Plagiarism – The Internet's Naughty Little Secret?

from Annette 

Plagiarism is defined by the wonderful folks at as:

  1. to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one’s own
  2. to use (another’s production) without crediting the source
  3. to commit literary theft
  4. to present as new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source.

Unfortunately, with the vastness of the internet and the abundance of content available, plagiarism by and large goes unnoticed and silently accepted.  In an effort to demonstrate credibility and to meet content demands – content and ideas are “borrowed.” It doesn’t have to be a blatant cut and paste. Plagiarism occurs in degrees from using a person’s ideas as your own to the good old fashioned cut and paste.

I’m not going to lecture on the moral and legal implications.  This is not a soapbox moment. But rather, discuss how you can create wonderful content without risking plagiarism and copyright infringement.

  1. Create proprietary slogans and acronyms.  This not only sets your content apart from the other content available online and off, it’s great for branding and building credibility.
  2. Share personal stories and examples to demonstrate your ideas and concepts. You’re a unique entity and in todays market the more transparent and authentic you can be, the more your audience is going to respond to you.
  3. Source and give due credit. If you like and embrace the ideas of another internet marketer then quote them, give them credit when you reference their content and expand upon it if you want to differentiate yourself.
  4. Do your research. There’s a notorious quote by playwright, Wilson Mizner which says “Copy from one, it’s plagiarism ; copy from two, it’s research.”
  5. Make certain to hire ghostwriters who provide original content and source their information.

Transparency and authenticity are an internet marketer’s secret weapon.  When you create unique and valuable content – you’re providing something beneficial to your market.  Creating original content may be a bit more challenging than copying others however it’s well worth the effort ethically, legally and it’s more profitable.

It’s also worth the effort to do what you can to protect your unique content.  I truly believe that the majority of Internet Marketers are honest and ethical business people.  However, if you do come across potential perpetrators – consider taking a stand against plagiarism.  It elevates the industry which benefits us all.

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