The Sting of Plagiarism
First, let me thank Rob for the opportunity to write a guest post for his blog. Second, let me apologize in advance. For what, you might ask? For all of my friends out there in the social media universe, you know I prefer keeping things light. I try to avoid negativity whenever possible, because quite frankly, it sucks the energy right out of me, and is one giant buzz-kill. So, as much as I even hate to broach this subject, I had to get it off my chest—Plagiarism sucks!
The only reason I am screaming from my soapbox is because I was recently a victim of the crime, and it is crime. Just to clarify, I am not talking about someone uploading one of my stories to some file sharing website where users can read my work for free. That is another subject, and at least in that circumstance, I still get credit for the work. No, I am talking about downright plagiarism: the act of stealing the intellectual property of someone else, and the fraud of passing it off as your own work.
No offense to all the other hard working individuals out there, but I feel like the luckiest person in the universe. Thanks to the opportunities in digital publishing, and to my wonderful readers and supporters, I am literally living my dream. I can never thank you enough. Unfortunately, digital files and the internet make plagiarism easier than ever.
It was an honest person, (thank you again, by the way), that brought my attention to the fact that one of my stories had been plagiarized. My very first book, Meant to Be, had been used by another person on a fan fiction website. Let me just say that fan fiction is great. There are many brilliantly creative people who write fan fiction. The person that clipped my story; however, plagiarized it, word for word, only changing the title and the names of the characters.
Let’s talk about who this hurts. As far as I know, the person who stole my work did not benefit financially, and didn’t directly take any money from my pocket, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t sting just the same. I, just like every other writer out there, put my blood, sweat, tears and soul into my work. Especially, the tears, (just ask my husband).
When you plagiarize, you are stealing something that is the result of countless sacrificed hours. Hours away from my family, friends and other loved ones. Plus, you are stealing from the other hard working individuals who had a hand in the creation and distribution of the work, like editors and cover artists. You are also hurting the people that you duped. The people who trusted you when you claimed that it was your original work. Finally, when you plagiarize, you are insulting every person who spent their hard earned money on the original work in support and appreciation for the hard work and effort that went into creating it.
So, there you go. As an author, I am blessed to do what I do, and wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. If I can speak for not only myself, but for all writers out there, thank you so much for your support. And for those who feel the need to plagiarize—please don’t. It truly stings more than you know.
Whoa. Now I can take a breath.
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Tiffany King is the author of The Saving Angels Series, Wishing For Someday Soon, Forever Changed, and Unlikely Allies. Writer by day and book fanatic the rest of the time, she is now pursuing her life-long dream of weaving tales for others to enjoy. She has a loving husband and two wonderful kids. (Five, if you count her three spoiled cats). Her addictions include: Her iphone and ipad, chocolate, Diet Coke, chocolate, Harry Potter, chocolate, and her favorite TV shows. Want to know what they are? Just ask.