For a writer, a blogger, a journalist, a musician, anyone really there is a one cardinal sin. It is something that that people have spent millions defending in the Courts, and that is their ideas. It was only last year that Marvin Gaye’s family won over $7m from Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams for the music used in the infamous blurred lines, which was deemed to have plagiarised from the late Marvin Gaye. It is however about more than just money, or at least it should be. It is a about pride, originality and credit for what is yours and rightly so. We work hard and plough our hearts and souls into a piece of work that we are proud to call our own, we do not want somebody taking the seemingly easy road and sweeping in and taking the credit our creativity.
It was just the other day that I came across a blog post that shared the exact title of one of my own posts, word for word. The content was in fact very similar. I checked the publish dates and mine preceded that of this post. I am not sure why I feel the need to tell you that my post was published first as I am not about get all high and mighty about this post and suggest my ideas had been poached in some passive aggressive blog post. I don’t believe for a second that said post was plagiarised. I doubt the blogger behind the post even knows about me and my lowly little blog. We were both writing about something very topical that was happening in the country at that particular time – if anything this similar post is probably better than mine.
This just goes to serve the point I am about to make. There are so many thousands of blogs out there in the blogosphere writing about a thousand and one topics. More specifically however there are goodness knows how many parent bloggers out there writing about parenthood, there are fashion bloggers writing about fashion, feminist bloggers writing about feminism and make up bloggers blogging about make up. Whilst it might feel as though there are an infinite amount of topics to flex our creative muscle over in reality there is a pool of ideas that we all dip into. Especially when discussing current affairs, social issues, parenting, make up and so on.
It is not surprising that we occasionally stumble upon an article or a post that is similar to one of our own. We have all seen posts about what is in our hospital bag or how we haven’t had a nights sleep in god knows how long, in fact I saw a blog title the other day similar to a post I have been planning on writing for some time now I just am yet to get around to it. When I do write this post, and I do intend to it does not mean that it has been stolen. We are all writing about topics, often similar, if not the same but (hopefully) in a different way and it is important to remember that. Sometimes there will be an overlap.
What of those who do cross the line, those who knowingly take and use an idea of another? To my mind they should feel shame. If success is brought about by riding the wave of another’s work such success is bitter and tarnished. It is, or should be, a success that is not able to be enjoyed for what it should be. I don’t know about you but a success that is not mine, not one I can own or freely put my name to or feel proud off is a success I want no part of.
What do you think? Have you ever come across a similar post or phrase that you thought was yours only to see it used by another? Do you feel you have been victim of plagiarism or just a product of the plethora of bloggers and writers out there? I would love to hear from you.