressing
          Good thread. It's a little more challenging for people who struggle with english when it comes to writing articles. And basically a large portion of writers on this forum are not native english speakers. So they find content and are trying to make it into their own words but their limited english makes the whole piece sound even worse.
          I think unless you are a professional in the field which you're writing about, it's going to be challenging to make the content seem original and immaculate. All one can do is put the content you've researched into your own words. But you will absolutely not be a pro in that field no matter if you pretend you are.
          We have people who offer product reviews of video games. They've never played the games but they still write about the quality of the game just from the reviews they've read. I guess they just take an indifferent attitude when reviewing the game. That's the safest bet when it comes to product reviews.
          General articles on the other hand are easier to write but unless you genuinely know about the subject, it's still a case of rehashing existing content.
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          • Profile picture of the author Tina Golden
            There is a vast difference between copying sentences and chunks from articles (what it sounds like rooze is saying he does) and taking notes. It doesn't matter whether you copy/paste or use a pen - note taking should not be whole sentences. Your notes should be actual facts that you get from your source materials.

            A real writer, who has learned something while researching, weaves those facts into a piece that has their own thoughts, perceptions and/or opinions to create a new work. They don't rewrite other people's work, not even in small chunks.

            Some of you walk a very fine line when you say that everything you know came from somewhere else. It sounds like you're trying to rationalize copyright infringement, or as Tiffany put it, content theft.
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            • Profile picture of the author David Keith
              Originally Posted by Tina Golden View Post

              Some of you walk a very fine line when you say that everything you know came from somewhere else. It sounds like you're trying to rationalize copyright infringement, or as Tiffany put it, content theft.
              So just to be clear, all or even most of the knowledge in your head didn't come from other sources?

              Are you saying that the stuff in your head is almost all original thoughts? You gained all this knowledge you have from laying in bed and just thinking?

              I am not rationalizing anything. I am making a very true statement that very little of what is in anyone's head are actually original thoughts.

              This will go a little of topic, but you know those epiphany moments we all have.

              Those are the very few moments when a person actually has their own fully original thoughts. Those are the only times when our brains actually take in facts and create our own truly original understandings of those facts.

              The rest of the time, we are just re-organizing the facts we have in our heads and putting them on paper using slightly different words than the original authors used.
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              • Profile picture of the author Jonathan 2.0
                Originally Posted by David Keith View Post

                Those are the very few moments when a person actually has their own fully original thoughts. Those are the only times when our brains actually take in facts and create our own truly original understandings of those facts.

                The rest of the time, we are just re-organizing the facts we have in our heads and putting them on paper using slightly different words than the original authors used.
                When you have many thoughts about a subject (from all different sources) and “reorganize” them into a new thought and/or a new way of expressing those thoughts, that's called being “creative.”

                Completely different from stealing another person’s work IMO.
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                • Profile picture of the author David Keith
                  Originally Posted by Jonathan 2.0 View Post

                  When you have many thoughts about a subject and "reorganize" them into a new thought and/or a new way of expressing those thoughts, that's called being "creative."

                  Completely different from stealing another person's work IMO.
                  This is pretty much why my first post in this thread said that the difference between theft and research is largely defined by how many original sources you use.

                  re-organizing the information from 1 source to create your new article/report is going to be stealing in almost every case.

                  but "re-organizing" the information from 5 sources can easily be considered to be a new creative work.

                  The second scenario I don't have a problem with for the most part, unless of course they do stupid stuff like steal entire sentences or blocks of text without giving credit.
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                  • Profile picture of the author Jonathan 2.0
                    No I agree David.

                    That's something I forgot to be clear on originally. When I said: "When you have many thoughts about a subject" I meant from all different and numerous sources. : ) That's just the "creative process" IMO. And I agree copying whole blocks of content isn't a good thing to do. (Unless you're including a couple of sentences and giving credit to the original source.)
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                  • Profile picture of the author BelindaMooney
                    I write and spin articles for clients all the time. I also write for print publications. I buy PLR here and there, I actually just took advantage of Tiff's $1 sale and bought some. Why? Not because I am going to use it as PLR actually but because I love reading her stuff and it always sparks new ideas for me.

                    The other - she does write about some things I do as well and I often use it as part of research because I know she is dependable. You can write original articles and write them well and charge decent for them. I don't yet charge $30 for a 500 word article but neither do I charge $5 - for Internet purposes I am somewhere in between. For the print word I sell a lot to regionals and sell the same article again and again (reprint rights) and earn more than I would from anyone article.

                    My clients always often tell me it needs to pass copyscape. I never ever worry about it nor do I even check it because I research several sources, gather my facts and write my own articles. I have never had a problem - ever.

                    Tiffany is right on one thing - style shows through. I plan on opening a PLR store soon. It has been in the works for some time - I have a ton of articles for print I can turn into PLR. WIll I write on the same topics Tiffany does - yep some will cross - will it be her PLR up there with my name - nope not at all. Will her PLR spark ideas for me? Yep you bet! Good writers can get ideas from anywhere and run with it! You can't copyright keywords, or ideas in general. You can put a new slant, different direction and total different spin on it and write something that is YOU.

                    Belinda
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                  • Profile picture of the author Karen Blundell
                    I admit I used to promote "Spinners". Until it dawned on me...wtf, how could I possibly endorse these things when the potential for misuse was so obvious?

                    I wasn't even thinking of that at first, though. I was thinking that it was a handy tool I could easily promote and make easy commissions. I sold a couple of them. We are all human and can sometimes have poor judgement. It happens to the best of us, you see.

                    Needless to say, I no longer promote them no matter how good they are.
                    Because they indirectly or not, encourage stealing, the type of stealing Tiffany et al are discussing in this thread.
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                    • Profile picture of the author dcristo
                      Originally Posted by Karen Blundell View Post

                      I admit I used to promote "Spinners". Until it dawned on me...wtf, how could I possibly endorse these things when the potential for misuse was so obvious?

                      I wasn't even thinking of that at first, though. I was thinking that it was a handy tool I could easily promote and make easy commissions. I sold a couple of them. We are all human and can sometimes have poor judgement. It happens to the best of us, you see.

                      Needless to say, I no longer promote them no matter how good they are.
                      Because they indirectly or not, encourage stealing, the type of stealing Tiffany et al are discussing in this thread.
                      What do you mean by how good they are? There isn't one decent article spinner. They all produce gibberish.
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            • Profile picture of the author rooze
              Originally Posted by Tina Golden View Post

              There is a vast difference between copying sentences and chunks from articles (what it sounds like rooze is saying he does) and taking notes. It doesn't matter whether you copy/paste or use a pen - note taking should not be whole sentences. Your notes should be actual facts that you get from your source materials.

              A real writer, who has learned something while researching, weaves those facts into a piece that has their own thoughts, perceptions and/or opinions to create a new work. They don't rewrite other people's work, not even in small chunks.

              Some of you walk a very fine line when you say that everything you know came from somewhere else. It sounds like you're trying to rationalize copyright infringement, or as Tiffany put it, content theft.
              I tend to write technical, not always but mostly. I write by assembling information into a base file. When I'm not writing I'm reading. When I read something that maybe I'd like to write about at some point in the future I'll bookmark the page, or if I already have an outline going for an idea, I'll copy the text that interests me and paste it into the file that I have going. That gives me a starting point. I copy/paste ideas, notions, concepts, stats, and just nice words that I like the sound of. I put in my own typed notes, ideas, observations etc and push things around so I have a flow or sequence.
              I then write my article based on the notes I've assembled.
              When I write on technical subjects I'm not doing 'development' I'm doing research. The facts, concepts etc have been established by others, I'm merely putting my slant on it. The mechanics of what I do are similar to what most researchers do. There's nothing illegal, immoral, illicit about it.

              Whether I grab a whole paragraph or sit down and paraphrase using a pen and pad to record my notes, is irrelevant. I'm still taking notes and doing research.
              Compared back to the OP there isn't much difference between researching in this way and what the OP'r calls 'theft'. The assembly of information, the collection of data, it all comes from other peoples' work. The final product is something which I've written based on the results of my research. It's my interpretation, nothing more nothing less. That's what research is. Development is something different altogether.
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            • Profile picture of the author thatgirlJ
              Originally Posted by Tina Golden View Post

              There is a vast difference between copying sentences and chunks from articles (what it sounds like rooze is saying he does) and taking notes. It doesn't matter whether you copy/paste or use a pen - note taking should not be whole sentences. Your notes should be actual facts that you get from your source materials.

              A real writer, who has learned something while researching, weaves those facts into a piece that has their own thoughts, perceptions and/or opinions to create a new work. They don't rewrite other people's work, not even in small chunks.

              Some of you walk a very fine line when you say that everything you know came from somewhere else. It sounds like you're trying to rationalize copyright infringement, or as Tiffany put it, content theft.
              I haven't read anywhere near close to the whole thread, but did want to offer a view of one point.

              As I go through and read various sources, I do copy whole sections into a notes file, with citations, for my own use. This is NOT to plagiarize -- it's to get rid of the "noise." There are parts of the facts/discussion in sources that are not at all relevant to what I want to learn. I'm someone who gets distracted by excess information. To be efficient and stay on topic with my reading, I'll do a "skim" to grab and condense the most relevant info: though no one sees it but me, it's important for my organization).

              That is the first part of my process. Sometimes I take a screenshot of the relevant info and other times I paste into a text file. Then, I'm able to easily reference and study only the information which is most relevant (this is the "note taking" you're referencing, Tina. It's my 2nd step).

              It's similar to what I do for my Master's degree studies. If I have 40 peer reviewed journal articles to go through, but am only interested in understanding their research design for my focus area (to get a feel for how I might design my own research study), I zero in ONLY on the information that is relevant to this. Skimming the rest and creating a notes file of the important stuff. Copying? No. It's just my personal notes, with sources. It's not my final note taking or information pile, but it's a start. If I then create a report on the most commonly used research designs, it's not just "rewriting" chunks.

              The fact that I create an initial notes file means nothing to the result, other than it made it easier for me to focus on what was important.

              From there (whether for IM articles or school), I am able to widen my knowledge without excess "stuff' to get through. It's a focusing technique. Once someone has focused their information, they can then begin the work of more thorough (and much more specific) research.

              Beyond that, It's important to separate what is accepted as common knowledge or facts. Also, if someone is not intimately familiar with or has not done the research themselves (either their own research or contact with primary sources), we are ALL getting our info from other sources. It's not original to us.

              So, perhaps instead of quibbling over fine lines and grey areas, we should be making a case for required citations in IM writing

              (this is obviously different than those who are outright rewriting or stealing).
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              • Profile picture of the author kalgutman
                Originally Posted by J Elizabeth Dize View Post

                I haven't read anywhere near close to the whole thread, but did want to offer a view of one point.

                As I go through and read various sources, I do copy whole sections into a notes file, with citations, for my own use. This is NOT to plagiarize -- it's to get rid of the "noise." There are parts of the facts/discussion in sources that are not at all relevant to what I want to learn. I'm someone who gets distracted by excess information. To be efficient and stay on topic with my reading, I'll do a "skim" to grab and condense the most relevant info: though no one sees it but me, it's important for my organization).

                That is the first part of my process. Sometimes I take a screenshot of the relevant info and other times I paste into a text file. Then, I'm able to easily reference and study only the information which is most relevant (this is the "note taking" you're referencing, Tina. It's my 2nd step).

                It's similar to what I do for my Master's degree studies. If I have 40 peer reviewed journal articles to go through, but am only interested in understanding their research design for my focus area (to get a feel for how I might design my own research study), I zero in ONLY on the information that is relevant to this. Skimming the rest and creating a notes file of the important stuff. Copying? No. It's just my personal notes, with sources. It's not my final note taking or information pile, but it's a start. If I then create a report on the most commonly used research designs, it's not just "rewriting" chunks.

                The fact that I create an initial notes file means nothing to the result, other than it made it easier for me to focus on what was important.

                From there (whether for IM articles or school), I am able to widen my knowledge without excess "stuff' to get through. It's a focusing technique. Once someone has focused their information, they can then begin the work of more thorough (and much more specific) research.

                Beyond that, It's important to separate what is accepted as common knowledge or facts. Also, if someone is not intimately familiar with or has not done the research themselves (either their own research or contact with primary sources), we are ALL getting our info from other sources. It's not original to us.

                So, perhaps instead of quibbling over fine lines and grey areas, we should be making a case for required citations in IM writing

                (this is obviously different than those who are outright rewriting or stealing).
                I think that was very reasonable and to clarify the reasons for copying and pasting was smart to mention as there are some anxious folks/gunslingers on this topic/thread, lol!

                Kal
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              • Profile picture of the author TiffanyLambert
                Originally Posted by J Elizabeth Dize View Post

                That is the first part of my process. Sometimes I take a screenshot of the relevant info and other times I paste into a text file. Then, I'm able to easily reference and study only the information which is most relevant (this is the "note taking" you're referencing, Tina. It's my 2nd step).
                Hey Jenn!

                This type of research isn't at all what I was having a problem with. Research can be buying 20 books at B&N or having a computer file of information.

                I was specifically helping educate those who have been taught that you can cut and paste someone else's work and then just rewrite the sentences.

                Bad business practices that need to be nipped in the bud. I'm not talking about outright thieves who know what they do and don't care. I'm not talking about researchers who cut and paste files for research but write from scratch as it sounds like you do.

                I'm talking about all the IM scum teaching people who know no better a shortcut that's content theft.

                So what you do, I have no problem with.

                In general, not to Jenn:

                Where I had a problem w/Rooze was his statement that he was against the grain and stating he was "going through and adding my own style, my own interpretations and my own spin on the subjects where necessary."

                If he's not using other peoples work, no problem whatsoever. I read it that way - combined w/the whole "I'm the only who feels this way" and "keep me warm and fed" shortcut mentality.

                Someone else in another thread said something about minding your own business and only teaching what you KNOW - not what you know nothing about.

                What utter nonsense!

                Of COURSE I'm going to teach people who NEED to know better, the right thing to do - and that includes what TO do and what NOT to do. It makes NO sense to say I shouldn't teach people not to do something because I haven't done it before. I haven't done it before because it's unethical!!

                And when I DO make a post like that, it's OBVIOUSLY not directed at:

                1. The people who are okay w/ripping people off. You won't listen anyway.

                2. The people who don't see it as ripping people off, but clearly understand that there are two arguments out there - one where you ARE a content thief, and one where you're not. You're going to adhere to the business model you want to - and no, I'm not claiming to be the police - hence my whole point about it not being as much about the legalities, because who's going to sue you for an article anyway? It was about the ethics.

                3. The people who get all offended (nothing worse than someone who gets offended all the time) because someone was trying to teach them something and it sounds judgmental.

                This thread wasn't created to benefit you. My thread was for all the others. The ones who DID need to know that little nugget of advice. But I'm glad others chimed in too. Many lessons in seeing where people stand ethics wise - if it's in line w/you or not.

                Not everyone has to agree, but I'll be damned if I'm not going to speak up when there's an issue I know many newbies or unsuspecting people are being taught the wrong way.

                That's just plain cowardly in my opinion.
                Tiff
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                • Profile picture of the author rooze
                  Originally Posted by TiffanyDow View Post

                  Where I had a problem w/Rooze was his statement that he was against the grain and stating he was "going through and adding my own style, my own interpretations and my own spin on the subjects where necessary."

                  If he's not using other peoples work, no problem whatsoever. I read it that way - combined w/the whole "I'm the only who feels this way" and "keep me warm and fed" shortcut mentality.
                  Since you continue to bring my name into your little debate I'm going to have to continue to step in an correct you. Your level of ignorance and arrogance is simply astounding. Having explained my methods quite clearly to you, you continue to harp on about what you think I said and what you think I meant by it, completely oblivious to the facts, which have been pointed out to you in numerous posts by various individuals.

                  We've all seen and heard you, good Lord have we ever. People have gently prodded you and tried to get you to see the foolishness of your ways. But clearly, you have neither the personality nor the intellect to recognize when you are making a complete and utter ass out of yourself.

                  So I'm respectfully asking that you leave me out of your nonsense thread, I've had enough of your defaming my character for one lifetime.

                  If you continue to bring my name into this and continue to make derogatory inferences about my ethics, I'll seek the necessary course of action to prevent it.

                  Go harass someone else lady.
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      • Profile picture of the author HeySal
        Originally Posted by Karen Blundell View Post

        you're looking in the wrong places for clients. This topic has been actually covered many times. You'll actually do much better if you charge more because then you won't have to compete with the rest of the writers who charge a pittance. And the quality of your clientele will improve significantly.

        Real business people value good writers and pay them accordingly.

        Tiffany, I'm wondering how you explain news outlets who cover the same stories? They've basically re-written the news item. Another example is books: for example let's say the topic is "law of attraction". There are many books on the subject, and many of them say the same things but in different words. Are the writers then thieves?

        Many songs have the same chord progressions. Are the song-writers thieves ?

        I don't know if it is quite so black and white. Do you see what I mean?
        Statistics and facts are fair use for anyone, Karen - it's the individual slant on the facts that news has to produce. For instance - 5 different news channels may report on a warehouse fire, that is public information and not subject to copyright -- the story of the one woman who lost a son in the fire will be copyrightable material. That's why you get the story of the event, but different coverage of it from each paper - and why reporters always have cameras with them and police scanners running....so they can be first out with the noncopyrightable information (known as "scoop"). If you see the exact same story on two different news sources, chances are they are owned by the same entity.

        A whole subject field will still have noncopyrightable facts - but something such as textbooks give different orientations for those facts - will cite different research, bring in different peripheral material, so the finished copy may be the same subject, but you still get the unique orientation to the subject.

        As far as music, I'm not sure how much of a convergence of melody is acceptable as still being unique - but if I were going to write music, I trust myself to be honest and smart enough to find out EXACTLY where lines need to be drawn BEFORE getting too far into the business.

        That's one of my favorite gripes about people getting into business online - if you are going to brand yourself, find out BEFORE hand if you are treading on someone else's trademark. If you are going to use content, find out BEFORE you use it what the legalities are. It's called "business" not "lets go do crap we're clueless about". If people aren't ready for that responsibility, then they need to go work for someone else who was able to handle the legal aspects of business building.
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        • Profile picture of the author TiffanyLambert
          Originally Posted by HeySal View Post

          Unlike you, however, I don't feel that many are all so innocent.
          Oh I'm with you. I think there are a ton of thieves on purpose. But I'm specifically talking to people who know no better. And there are many of these because they have NO clue about legalities or even ethics - going with what they're taught by shady marketers. They think honestly, as long as they rewrite to pass copyscape, they're ethical. And they're not.

          Originally Posted by Karen Blundell View Post

          Tiffany, I'm wondering how you explain news outlets who cover the same stories? They've basically re-written the news item. Another example is books: for example let's say the topic is "law of attraction". There are many books on the subject, and many of them say the same things but in different words. Are the writers then thieves?Many songs have the same chord progressions. Are the song-writers thieves?
          Someone else already addressed it but facts are not copyrighted. New organizations report the facts but no reputable news source "rewrites" some other reporter's story. IE: They get the facts from the source, but CNN doesn't just go to Fox News and copy and edit their story, rewording it.

          Like I said, educating yourself is one thing. Rewriting is another.
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      • Profile picture of the author deejones
        Originally Posted by Karen Blundell View Post

        Tiffany, I'm wondering how you explain news outlets who cover the same stories? They've basically re-written the news item.
        I'm not Tiffany, but I can answer this one. Journalists don't copy from each other. One journalist doesn't take the other's news story and just rewrite it in their own words. (I hope.) However, if you have two journalists working on the same story, the facts will be the same, so the stories will be similar.

        The same goes for books on the same topic. The two authors will be working with the same facts, and will probably use some of the same sources for research, so the books will contain similar information. But it's not the same as one guy taking another guy's book and just rewriting it in his own words.

        ETA: Oops, Tiffany beat me to it.
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      • Profile picture of the author John Coutts
        Originally Posted by Karen Blundell View Post

        I'm wondering how you explain news outlets who cover the same stories? They've basically re-written the news item.
        Most news stories, apart from breaking news, comes form press releases. A press release is not intended to be used by a newspaper, or other media outlet, as is. It is intended to convey the facts, and newspapers are encouraged to use the press release as a basis for the story.

        The parts of a press release that should be used verbatim include obvious things like quotes, company names, locations, etc.

        Of course, many media outlets use the press releases as they receive it, or they barely change it at all. That's OK too, if not very imaginative.

        John.
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        • Profile picture of the author TiffanyLambert
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          • Profile picture of the author rooze
            Originally Posted by TiffanyDow View Post

            Then charge more. Work the research time into the per page equation. That's what I did.

            Then make notes - bullet points.

            You're not. That's the point of this - it's theft. You add your style and spin? That's not ethical and honest at all, it's content theft.
            Yes, you're right. You seem to have the "passes copyscape" mentality.
            What an excuse to be a thief. Sorry, if I were you, I'd delete your response out of pure shame. You're excusing yourself because it's content and not a bag of money or something off a shelf. But you're a thief, nonetheless.
            I think perhaps you're incapable of recognizing a subtle point when you see one. if you open your eyes and read what I've written you'll see that what I described is a practice which we all adopt. We read, we take notes, we interpret, we weave sentences and facts together and we WRITE. It's called 'research' and it isn't theft.

            The fact that you've missed my not too subtle way of getting a point across, and the condescending manner in which you've approached your response, makes me feel quite bad for you.
            Unless.....wait a minute....perhaps you are the one, the one person who is writing all of the truly original content which the rest of us are just stealing.
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            • Profile picture of the author TiffanyLambert
              Originally Posted by rooze View Post

              I think perhaps you're incapable of recognizing a subtle point when you see one. if you open your eyes and read what I've written you'll see that what I described is a practice which we all adopt. We read, we take notes, we interpret, we weave sentences and facts together and we WRITE. It's called 'research' and it isn't theft.

              The fact that you've missed my not too subtle way of getting a point across, and the condescending manner in which you've approached your response, makes me feel quite bad for you.
              Unless.....wait a minute....perhaps you are the one, the one person who is writing all of the truly original content which the rest of us are just stealing.
              I speak in blunt words, not "subtleties."

              You didn't say you read, take notes, interpret and weave - you flat out said you are "copying and pasting sections from multiple articles into a large text file, then going through and adding my own style, my own interpretations and my own spin on the subjects where necessary.

              So nothing subtle there, fella - you're telling me you copy and paste and rewrite. If you would like to lie to yourself and tell yourself you're a weaver of words, LMFAO, then go ahead and give yourself a big pat on the back for your efforts.
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              • Profile picture of the author rooze
                Originally Posted by TiffanyDow View Post

                I speak in blunt words, not "subtleties."

                You didn't say you read, take notes, interpret and weave - you flat out said you are "copying and pasting sections from multiple articles into a large text file, then going through and adding my own style, my own interpretations and my own spin on the subjects where necessary.

                So nothing subtle there, fella - you're telling me you copy and paste and rewrite. If you would like to lie to yourself and tell yourself you're a weaver of words, LMFAO, then go ahead and give yourself a big pat on the back for your efforts.
                Yes you are rather blunt, aren't you. Do you take notes when you are researching or are you able to retain it all in memory? If you take notes, do you do so using a pencil and paper, or do you use the computer alternative for note-taking, which is copy/paste?
                The creation of a base file for my 'notes' might take a couple hours and the writing of a finished article based on my research might take a day or two, depending on the subject. I charge plenty for my work, my articles and books, I don't need to increase my prices as you suggest.
                So since you like blunt, let me give it to you in language you can understand:
                Nothing is as original as you make it out to be.

                We're all learning from what other people have written and we all have our ways of researching and writing about the subjects we're employed to represent.

                There's something wholly disingenuous and hypocritical about the stance you are taking. Frankly, your holier than thou approach to defending your inane OP makes me chuckle.
                Good luck with your original writing endeavors.
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                • Profile picture of the author Jonathan 2.0
                  I think most people know whether they're being a “thief” or not.

                  And, people can usually tell when a person has plagiarized (or whatever) another person's work.
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              • Profile picture of the author ksmusselman
                Originally Posted by TiffanyDow View Post

                I speak in blunt words, not "subtleties."

                You didn't say you read, take notes, interpret and weave - you flat out said you are "copying and pasting sections from multiple articles into a large text file, then going through and adding my own style, my own interpretations and my own spin on the subjects where necessary.

                So nothing subtle there, fella - you're telling me you copy and paste and rewrite. If you would like to lie to yourself and tell yourself you're a weaver of words, LMFAO, then go ahead and give yourself a big pat on the back for your efforts.
                Actually, this is what I do, but more in depth. Because I seriously cannot remember everything I read, I have to take notes from several sources. I do not sit and hand-write everything I see online, for heaven's sakes, so yes, I copy my "bullet points" into a text file from a variety of sources. I have to take more than just a "note" here and there because I could never remember what that "note" meant hours down the road when I can sit down and make some sense out of it.

                Then, like I did in college, I organize those clips and bits and pieces in that text file, from wherever I read it, into an order, like under topic headings. And then I pick it apart and write.

                Is some of it "rewritten"? Absolutely. If someone wrote in their blog, "You unhook the chain and hook it up to the truck..." I may write, "You need to unhook one end of the chain first and then connect it back to ... (whatever it's supposed to be connected to).

                In other words, depending on what you're writing about, there are only so many ways you can tell someone to unhook a chain. There are bound to be similar sentences all over the place. Do a search here on the forum and you're going to find the same sentences turning up in different parts of the forum. It's inevitable.

                My nail art that I write about. There are only so many ways you can do a French manicure. There are only so many steps to doing water marbling. Those steps have to be in a specific order. So no matter who writes about water marbling, there are going to be some sentences that are going to sound the same.

                Does that mean I went out and stalked everyone else's beauty blog to write an article about water marbling? Nope. I do water marbling myself; I do French manicures. So I write about how I did them. Unfortunately, I do them the same way as everyone else.

                I can add slants to them, like use a sponge instead of a brush and you're going to get a different effect. And someone else may put in their blog, "If you use a cosmetic square..." Well, a cosmetic square is a sponge. That doesn't mean they thieved my article from me. Just means they know how to do French manicures too but they call it a cosmetic sponge or a "cotton bud" instead of a Q-tip.

                I don't think I need to go on about how there are only so many ways you can shop for a wedding gown or plan a bridal shower or plan a memorial service or funeral. In some topics, there are only so many ways you can write about it, even without ever being online before in your life. It's just the way it is.

                Am I a thief? You'd probably think so because of what I call research which is what I was taught in school some 30-odd YEARS ago; and some of my wedding, manicure, funeral, crafts and hockey articles probably do sound like someone else's. But again, in some topics, there are only so many ways to bury someone, depending on where you live.
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          • Profile picture of the author ksmusselman
            Originally Posted by TiffanyDow View Post

            You're not. That's the point of this - it's theft. You add your style and spin? That's not ethical and honest at all, it's content theft.
            I really think you misunderstood and misquoted Mr. Rooze here. Adding your own spin and "spinning" are way different. If "Margie" does her French manicure the basic way, my "spin" on that might be, say, doing the French manicure - in reverse, using a different color on the tip, etc. That's "putting my own spin" on it, adding my own style to already recognized way of doing something. i.e., my own slant based on what I would do or have done. That's not "spinning" an article.

            I think the term "spin" gets taken out of context too much these days. It's like whenever someone says they're adding their own spin to an idea, they're "spinning" it and OMG that is such a BAD thing. Kind of like, when did the term "gay" start to mean homosexual and not just "a really happy guy" :confused:

            Here's another point. I wrote an ebook about 14 years ago on the subject of starting a home-based typing business. It actually started out as a "print on demand" and print and mail booklet because ebooks weren't all that popular yet. Anyway, I've edited my ebook over the years to update the information because a lot happens in technology quickly.

            So I've been selling my little ebook on a couple of my websites over the years. A couple of years ago I noticed that someone else launched a transcription course. Cool! The more, the merrier!

            Okay, so I get this email from this woman accusing me of ripping her off and copying her content - because - one of her customers bought her course before seeing mine. I'm like, okay, mine's been out online in one form or another since 1997. Hers launched in 2000-and something. Who allegedly stole from whom??

            I was nice. I offered her a free copy of my ebook for her to evaluate.

            She emails back - "Great content! And you're right - there are only so many ways you can say, "Launch Word" .. "Launch Express Scribe..." "Load the file."

            Neither of us stole anything from the other. We each were writing from our own personal experiences. Yet either of us could easily have called the other a "thief."

            But on the note of purely original work - neither of us wrote one thing that was purely "original." We couldn't have! We had to read instruction manuals on how to use Word, how to use Express Scribe, how to use the tools we use every day in our businesses. Guess what we did? We each added our own "spin" to words and instructions we'd already read elsewhere, like on the software manufacturer's website or in their instruction manuals.

            So me personally, in my own honest opinion, (and I've been online "stalking" Willie Crawford and Jim Daniels, just to name drop a couple, since the early 90s) I seriously believe the term "original content" is so subjective it's difficult to call anyone a "thief" unless you're literally watching over their shoulders at every step they take during their own person article writing process - or - you literally catch them passing off something that is complete plagiarism.
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          • Profile picture of the author MP80
            Originally Posted by rooze View Post

            As per usual I find myself being the only one who feels this way, but here goes...

            ...In this sense I probably fall under the OP's definition of a thief and I'm guilty as charged. My only defense is that nothing is original, it's all been written before. Plus, we're all faced with practical and real world constraints, such as time, money, memory, age and the desire to stay warm and fed.
            Thanks Rooze, for providing another viewpoint, and adding to the discussion. I thought it was honest and brave (especially in this thread).

            Originally Posted by TiffanyDow View Post

            Sorry, if I were you, I'd delete your response out of pure shame.
            Tiffany, I disagree... living in, or doing things out of 'shame' is not living at all. We, as humans, love to judge other human beings, which is why I, personally, find it refreshing when someone says 'Well this is me, and you can take it or leave it' (Obviously though, you are not going to be the one to 'take it' :p)

            Good for you both; lots of great points, and an interesting discussion... What more could we ask for?
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            • Profile picture of the author George Wright
              Originally Posted by MP80 View Post

              lots of great points, and an interesting discussion... What more could we ask for?
              Popcorn with butter!
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          • Profile picture of the author kalgutman
            Sorry Tiffany,

            But I disagree.

            I have not written one single piece of material because sometimes it looks like the blind leading the blind when it comes to money and the online perceived get rich quick schemes out there when tutorials and plr are created.

            Where does the material (words) come from???
            What is a swipe file???
            Why does it seem that spinners are a dime a dozen???
            Why are you researching material in the first place???
            again-Where does the material (words) come from???

            I thought rooze gave an honest overview of what most will not share.

            I understand being protective about your own work, but where does all this research and documenting all boil down to?

            I do not see the difference and I have been observing and learning the IM market for almost 6 years now (it attracts the same type of entrepreneurs in mlm good and bad).

            If it looks like, smells like, and feels like it is, then it is!

            I'm suspect of this whole enchilda quite frankly!

            Kal
            P.S. I think this topic is helping me with my own conclusions to writing and hiring writers and writing articles for low bucks and the time allowed for research even at $30 per article leaves me suspicious to how the material is acquired in general.





            Originally Posted by TiffanyDow View Post

            Then charge more. Work the research time into the per page equation. That's what I did.



            Then make notes - bullet points.



            You're not. That's the point of this - it's theft. You add your style and spin? That's not ethical and honest at all, it's content theft.



            Yes, you're right. You seem to have the "passes copyscape" mentality.



            What an excuse to be a thief. Sorry, if I were you, I'd delete your response out of pure shame. You're excusing yourself because it's content and not a bag of money or something off a shelf. But you're a thief, nonetheless.
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            • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
              Originally Posted by kalgutman View Post

              I have not written one single piece of material because sometimes it looks like the blind leading the blind
              I'm sorry, are you actually saying that you haven't written anything because nobody else writes anything good? What the hell kind of logic is that?
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              • Profile picture of the author kalgutman
                Originally Posted by CDarklock View Post

                I'm sorry, are you actually saying that you haven't written anything because nobody else writes anything good? What the hell kind of logic is that?
                If that's your interpretation!

                Then obviously my writing is still not good enough!

                Kal
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        • Profile picture of the author Wendy Maki
          Originally Posted by John Coutts View Post

          Most news stories, apart from breaking news, comes form press releases. A press release is not intended to be used by a newspaper, or other media outlet, as is. It is intended to convey the facts, and newspapers are encouraged to use the press release as a basis for the story.

          The parts of a press release that should be used verbatim include obvious things like quotes, company names, locations, etc.

          Of course, many media outlets use the press releases as they receive it, or they barely change it at all. That's OK too, if not very imaginative.

          John.
          It's actually amazing how many don't realize what a resource genuine press releases are. As you say, they are intended to be quoted, chopped up, reused, just like.... PLR! But it's better info usually!

          What people also don't realize is the difference between press releases and reprintable articles. Press releases (real ones) CAN be rewritten (or not) without actual credit -- but reprintable articles cannot be changed or even reprinted without author credit.

          I know it's off-topic a bit, but it does indicate that you really need to understand the rules of the game as soon as you are using material that comes from somewhere else... and so we circle back to copywrite!
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      • Profile picture of the author adbullock
        Originally Posted by Karen Blundell View Post


        Tiffany, I'm wondering how you explain news outlets who cover the same stories? They've basically re-written the news item.
        I'm not Tiffany and I can't answer for ALL news services but a LOT of them, especially news services in smaller markets, subscribe to wire services. It operates kind of like PLR where they get the details or meat of the story but are then left to put their own "slant" or human perspective on the story. It's how small local papers in the Midwest can post news about hurricanes in the Southeast or nuclear disasters in Japan.
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    • Profile picture of the author Kim Standerline
      I agree with Tiff et al,

      If you're providing a service where the articles are well researched and written then you should be charging a lot more than $5 per article.

      I charge $15 per 500 word article and I'm very cheap. I should charge a lot more but I only write for certain people now and I know that's all they can afford

      Originally Posted by cjbmeb14 View Post

      As you can see I provide an article writing service on here, and I state that all articles are 100% unique, and I stand by that.

      Because we at most charge $5 for a 500 word, we can only spend so much time on research, otherwise we would never make a living. Having said that the main part of our article writing service involves research, simply because we are not experts on every subject we write about.

      I would love to be able to charge more, but it would be impossible, people would simply not buy our articles.

      Yes, I do state all articles will pass Copyscape because this is what everyone of our customers would ask anyway.
      I think I see where Rooze is coming from, he's copying and pasting for research not just copying and editing etc,

      Originally Posted by rooze View Post

      Yes you are rather blunt, aren't you. Do you take notes when you are researching or are you able to retain it all in memory? If you take notes, do you do so using a pencil and paper, or do you use the computer alternative for note-taking, which is copy/paste?
      The creation of a base file for my 'notes' might take a couple hours and the writing of a finished article based on my research might take a day or two, depending on the subject. I charge plenty for my work, my articles and books, I don't need to increase my prices as you suggest.
      So since you like blunt, let me give it to you in language you can understand:
      Nothing is as original as you make it out to be.

      We're all learning from what other people have written and we all have our ways of researching and writing about the subjects we're employed to represent.

      There's something wholly disingenuous and hypocritical about the stance you are taking. Frankly, your holier than thou approach to defending your inane OP makes me chuckle.
      Good luck with your original writing endeavors.
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      • Profile picture of the author TiffanyLambert
        Originally Posted by rooze View Post

        Yes you are rather blunt, aren't you.
        It helps people not mistake what I say.

        Originally Posted by rooze View Post

        Do you take notes when you are researching or are you able to retain it all in memory? If you take notes, do you do so using a pencil and paper, or do you use the computer alternative for note-taking, which is copy/paste?
        Neither. I don't copy paste. Have you ever heard of opening up Word and typing? So for instance, let's say I'm writing an article about affiliate marketing tips. I know a lot, but I also learn that list building is important from something I read online, right?

        Now there are a ton of tips on list building for affiliates, but my notes would just say "list building." The IDEA isn't copyrighted, but the way the idea is used IS, so I would give list building tips on my own - things I know or educate myself with.

        I wouldn't take the article that told me about list building as an affiliate, paste it into a file and "rewrite it and "spin it" - I would do it from scratch. Maybe that's what you're saying you do - but your original post did not say that.

        Originally Posted by rooze View Post

        There's something wholly disingenuous and hypocritical about the stance you are taking. Frankly, your holier than thou approach to defending your inane OP makes me chuckle. Good luck with your original writing endeavors.
        I think you need to look up the word hypocrite while doing your next batch of research and pasting. Just because I'm blunt doesn't mean I'm holier than thou. Thin skinned people get offended - oh well.

        If you're not doing anything wrong, don't worry about it. But don't sit there and defend bad (unethical) writing practices with "I have to keep fed" phrases. It's despicable.
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        • Profile picture of the author rooze
          Originally Posted by TiffanyDow View Post

          It's despicable.
          See there you go again. Just as I was warming to you you go and put your foot in it again.
          If you create a post about 'writing' and you don't understand or can't relate to 'subtlety', and you can't detect the hypocrisy in accusing someone of being despicable for pretty much doing what you do and what everyone else who writes does, then perhaps you need to change your profession. Perhaps writing isn't for you. Unless of course your specialist subject is writing about exhaust manifolds on WWII Sherman Tanks.
          Do you want to keep digging or shall we just call a truce and go about our business?
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          • Profile picture of the author TiffanyLambert
            Originally Posted by rooze View Post

            See there you go again. Just as I was warming to you you go and put your foot in it again.
            If you create a post about 'writing' and you don't understand or can't relate to 'subtlety', and you can't detect the hypocrisy in accusing someone of being despicable for pretty much doing what you do and what everyone else who writes does, then perhaps you need to change your profession. Perhaps writing isn't for you. Unless of course your specialist subject is writing about exhaust manifolds on WWII Sherman Tanks.
            Do you want to keep digging or shall we just call a truce and go about our business?
            I don't do what you do - cut, paste and reword. I said in my last post if that's not what you're doing, good. if it is, not good. There's no truce. There's no continued digging. I think you're just trying to excuse bad behavior and you aren't making sense saying I do the same.
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      • Profile picture of the author Hanz
        Originally Posted by Kim Standerline View Post


        If you're providing a service where the articles are well researched and written then you should be charging a lot more than $5 per article.
        True although cheaper rates also means more potential business. There may be many more customers who would buy more articles in bulk. There are pros and cons for both sides I think. Unless you are a very popular name in the writing industry and have a great reputation, offering lower rates is a good way to get your name out there and build your clientele and then ultimately over time, you can slowly increase your rates.
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        • Profile picture of the author Kim Standerline
          I think I'd lose the will to live if I was writing for $5 per article Hans,
          I see your point though

          Originally Posted by Hanz View Post

          True although cheaper rates also means more potential business. There may be many more customers who would buy more articles in bulk. There are pros and cons for both sides I think. Unless you are a very popular name in the writing industry and have a great reputation, offering lower rates is a good way to get your name out there and build your clientele and then ultimately over time, you can slowly increase your rates.
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        • Profile picture of the author PatriciaS
          Originally Posted by Hanz View Post

          True although cheaper rates also means more potential business. There may be many more customers who would buy more articles in bulk. There are pros and cons for both sides I think. Unless you are a very popular name in the writing industry and have a great reputation, offering lower rates is a good way to get your name out there and build your clientele and then ultimately over time, you can slowly increase your rates.
          Eh, as someone who doesn't write for clients anymore (basically stopped in the mid-90s), I can assure you that "lower rates" is a great way to attract cheapskates who don't appreciate you or what you do and will simply find something cheaper (e.g., Phillipines and elsewhere) when/if you raise your prices.

          This may not apply 100$ across the board, but more than most people would like to think. My advice is: have enough confidence and respect for yourself, your talent, and experience and even your client to demand a living wage from the work you do for your clients.
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          • Profile picture of the author LIndaB
            Unfortunately, there are more and more IM products that seem to encourage the type of theft you are talking about, Tiffany. I know several software programs that post to web 2.0 sites that have a function to go grab an article off Ezine Articles, spin it, and then submit it to those sites. Or they grab 3 or 4 different articles and then grab a few paragraphs from each. This is blatant theft, but considering how popular these programs are and how many people use them, it seems to be becoming acceptable in the IM world.
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          • Profile picture of the author John Coutts
            Originally Posted by chi-whiz View Post

            Eh, as someone who doesn't write for clients anymore (basically stopped in the mid-90s), I can assure you that "lower rates" is a great way to attract cheapskates who don't appreciate you or what you do and will simply find something cheaper (e.g., Phillipines and elsewhere) when/if you raise your prices.

            This may not apply 100$ across the board, but more than most people would like to think. My advice is: have enough confidence and respect for yourself, your talent, and experience and even your client to demand a living wage from the work you do for your clients.
            When I raised my rates from a lower scale to a higher scale, I discovered that my clients were suddenly much more polite and respectful. They treated me as an equal, and not a slave. They rarely ever asked for re-writes, they never mentioned keyword density, and looked puzzled if I did, and they never mentioned Copyscape.

            When I raised my rates even higher, I discovered that my clients knew exactly what they could do with content to earn very high profits, unlike the cheap clients who only thought of back links and search engine fodder.

            When you charge more for writing, you get a lot more than just a living wage. That alone makes it worthwhile.

            John.
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            • Profile picture of the author Tina Golden
              Originally Posted by David Keith View Post

              Those are the very few moments when a person actually has their own fully original thoughts. Those are the only times when our brains actually take in facts and create our own truly original understandings of those facts.

              The rest of the time, we are just re-organizing the facts we have in our heads and putting them on paper using slightly different words than the original authors used.
              The key word here being facts. And one would think that any intelligent, creative writer would be using more than "slightly different words" to discuss those facts.

              Originally Posted by fin View Post

              I think Rooze is saying he rewrites the sentences, not rewords them.
              Rewrite and reword are two different concepts in your reality?

              Originally Posted by chi-whiz View Post

              I'm not at all sure that we who actually understand and continue to care about copyright issues haven't done a very good job of educating about them and defending them EVEN WHILE we may also participate in and applaud the whole PLR scene.
              Private label rights are conveyed willingly by the original author. Saying that we defend PLR so we are contributing to the cause of content theft is the equivalent of saying that because I let someone borrow my laptop, it's my fault if that person later decides to steal someone elses.

              Originally Posted by Karen Blundell View Post

              I admit I used to promote "Spinners". Until it dawned on me...wtf, how could I possibly endorse these things when the potential for misuse was so obvious?
              While I'm by no means a fan or advocate of spinners, a tool's potential for misuse doesn't factor into it. Just because someone else wants to steal someone's content and spin it doesn't make it unethical in the least for me to use a spinner for it's original purpose, which was to spin my own content or that which I have rights to use.

              Originally Posted by NathanDevlin View Post

              Also, we wouldn't expect someone to take several novels, copy and paste parts from each of them, rewrite it and then call it a new novel - so I don't see why that should be acceptable to do with an online article either...

              I don't think that that this discussion is about the act of rewriting per se, but rewriting something that we don't have the rights to.
              Great example! Thank you!
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              • Profile picture of the author Tina Golden
                Forgive me posting again, but the last post was interrupted before I hit submit so there were new posts.

                In other words, depending on what you're writing about, there are only so many ways you can tell someone to unhook a chain. There are bound to be similar sentences all over the place. Do a search here on the forum and you're going to find the same sentences turning up in different parts of the forum. It's inevitable.
                Just for the record, I don't want to sound like I'm condemning this. Naturally, some things can be factual and there are a fairly limited number of ways to state them. When someone is plagiarizing or rewriting someone else's work, it is much more obvious because most of the time you will see the same structure to the article and all the same points being raised. The chances of that happening with an original article are infinitesimally small.
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                • Profile picture of the author ksmusselman
                  Originally Posted by Tina Golden View Post

                  Forgive me posting again, but the last post was interrupted before I hit submit so there were new posts.

                  Just for the record, I don't want to sound like I'm condemning this. Naturally, some things can be factual and there are a fairly limited number of ways to state them. When someone is plagiarizing or rewriting someone else's work, it is much more obvious because most of the time you will see the same structure to the article and all the same points being raised. The chances of that happening with an original article are infinitesimally small.
                  Again, that is subjective. How the article is written depends very much on the subject material. If I'm writing an article about changing a tire on a car, you can bet that me and a thousand other people are going to put that article in the same format...

                  1. Jack up the car
                  2. Remove the lug nuts
                  3. Remove the tire...

                  You simply cannot move the order around or you won't be doing it correctly. I don't care "how" you word it or what "spin" you put on it. Oh, maybe your car has eight lug nuts on it instead of five or six; maybe the spare is a full size spare and not a temp tag. Maybe the spare isn't in the trunk of the car.

                  Regardless, that article must follow in a specific structure no matter who writes it or you'll be sitting with a flat tire for a long, long time.

                  There are just some things that must be written in a certain way regardless of what specific or particular "words" are used. That's just how it is. And that's why I'm saying that the phrase "original work" or "original article" or "original" whatever is completely subjective.

                  And if I want to learn a new way to do something and then write about it for my own site or for a PLR pack, there are just some things - in my genre - that I can not change the "order" or "structure" of doing it or it won't be done correctly.
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                  • Profile picture of the author TiffanyLambert
                    Originally Posted by ksmusselman View Post

                    There are just some things that must be written in a certain way regardless of what specific or particular "words" are used. That's just how it is.
                    I think this is obvious and not at all what I'm addressing in the original post.

                    I'm specifically addressing individuals who honestly believe that it's okay to go to EZA, for example, cut and paste an article into Word and rewrite it - sentence by sentence, for example.

                    That is NOT okay.

                    You're comparing apples and oranges. Obviously, there's one way to screw in a lightbulb and instructions won't change - come on now. If that's really what you think we're discussing here, then you're mistaken.

                    If you're not copying, pasting and rewriting, don't worry about it. I'm not even remotely discussing that some ideas will be the same like french manicure steps. LOL!
                    tiff
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                  • Profile picture of the author Dan Riffle
                    Originally Posted by ksmusselman View Post

                    If I'm writing an article about changing a tire on a car, you can bet that me and a thousand other people are going to put that article in the same format...

                    1. Jack up the car
                    2. Remove the lug nuts
                    3. Remove the tire...

                    You simply cannot move the order around or you won't be doing it correctly.
                    Actually, you could, and should, move this around:

                    1. Remove the lug nuts
                    2. Jack up the car
                    3. Remove the tire

                    /end threadjack

                    I think many people in this thread are arguing subtleties that are drifting the subject way off course. How notes are taken is irrelevant provided the end result isn't simply derivative, but original on the basis of the writer's angle, structure, voice, tone, etc.
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                    • Profile picture of the author George Wright
                      1. Call AAA
                      2. Walk across the street to Mc Donalds
                      3. Grow my own spare tire


                      Originally Posted by ksmusselman View Post

                      Again, that is subjective. How the article is written depends very much on the subject material. If I'm writing an article about changing a tire on a car, you can bet that me and a thousand other people are going to put that article in the same format...

                      1. Jack up the car
                      2. Remove the lug nuts
                      3. Remove the tire...

                      You simply cannot move the order around or you won't be doing it correctly. I don't care "how" you word it or what "spin" you put on it. Oh, maybe your car has eight lug nuts on it instead of five or six; maybe the spare is a full size spare and not a temp tag. Maybe the spare isn't in the trunk of the car.

                      Regardless, that article must follow in a specific structure no matter who writes it or you'll be sitting with a flat tire for a long, long time.

                      There are just some things that must be written in a certain way regardless of what specific or particular "words" are used. That's just how it is. And that's why I'm saying that the phrase "original work" or "original article" or "original" whatever is completely subjective.

                      And if I want to learn a new way to do something and then write about it for my own site or for a PLR pack, there are just some things - in my genre - that I can not change the "order" or "structure" of doing it or it won't be done correctly.


                      Originally Posted by Dan Riffle View Post

                      Actually, you could, and should, move this around:

                      1. Remove the lug nuts
                      2. Jack up the car
                      3. Remove the tire

                      /end threadjack

                      I think many people in this thread are arguing subtleties that are drifting the subject way off course. How notes are taken is irrelevant provided the end result isn't simply derivative, but original on the basis of the writer's angle, structure, voice, tone, etc.
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              • Profile picture of the author fin
                Originally Posted by Tina Golden View Post


                Rewrite and reword are two different concepts in your reality?
                Lol, yes.

                Are they the same in yours?
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                • Profile picture of the author Tina Golden
                  Originally Posted by fin View Post

                  Lol, yes.

                  Are they the same in yours?
                  In the context you seemed to have used them, yes. Maybe part of the problem in this thread is that people are talking at cross purposes?
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                  • Profile picture of the author George Wright
                    Originally Posted by Tina Golden View Post

                    In the context you seemed to have used them, yes. Maybe part of the problem in this thread is that people are talking at cross purposes?
                    Right on Tina.

                    There is also a lot of opinion being tossed around as always in this type of thread.

                    It sure would be nice to see some Law on this one way or the other. And I mean REAL Law. It seems like that would settle the matter once and for all.

                    George Wright P.S.
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                    • Profile picture of the author David Keith
                      Originally Posted by George Wright View Post

                      Right on Tina.

                      There is also a lot of opinion being tossed around as always in this type of thread.

                      It sure would be nice to see some Law on this one way or the other. And I mean REAL Law. It seems like that would settle the matter once and for all.

                      George Wright P.S.
                      We have enough laws on copywrite stuff already.

                      As another said earlier, I don't think anyone here is arguing that people should be allowed to steal another persons work. I sure am not arguing that point.

                      But the line between researching and creating derivative works is what much of the discussion has been about.

                      Essentially, how much research (reading) is required to make your work not a derivative work of the 1 or 2 articles you read on the subject. And how long do you have to "know" something from earlier reading before it becomes knowledge that you are free to use as "your" original work.

                      If all of us fairly experienced people who are involved in this stuff on a daily basis don't fully agree on where the lines should be, I sure as hell am not for letting the government come in and tell us.

                      can you imagine a copyscape system run by the government where they decide what percentage of the same words constitutes a crime... no thanks.
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                      • Profile picture of the author George Wright
                        And that is precisely what everybody always says.

                        I'm not asking for a new law to be written, I'm asking to see an existing law that will set this matter to rest.

                        Show me the law as it pertains to this discussion.

                        Of course no one here is advocating stealing (being a thief) However by some of the definitions of thief presented, a large number of members belong behind bars, including some very prominent ones. Not to mention the "Gurus" who asked Tiff to redo some products. Just because she refused doesn't mean others refused to "redo" some products for them.

                        Again, I'm not asking for "another" law. I am asking to see THE Law as it would condemn certain ones here to be thieves because they DO copy and paste and rewrite, that is their research.

                        Hey, before word processors copy and paste was literally cut and paste. In grade school we were given an old magazine, blunt scissors edible glue and turned loose. I regress, I must be getting hungry.

                        I don't go to ezinearticles and rewrite anything. I've never seen anything there worth rewriting.

                        I do however rewrite Websters. I have to rearrange those alphabetized words for them to make any sense at all.

                        George Wright

                        Originally Posted by David Keith View Post

                        We have enough laws on copywrite stuff already.

                        As another said earlier, I don't think anyone here is arguing that people should be allowed to steal another persons work. I sure am not arguing that point.

                        But the line between researching and creating derivative works is what much of the discussion has been about.

                        Essentially, how much research (reading) is required to make your work not a derivative work of the 1 or 2 articles you read on the subject. And how long do you have to "know" something from earlier reading before it becomes knowledge that you are free to use as "your" original work.

                        If all of us fairly experienced people who are involved in this stuff on a daily basis don't fully agree on where the lines should be, I sure as hell am not for letting the government come in and tell us.

                        can you imagine a copyscape system run by the government where they decide what percentage of the same words constitutes a crime... no thanks.
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                        • Profile picture of the author MP80
                          Originally Posted by George Wright View Post

                          I don't go to ezinearticles and rewrite anything. I've never seen anything there worth rewriting.
                          Lol, well said!
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                        • Profile picture of the author davezan
                          Originally Posted by George Wright View Post

                          I'm asking to see an existing law that will set this matter to rest.
                          Unfortunately laws generally apply only on the jurisdiction they're enacted in, or
                          has a reciprocal agreement with another country. You can perhaps enforce U.S.
                          copyright law on someone in Guam, but not one based in Timbuktu.

                          Still, thanks also for this discussion, folks. The divergent opinions give some food
                          for thought.
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  • Profile picture of the author PPC-Coach
    No doubt that would be very annoying having people constantly rip off your articles.

    Paraphrasing does produce "unique" content as far as search engines go though, so if people can monetize that they will. It definitely is a shortcut, but most do not want to put in the time to put out high caliber and completely unique content. They just want to stuff their blog or site with spider attracting "unique" content.

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  • Profile picture of the author Ckrismoney
    What about PLR articles? I edit those because I have yet to find a PLR article without typos. While I edit the typos I also give clarity on some of the points made in the article to my own liking of course.

    I do learn a lot from PLR articles as I proof read them I gain insight on several topics.
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  • Profile picture of the author HeySal
    Thanks Tiffany. I can't even count the number of posts I've answered that are questions about legality and plagiarism. Unlike you, however, I don't feel that many are all so innocent. How many times I have seen comments that it's okay because you aren't likely to get caught. There is a genuine air of "tough crap to you" coming from content thieves these days.

    I wonder how the thieves would feel if they watched someone else pull in more money for stealing an ebook than they made for creating it? I'm thinking that the idea of "get rich quick with no work" has become such an idolized concept that most would not care. Maybe it will take dragging the little vermin into court and suing their asses off to make them care. How many of the little guys who think it's okay to steal simply because they most likely won't get caught would we need to sue blind to get the word out that professionals are sick of their worthless butts? Some of those people aren't phased in the slightest by having material taken down via a DCMA complaint. If those "take downs" started costing them 4 and 5 figures a pop, maybe they would sharpen up?

    Perhaps completely ostracizing them would benefit? After all, if they are going to act as if stealing is fine as long as others go along with it - maybe treating them like high school kids and letting them know it's not fine with anyone else and they will be treated as if they have "cooties" if they don't get the drift.

    I strongly feel that now that the situation has become out-of-hand enough that it's even giving the government excuses to legislate new laws and start interfering with our businesses that we need to get together and figure out some way to stop as much of it as we can ourselves - whether that means outing people who put together products that teach people to steal as well as those naive enough to believe it - or having anyone proved to have stolen material booted off forums or just heckled until they leave themselves? Not sure what exactly we should make order of business in the issue, but it's becoming increasingly more clear everyday that we have to do something because the thieves are not taking writer's words with any measure of seriousness. If they were, this issue would have been killed long before this thread.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ettienne
    I know that all too well, having tested some "expert" writers to join my writing team. These guys SWEAR that they know EVERYTHING from Copyscape to SEO to Grammar, yet they are completely clueless. Grammar is messed up, and articles match like 90% on Copyscape premium. How dumb do these people think we are?
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  • Profile picture of the author sunray
    Ideas are not copyrighted. If they were life would be virtually impossible. Writing would become absolutely impossible, because how would you know if anyone else may have expressed the idea or even if you have read it, you may have forgotten about it for a while and some time later remembered the idea--but, without remembering the source? Ideas are free. And, most of them are as the saying goes: everything new is well-forgotten old.

    As for plagiarism... Well, isn't it all we're doing plagiarism to a certain degree? We don't invent the alphabet or the words. All of the constructions, idioms, metaphors we use--we have met all of them tens, hundreds and thousands of times. The same applies to the ideas presented with these words and metaphors: we've collected a piece from here, another from there and put it all together. It's very rarely when some of us--the geniuses--create something totally new. And even then, it so often turns out it's something just well-forgotten.
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    • Profile picture of the author TiffanyLambert
      Originally Posted by sunray View Post

      Ideas are not copyrighted.
      I should clarify - I said the use of ideas is copyrighted. Not the ideas themselves.

      Hard to explain in a forum post, but a basic idea isn't copyrighted. But the way they're expressed IS copyrighted. (see: U.S. Copyright Office - Copyright in General (FAQ))

      So if all you do is REWRITE someones work, then yes, you're violating copyright laws in the US.
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    • Profile picture of the author Wendy Maki
      Originally Posted by sunray View Post

      Ideas are not copyrighted. If they were life would be virtually impossible. Writing would become absolutely impossible, because how would you know if anyone else may have expressed the idea or even if you have read it, you may have forgotten about it for a while and some time later remembered the idea--but, without remembering the source? Ideas are free. And, most of them are as the saying goes: everything new is well-forgotten old.

      As for plagiarism... Well, isn't it all we're doing plagiarism to a certain degree? We don't invent the alphabet or the words. All of the constructions, idioms, metaphors we use--we have met all of them tens, hundreds and thousands of times. The same applies to the ideas presented with these words and metaphors: we've collected a piece from here, another from there and put it all together. It's very rarely when some of us--the geniuses--create something totally new. And even then, it so often turns out it's something just well-forgotten.
      Actually, to be accurate, some ideas ARE protected, not by copyright by other laws like patents, or even trademarks (although that's a pretty itty bitty piece of an idea ). These days, that part can get pretty crazy ... can you imagine "owning" the DNA code to a life form! SICK (and not in a good way.)
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  • Profile picture of the author Fallen_Angel
    I wish I could write as good as Tiffany or Alexa.....
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  • Profile picture of the author cjbmeb14
    I posted a reply on here to protect my credibility as an article supplier and not a thief, not all article writers are the same!


    Tiffany wrote, “All writers need several sources to learn from so they can write from an informed perspective.”


    This is so true and I whole heartedly agree with what Tiffany has written in her post. I am also aware that she is the "ghostwriter to the gurus" and is obviously a far superior writer than me.


    In reply to Tina Golden, I am lucky that some of my clients have been with me for a long time, and I would certainly not call them “cheap people”


    I also do not just write for “those type of people” I also write Kindle books and in fact, have several books published now.
    I have seen an advert on WF only just a few hours ago advertising 500 word articles for on $3.50, how can they research and write unique articles for that? You see in the real world, we are not all in a position to be able to charge £30 an article.
    If I advertise article writing right now at $30 for a 500 word article, I might pick up one client maybe for the week, in the real world how do I then pay my bills? Just because some article services provide articles for only $5 does not make them a thief or write bad articles.
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    • Profile picture of the author John Coutts
      Originally Posted by cjbmeb14 View Post

      If I advertise article writing right now at $30 for a 500 word article, I might pick up one client maybe for the week, in the real world how do I then pay my bills?
      Then you are doing something wrong, if you mean one client and one article in a week.

      A charge of $30 for a 500 word article is not at all expensive for many clients who know how to use well-written articles properly.

      I personally don't take on clients who want to buy an "expensive" article, just to see if it will make them some money. Those clients seem to think that an article costing $30 (or $50, $100, $150, etc) will magically make lots of money, all on its own. It won't, and when it doesn't, it's the writer who gets blamed.

      I only take on clients who know what they are doing. Those clients want content that is well researched and well written. With that in place, they then know they will be able to profit very well indeed from the content. That is why they will happily pay $30 or more for 500 words.

      John.
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  • Profile picture of the author Chris Worner
    Originally Posted by TiffanyDow View Post

    I know people who would be horrified to learn they'd plagiarized someone else's content, because plagiarism is also the use of ideas, not just copying and pasting verbatim.
    Tiff, thanks for this post. There a members of this forum who would do well to print this out and stick it on their computer monitor.

    Here is a response I got the other day from somebody who doesn't seem to think there is anything wrong with spinning or rewriting other peoples work;

    And as for the "spinning" content item on the list...something is either plagiarized or not. What do they teach us in school when we start researching and writing papers/reports? To take the information and put it into our own words. That is what researched writing consists of. If you use your own words completely, there is no way you can claim or prove something is in fact plagiarized.
    -Chris
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    • Profile picture of the author TiffanyLambert
      Originally Posted by Chris Worner View Post

      And as for the "spinning" content item on the list...something is either plagiarized or not. What do they teach us in school when we start researching and writing papers/reports? To take the information and put it into our own words. That is what researched writing consists of. If you use your own words completely, there is no way you can claim or prove something is in fact plagiarized.
      Wow who taught that person? I know my teachers explained plagiarism in high school. I got VERY well educated on it in college. But then I have no faith in what kids learn these days. Hw sad that this person is being wrongly informed.
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      • Profile picture of the author Wendy Maki
        I'm often puzzled why there is so much mis-information about what really starts in school... getting trained to "credit" our sources, and not to "plagiarize." Now, I understand that, as a writer with a Master's in English, I have huge sensitivity and training to this issue, but I don't really see that as explaining the difference in my awareness.

        When I went to school, (yes a while ago, but...) we were drilled on this stuff starting in middle public school and it got more sophisticated with footnoting, biblios, and all that in highschool. I can't believe that my own education is so exceptional. I understand that the nuances of copyright are a bit different, but basic stealing was a no no after about grade 5.

        Has basic education really deteriorated this much?
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        • Profile picture of the author Karen Blundell
          Originally Posted by Wendy Maki View Post


          Has basic education really deteriorated this much?
          yes, it has. Teachers don't have any real time to spend with them. Many high school graduates in some communities don't even know their times tables by heart, can't spell, and have poor grammar.
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      • Profile picture of the author voodo
        Originally Posted by TiffanyDow View Post

        Wow who taught that person? I know my teachers explained plagiarism in high school. I got VERY well educated on it in college. But then I have no faith in what kids learn these days. Hw sad that this person is being wrongly informed.
        Aye that is so bueno. That's what most so called professional article writters or sales copy writers do just copy and change a few words and boom!
        the worst part is they charge so much so just crap ayyy!!
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  • Profile picture of the author JamesCx
    Educating yourself on a topic provides far more than just one 500 word article as well. It's likely you'll retain knowledge in that field for other articles, conversation, quizes, whatever, it will more than likely come in useful again - no matter whether it's for an important situation or not. Learning more is never a bad thing, people should strive to be more knowledgeable about anything and everything.

    Rewriting someone elses article probably won't provide you with any ideas, insight or anything else into that topic, your only return is $5 or backlinks.

    Despite University teaching me to do the 'bare minimum' to avoid plagiarism, I don't think I've turned out too bad. :rolleyes:
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    • Profile picture of the author Karen Blundell
      Once upon a time there were 2 writers. One of them lived in Yorkshire, England, and the other one lived in Victoria, BC, Canada. Both writers had WordPress blogs and good readership because they both happened to be garden hobbyists.

      One day each of them (who didn't know each other), decided to write a blog post about caring for rose bushes. Both of them went into great detail about it and both of them ended up getting a lot of people commenting on their respective posts.

      One commenter, however, happened to have visited both blogs because she was having some trouble with aphids infesting her rose bushes, and she wanted to find a natural way to get rid of them.

      She was a regular reader of the blog belonging to the Yorkshire blogger, and when she saw a similar post written by the Canadian, she publicly accused the Canadian of plagiarism, even though the Canadian had no idea that the Yorkshire woman wrote a similar piece. The Canadian blogger was horrified, of course, and spent the better part of that day trying to defend herself. She lost many readers because of the bad publicity.


      Surely you agree two people can have the same ideas without stealing and it's very possible that those two people could write about that idea?

      And if someone was to find those two blog posts, am I to understand that one would ASSUME one or the other was a thief, a plagiarist?

      I don't know. I still maintain it's not quite so black and white and judgement should be reserved until the facts are known.
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      • Profile picture of the author TiffanyLambert
        Originally Posted by Karen Blundell View Post

        Surely you agree two people can have the same ideas without stealing and it's very possible that those two people could write about that idea?

        And if someone was to find those two blog posts, am I to understand that one would ASSUME one or the other was a thief, a plagiarist?

        I don't know. I still maintain it's not quite so black and white and judgement should be reserved until the facts are known.
        If two bloggers wrote something on the same day SO similar that someone accused them of plagiarism and the thing was close enough that it looked like it, then chances are one blogger used the other as research. Possible they didn't? Eh sure.

        I could write a ton of information on a narrow topic and the WAY I do it and the order in which its done would be different.

        But regardless, the whole point of this post is to inform people NOT to take someone else's work and rewrite it and think you're not a thief. Your "what if" isn't even applicable here because if they're both above the board, who cares? If you didn't plagiarize something, don't worry about it. If you DO take other people's work and rewrite it, be ashamed. If not, be proud.
        tiff
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        • Profile picture of the author Karen Blundell
          Originally Posted by TiffanyDow View Post

          If two bloggers wrote something on the same day SO similar that someone accused them of plagiarism and the thing was close enough that it looked like it, then chances are one blogger used the other as research. Possible they didn't? Eh sure.

          I could write a ton of information on a narrow topic and the WAY I do it and the order in which its done would be different.

          But regardless, the whole point of this post is to inform people NOT to take someone else's work and rewrite it and think you're not a thief. Your "what if" isn't even applicable here because if they're both above the board, who cares? If you didn't plagiarize something, don't worry about it. If you DO take other people's work and rewrite it, be ashamed. If not, be proud.
          tiff
          okay, I know. I'm just not a black and white thinking type of person and like to give people a little benefit of the doubt.

          Tiffany, the internet is riddled with misinformation and people can easily be mislead. So, I'm very happy that this forum seeks to educate and I just hope that it continues to in a positive way. I'm sure it will. We have a lot of good Warriors here.

          Thanks for being one of them.
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          • Profile picture of the author debbiem
            Tiff,

            It's very refreshing to read your post. So much of what is on the Internet is just rehashed. I am a consumer too. And get frustrated at reading the same stuff over and over.

            Writing is creating. When the create is not there the writing is flat, lifeless. So, how can that get customers for anyone?

            One person's create is totally different from another. Like you say, you'll be able to write on the same subject/information as another. But, you have your unique take on it.

            Everyone does have that. You can tell if someone created an article or is just spitting back someone else's.

            Good writing is something to be proud of. It takes work. I know because I do it. Either for others or my own blog, I like to feel good about the results. Has to be unique.

            Debbie
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          • Profile picture of the author dona94
            What it really "boils down to" is this: we can't do anything about what others are doing or not doing.

            But you need to understand what YOU are doing.

            If you are the type who is taking work from someone else and "rewriting" or "spinning" it, think about this before you use it: how would YOU feel if someone did that to you?

            I've had people steal my work and put it on their sites. It is not a good feeling. I would never do that to another person. I would have a tough time looking at myself in the mirror. (Looking at myself is already uneasy because of my gray hair. LOL)

            As it has been mentioned before, many "gurus" say to go to Ezine Articles and find an article and "rewrite" it. That is awful. I always thought "how would that person feel if they knew that?" Like Tiffany is saying: some new marketers learn wrong. Not all because some will pay attention to that little voice that says, "this is wrong."
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          • Profile picture of the author Ambersky
            Originally Posted by Karen Blundell View Post

            okay, I know. I'm just not a black and white thinking type of person and like to give people a little benefit of the doubt.

            Tiffany, the internet is riddled with misinformation and people can easily be mislead. So, I'm very happy that this forum seeks to educate and I just hope that it continues to in a positive way. I'm sure it will. We have a lot of good Warriors here.

            Thanks for being one of them.
            I am 64 I don't have a collage degree in anything in fact I have been Working for the past 50 odd years in factories.

            I have only been writing for a little over 12 months everything I have learnt has been from the internet.

            I had a spinning program because I was told by the person who was teaching me that it was ok to spin my articles, but often found they didn't make a lot of sense after spinning.

            I still don't understand how PLR articles can be ok when there are many people are using the same articles, so have stopped using them.

            What I do is, I read, I take notes, I go and write my article I have brought a few articles but have still had to correct the English in a most of them of them, rewrite others to make sense.

            I don't have the money to pay $30.00for an article.

            But I do want to do whats right
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          • Profile picture of the author gvsridhar171
            very interesting post and i learnt a lot out of this thread. thanks so much
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        • Profile picture of the author Wotz
          Banned
          Originally Posted by TiffanyDow View Post

          But regardless, the whole point of this post is to inform people NOT to take someone else's work and rewrite it and think you're not a thief. Your "what if" isn't even applicable here because if they're both above the board, who cares? If you didn't plagiarize something, don't worry about it. If you DO take other people's work and rewrite it, be ashamed. If not, be proud.
          tiff
          I agree and I want to say "Thanks" because I'm still starting as an Article/SEO Writer and I didn't know that there are so many things to consider. I just realized that there is indeed a thin line then between Plagiarizing and Re-writing someone else's work. But I guess, as you go along with writing, you will easily differentiate between what's ethical and what's not. Tough, but it is the way it is.
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        • Profile picture of the author DLGA
          Originally Posted by TiffanyDow View Post

          If two bloggers wrote something on the same day SO similar that someone accused them of plagiarism and the thing was close enough that it looked like it, then chances are one blogger used the other as research. Possible they didn't? Eh sure.

          I could write a ton of information on a narrow topic and the WAY I do it and the order in which its done would be different.

          But regardless, the whole point of this post is to inform people NOT to take someone else's work and rewrite it and think you're not a thief. Your "what if" isn't even applicable here because if they're both above the board, who cares? If you didn't plagiarize something, don't worry about it. If you DO take other people's work and rewrite it, be ashamed. If not, be proud.
          tiff
          Based upon everything else you have stated from this thread, it makes absolutely NO DIFFERENCE in the "way" and the "order" that you do it, you would have still taken someone else's thoughts or ideas and turned them into your own creation.

          That being the case would not that place you in the same classification of your thief's?

          Unless of course you are working from a 100% pure you are the only person in the whole universe who has ever had this unique idea in the first place.

          In an excerpt from U.S. Copyright Office - Copyright in General (FAQ) expressing what a copyright DOES NOT protect;

          Copyright in General

          "Copyright does not protect facts, ideas, systems, or methods of operation, although it may protect the way these things are expressed. See Circular 1, Copyright Basics, section"

          As I read it, if I take an idea, either my own or someone else's and make it unique to only me then only my specific product created from this idea can be copyrighted, not the original idea itself.

          As far as I am aware there are no 100% brand spanking new never been used before ideas and with that being the case, then why do you have to do "research" on anything if in fact anything that you create from this "researched knowledge" would still be considered plagiarism or theft by your own definition?

          If this is the case then it can be said that everyone who is creating any product whether it be a PLR article, course or product by reading even textbooks in school to gain knowledge about whatever it is they wish to write about is a plagiarist.

          I'm not saying that I fully disagree with you and I'm also saying that I fully agree with you but the line between what you call being a thief and what can be considered as being creative is extremely thin.

          Gary
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          • Profile picture of the author rooze
            Originally Posted by DLGA View Post

            Based upon everything else you have stated from this thread, it makes absolutely NO DIFFERENCE in the "way" and the "order" that you do it, you would have still taken someone else's thoughts or ideas and turned them into your own creation.

            That being the case would not that place you in the same classification of your thief's?

            Unless of course you are working from a 100% pure you are the only person in the whole universe who has ever had this unique idea in the first place.
            Good observation.
            Unfortunately I think we've passed the point of adding much in the way of substance to this discussion since people have 'dug-in' to the point where a retraction of their position would cause too great a loss of face. Painting oneself into a corner in many ways exposes the most 'despicable' kind of person in my mind, one who when faced with a preponderance of evidence against their stance, continues to push forward their ideas as being noble and righteous; defaming those whose opinions they do not fully understand, yet presume are dissenting to their own.
            The capacity to readjust one's opinion based on hitherto unknown facts, or based on the clarification of a previous misunderstanding of the facts, is the very essence of rationality, reason and sanity. Without that capacity we're merely cheerleaders for some concept.
            The misguided 'cheerleader' in this context requires little or no understanding of the concept, has little or no desire to gain an understanding of the concept, and perhaps lacks the capacity to truly understand the gestalt of the concept if they felt so inclined. Yet still they persevere, their motivation appearing to come from something as shallow as a 'digital thanks'.
            And don't get me started on those who 'pile on' in support.
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          • Profile picture of the author Karen Blundell
            Originally Posted by DLGA View Post

            In an excerpt from U.S. Copyright Office - Copyright in General (FAQ) expressing what a copyright DOES NOT protect;

            Copyright in General

            "Copyright does not protect facts, ideas, systems, or methods of operation, although it may protect the way these things are expressed. See Circular 1, Copyright Basics, section"

            and there you have it, folks. Even the law is ambiguous, don't you agree?

            I don't think we, as marketers, have any right to determine what is illegal or not, in this case. Not when the laws themselves are so confusing.

            My advice to warriors: if you have any doubts whatsoever about any online legal or copyrighting issue, there are Internet and Copyright lawyers who can answer your questions and then, and only then, will you get the right answers.

            There are many people who think they know the laws, but they are not lawyers or judges, who are paid to interpret the law.

            And any good lawyer is going to want to know all the FACTS, before proceeding with any lawsuit.

            So in closing, I urge warriors to be very very careful about publicly accusing anyone of anything, because you could possibly face a lawsuit yourselves, for defamation of character.
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            • Profile picture of the author KevL
              Originally Posted by Karen Blundell View Post

              and there you have it, folks. Even the law is ambiguous, don't you agree?

              I don't think we, as marketers, have any right to determine what is illegal or not, in this case. Not when the laws themselves are so confusing.

              My advice to warriors: if you have any doubts whatsoever about any online legal or copyrighting issue, there are Internet and Copyright lawyers who can answer your questions and then, and only then, will you get the right answers.

              There are many people who think they know the laws, but they are not lawyers or judges, who are paid to interpret the law.

              And any good lawyer is going to want to know all the FACTS, before proceeding with any lawsuit.

              So in closing, I urge warriors to be very very careful about publicly accusing anyone of anything, because you could possibly face a lawsuit yourselves, for defamation of character.
              The simple fact is the legality doesn't really matter on this subject, like you say it's a very unclear subject, and it's very difficult to prove - for instance, who's stopping someone from scraping newly published content, publishing it as their own but slightly changed & then issuing a DMCA takedown against the original publisher and stating that they copied their material - nothing, and it would be very difficult to prove, and if it went to court it would be very expensive. No one in their right mind is ever going to take something like this into the court room, so what's the point in focusing on whether it's illegal or not?

              I think it's better to focus on the fact that re-writing & spinning other people's content is no where near as effective as writing original content, instead of focusing on whether it's legal, as many people don't care.

              Like with speeding - a commercial showing that doing 10MPH over the limit is illegal, is FAR less effective than showing a young child who was severely injured by a car crash who wouldn't have been so if the car was doing the speed limit . Because "it's ilegal" just isn't emotive, not when the chances of anything happening as a result are so slim.
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              • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
                Originally Posted by George Wright View Post

                Right on Tina.

                There is also a lot of opinion being tossed around as always in this type of thread.

                It sure would be nice to see some Law on this one way or the other. And I mean REAL Law. It seems like that would settle the matter once and for all.

                George Wright P.S.
                A lot of water has flowed under this bridge since I tagged that post to quote, but I'm going to add my piece anyway...

                If you look at truly authoritative sources, the law is whatever the judge in front of you interprets it to be. At least until another judge in a higher court weighs in. "REAL Law" is expanding daily, filling multiple shelves in even moderately well-stocked law libraries.

                Theft and Copyright Infringement are legal terms with specific meanings at any point in time. All you have to do is convince the judge in front of you that your chosen point in time is the correct one.

                And, as the endless scandals coming from the seats of power around the world show, REAL Law and Ethics often have little to do with each other...
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              • Profile picture of the author Karen Blundell
                Originally Posted by KevL View Post

                The simple fact is the legality doesn't really matter on this subject, like you say it's a very unclear subject, and it's very difficult to prove - for instance, who's stopping someone from scraping newly published content, publishing it as their own but slightly changed & then issuing a DMCA takedown against the original publisher and stating that they copied their material - nothing, and it would be very difficult to prove, and if it went to court it would be very expensive. No one in their right mind is ever going to take something like this into the court room, so what's the point in focusing on whether it's illegal or not?

                I think it's better to focus on the fact that re-writing & spinning other people's content is no where near as effective as writing original content, instead of focusing on whether it's legal, as many people don't care.

                Like with speeding - a commercial showing that doing 10MPH over the limit is illegal, is FAR less effective than showing a young child who was severely injured by a car crash who wouldn't have been so if the car was doing the speed limit . Because "it's ilegal" just isn't emotive, not when the chances of anything happening as a result are so slim.
                thanks, Kev, that makes perfect sense.

                However, I highlighted that particular snippet of Copyright law to emphasize how the question of plagiarism is not quite so black and white as the OP wrote in her original post:

                "I know people who would be horrified to learn they'd plagiarized someone else's content, because plagiarism is also the use of ideas, not just copying and pasting verbatim."


                and the law says:
                "Copyright does not protect facts, ideas, systems, or methods of operation, although it may protect the way these things are expressed. See Circular 1, Copyright Basics,"
                I think it's very important that this point was emphasized. Other people may not care about the significance of it, (or any law, for that matter) and I understand that. As long as people are made aware of the truth, that's all that is important, imho.
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      • Profile picture of the author chinadigipro
        Originally Posted by Karen Blundell View Post

        Surely you agree two people can have the same ideas without stealing and it's very possible that those two people could write about that idea?

        And if someone was to find those two blog posts, am I to understand that one would ASSUME one or the other was a thief, a plagiarist?

        I don't know. I still maintain it's not quite so black and white and judgement should be reserved until the facts are known.
        This is a valid perspective.... People having same ideas and logic is inevitable as is copying, stealing and rewriting.. Only if people are ethical enough, this can be put to a full stop . Else it continues just like ,
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  • Profile picture of the author rooze
    As per usual I find myself being the only one who feels this way, but here goes:

    If I'm writing for my own business I can write competently and comprehensively without having to refer to other resources and content, aside from sucking in some statistical data that I may wish to incorporate.

    However, when I'm writing for clients, I have a time and cost constraint to observe. I can't allow myself the time and luxury to become fully conversant with a subject before writing about it, it may be a one-off project which has little or no residual interest or benefit to me, so I need to put pen to paper more quickly.
    That gives me some options. Personally, I have some issues with short-term memory and I find it difficult to read and digest multiple references then spin my own interpretation from memory, recalling specific facts or points from what I've read with any degree of accuracy. So I find myself in a position where I do my research by reading other articles, copying and pasting sections from multiple articles into a large text file, then going through and adding my own style, my own interpretations and my own spin on the subjects where necessary.
    In doing this I feel I'm researching and writing on a subject in the most honest and ethical sense. The finished product is unrecognizable from any of the sources, it's my work, my interpretation of a subject written on by other writers.
    In this sense I probably fall under the OP's definition of a thief and I'm guilty as charged. My only defense is that nothing is original, it's all been written before. Plus, we're all faced with practical and real world constraints, such as time, money, memory, age and the desire to stay warm and fed.
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    • Originally Posted by rooze View Post

      My only defense is that nothing is original, it's all been written before. Plus, we're all faced with practical and real world constraints, such as time, money, memory, age and the desire to stay warm and fed.
      I guess that fits right in with this quote, which you seem to like very much: "The logic of a common man is not the same as that of a man in power, because the common man's logic is infected with morality."

      Folks, run, do not walk away, from this guy's arguments, if you have a shred of morality.

      'Nuff said.

      Vince Runza
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      • Profile picture of the author rooze
        Originally Posted by Vince Runza Online View Post

        Thanks for reminding me of that great quote. Being one whose politics are very anti-establishment, against big Government and for the people, it makes me quite proud to have quoted that.
        As for your running away comment, well that's just very silly isn't it. We're trying to have a debate about content writing, if you have anything to contribute please do.
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        • Originally Posted by rooze View Post

          As for your running away comment, well that's just very silly isn't it. We're trying to have a debate about content writing, if you have anything to contribute please do.
          No, we're not "having a debate". We are discussing thievery. You like it -- most of us don't.

          Speaking to you now as a writer, I can take a subject of which I knew little, actually research it and then write about it, using all my own writing. That's what Tiff does, too.

          You, apparently, swipe content, reword it and call it your own. That's not the same thing at all. That's silly: "exhibiting or indicative of a lack of common sense or sound judgment". It's also lazy.

          You can use all the excuses in the world, "My short-term memory is lacking, I have to eat, the dog ate my homework..." None of that is relevant. What is relevant is that if you're a writer of original content, it MUST be original, or you're a thief.

          WHISKY TANGO FOXTROT?!

          Vince Runza
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          • Profile picture of the author PLRExpress
            Obviously when talking about ethics and morality we're going to come across many gray areas - especially where content and original ideas are concerned.

            I do think, however, that there's a stark difference between researching and then writing and rewriting what someone else has already written.

            It's obviously going to be the case that nothing is truly "original" because we're using our recent research and out whole upbringing and life experience to form our own unique perspective on something - and most of that is from learned facts and learned behavior. However, there's still a difference between using what has gone before in order to take things further with anything that we are writing and blatantly rewriting an original piece of work.

            We often hear about how people have others as inspiration for what they have just published or written and writers will often mention who has influenced them as a writer or artist etc. However, if I were to read a novel and then rewrite it in my own words, that's obviously plagiarism and I don't think that anyone would say that that's acceptable.

            Also, we wouldn't expect someone to take several novels, copy and paste parts from each of them, rewrite it and then call it a new novel - so I don't see why that should be acceptable to do with an online article either.

            However, when we're dealing with smaller prices of writing such as articles and we're playing in a much wider arena that is the internet - where our little old article is nothing compared to the mass of information out there on the web - I suppose that it's often tempting to simply rewrite the articles of others because it's easier to get away with.

            Of course, that doesn't make it ethically correct though. Would someone notice? Probably not. Would you want to hire someone that writes like that to work for you? That's up to you.

            It's not even the fact that of rewriting an article or pretending to be an expert that is the real problem - if we have private label rights to an article, we're free to rewrite that article on a sentence-by-sentence level and it's not a problem because we own the right to do so. This is obviously totally different to actually taking an article that we don't have the rights to and rewriting it. I don't think that that this discussion is about the act of rewriting per se, but rewriting something that we don't have the rights to.

            I think that the safest way to write an article is to take notes from various sources (I use a pen and notepad because I find it easier to refer to) and to also read as many different credible sources as possible on the matter. Then, I think it's best to, from reading the research that we have come across, choose a slant to go with. So if it was an article on a health topic we could choose a social, political, economic or scientific of the problem and then begin to write our article from that perspective or point of view.

            I think that everyone, as a writer, has a natural point of view and way of looking at the matter - just as everyone in this tread has their own way of looking at the issue of ethics and content creation. I think to write from that perspective and then simply use the facts that we have collected from our research to support certain points is the best way to write an article.

            We're not just copy and pasting the article of others, we're still using what we've learned and we're coming at it with a different perspective. I think that that's not only the most ethical way to write content but also the most practical in the sense that I wouldn't really want to be rehashing that someone has already said anyway - if content is just rewritten then we're not really taking it to a new level with a different perspective and I'd question the value of content like that anyway.

            The internet has enough recycled information anyway, I don't fancy adding to it.
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          • Profile picture of the author rooze
            Originally Posted by Vince Runza Online View Post

            No, we're not "having a debate". We are discussing thievery. You like it -- most of us don't.
            Who says I like it? That's presumptuous and false.

            Speaking to you now as a writer, I can take a subject of which I knew little, actually research it and then write about it, using all my own writing. That's what Tiff does, too.

            You, apparently, swipe content, reword it and call it your own. That's not the same thing at all. That's silly: "exhibiting or indicative of a lack of common sense or sound judgment". It's also lazy.
            And that's also false. I research and take notes. I can't 'learn' about a new subject without note-taking. I'm also not lazy.
            Comments added above, for what it's worth.
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            • Originally Posted by rooze View Post

              Originally Posted by Vince Runza Online
              No, we're not "having a debate". We are discussing thievery. You like it -- most of us don't.
              Who says I like it? That's presumptuous and false.

              Speaking to you now as a writer, I can take a subject of which I knew little, actually research it and then write about it, using all my own writing. That's what Tiff does, too.

              You, apparently, swipe content, reword it and call it your own. That's not the same thing at all. That's silly: "exhibiting or indicative of a lack of common sense or sound judgment". It's also lazy.
              And that's also false. I research and take notes. I can't 'learn' about a new subject without note-taking. I'm also not lazy.
              I stand corrected. If you do not just "swipe and reword", you are not just stealing.

              However, if you do not understand that you are not taking the trouble to make sure you are not misunderstood, then I can't help you. You must help yourself.

              Vince Runza
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              • Profile picture of the author rooze
                Originally Posted by Vince Runza Online View Post


                However, if you do not understand that you are not taking the trouble to make sure you are not misunderstood, then I can't help you. You must help yourself.
                You've caught me red handed there. I confess to being deliberately ambiguous in some of what I write. Face to face it leads to some spirited and interesting debates and seems to get people to think differently about certain subjects and stances. On forums, it may not be the best strategy to adopt
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                • Profile picture of the author TiffanyLambert
                  Originally Posted by rooze View Post

                  You've caught me red handed there. I confess to being deliberately ambiguous in some of what I write. Face to face it leads to some spirited and interesting debates and seems to get people to think differently about certain subjects and stances. On forums, it may not be the best strategy to adopt
                  Especially when you position yourself opposite to what someone is saying, when you state: "As per usual I find myself being the only one who feels this way, but here goes:"

                  It leads the readers to believe you are polar opposite of what was being taught. If not, why put it that way?
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                  • Profile picture of the author rooze
                    Originally Posted by TiffanyDow View Post

                    Especially when you position yourself opposite to what someone is saying, when you state: "As per usual I find myself being the only one who feels this way, but here goes:"

                    It leads the readers to believe you are polar opposite of what was being taught. If not, why put it that way?
                    Tiffany,
                    Again, I refer to the point I was attempting to get across: Nothing is as original as we might think it is.
                    Unless we're developing a new concept or theory, everything we do as researchers (article writers) has been done before.

                    So I was drawn to your quoting this in your OP: "No where you will find a 100% unique article at present. All writers need a source to copy and edit"....

                    And then your comment: "That statement makes me want to pull my hair out, hiss and scratch someone. And I just might."

                    So I made a post to try to get you to see that in a different light, or at least from a dissenting angle.

                    And since many people had 'thanked' you for your OP, I assumed they were in agreement with what you had written, hence my comment "As per usual I find myself being the only one who feels this way, but here goes:"

                    So I stand by what I've written, though confess that my methods for trying to make a point may be inappropriate in this venue. My fault, not yours.

                    Rooze
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                    • Profile picture of the author kalgutman
                      Originally Posted by rooze View Post

                      Tiffany,
                      Again, I refer to the point I was attempting to get across: Nothing is as original as we might think it is.
                      Unless we're developing a new concept or theory, everything we do as researchers (article writers) has been done before.

                      So I was drawn to your quoting this in your OP: "No where you will find a 100% unique article at present. All writers need a source to copy and edit"....

                      And then your comment: "That statement makes me want to pull my hair out, hiss and scratch someone. And I just might."

                      So I made a post to try to get you to see that in a different light, or at least from a dissenting angle.

                      And since many people had 'thanked' you for your OP, I assumed they were in agreement with what you had written, hence my comment "As per usual I find myself being the only one who feels this way, but here goes:"

                      So I stand by what I've written, though confess that my methods for trying to make a point may be inappropriate in this venue. My fault, not yours.

                      Rooze
                      Rooze,

                      I read and understood the writing quite clearly as being general in nature on this whole topic.

                      But then again, no tunnel vision here and I'm being entertained with all the remarks, comments, and discussions.

                      I've seen the same type of defensive mechanisms in mlm also.

                      Let's face it face it, you have to put food on the table.

                      Oooops, I said "put food on the table".... what does that mean?

                      Interpretations are looming!

                      Kal
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            • Profile picture of the author parisrose
              Without getting into the debate and taking unnecessary hits, I think that Dave and Rooze have done well adding in their comments to this thread. Differing points of view prevent slanting of thoughts. I don't think either guy intentionally meant to flame anyone. And I don't think either one is truly engaged in stealing content and using it as their own in the way suggested by many. Original ideas once marketed or written down will always face some form of "copy". Good stuff is just worth spreading around. However, as Tiff suggests, blatant stealing of content as one's own is in very poor taste.
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      • Profile picture of the author Isobel
        Originally Posted by Vince Runza Online View Post

        I guess that fits right in with this quote, which you seem to like very much: "The logic of a common man is not the same as that of a man in power, because the common man's logic is infected with morality."

        Folks, run, do not walk away, from this guy's arguments, if you have a shred of morality.

        'Nuff said.

        Vince Runza
        I think you misunderstood the quote; it means that people in power have lost their morality, quite the opposite of what you seem to think it means.

        Words are a b*tch aren't they?
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  • Profile picture of the author Jonathan 2.0
    If you don't want to write articles yourself or hire a Ghostwriter you can always contact website owners with articles in your market and ask if you can publish them on your site if you provide a link back to their site.

    That's something of a shortcut (that could apply to some people) and is above board. : )
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    • Profile picture of the author A P Geofrey
      Well this is something I have always been singing on this forum. If you want to go about being a writer or creating blogs and so on, Be ready to write your own content as well. But with the millions of auto-plugins out there I doubt if so many thieves even bother to rewrite articles any more.

      Well I guess there isn't really much e can do about that.
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  • Profile picture of the author KevL
    Agree wholeheartedly with the overall point you're making!

    The main point though, in my opinion, isn't about whether plagiarism is legal, or ethical - because that's a whole other discussion, and it's difficult to draw the line - i.e is it OK to just have someone else's article in one window & paraphrase it in another, but wrong to take someone else article & spin it - what's the difference? - this is a whole other debate, in my opinion.

    For me the important point to focus on, is whether this kind of content is effective, and personally I do not believe it is.

    Personally, I do not believe that there is ANY real effective shortcut to well researched, well written 100% unique content - whether you write it yourself or hire a professional writer. Shortcuts, whether legal or not - including PLR stuff, are never going to have the same impact, as far as I'm concerned anyway.

    Thanks

    Kev
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  • Profile picture of the author David Keith
    To me, the difference in theft vs. research often has to do with the number of works you are basing your final work on.

    If you take a single article and "re-write" it, there is almost no way to avoid having your final work be a derivative of the original. That is illegal in most situations.

    However, if I take 15 articles and create 5 new articles mostly based on those 15 original articles, the final product is likely to be fairly original. In most cases, I don't find that to be a big problem.

    I really don't think its quite as simple as just not copying another existing work.

    If your ideas were truly original, you would not need to research. If you truly have original content, then by definition, it is all coming from your head, and not any other source.
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    • Profile picture of the author fin
      It's quite easy to find out if someone has copied you, or just been inspired by you.

      If they take each sentence and spin it: thief!

      If their article structure is based on yours: thief!

      If they just use an idea it's a very grey area.

      Solution is to become an authority in your niche. People will look foolish if they copy something from a blog that everyone reads. Hardly going to bring them any long term gains.
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  • Profile picture of the author David Keith
    I think it is also worth mentioning that just because you have long forgotten the source of your knowledge on a topic, it does not suddenly become your unique knowledge to claim as your original thoughts.

    Take me, I have done IM a very long time. I have a pretty good amount of knowledge about IM in my head. In fact, I could probably write hundreds of articles just from what I have in my head currently.

    However, almost none of that knowledge was attained by me having original thoughts on the subject. By far, most of the knowledge in my head came from reading thousands of articles and ebooks on IM.

    The idea that a person is creating truly unique content based on research is sort of a myth. Truly unique ideas and content have nothing to base their ideas on, so they have no need for research.

    So even if I were to sit down tonight and write hundreds of IM articles without using google at all, almost none of them would be truly original thoughts by me. They would all be based on information I took in over many years. They would essentially all be derivative works (not legally but practically)
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    • Profile picture of the author rooze
      Originally Posted by David Keith View Post

      I think it is also worth mentioning that just because you have long forgotten the source of your knowledge on a topic, it does not suddenly become your unique knowledge to claim as your original thoughts.

      Take me, I have done IM a very long time. I have a pretty good amount of knowledge about IM in my head. In fact, I could probably write hundreds of articles just from what I have in my head currently.

      However, almost none of that knowledge was attained by me having original thoughts on the subject. By far, most of the knowledge in my head came from reading thousands of articles and ebooks on IM.

      The idea that a person is creating truly unique content based on research is sort of a myth. Truly unique ideas and content have nothing to base their ideas on, so they have no need for research.

      So even if I were to sit down tonight and write hundreds of IM articles without using google at all, almost none of them would be truly original thoughts by me. They would all be based on information I took in over many years.
      My point exactly, thanks for helping me make it.
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    • Profile picture of the author Hanz
      Originally Posted by David Keith View Post

      I think it is also worth mentioning that just because you have long forgotten the source of your knowledge on a topic, it does not suddenly become your unique knowledge to claim as your original thoughts.

      Take me, I have done IM a very long time. I have a pretty good amount of knowledge about IM in my head. In fact, I could probably write hundreds of articles just from what I have in my head currently.

      However, almost none of that knowledge was attained by me having original thoughts on the subject. By far, most of the knowledge in my head came from reading thousands of articles and ebooks on IM.

      The idea that a person is creating truly unique content based on research is sort of a myth. Truly unique ideas and content have nothing to base their ideas on, so they have no need for research.

      So even if I were to sit down tonight and write hundreds of IM articles without using google at all, almost none of them would be truly original thoughts by me. They would all be based on information I took in over many years. They would essentially all be derivative works (not legally but practically)
      Or a better way to do it is to hire somebody who actually knows the subject. I don't know about rock climbing so I could never offer truly authentic content on the subject without researching it. But I could request a real rock climber to write about it, making it legit. And if he gives me his work and I correct grammar, sentence fragments and run ons and make it a pro piece, that should be ok. You think? Totally genuine?
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      • Profile picture of the author Kim Standerline
        It's one of the reasons why I prefer to write about health related subjects. It's my area and I can write ad nauseum about anything health related.

        I'm a bit sticky when it comes to IM now after being out of it for a couple of years, so prefer not to write about it until I bring myself back up to speed. (Which I'm doing)

        Kim

        Originally Posted by Hanz View Post

        Or a better way to do it is to hire somebody who actually knows the subject. I don't know about rock climbing so I could never offer truly authentic content on the subject without researching it. But I could request a real rock climber to write about it, making it legit. And if he gives me his work and I correct grammar, sentence fragments and run ons and make it a pro piece, that should be ok. You think? Totally genuine?
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      • Profile picture of the author fin
        Pointless argument is pointless.

        I think Rooze is saying he rewrites the sentences, not rewords them.

        OK, he might not know the topic well, which sounds like guess work if you ask me.

        Tiff says she writes articles with her knowledge, which was first read somewhere.

        So Tiff reads something and writes articles with her experience in the topic.

        Rooze reads something and rewrites it without experience.

        TBH, I don't know how you could write about something if you didn't have knowledge, without doing this.
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        • Profile picture of the author PatriciaS
          Originally Posted by fin View Post


          I think Rooze is saying he rewrites the sentences, not rewords them.
          And the difference is what, exactly? ROTFL.

          I just couldn't pass up asking about this sentence which just struck me as -- odd. Not to mention unclear.

          But I am NOT getting into the Rooze/Dow fight because unfortunately I see both points of view. As a writer myself who has "taught" (that is, tried to educate) others about copyright for years now, I know for a fact I don't plagiarize and yet might very well have described what I do in a way very similar to how Rooze did. So -- to me this particular aspect of this issue is not black and white either.

          I think of the bigger problem as due to what I call a "PLR mentality." Writers clearly offer their articles for sale -- CHEAP -- except they offer it to a bunch of different people who are EXPECTED to rewrite it or smash it together in some way if they don't just use it verbatim. If it's so cheap, writing must be really easy, some surely think. If it's so cheap and I can use it and rewrite it however I want without permission from anybody and without violating any copyrights, then I can probably also rewrite what I find on the internet elsewhere -- especially since there are services like Copyscape that actually HELP me "steal" others' content and nobody be the wiser.

          I'm not at all sure that we who actually understand and continue to care about copyright issues haven't done a very good job of educating about them and defending them EVEN WHILE we may also participate in and applaud the whole PLR scene.
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          • Profile picture of the author rooze
            Originally Posted by chi-whiz View Post

            And the difference is what, exactly? ROTFL.

            I just couldn't pass up asking about this sentence which just struck me as -- odd. Not to mention unclear.

            But I am NOT getting into the Rooze/Dow fight because unfortunately I see both points of view. As a writer myself who has "taught" (that is, tried to educate) others about copyright for years now, I know for a fact I don't plagiarize and yet might very well have described what I do in a way very similar to how Rooze did. So -- to me this particular aspect of this issue is not black and white either.

            I think of the bigger problem as due to what I call a "PLR mentality." Writers clearly offer their articles for sale -- CHEAP -- except they offer it to a bunch of different people who are EXPECTED to rewrite it or smash it together in some way if they don't just use it verbatim. If it's so cheap, writing must be really easy, some surely think. If it's so cheap and I can use it and rewrite it however I want without permission from anybody and without violating any copyrights, then I can probably also rewrite what I find on the internet elsewhere -- especially since there are services like Copyscape that actually HELP me "steal" others' content and nobody be the wiser.

            I'm not at all sure that we who actually understand and continue to care about copyright issues haven't done a very good job of educating about them and defending them EVEN WHILE we may also participate in and applaud the whole PLR scene.
            Oddly enough I think the crux of my conversation with the OP'er comes down to how we take our notes. We all take notes, consciously or sub-consciously, and then re-interprate them into our own words. I've been picked up on my method of note-taking, and it's been assumed that the notes somehow become the finished product, without a process having occurred in between.
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            • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
              Originally Posted by Karen Blundell View Post

              Once upon a time there were 2 writers. One of them lived in Yorkshire, England, and the other one lived in Victoria, BC, Canada. Both writers had WordPress blogs and good readership because they both happened to be garden hobbyists.

              One day each of them (who didn't know each other), decided to write a blog post about caring for rose bushes. Both of them went into great detail about it and both of them ended up getting a lot of people commenting on their respective posts.

              One commenter, however, happened to have visited both blogs because she was having some trouble with aphids infesting her rose bushes, and she wanted to find a natural way to get rid of them.

              She was a regular reader of the blog belonging to the Yorkshire blogger, and when she saw a similar post written by the Canadian, she publicly accused the Canadian of plagiarism, even though the Canadian had no idea that the Yorkshire woman wrote a similar piece. The Canadian blogger was horrified, of course, and spent the better part of that day trying to defend herself. She lost many readers because of the bad publicity.


              Surely you agree two people can have the same ideas without stealing and it's very possible that those two people could write about that idea?

              And if someone was to find those two blog posts, am I to understand that one would ASSUME one or the other was a thief, a plagiarist?

              I don't know. I still maintain it's not quite so black and white and judgement should be reserved until the facts are known.
              Originally Posted by TiffanyDow View Post

              If two bloggers wrote something on the same day SO similar that someone accused them of plagiarism and the thing was close enough that it looked like it, then chances are one blogger used the other as research. Possible they didn't? Eh sure.

              I could write a ton of information on a narrow topic and the WAY I do it and the order in which its done would be different.

              But regardless, the whole point of this post is to inform people NOT to take someone else's work and rewrite it and think you're not a thief. Your "what if" isn't even applicable here because if they're both above the board, who cares? If you didn't plagiarize something, don't worry about it. If you DO take other people's work and rewrite it, be ashamed. If not, be proud.
              tiff
              What I find found revealing in this story is that the reader of one blog automatically assumed that the other blogger was the plagiarist. After all, "her" blogger would never do something like that. So she leveled an accusation that would be impossible to disprove and caused harm to the other blogger.

              If both bloggers were similarly authoritative and well-respected, the odds are great that both of them have the same basic reference works in their backgrounds. Which would lead to both of them having very similar approaches. The fact that both posts appeared at practically the same time would lead me to believe that they were more likely to be independent. Or at least make me look for additional, similar "coincidences" before leveling accusations.

              As for Rooze, I find the totality of his descriptions of his process quite aboveboard. I am also a copy/paste note taker, as I want to make sure I get things right as opposed to dropping a decimal place or some other typo causing me to send out bad information. Of course, if you check my history here, I've long been an advocate of quoting authority with appropriate citations as opposed to simply rewriting.

              As one of my old professors used to tell us, 'steal from one source and it's plagiarism; steal from 50 and it's research.' His use of the word 'steal' was definitely tongue in cheek. But every research project started with a review of the current literature.
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          • Profile picture of the author Wendy Maki
            I think of the bigger problem as due to what I call a "PLR mentality." Writers clearly offer their articles for sale -- CHEAP -- except they offer it to a bunch of different people who are EXPECTED to rewrite it or smash it together in some way if they don't just use it verbatim. If it's so cheap, writing must be really easy, some surely think. If it's so cheap and I can use it and rewrite it however I want without permission from anybody and without violating any copyrights, then I can probably also rewrite what I find on the internet elsewhere -- especially since there are services like Copyscape that actually HELP me "steal" others' content and nobody be the wiser.

            I'm not at all sure that we who actually understand and continue to care about copyright issues haven't done a very good job of educating about them and defending them EVEN WHILE we may also participate in and applaud the whole PLR scene.
            Actually it's a bigger cultural phenomenon. I was just watching a documentary on this very subject (can't remember the name ... so no credit! LOL). Anyways, music and more is all about mashups, borrowing, recombining... "sampling." Anyway, the point is that this is a bigger cultural debate going on right now, all about ownership of ideas, creativity, copyright... in every field.
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  • Profile picture of the author Wendy Maki
    Just to complicate the discussion even further, there is a concept of "common knowledge." To illustrate, back in the long ago days when I used to write critical essays analyzing works of literature, there were certain things you could write about that were not your own personally original ideas because they were considered common knowledge, at least in the field. If, however, I picked out a very specific idea, directly quoting it or not, essentially an idea or fact that was recognizable as originating from a particular scholar or critic or source, then I would need to credit the source or it would be considered plagarism. While plagarism per se isn't illegal, it is the kiss of death academically. And I personally feel it is a good standard to hold to all round, even in an internet marketing context.

    And to make it more complicated sometimes ideas, facts, etc start out as identifiable to a particular source but then move into common knowledge because a certain mass has adopted and accepted the idea to the point where it originated sort of gets lost in the haze.
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  • Profile picture of the author David Keith
    BTW, I should probably make clear that I am in no way condoning stealing peoples articles.

    I think it is pretty obvious that Tiffany's message is aimed at people who are stealing from others for personal gain rather than making any serious attempt to create unique content that adds value.
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  • Profile picture of the author sajjadidr
    I believe most people WANT to know how to avoid being unethical.
    Not true.
    Because if most people wanted to know how to avoid being unethical, they would not be writing sales copy to promote internet marketing or 'marketing' as it's being done these days where the customer is actually encouraged to buy things that he actually does not need in a way that he feels he needs it.

    So in most of the cases marketing equals lies.

    As for the reasoning about researching something and writing about it, I would say what I do, and that is to read all that I can about a particular subject and then when I write the article or articles it should not be referring to the material that I had read.

    That gives me assurance of two things.

    First, that I am not copying what people have written but I am learning from it considering their work as research material.

    Secondly, I will be assured that what I learn is not just a temporary learning for the sake of writing an article but for acquiring knowledge from the information that I come across, so that I can share it with anyone without actually having the research material with me.

    This also gives me the chance of not actually giving the assurance of 'copyscape passed' to those people who actually want me to write for them, since there is nothing that I have to fear or feel guilty about as my work is original.
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  • Profile picture of the author seobro
    Let us be honest on what is going on. I will go on a vacation and write up what I saw. Also I will put pictures up. A few days later a content scraper comes.

    He or she takes my content and images. Then places them on their MFA site slaps some adsense ads and away they go. Then in a few weeks the clone ranks higher than me. They have stolen thousands of my pictures and rank high on google images. All my hard work is down the drain.
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    • Profile picture of the author Wendy Maki
      Originally Posted by seobro View Post

      Let us be honest on what is going on. I will go on a vacation and write up what I saw. Also I will put pictures up. A few days later a content scraper comes.

      He or she takes my content and images. Then places them on their MFA site slaps some adsense ads and away they go. Then in a few weeks the clone ranks higher than me. They have stolen thousands of my pictures and rank high on google images. All my hard work is down the drain.
      The really ugly farthest side of this discussion . And what's worst about the real theiving there is that you could try and track it down, get them to shut it down or remove it, but too much effort and they just move on to the next thing -- no real way to keep up. And those of the ones that may use your material in ways that really reflect badly on your own reputation.
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  • Profile picture of the author Wendy Maki
    Print magazine article writers frequently write articles on areas that are not in their 'expertise' but they do a lot of research and then interview, consult, and often get quotes from the real experts in the field.
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  • Profile picture of the author Halcyon
    I understand the need to vent but I think Ms. Dow is preaching to the choir. Those who steal content couldn't care less about "fighting the good fight" and those who do care aren't trying to pass other people's words off as original.

    Will this make them think? Perhaps but not enough to make a difference. Most of them will chuckle maniacally as they return to their cut and paste duties.

    Thievery, stealing, corporate espionage has been a cost of doing business ever since the first cowry shell was traded for a goat. Think Bill Gates and Windows.
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    • Profile picture of the author TiffanyLambert
      Originally Posted by Halcyon View Post

      I understand the need to vent but I think Ms. Dow is preaching to the choir. Those who steal content couldn't care less about "fighting the good fight" and those who do care aren't trying to pass other people's words off as original.
      It wasn't a vent It was genuinely trying to educate people who genuinely don't know it's plagiarism.

      Yes, there are a lot of them (just as there are lots of thieves) - they are not writers or journalists. It never was their craft, so while there are purposeful thieves (and those who excuse themselves, even knowing it's wrong), I'm addressing the people who are taught that it's okay as long as you rewrite someone else's content.

      Once they do learn from this post that "Oh wow! That's plagiarism? I had no idea!" and they revise their methods, that'll be a good thing.
      tiff
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  • Profile picture of the author Tejasca
    Anyone know where I can find a big pile of articles to "research," "rewrite," and shove through Copyscape to make sure they're "original?"

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    • Originally Posted by Tejasca View Post

      Anyone know where I can find a big pile of articles to "research," "rewrite," and shove through Copyscape to make sure they're "original?"

      Yeah, I wrote 'em. Sell 'em to you for a hundred bucks. Called "PLR".

      Vince Runza
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  • Profile picture of the author roosters64
    There is a lot of stuff out there with similar content. I guess that is bound to happen with so many people in the same niche.

    What I have found is that each person appears to be writing content through their own experience and knowledge.

    That is where the uniqueness comes into it.

    Hugh
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  • Profile picture of the author wealthsystems
    This is a rather interesting topic. It seems that some members think that they are "god". That would be the only original thought there is.

    Everything we do in life is based on our surroundings we grow up in, the schooling we went through, and the books we read since we were able to read.

    That means the influence that people in our lives had on us is who we are. According to some of the comments here, WE ARE ALL THIEVES.

    Everything we produce is based on other people's influences throughout our lives.

    I think it was Brian Tracy who said, "if you study a subject for 6 month or more, you become an expert".

    Let me ask you, you become an experts based on what? You become an expert in a certain subject based on all the knowledge you accumulated FROM OTHER PEOPLE'S IDEAS!

    You are an expert, which makes you a thief (according to some people).

    Thank you for all the posts in this thread. Love to read other peoples ideas, and then write about them. Oooops, now I am a thief as well?

    One last thought. Some people take themselves too seriously. Life is suppose to be fun, isn't it?

    Cheers all!

    Thanks again.

    Herb
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  • Profile picture of the author wealthsystems
    Just a little addendum to my previous post. I do not endorse stealing people articles and reprint them without their permission.

    Cheers!

    Herb
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  • Profile picture of the author WriterWahm
    This really needed to be said Tiff. It's why I stopped writing $5 articles; the clients didn't know the difference between plagiarism free and copyscape passed and didn't care. I kept putting my heart and soul into research and writing and they just plain didn't appreciate the effort. Now I concentrate on clients who KNOW the difference and appreciate it.
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  • Profile picture of the author David Keith
    I actually enjoyed this discussion, it was more thought provoking than most discussions turn out to be.

    As it turns out, the line between what is truly unique and what others might classify as a derivative work (on some level) is more grey than I think most of us (or at least me) thought coming into this discussion.

    I am still with Tiffany that people shouldn't steal others work. And lets be honest, most of the theft she was talking about in her OP does not fall in any sort of grey area.

    While this discussion was probably not exactly what Tiffany had intended, all the discussion did keep this on the top of page 1 for a long time.

    That probably means that at least a few "newbies" got some mostly quality advice about creating valuable content and not stealing other peoples stuff.

    Good job Tiffany, mission kinda accomplished.
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  • Profile picture of the author kharrison
    There are only so many ways you can do a French manicure. There are only so many steps to doing water marbling. Those steps have to be in a specific order. So no matter who writes about water marbling, there are going to be some sentences that are going to sound the same.
    Well said, and no contributors were harmed in the production of your post...
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  • I agRee with OP, I am a writer, a webmaster and a advanced SEO professional. I write avg. 4 articles a day, and I submit them, and delete the original from my hard drive. I could spin, and resubmit, but come on folks, Google didn't come this far via STUPIDITY.
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  • Profile picture of the author mojojuju
    Plagiarism is wrong? Ok, got it. :rolleyes:
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    :)

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  • Profile picture of the author matchoo77
    Maybe the OP will influence some people to not look at someone's article and put it into their own words. I emphasize MAYBE. Someone took my entire email follow series and put it into their own words. Do I really want to get all worked up and send threatening emails to the perp? No I don't. I may take subtle jabs at him from time to time with my blog posts/broadcasts, just for fun...but that's about it.
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  • Profile picture of the author dragica659
    Tomorrow I will submit my first article. Since my English is not perfect I wrote it in Serbian language, then let Google to translate. After that I corrected Google. Then I used spell checker. But every word is from my own experience and from my hart. I hope it will help and they will accept it.
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  • Profile picture of the author AmandaT
    I'm seriously surprised here is so much arguing here... I figured all of this was pretty common knowledge and that the people doing it just didn't care.

    If you take an article that isn't yours and spin it, you are stealing.
    If you take an article that isn't yours and manually rewrite it, you are stealing.
    If you take a paragraph from 5 different articles and rewrite each paragraph, you are stealing from five people.

    I'm not sure where people came to believe that you can just take someone's work and use it as you wish and it is okay...

    Read... do research... LEARN before you write.

    Take the time to educate yourself...

    Or, if you really just want to rewrite an article, buy some PLR, that is what it is there for.
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    • Profile picture of the author George Wright
      Nice opinion, show me the law.

      George Wright

      Originally Posted by AmandaT View Post

      I'm seriously surprised here is so much arguing here... I figured all of this was pretty common knowledge and that the people doing it just didn't care.

      If you take an article that isn't yours and spin it, you are stealing.
      If you take an article that isn't yours and manually rewrite it, you are stealing.
      If you take a paragraph from 5 different articles and rewrite each paragraph, you are stealing from five people.

      I'm not sure where people came to believe that you can just take someone's work and use it as you wish and it is okay...

      Read... do research... LEARN before you write.

      Take the time to educate yourself...

      Or, if you really just want to rewrite an article, buy some PLR, that is what it is there for.
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    • Profile picture of the author KevL
      Originally Posted by AmandaT View Post

      I'm seriously surprised here is so much arguing here... I figured all of this was pretty common knowledge and that the people doing it just didn't care.

      If you take an article that isn't yours and spin it, you are stealing.
      If you take an article that isn't yours and manually rewrite it, you are stealing.
      If you take a paragraph from 5 different articles and rewrite each paragraph, you are stealing from five people.

      I'm not sure where people came to believe that you can just take someone's work and use it as you wish and it is okay...

      Read... do research... LEARN before you write.

      Take the time to educate yourself...

      Or, if you really just want to rewrite an article, buy some PLR, that is what it is there for.
      I agree with your sentiments & that of the OP, but whether it's legal or not is not going to stop most of the people who're doing this.
      If someone thinks it's OK to do it, and that they're not going to get caught - it doesn't really matter to that person whether it's illegal or not, just the same as if I am on an open road & it's a 70 limit, I'm not going to think "I must not go one MPH over 70, or I will be breaking the law." instead I'm going to think - I must not do one MPH over 70, because I can see a police car down the road!

      And with this kind of law, it's very difficult to prove - there is no police car sat with a speed gun policing it. So many people just won't care that it's illegal or not - just the same as many people don't care that speeding is illegal as long as they don't get caught.

      See the paragraph which concerns originality in Section 106 of the Copyright Act:

      4. Originality

      A major requirement in copyright law is that the work be original in order to have copyright protection. The work must be independently conceived by its creator. In Feist, the U.S. Supreme Court explained that the primary objective of copyright law is "not to reward the labor of authors, but [t]o promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts. . ." [8]. The case involved the determination of lack of originality in printed, white phone directory pages. However the test is not one of newness. For example, assume a teacher in Orlando writes an article called "Understanding Copyright Law." Another teacher in Omaha has just completed a very similar article with the same name. Neither knows of the other's efforts. Both instructors have created an original work; hence copyright protection is afforded to each of them. Courts would of course look very closely at works that seem to mirror others or outright copy them verbatim as the likelihood of violation is more clear in these circumstances.

      So while someone who copies your work is breaking the law - it's not a simple thing, it's very difficult to prove.

      This is why I feel the best way to deal with this problem isn't to focus on it's legality - but to focus on it's effectiveness.

      Personally I do not feel that copied or spun content is effective - I think it's a complete waste of time. It's cheap shortcuts, and cheap shortcuts doesn't get anyone very far in the longterm.
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  • Profile picture of the author David Keith
    I think that is what this whole discussion is about Mr. Wright.

    The fact that existing copywrite laws actually do make the re-writing of articles legal in many if not most cases.

    Even article spinning in some cases will not not trigger copywrite laws violations.

    My reason for going against the grain in this thread was to point out that while Tiffany labels some of these guys "theifs", the existing laws do not see it that way.

    Certainly no one is defending stealing content.

    But when it comes to how much can your article look like another previously written article, things get a little more fuzzy.

    The law is not nearly as strict as Tiffany's OP indicates she is. I am not saying either is right or wrong.

    I am merely pointing out that the idea of stealing another persons content can quickly get into a gray area.

    laws are one thing, but ethics are a whole other thing governed by individual beliefs. We generally set our laws based on an average of what peoples ethics are.

    Because of Tiffany's occupation, I suspect her ethics in regards to this topic are very conservative. There is nothing wrong with that, but to call people "theives" based on her ethics and not law is a bit of a stretch in my opinion.
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    • Profile picture of the author George Wright
      I'm not arguing. I wanna see a Law. Calling someone a thief is very serious. We need a law to back that accusation up.

      George Wright, P.S. DANG David. I should have read your post before responding to it. Sorry. GW

      Originally Posted by David Keith View Post

      I think that is what this whole discussion is about Mr. Wright.

      The fact that existing copywrite laws actually do make the re-writing of articles legal in many if not most cases.

      Even article spinning in some cases will not not trigger copywrite laws violations.

      My reason for going against the grain in this thread was to point out that while Tiffany labels some of these guys "theifs", the existing laws do not see it that way.

      Certainly no one is defending stealing content.

      But when it comes to how much can your article look like another previously written article, things get a little more fuzzy.

      The law is not nearly as strict as Tiffany's OP indicates she is. I am not saying either is right or wrong.

      I am merely pointing out that the idea of stealing another persons content can quickly get into a gray area.

      laws are one thing, but ethics are a whole other thing governed by individual beliefs. We generally set our laws based on an average of what peoples ethics are.

      Because of Tiffany's occupation, I suspect her ethics in regards to this topic are very conservative. There is nothing wrong with that, but to call people "theives" based on her ethics and not law is a bit of a stretch in my opinion.
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      • Profile picture of the author David Keith
        Originally Posted by George Wright View Post

        I'm not arguing. I wanna see a Law. Calling someone a thief is very serious. We need a law to back that accusation up.

        George Wright, P.S. DANG David. I should have read your post before responding to it. Sorry. GW
        lol. I didn't start the thread or call anyone a thief. The title of this thread indicates someone did though, but it wasn't me.
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  • Profile picture of the author George Wright
    Hi All,

    I'm not a member here so George let me use his account. I just wanted to say...

    The kernel, the soul-- let us go further and say the substance, the bulk, the actual and valuable material of all human utterances--is plagiarism....
    ...a grown person's memory-tablet is as a palimpsest, with hardly a bare space upon which to engrave a phrase.

    .....substantially all ideas are second-hand, consciously and unconsciously drawn from a million outside sources, and daily used by the garnerer with a pride and satisfaction born of the superstition that he originated them; whereas there is not a rag of originality about them anywhere except the little discoloration they get from his mental and moral calibre and his temperament, which is revealed in characteristics of phrasing. . . .

    It takes a thousand men to invent a telegraph, or a steam engine, or a phonograph, or a photograph, or a telephone, or any other Important thing-- and the last man gets the credit and we forget the others. He added his little mite--that is all he did.

    In 1868 I read Dr. Holmes's poems, in the Sandwich Islands. A year and a half later I stole his dedication, without knowing it, and used it to dedicate my "Innocents Abroad" with. Ten years afterward I was talking with Dr. Holmes about it. He was not an ignorant ass--no, not he; . . . and so when I said, "I know now where I stole, but who did you steal it from?" he said, "I don't remember; I only know I stole it from somebody, because I have never originated anything altogether myself, nor met anybody who had."

    Mark Twain
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    • I don't accept Tiffany Dow as an authority on the question of what constitutes thievery when using sources in one's writing.

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      • Profile picture of the author DianaHeuser
        I do Fluff. Tiff is one the most honest and ethical marketers I have encountered on this forum. Her success speaks for itself.

        Di

        Originally Posted by fluffythewondercat View Post

        I don't accept Tiffany Dow as an authority on the question of what constitutes thievery when using sources in one's writing.

        fLufF
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        • Profile picture of the author affhelper
          What really makes me mad is when a scraper site steals your content and ranks above yours in serps. It's usually temporary and they drop off but they do it automatically so if done on large scale can drive some income their way (And Google is funding them through Adsense lol).

          I think it's a waste of time and not a business model.

          As far as rewriting content I think it's stealing too, unless you are adding more value to it based on your own experiences etc.

          I have pulled content from others before. Usually a snippet in quotes and then right below a link to the original source to give credit to the original publisher. In my opinion that's an ethical way to do it.
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  • Profile picture of the author abbyknight
    What about using Scrapebox!
    Surely anybody who uses this tool is a thief and a spammer as well.
    I have many spam comments on my blogs and they all have comments that have obviously been used over and over again.
    Yes I buy cheap articles an am glad to use them because we cannot all afford $30 a page. I am sure it is better to use cheap articles that pass Copyscape than use PLR articles that have been used 1000's of times before?
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    • Profile picture of the author AmandaT
      Originally Posted by abbyknight View Post

      What about using Scrapebox!
      Surely anybody who uses this tool is a thief and a spammer as well.
      I have many spam comments on my blogs and they all have comments that have obviously been used over and over again.
      Yes I buy cheap articles an am glad to use them because we cannot all afford $30 a page. I am sure it is better to use cheap articles that pass Copyscape than use PLR articles that have been used 1000's of times before?
      Well, you can get quality articles for under $30 per page very easily. I know several talented writers that write for closer to $15 per page.

      Personally, I'd rather write my own articles or rewrite PLR than put content that is less than quality work in front of my readers. That is personal preference though.

      By the way, since most people rewrite their PLR before using it, the average piece of Tiffany Dow PLR only comes back with 5-10 matches in copyscape, sometimes less than mine. (Some of my PLR still passes copyscape.)
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  • Profile picture of the author phorit
    How about then, Don't call yourself an internet marketer or anything related, if what you really are is just a writer.
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  • Profile picture of the author HeySal
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Chris Worner
    And as for the "spinning" content item on the list...something is either plagiarized or not. What do they teach us in school when we start researching and writing papers/reports? To take the information and put it into our own words. That is what researched writing consists of. If you use your own words completely, there is no way you can claim or prove something is in fact plagiarized.
    I think someone might have missed that teacher's point. Surely someone teaching a subject can't be that obtuse about it?

    Most of the time when students are told to read something then put it in their own words, it's for the professor to see that they understood what they read - not to publish something. Research takes more than one article, or one book. You need a broad number of sources so you can the full view of the issue to write intelligently about it, as well as to avoid derivative writing.
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    • Profile picture of the author Chris Worner
      Originally Posted by HeySal View Post

      Quote:

      I think someone might have missed that teacher's point. Surely someone teaching a subject can't be that obtuse about it?
      Sal, have you seen the state of education in the west at present? It doesn't surprise me in the slightest. I'm talking about both high school and college.

      Most of the time when students are told to read something then put it in their own words, it's for the professor to see that they understood what they read - not to publish something. Research takes more than one article, or one book. You need a broad number of sources so you can the full view of the issue to write intelligently about it, as well as to avoid derivative writing.
      Absolutely.

      -Chris
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  • Profile picture of the author sajjadidr
    What I witnessed as someone new to this forum is that there were multiple perspectives kept by different people.

    What seems to be the OP's message is to not copy someone Else's work either by changing the words or rephrasing it to make it appear as if you have written it originally.

    And that's not at all difficult to understand for anyone.

    However , what I have also witnessed is that this topic was dragged by people with other perspectives by arguing that there is nothing original that someone does, till the time they don't actually refer to any sources earlier which seemed clearly off track to me.

    When it's true that someone's work should not be copied, it's also true that the one who is making such morals to appear as law is entitled to his own personal opinion which others have a right to disagree.

    To me personally writing an article is to learn about the topic completely for e.g. March Madness basketball for which I wrote articles recently.

    I was not aware about it much, but to write the articles I had to research on what exactly March Madness is and why is it called so.

    Moreover, I had to learn all the processes which takes place till the time the final match is scheduled which declares a winner.

    So, now even if someone asks me about March Madness I would be able to inform him exactly what it is and also will be able to compare with other sporting events which are of similar fame.

    I hope you all got the points that I wanted to address.

    I thank you Tiffany for your post and one thing is for sure that, till the time we have people thinking like you, we will have more people educating themselves and coming up with something new to share with their insight instead of just harming their intellect by gathering quick information about something that they want to write just to forget it the other day, they will surely become confused about the knowledge that they have, about the things that they have been writing.

    Hence, there will be no real knowledge with them, just chunks of information making a mess in their heads.
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  • Profile picture of the author jpeddler
    I have been a member of this forum for a good while and I rarely chime in on discussions.

    It isn't that I don't have any interest - it costs me money to take the time to write posts like this. It is rare I don't have a project to work on, but I wanted to add a little to the discussion.

    Threads like the one Tiffany has started have great merit and I do wish to offer a bit of commentary and perhaps some advice.

    Tiffany is talking about plagiarism and theft, but there are deeper issues here.

    The real question being asked is:

    Do you want to be a creator or a mechanic?

    Content writers - real ones - are creators. Copy mechanics are system gamers, spin jockeys and assemblers. Certainly, there are moral and ethical concepts as to what determines thievery and what constitutes honest work.

    I am not going to get deeply into this and enter a debate about what constitutes plagiarism, copyright infringement or theft - here's why:

    I don't need to call a thief - a thief.

    If you know you don't add anything of value to the research you do to write content - you know what you are.

    Deep inside - you know you are a content mechanic - a spinner - an assembler. You know you stole, and it really matter little how you choose to frame yourself or your actions.

    On some level - you are a thief. In your heart of hearts - you know you are gaming the system.

    Conversely, if you are the architect of well researched and original written work - you are a creator. Your work will stand the test of time and the scrutiny of readers.

    What you have done when you are a creator is to add immense value to the internet - value that is all but vanishing.

    And that value translates into a legacy - a legacy of originality and creativity. What you wrote will last in perpetuity.

    This is what makes writing great content - GREAT!

    Nearly every profitable site or blog owner on the internet knows the value of great content. The effects of superior content are clearly evident and easily definable.

    Great content translates into sites being sticky - keeping visitors on the pages longer - and most important of all ...

    Taking an action that pays you money!

    I do not know why everyone wants to make conversions (sales) so hard to understand.

    1. Write great stuff that engages site visitors and keeps them there longer.
    2. They may take an action that earns you some coin.
    3. Great content will also keep them coming back.
    4. Then, rinse and repeat your sales process.

    This isn't like splitting the atom, but you've got to treat this as a business - and all businesses need for you to spend money to keep feeding the conversion machine.

    Before I move on, allow me to address the people that think even $5 is too much for an article.

    Get out!

    I am serious - go - leave - you are not serious. You are a hobbyist, not an internet businessperson.

    - OR -

    Buy content from a quality source. (Anything written for less than $10 is not worth using.)

    - OR -

    Learn to write for the web.

    I read every post in this thread. Of all the posts I reviewed, the one that impressed me most was from the Serbian gentleman, dragica659.

    S/he's got it right. S/he writes in his native language, uses Google Translate, makes corrections, and then posts the work.

    That is having the guts to put yourself and your skills on the line.

    That's trying - thinking outside the box - working hard - trying to do things right.
    My money is on him to make money online. I admired his entire approach - he's not into stealing anything.

    Learning to write is very doable, but it does take work - real work.

    Gees - I'll bet I just lost over 50% of you.

    Yeah, I hate to break this to you, but building an internet business is real work. And writing is the hardest thing to do well. Graphics, site building, SEO - all are simple when compared to the writing.

    The notions that the gurus have planted in your head so superbly about making push button millions in the next 42 hours and 34 minutes are presenting you the greatest illusion in the history of illusions.

    Who am I?

    I am the guy that ghostwrites for a living and has no need to do anything else.

    My content starts at $150 for 400 word articles and goes up from there - depending on the amount of research necessary and the type of piece required. I write premium articles, blog posts, emails, autoresponder campaigns, e-books, reports, sales letters and copy, etc.

    My clients think I am a bargain - no - they think they are stealing my services.

    Some of them are frustrated merchants that just want their projects done right - they don't care about buying content "on-the-cheap" - they have been there already and want the good stuff.

    They pay very well to know their projects are written correctly. As has been said here already, high paying clients are a joy. They ask few questions, make fewer demands and treat you like you want to be treated - as a professional.

    They don't call me on Skype every hour to check the status of their work.

    I don't have Skype for precisely that reason - I DO NOT need it. I use an old fashioned tool that works well - a plain phone. Close to 100% of my business is by referral.

    I occasionally have to turn people away. If I can't produce the work up to my standards and within a prospect's timeframe, I thank them - then move on.

    I do not deal with keyword densities, quality issues, formatting, H1 tags or any of the other issues the $5-$20 -per-piece other writers deal with. The people I write for think Copyscape is a science fiction movie.

    My clients know without needing to ask that I am already handling all these considerations.

    They are 100% sure the stuff I write works because they continue to get results. You would not know most of my clients, but a couple of them are household names. None of them are in the IM niche.

    I have been doing this since 1972 - the golden days of direct mail marketing and print advertising craftsmanship. I have been writing for the web since the day of 300 baud dial-up service.

    I may know a little about this "writing" stuff - you can be the judge.

    The subject of content written for the web has often been a source of irony for me. Actually, it is sometimes laughable.

    Tiffany hinted at it being one of the essential building blocks for the internet.
    It is not "one" of the building blocks of the internet - it is THE building block of the internet.

    Here is a key point that isn't being made:

    Until Tiffany, you or someone like me writes great content for your sites - you are 100% dead in the water.

    It can be video, audio, articles, sales copy - it all starts with words on the page.

    And here's the real rub:

    Solid, unique, engaging content makes the internet rock. It doesn't matter what the gurus are telling you.

    I will put my measly 3-5 well researched and written, highly optimized articles up against your 100 pieces of weak, spun, junk content anytime.

    And I will eat you alive. My clients' conversions will be higher and site visitors will spend more money - over a lot longer period of time - period.

    Spun, plagiarized and weak junk content will take you nowhere - fast.

    Whatever you've read in the million WSOs written by the "pros" means little. Writing the building blocks for the web is my life - it is a reality I know very well.

    The products I have seen about writing articles in 5, 6 or 7 minutes or whatever are nonsense. They were cleverly marketed to you to achieve a purpose - sell products to you.

    Forget about writing an incredible, high converting sales letter in two-hours!

    It ain't gonna happen - and you'll be out a hundred bucks plus your time to find this out.

    This is what salespeople are best at doing - this is their #1 mission - it's how they make their money.

    While I am on this subject, I need to talk with you about a pet peeve.

    This is an internet SALES forum. The primary business models here are sales models - few of the offers here have little or anything to do with marketing.

    Implying marketing is what's going on here implies there are marketing "plans" available for sale. There may be a few partial glimpses of marketing plans, but I have never seen a complete A-Z program here.

    So let's at least be clear about what we are doing - we are SALESPEOPLE.

    Definition of marketing:

    a: the act or process of selling or purchasing in a market
    b: the process or technique of promoting, selling, and distributing a product or service
    From: Dictionary and Thesaurus - Merriam-Webster Online

    Most are doing lots of selling, but are light on teaching the marketing side of this equation.

    Copyrighting is another subject that could not be covered completely in a 100 page post, so I will give you the best, simple definition I could find:

    A copyright is a legal device that gives the creator of a literary, artistic, musical, or other creative work the sole right to publish and sell that work. Copyright owners have the right to control the reproduction of their work, including the right to receive payment for that reproduction. An author may grant or sell those rights to others, including publishers or recording companies. Violation of a copyright is called infringement.
    From the free dictionary.com/legal

    This post is more than long enough, but I will leave you with a few closing thoughts.

    Nearly everything I read about producing "bulk" content has people rewriting, combining or otherwise extracting content from a couple of primary sources:

    1. Ezinearticles.com or other article repositories
    2. Wikipedia

    Here's my BIG question for you:

    Whoever said the content on any of these sites was accurate, trusted or even noteworthy?
    It is written by humans in every case. Since when was anyone 100% accurate about anything on these sites?

    Aren't the writers on these sites attempting to drive traffic to their sites? Do you think a few of these "writers" might be biased about what they write?

    How many times have you looked-up something in Wikipedia and seen "Citations needed" for the entry?

    Is this the stuff you want to use as a foundation for credible information to use on your sites?

    Even if you are a content mechanic - this is a really bad idea. If the sources are wrong - you're the buffoon.

    Over 90% of the content on ezinearticles.com is poorly written and often simply wrong. I have read hundreds of articles on this site and others like it.

    Do you think the content anywhere else is written any better?

    Think again.

    Ladies and Gents - quality takes longer - it always has and always will.

    It costs more money - and it is worth every cent.

    In fact, it is likely you and your business will become a footnote soon if you don't start focusing on quality content.

    How much longer do you think it will take Google to decipher which sites are serving crap content to visitors and who is offering the good stuff?

    Read Google's mission statement and all of these issues about plagiarism, copyright infringement, spinning and everything else you can do to manipulate content place abusers squarely in their crosshairs.

    Google's primary mission statement has never changed:

    Deliver a quality user experience.

    Many webmasters and site owners need to tattoo this on their foreheads.

    This is numero uno - before any other consideration. What do you think accomplishes this best?

    If your goal is to have a quality internet business - which will pay you for years to come, you've got only two choices:

    1. Build it on the bedrock of solid content and thrive while you're making money with no worries.

    -OR-

    2. Build it on junk or average content and watch your quality scores and ranking drop to zero -all while you make a lot fewer bucks - and while on a bed of quicksand.

    This really is in your hands. It's great to see people taking content seriously. Tiffany's a good egg - she is worth following here.

    You can tell she does well because her passion for hard work and doing the right thing shows.

    This is what the internet was always supposed to be about and deliver to users.

    A whole bunch of people have forgotten what was supposed to happen in cyberspace.

    Knock your visitors' socks off!
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    • Profile picture of the author John Coutts
      Originally Posted by jpeddler View Post

      ... allow me to address the people that think even $5 is too much for an article.

      Get out!

      I am serious - go - leave - you are not serious. You are a hobbyist, not an internet businessperson.

      - OR -

      Buy content from a quality source. (Anything written for less than $10 is not worth using.)

      - OR -

      Learn to write for the web.
      Thanks! I couldn't have said it better myself.

      John.
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  • Profile picture of the author TheSpokesman
    I totally agree. As a writer who publishes work in both IM and non-IM fields, it irks me that some of these folks actually consider themselves writers.
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  • Profile picture of the author smuggecko
    Unfortunately, these days it is so very easy to scrape articles from various sites, throw them into a spinner, spend 2 minutes cleaning up the result and hey presto your content has been stolen and "re-written".

    It is a shame it is so easy to do and sadly where there is a demand there is someone willing to; borrow, beg and steal. Hopefully people have enough smarts about them to spot such fakes.
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  • Profile picture of the author TiffanyLambert
    It's been a great discussion

    I appreciate all the viewpoints - even the ones I disagree with or find disgusting, because as I always say, you can learn from what NOT to do just as much as you can learn from what you agree with or admire.

    I'm heading out for a 1st grade field trip as the chaperon (molding young minds lol - be afraid) so I don't have time to multi quote.

    What I was thinking as I read through everything was basically, Google the law if you need specifics - look up stuff about derivative works - that's the one where you take someone else's, move it around, mess with it, and publish it as your own.

    I hope the original post gave the people it was intended for (people who don't want to be unethical and didn't realize it), the insight they need to do a better job. The others arguing or excusing this cut, paste, reword sentences - you're not the target audience for this I don't try to change your mind.

    Seriously, screw the legalities though - no one's suing over an article in these niches. My point was to be a better marketer by not "borrowing" from someone else's hard work in such a blatant way. Educate and learn, but don't steal.

    Tiff
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  • Profile picture of the author bo4610
    It is frustrating when I see my contents being copied and posted to other sites,,, what sucks is they took the links off from them argh!!
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  • Profile picture of the author jancliff
    Hi Tiff
    I just wanted to say that a few times I have come up with brilliant, original topics, only to see them on other people's sites (sites that I have never seen before). I start to get tetchy thinking my articles have been scraped but when you look at them they are much older than yours! So sometimes when you think you have super duper new and original material, somebody has already covered the topic! I do however believe that you give it your own original slant and perspective.
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    • Profile picture of the author TiffanyLambert
      Originally Posted by jancliff View Post

      Hi Tiff
      I just wanted to say that a few times I have come up with brilliant, original topics, only to see them on other people's sites (sites that I have never seen before). I start to get tetchy thinking my articles have been scraped but when you look at them they are much older than yours! So sometimes when you think you have super duper new and original material, somebody has already covered the topic! I do however believe that you give it your own original slant and perspective.
      Waiting for the bus but just am FYI that I can take your blog post and put it on my blog and BACKDATE it so it looks older than yours.
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  • Profile picture of the author Simon Ashari
    I think you may have misinterpreted the forum post.

    Everyone has to do research. I think they may have been referring to the basic research as making their original content 'not original'.

    -Simon
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  • Profile picture of the author Cataclysm1987
    Originally Posted by TiffanyDow View Post

    I know people who would be horrified to learn they'd plagiarized someone else's content, because plagiarism is also the use of ideas, not just copying and pasting verbatim.
    I don't think it's ever realistic anyone will have a copyright on an idea. In fact, I bet if you looked around, you'd find other WF posts like this one. Does that mean you ripped someone off? Or that you just had a similar idea?

    PLAGIARISM!!!
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  • Profile picture of the author TiffanyLambert
    Never trust a man who feels the need to use language like "hitherto" in a freaking forum discussion lol.
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  • Profile picture of the author David Keith
    Hey Rooze, did you make up "hitherto" or did you plagiarizer that from somewhere?....JK man.

    BTW, If you could hit an extra space between your paragraphs on your longer posts it would make them much easier to read.
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    • Profile picture of the author rooze
      Originally Posted by David Keith View Post

      Hey Rooze, did you make up "hitherto" or did you plagiarizer that from somewhere?....JK man.

      BTW, If you could hit an extra space between your paragraphs on your longer posts it would make them much easier to read.
      I'm not sure where that came from, a fortune cookie maybe?
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      • Profile picture of the author kalgutman
        Originally Posted by rooze View Post

        I'm not sure where that came from, a fortune cookie maybe?
        Copying content from a fortune cookie eh???

        lol

        Kal
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    • Profile picture of the author George Wright
      Originally Posted by David Keith View Post

      Hey Rooze,.. BTW, If you could hit an extra space between your paragraphs on your longer posts it would make them much easier to read.
      And easier to copy and paste.

      George Wright
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  • Profile picture of the author Smalls91
    I personally have never plagiarised in my entire life, I think that plagiarism is quite low morally especially when it is to make a profit.
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  • Profile picture of the author Gabby12
    I would like to ask all of the writers here claiming plagiarism how they would go about writing on a topic that they know nothing about and is very technical. Research is needed, do you take notes? Do you put all of these ideas into one? Is this not the same as copy and paste and then rewriting?
    I would like to know how this can be done and not be what is described by the op. If it cant than every article written by an author that does not have expertise in that subject would be guilty of plagiarism.
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    • Profile picture of the author Tina Golden
      Originally Posted by Gabby12 View Post

      I would like to ask all of the writers here claiming plagiarism how they would go about writing on a topic that they know nothing about and is very technical. Research is needed, do you take notes? Do you put all of these ideas into one? Is this not the same as copy and paste and then rewriting?
      I would like to know how this can be done and not be what is described by the op. If it cant than every article written by an author that does not have expertise in that subject would be guilty of plagiarism.
      I don't write on very technical subjects because I know that I can't do them justice with simple research. Most of the professional writers that I know have subjects that they won't write about.
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  • Profile picture of the author Andyhenry
    Surely there's one aspect of this that should be very simple - if you're not sure if what you're doing is legal and you think it might not be - Don't do it.

    You don't need people on a forum to tell you to stop doing something you think is dodgy.

    Getting legal advice from a marketing forum is like getting financial advice from a hobo.
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    nothing to see here.

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  • Profile picture of the author Victoralexon
    Great opening post, Tiffany.

    If you are a writer and you are not willing to do research on a topic, and then write an article from scratch, then stay away from that topic altogether. There is nothing wrong with this.
    No one will expect you to be able to write great, informative content on every subject under the sun.
    Well, actually, scratch that last sentence. There are plenty of people out there who expect you to excellent articles on all kinds of subjects, and then get paid $3 per article for doing it for them.
    However, these clients are not the ones that you want to write for anyway.
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  • Profile picture of the author paul_1
    Thanks for letting us know... This thread will open the eyes of the many, especially the new ones.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ernie Mitchell
    If Mr. Rooze owned a Ferrari, would he automatically be guilty of speeding? If he owned a Ferrari and a bottle of booze would he be guilty if speeding and drunk driving? If he owned a handgun, a bottle of booze and a Ferrari, would he be guilty if speeding, drunk driving and holding up a liquor store? I think NOT! And yet, because he mentioned cutting and pasting as a procedure for his research he was labeled a plagiarist by the OP and others. Rooze may have stepped in it by inserting the comment about putting food on the table but give the world a break.

    As long as the "research" was taking place is on multiple documents, I don't give a hoot what the methodology, be it cut, past, longhand, shorthand, or crayon was being used.

    All that matters is the final outcome and that he used the data from multiple sources to wordsmith his own unique creation. What wasn't mentioned in the creative procedure was what was erased at the end of the process. It was automatically assumed that because he copied and pasted he was ripping of the original author. Have we reduced ourselves to automatic guilt by association?

    I often find myself mulling over several thousand words of cut and pasted research fodder when writing a piece --- 99% of which is erased (not used) when the final article is finished. Even John McCabe (someone I have the highest regard for) wrote in post 101 that he didn't have a problem with rooze research method.
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  • Profile picture of the author Usmile
    Originally Posted by TiffanyDow View Post

    Hey Warriors!

    I’m being a bit harsh in my thread title, I know. Thief is such a strong word – especially for people who are just uneducated about what writing is. But it doesn’t make it untrue, either.

    As we all know, writing is one of the primary foundations of Internet marketing. We do it for eBooks, articles, blog posts, email autoresponders, forum contributions, viral and opt in reports, Tweets, FB posts, G+ posts, etc etc etc.

    It’s a necessity.

    So when there’s a necessity, there becomes a demand for shortcuts. Some shortcuts, like outsourcing your writing to a ghostwriter or buying PLR are 100% legal.

    Other shortcuts are not legal or ethical. It’s just that chances of you getting caught or punished are low.

    I saw a comment in another thread today where someone said, No where you will find a 100% unique article at present. All writers need a source to copy and edit.

    That statement makes me want to pull my hair out, hiss and scratch someone. And I just might!

    This is the uneducated “writer’s" way of creating content. You do NOT just find a source to copy and edit. UGH! Patooey!

    What you DO when you need to write about a topic you don’t know enough to write off the top of your head is become educated about it and write from scratch.

    So please alter that sentence to say, “All writers need several sources to learn from so they can write from an informed perspective.

    We can’t expect everyone to go take college level ethics in Journalism and legal Journalism classes (I have). But you can educate yourself here and now about what it means to create good, original content that isn’t ripping anybody off – and I believe most people WANT to know how to avoid being unethical.

    I know people who would be horrified to learn they’d plagiarized someone else’s content, because plagiarism is also the use of ideas, not just copying and pasting verbatim.

    You can’t take someone’s content and rewrite it and be safe. And if you think that cute little copyright symbol HAS to be included, you’re wrong, thanks to a 1989 law that says original authors don’t need it anymore.

    Anyway, I know legalities aren’t what you’re worried about. But please consider ethics when you simply go to EZA or Google and find an article and “rewrite” it – you’re a thief, pure and simple. Whether you realized it or not.

    Now you know, so don’t do it again.

    Tiff
    Thanks for stressing this out. I love reading blogs and I have also an experience in writing. Sad to say, I saw lots of similar content online, which for me kills the natural spirit of article writing. Though copyscape is their to check plagiarism, it is not a guarantee.
    Maybe, this has also something to do with the blooming number of website owners who engage in automation in creating content.
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  • Profile picture of the author Viramara
    Whenever I use someone else's articles for my website, I always give them credit. It's part of my academic habit, I guess, where the professors would taught us to always give credit if you use someone else's even smallest sentences. I've been plagiarized before, several times, where the plagiarist took my content blatantly and gain some money from my hard work. That hurts as hell!

    Sadly, me too have encountered a guru IM course who taught to just copy from EZA and edit...He said if we edit the article, then the resource box in it is no longer necessary because we don't use the article verbatim. (GRRRRRRRRR)
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  • Profile picture of the author Bret Ferguson
    If we took a thousand people on the forum here and had them write a one page (or less) example of "How to Make a Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich" my guess is 70% of the content would be the same or very similar. The other 30% may be a bit more prolific with their content maybe even adding images offering maybe even a bit more info.

    My point is, in reality there are only so many ways, so many steps to making a PBJ. There will be "duplicate" ideas, "duplicate" content (without actually being copied) based on that person's experience in making a PBJ and writing ability. No one would have to steal anyone's content to come up with the same content or ideas in making a PBJ.

    Where am I going with this.......uh, I think it's possible to honestly have very similar content when it comes to any given method. The more simply its written the more it's likely to be "duplicated" without being "copied."

    I'll call my mom and see if she'll give me permission to write a PBJ report since she taught me how.
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    • Profile picture of the author cjreynolds
      Originally Posted by Bret Ferguson View Post

      If we took a thousand people on the forum here and had them write a one page (or less) example of "How to Make a Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich" my guess is 70% of the content would be the same or very similar. The other 30% may be a bit more prolific with their content maybe even adding images offering maybe even a bit more info.

      My point is, in reality there are only so many ways, so many steps to making a PBJ. There will be "duplicate" ideas, "duplicate" content (without actually being copied) based on that person's experience in making a PBJ and writing ability. No one would have to steal anyone's content to come up with the same content or ideas in making a PBJ.

      Where am I going with this.......uh, I think it's possible to honestly have very similar content when it comes to any given method. The more simply its written the more it's likely to be "duplicated" without being "copied."

      I'll call my mom and see if she'll give me permission to write a PBJ report since she taught me how.
      Great post, and I agree wholeheartedly - but (always a but), there's one reason I would not write an article about making a PBJ - it's already been done, probably lots of times. Is it worth my time to write, and your time to read, yet another article on making a PBJ?

      Unless I could be in that 30% you describe, I would only be adding web fodder - there's more than enough of that.

      The 30% are writers - the other 70% aren't necessarily thieves, but are at least, slackers. If there's only one way to do something and there have been hundreds of articles written about it, do you really want to write another one unless you have something significant to add?

      Just my thoughts....
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      I just added this sig so I can refer to it in my posts...

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    • Profile picture of the author smadronia
      Originally Posted by Bret Ferguson View Post

      If we took a thousand people on the forum here and had them write a one page (or less) example of "How to Make a Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich" my guess is 70% of the content would be the same or very similar. The other 30% may be a bit more prolific with their content maybe even adding images offering maybe even a bit more info.
      One thing I have to chime in about: recipes are a bad choice for an example. The only part of a recipe that is copyrightable is the directions for how to make the item.

      It makes your point, that many would be the same, but I'd say if you took 1000 people on this forum, and had them write an article on SEO, or some other Internet Marketing topic, then we'd see a lot of similar articles, with the same information, just worded differently.
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  • Profile picture of the author Christiena
    I have several ebook courses (some by gurus on this forum) on my hard drive that specifically teach newbies to change other people's content. They say not to do a direct copy and paste but to re-write it into your own words. Some suggest as little as 30%. That just never sat right with me...I was always taught different offline.I don't want other people doing that with the content I sweated over. I'm perfectly happy for writers to grab ideas that they can put their own spin to but it should be written in their voice, using their own unique ideas, thoughts, beliefs...

    Long term success comes from working hard and smart. The value of delayed gratification has been lost in the mad panic for instant dollars. There are internet marketers who make a mint from that panic. They've got some of this sucker's moola too.

    I guess the choices are 1. fast bucks for little effort now (just copy/spin/paste) and blow any chance of money in the future by screwing up your online reputation. 2. Ensure long term money by building a great online reputation writing your own unique way that relates to your reader/customer.

    I have personally deleted dozens of people from my bookmarks when I found duplicated stuff. It's not that hard to find out when the content was written and locate the actual author. The copier is on my growing IM scrapheap. As are the marketers who sold me you beaut courses which were PLR chucked into a pdf. Really! If I'm not worth your best authentic effort, you are not worth my $$$.

    Thanks for sorting the hay from the chaff and setting this newbie right
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  • im a bit guilty of theiving from time to time
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    • Profile picture of the author John Wilkes
      Hi Tiff,
      I see you advertise a link to Chris Farrell on your blog.
      This is how he advises to do it.

      "You don't have to start from scratch every time. You can even "steal" from other sources. Here is how I do it.
      • I do a lot of Google research. I don't read every word on every page. If the information looks promising I highlight, copy and paste it into a word document. I do this until I think I have enough information to write my article.
      • Then, I go to the page where all of the clips are stored. I start moving the segments around until they are in a logical order.
      • Then I rewrite, using my own words. It is easy."
      • How To Create Articles Out of Thin Air
      Do you approve?
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      • Profile picture of the author TiffanyLambert
        Originally Posted by John Wilkes View Post

        Hi Tiff,
        I see you advertise a link to Chris Farrell on your blog.
        This is how he advises to do it.

        "You don't have to start from scratch every time. You can even "steal" from other sources. Here is how I do it.
        • I do a lot of Google research. I don't read every word on every page. If the information looks promising I highlight, copy and paste it into a word document. I do this until I think I have enough information to write my article.
        • Then, I go to the page where all of the clips are stored. I start moving the segments around until they are in a logical order.
        • Then I rewrite, using my own words. It is easy."
        • How To Create Articles Out of Thin Air
        Do you approve?
        Nope sure don't! I haven't seen him teach that. And now that I know, the banner comes down. Sad too because Chris is good at teaching - so why would he advocate moving things around and rewriting?
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        • Profile picture of the author TiffanyLambert
          Originally Posted by fluffythewondercat View Post

          Tiffany Dow has deliberately mischaracterized plagiarism and accused others in order to establish herself as an authority and sole arbiter on the subject.

          Once again I say I do not accept Tiffany Dow as an authority. Her statement:

          I know people who would be horrified to learn they'd plagiarized someone else's content, because plagiarism is also the use of ideas, not just copying and pasting verbatim.

          ...is only a partial truth at best. Wikipedia tells us:

          Plagiarism is defined in dictionaries as the "wrongful appropriation," "close imitation," or "purloining and publication" of another author's "language, thoughts, ideas, or expressions," and the representation of them as one's own original work, but the notion remains problematic with nebulous boundaries. (emphasis mine)

          I say this to Tiffany Dow:

          If you have a problem with "gurus" telling people how to manipulate content, take it up with them. And quit trying to establish yourself as a moral, legal or ethical authority, because you ain't all that, baby.

          fLufF
          --
          Actually fluff, I'll put it anywhere I damn well please - including this forum where many people, unlike you, like to learn of things they may not have known were unethical. As I've stated several times, screw the legalities - you seem to be hung up on stating what you can legally get away with, which says something about you.

          Ethically, it's wrong to cut and paste and rewrite someone else's work - do you endorse that or something? Guess so.

          Originally Posted by Tina Golden View Post

          Is there a reason why you felt the need to reiterate what you already stated once in this thread? Now it seems like more of a personal attack than a conflicting viewpoint, which would appear to stem from an altogether different agenda.
          It's the norm for her. For some reason she likes to personally attack me. Yawn. And yes, she did already say this - but we all ignored it, so she felt the need to be LOUDER so maybe she'd be heard. lol
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      • Profile picture of the author TiffanyLambert
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        • Profile picture of the author kalgutman
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  • Profile picture of the author Ruka
    Original writing definitely more enjoyable to read.
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  • Tiffany Dow has deliberately mischaracterized plagiarism and accused others in order to establish herself as an authority and sole arbiter on the subject.

    Once again I say I do not accept Tiffany Dow as an authority. Her statement:

    I know people who would be horrified to learn they’d plagiarized someone else’s content, because plagiarism is also the use of ideas, not just copying and pasting verbatim.

    ...is only a partial truth at best. Wikipedia tells us:

    Plagiarism is defined in dictionaries as the "wrongful appropriation," "close imitation," or "purloining and publication" of another author's "language, thoughts, ideas, or expressions," and the representation of them as one's own original work, but the notion remains problematic with nebulous boundaries. (emphasis mine)

    I say this to Tiffany Dow:

    If you have a problem with "gurus" telling people how to manipulate content, take it up with them. And quit trying to establish yourself as a moral, legal or ethical authority, because you ain't all that, baby.

    fLufF
    --
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    • Profile picture of the author Tina Golden
      Originally Posted by fluffythewondercat View Post

      Once again I say I do not accept Tiffany Dow as an authority. Her statement:
      Is there a reason why you felt the need to reiterate what you already stated once in this thread? Now it seems like more of a personal attack than a conflicting viewpoint, which would appear to stem from an altogether different agenda.
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      Discover how to have fabulous, engaging content with
      Fast & Easy Content Creation
      ***Especially if you don't have enough time, money, or just plain HATE writing***
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      • Profile picture of the author kalgutman
        Originally Posted by Tina Golden View Post

        Is there a reason why you felt the need to reiterate what you already stated once in this thread? Now it seems like more of a personal attack than a conflicting viewpoint, which would appear to stem from an altogether different agenda.
        I rather like the diametrical opposing views as this helps me with considering how to deal with research and respecting author's published works.

        The personal attacks should be toned down somewhat to not "label" anybody on this public forum but challenge opposing viewpoints for the education of the topic at hand.

        Kal
        P.S. I do appreciate the topic and have learned some interesting things today
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        • Profile picture of the author tpw
          Originally Posted by kalgutman View Post

          The personal attacks should be toned down somewhat to not "label" anybody on this public forum but challenge opposing viewpoints for the education of the topic at hand.

          When one person starts a thread to brand themselves in one light, and another person comes along who does not like the branding strategy, things can and usually do get ugly.
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          Bill Platt, Oklahoma USA, PlattPublishing.com
          Publish Coloring Books for Profit (WSOTD 7-30-2015)
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  • Profile picture of the author tpw
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    Bill Platt, Oklahoma USA, PlattPublishing.com
    Publish Coloring Books for Profit (WSOTD 7-30-2015)
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    • Profile picture of the author Jonathan 2.0
      1. If you think you're being a “copy thief”Stop it.

      2. If you think you may be a “copy thief”
      Stop it and reconsider your approach

      3. If you're 100% sure you're not a “copy thief” then go about your business as usual.
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      "Each problem has hidden in it an opportunity so powerful that it literally dwarfs the problem. The greatest success stories were created by people who recognized a problem and turned it into an opportunity."―Joseph Sugarman
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    • Profile picture of the author James B
      wow, i didnt know things would go through with copyscape. So whats the point of their service then...