Plagiarism in blogging.

Plagiarism in blogging.

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.

woman on macbook

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.

 

Cuddle Fairy
Diary of an imperfect mum
Hot Pink Wellingtons
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40 Comments

  1. August 24, 2016 / 6:28 am

    It’s inevitable that people are going to write about the same topics. Someone who repeatedly copies intentionally probably wouldn’t be successful because their posts wouldn’t be authentic & they’re probably blogging for another reason than that they enjoy it. #bloggerclubuk

  2. August 24, 2016 / 8:46 am

    It’s a difficult thing, as like you say being a parenting blog it is inevitable that people are going to be writing about the same thing as you. The same goes for a topical post – it’s difficult to write about something unique when you want to write about what everyone is talking about. A few months ago I came across a blog post in a linky that was almost identical in subject matter to a post I had in my drafts – the photo content were similar, the topic the same, even down to the fact they had gotten other people’s views about the subject. But as a writer, I think it’s something you have to accept #BloggerClubUK

  3. August 24, 2016 / 10:56 am

    I would never purposely plagiarise something, but I do worry about things looking similar. It is a likely thing to happen, as you say. And of course since I spend loads of time reading other blogs, they are bound to inspire some of my post ideas. If that’s the case, I try to add a backlink to the blog that inspired me! An interesting post. #BloggerClubUK

    • tammymum
      August 24, 2016 / 10:59 am

      That’s a fab thing to do and way to pay homage to something you have read. Similar posts are inevitable though aren’t they it, it’s part of it and that’s my point and We shouldn’t feel bad about it. Thanks for reading xx

  4. August 24, 2016 / 11:29 am

    It’s such a fine line isn’t it? I think for the majority of us it is just that there are a lot of bloggers writing similar things, I wouldn’t dream of copying someone else’s work, and I doubt anyone would want to copy mine, ha! If someone did though, I would have very little time for them, I think it is awful. If I know I’m working on a project with other bloggers I purposefully don’t read their posts until after I have written my own. That way I know myself that any similarities were just because we all had the same brief and I wasn’t ‘led’ by what I had already read of theirs. It’s all you can do I think. #BloggerClubUK

  5. August 24, 2016 / 11:50 am

    I think we would be naive to believe we are the first ones to write about this or that topic. If someone knowingly plagiarised is so very different and so very wrong,in comparison to being similar,which I think is inevitable #BloggerClubUK

  6. August 24, 2016 / 12:58 pm

    I’ve certainly come across posts with a similar topic, which have been published before mine, whilst mine is in draft form or scheduled. I would never plagiarise, but as you say there are so many bloggers out there, so there is bound to be some similarities in our blogosphere, after all as parents we are affected by the same worries, thoughts, that’s why we can relate to one another. Xx #BloggerClubUK

  7. August 24, 2016 / 6:20 pm

    Isn’t there a saying about there only being a certain number of original ideas in story writing? As parent bloggers we’re all writing about a lot of the same things, at the end of the day it’s our voices that make our posts unique. x #BloggerClubUK

  8. August 24, 2016 / 7:22 pm

    It is so difficult hun. I have a post out this week about blogging and having lost my mojo and I have read 2 similar ones this week alone. I have been accused of copying too – I wrote a post at the soft play and was told in a comment it was very like someone else and also received a comment about – every blogger has a softly post in them. I think you are right about us dipping into the same pool. I even went to start a new linky about IG this week until Katie told me Victoria had beaten me to it! I made the badge and everything šŸ˜‚ I have never wittingly copied however and think that is just bad form! #BloggerClubUK

    • tammymum
      August 24, 2016 / 8:15 pm

      What! Everyone has a soft play post! I think I’ve written two, at least. That’s very unfair for someone to say it was copying. That’s the thing though isn’t it. We all write similar things, take inspiration from things we read, there’s bound to be an overlap, so pffffft to those who have said otherwise xx

  9. August 25, 2016 / 6:20 am

    I can’t say I’ve seen a post or phrases the same as mine. As you say there are so many parent bloggers so it’s inevitable the same topics will be covered. #sharingthebloglove

  10. August 25, 2016 / 6:23 am

    I was inspired by a post a while back about trying to raise girls in a gender neutral way. I don’t have girls; I have two boys. So it made me think about what it’s like to do that from the other side and what my experiences were being put into dresses and skirts I didn’t want to wear as a child. I commented on the post and asked the blogger if they would mind me writing about this, then backlinked to the post when they assured me they didn’t. I think it’s just polite to ask first and give credit afterwards. This is a really great post!

  11. August 25, 2016 / 7:58 am

    Fab post! Really made me think – which is hard at 8:30 in the morning with only half a cup of coffee consumed! It is inevitable in the world of parent blogging that we are going to cover similar subjects – I often read posts and think I wish I’d written that but I read and read and read blogs everyday so inspiration for my own writing and from parenting must be influenced in some way without me realising I guess but I would never knowingly plagiarise. I think that if a post inspires you and you write a similar theme then a reference back to the original post would be the right thing to do. Thanks for sharing lovely xx #ablogginggoodtime

    • tammymum
      August 25, 2016 / 7:54 pm

      Oh I like to make people think so I’ll take that! Yeah I agree a shout out to the original post is always s good thing to do. Like you say we read so many posts it’d be hard not to be influenced by other posts, but that’s no bad thing. I’d be happy if someone found inspiration in something I wrote. Thank you for your comment lovey xx

  12. August 25, 2016 / 9:16 am

    This is a very interesting topic, and one I worry about! Like you say, there are thousands upon thousands of people writing on similar topics, with similar inspiration. I write about children’s crafts and play, inspired mostly by Pinterest and other blogs, and although I do my own things in my own way, I think it is inevitable that there may be a crossover at some point. I would be worried if I saw my own pictures being used or huge chunks of text being copied without reference (especially if it happened more than once), but other than that it is difficult to call. Keep your eyes peeled…. #SharingtheBlogLove

  13. August 25, 2016 / 11:21 am

    It’s a tricky issue. As you said, it’s inevitable that bloggers in a particular area are going to cover the same topics, and some posts might sound similar. We also might read a post that influences our own writing, even if it’s not consciously. However, there’s a big difference between that and copying someone else’s content word for word – unforgivable in my book. #ablogginggoodtime

  14. August 25, 2016 / 11:50 am

    This is a hard one, there will be similar posts on similar topics, but if it is copied word for word then you may have a case. Maybe a polite email to the other blogger. Could they put an attribution? But would you take them to court?

    Certainly protect your writing with copyright and have a statement that content cannot be reproduced without prior consent. Bit of a tough one! #SharingtheBlogLove

  15. August 25, 2016 / 2:47 pm

    I think you’re right in that often when you see a similar piece of writing by another blogging, it is simply just that they’ve been inspired by the same thing as you have rather than plagiarism, although I have no doubt that plagiarism does happen. I have had a couple of instances where an entire blog post of mine has been shared as a Facebook status by someone and then be reshared countless times which is utterly infuriating and whilst I can (and do) get the original post taken down, I can’t track down all the shares and do the same. The original one at least had the link right at the very end but I’ve now seen it doing the rounds again with no link or acknowledgement – occasionally there is “author unknown” at the end. Sadly the person who shared it originally has a habit of sharing entire blog posts in this way and despite me pointing out to her that it is plagiarism and breach of copyright, she still persists in thinking that as it’s online, it must be completely in the public domain. #ablogginggoodtime

  16. August 25, 2016 / 6:21 pm

    Like you say it is inevitable that there will be posts out there that are similar, especially with parenting. All kids have to go through similar phases so it unlikely that any post you write is going to be utterly unique. I have found similar posts to mine and I have written posts and then found one that is almost identical! As long as you are true to your style and are not trying to be someone else I think that is what really counts. #Ablogginggoodtime

  17. August 25, 2016 / 6:55 pm

    I think it’s inevitable that in such a huge world as blogging that there will be a degree of overlap between bloggers. After all, that’s the appeal of reading blogs, that it’s relate-able, and if other people didn’t feel the same things, it wouldn’t be have that same appeal! I know that I’ve read posts that have been on the same subject as things I’ve written, and I think that’s fine. I’m also fine with taking inspiration from other bloggers (and a credit if so is always nice!), but when it comes to taking people’s exact wording or even whole blog posts obviously that’s completely unacceptable! Thanks so much for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove

  18. August 25, 2016 / 9:25 pm

    I have seen ideas for posts copied and it got me wondering about plagiarism. You can be removed from your uni course for it and as you quite rightly said I too think it is quite a serious thing to do. At the end of the day, if you’ve reached the point where you cannot think up your own original content you surely should question what value you are adding to the blogosphere? Thought provoking post šŸ‘ #sharingthebloglove

  19. August 26, 2016 / 8:16 pm

    I’d never really given it a thought to be honest, maybe I was being too naive about it though. After reading your post I can understand now, I have read many different blogs, mainly parenting blogs, and a lot of the posts or topics have been very similar but then I know that many parents will be writing about the same experiences. #ablogginggoodtime

  20. August 26, 2016 / 8:23 pm

    This does bother me a great deal, but you’re right, so many people, there can’t help but be similar posts. It definitely makes you think xx #BloggerClubUK

  21. August 26, 2016 / 10:00 pm

    This is a real touchy topic isnt it? So many moms and so many blogs… I just wish that people would give respect to others people’s work. #ablogginggoodtime

  22. August 27, 2016 / 5:29 am

    So many of us are parent bloggers. Topics are bound to be repeated by others. I think it would be outright plagiarism if aspects of, or the entire post were copied word for word. It’s a touchy subject as many consider writing a very personal thing. Communication is the key, to confront the suspected plagiarist and hear their side. #ablogginggoodtime

  23. August 27, 2016 / 2:30 pm

    I’ve not been a victim (probably because I’m a little boring) but I’ve seen people discussing it on Facebook groups, it’s so terrible that it even happens!

    #ABloggingGoodTime

  24. August 27, 2016 / 6:58 pm

    there is definitely loads of overlap out there and sometimes it makes me question…do people need to here my opinion on xyz too?! but I like the challenge of trying to be unique – where possible :) #ablogginggoodtime

  25. August 27, 2016 / 9:57 pm

    Of course there are always going to be similarities, we are all taking a similar path through motherhood. Sleepless nights, weaning etc That is fine we are all telling our own personal story about these things. But when someone takes a whole post and copies it, that is unacceptable. But I think as a reader of a blog that just copies and pastes other peoples post, they will pick up on it. It won’t come across genuine or in the same style. Thank you for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove Laura x

  26. August 28, 2016 / 11:44 am

    I don’t worry about it to be honest. I would never knowingly copy another post but I recognise that similar posts will exist. If someone steals a post then that’s different and unacceptable. Interesting topic.
    #sharingthebloglove

  27. August 29, 2016 / 11:36 am

    Yes I have, it was a post I wrote about not wanting to be a SAHM I then found a post with an identical title and very similar content but I didn’t do anything about it and figured that blogging is such a huge thing these days that it’s not surprising that there was something similar, it did bug me a little though as it was very very similar! Interesting post and popping over from #marvmondays

  28. August 29, 2016 / 11:40 am

    This has been an interesting read. When individuals are writing about current affairs is must be so difficult for things not to overlap at some point, it’s such a fine line. Like you say though, those that do it knowingly are out of order, it’s really not on when someone has put so much time and effort into their posts.

    #MarvMondays

  29. August 29, 2016 / 11:54 am

    I think this is quite tough isn’t it because unless it’s copied word for word its hard to proof the idea was stolen. I think it’s nice when I read a post similar to something of my own as I know that blogger and I will have common interests but I would hate to find my own writing published elsewhere without my permission. #marvmonday

  30. August 29, 2016 / 8:43 pm

    Such an important topic and something that all artists and writers struggle with. I’ve never dealt with plagiarism of my own work and I certainly hope I’ve never unwittingly plagiarized another blogger’s work. It is difficult, as you say, because there are so many bloggers doing such similar things. I guess we all just need to watch out and be careful. #Sharingthebloglove

  31. August 30, 2016 / 4:50 pm

    As a new blogger I am always very conscious about this and am trying to be original with my blogs. I think that due to certain times of the year we are all going to be writing similar types of posts but plain old stealing isn’t right. You have to work for your success not ride on someone else’s back #sharingthebloglove

  32. August 30, 2016 / 7:51 pm

    I think a certain amount of shared material is inevitable, like you say, there’s only so much you can fit in a change bag… I’ve definitely been inspired by others’ posts, and have linked back where I have been so inspired to share the love a bit more.

    I think it’s an issue that will grow, though – Internet copyright law is in its infancy.

    #MarvMondays

  33. August 31, 2016 / 2:35 pm

    This happened recently to a blogger pal and it’s so frustrating when ideas are directly copied – I understand completely that as parent bloggers the topics will cross over naturally but a word for word title is a bit far. As you say, it’s hard to know if this blogger was aware of it but I understand your feelings completely and would feel exactly the same. All I can say is your writing so often moves me and your voice is unique to you, no-one can copy that :-) xx #bloggerclubuk

  34. August 31, 2016 / 3:36 pm

    It’s a difficult one really. There are so many similair posts around these days and no one can really claim the topic – if that makes sense.
    I have come accross someone doing a similair post to mine but I didn’t think they copied because theirs can be similair but also different.
    #MarvMondays

  35. September 1, 2016 / 2:50 pm

    Unfortunately in the world of blogging, especially parenting where we are all talking about similar things there are bound to be similar posts. Just the other day I saw 3 people post about completely different things but I had also thought of doing posts on those subjects. However it’s completely different if the posts are identical – word for word. I don’t think thats right. No one really reads my blog so I doubt it will ever happen to me! Haha. x #marvmondays

  36. September 4, 2016 / 4:45 pm

    Such a great topic to bring up. I can imagine that there will be instances like you say where blogs will have really similar posts and it will be completely coincidental. It is inevitable, again where there are topical posts or the latest fashion, trend or debate and discussion. But for those that are purposely plagiarised I think it is really sad and that those people should question why they are blogging. Thanks for sharing this on #MarvMondays. Emily