Why the importance?
In the World today, we have those who give and those who take and not forgetting the variables in between. We have Extreme thieves who steal, we also have the petty criminals who rob and again the variables in between. We have original brand labels, and very convincing copyright labels and again those variables in between. The list goes on and on and...
Unfortunately as most of us know the same goes on with written information online. However the sheer volume and spectrum of that activity is mind blowing and quite often overlooked. Never underestimate the volume of content theft.
This is what happens.
Take your new website for example. The website creation and what you write may be formatted and presented and created in your own original way. It is personal to you and comes from the heart and in your opinion it belongs to you as it is your creative work whether that comes naturally or you have to work at it, it is still your work. You may create links of course to various locations online (referrals) you may even quote articles, and occasionally copy and paste an article or part of to illustrate something but you will and should always include the original source, author.
You should of course never make that work look your own.
Using an extreme case I know, but your work is as important to you as say JK Rowling's work is to her.
Bills little light shop business is as important to him as Lord Allan Sugars Business is as important to him, and Alice who has worked hard for everything she owns and sits in her flat is as important to her to say Lady Champ who has worked hard for her car collection and estate she owns.
I will now give you an example of what could happen to you and will use Alice and yourself to see similarities.
Someone steals a little bit of your work. They have may not take everything and may not be in the same Industry and not in direct competition with you in any way, shape or form nor are they claiming to be you or using your name under their work, but the fact is they have still stolen something from you.
Alice gets broken into and comes home and finds her microwave missing. She looks around the flat and sees that nothing else is missing. She is annoyed and feels violated. She worked hard for that microwave but realizes she is lucky because nothing else was taken. She is annoyed with herself because she knew she should have shut her kitchen window properly but she did not imagine someone would break into her flat. She later found out it was some petty thief. She is annoyed but she gets things into perspective and makes sure she never leaves the window open again and she also goes and buys an intruder alarm and a few more locks. She places what she considers her valuable items and hides them away.(she understands this may not prevent it from happening again but she has made it harder for them) She then continues with her life. Lesson learnt move on and don't dwell on the past just put it down to experience.
Going back to your stolen site content. Most of us fully understand that as soon as you submit something to the Internet it becomes available for millions to use and abuse for whatever reason, but most of us also know that there are ways and methods of protecting it and claiming it as your content but many have the attitude of do that tomorrow, combined with is it needed yet. Of course tomorrow does not come and it is only when this happens do you do something about it such as copyright and Extra security etc. (shutting the stable door spring to mind?) of course that does not mean to say it will not happen again but at least you have taken some action.
The fact is there are a lot of people without a creative bone in their body but we must appreciate this is the real world and many don't.
Intentional theft is worse than non intentional theft. probably wrong in quoting this but I think its called (malice aforethought?), we must be aware that many do not understand they are actually stealing your content.
Anyway like I said, this is a topic of conversation is highly debatable. I read somewhere someone who is very successful in what she does say this. If someone steals your work online do not get too personal, remain professional. If it has a direct impact on your work then pursue it, it is not as hard as what people think. However if it has no impact on your work then move on and take it as a compliment.
I would agree with that. I also read that whatever work you do online it is not a matter of if you experience this but it is a matter of when you experience this.
Take measures now to try and prevent this from happening to you.
Get your online worked copyright protected. Now!
Of course this above illustration is just one of millions and millions of situations!
You can only imagine what really goes on! In fact I really don't want to think about it.