I recently came across an article in an independent publication called “Weird Epilepsy Triggers”.
The article seemed awfully familiar to me at first — and then, sickeningly, I realized that the site had copied an Epilepsy Talk article.
Word for word.
Not only did the site fail to attribute the article to me or Epilepsy Talk— but it ran the piece with an “Admin” byline, implying that the site administrator had written the piece.
There is a word for this: plagiarism. It’s not legal, not right and every time I see it happen — this wasn’t the first time — it hurts me a lot.
Look. As you know, I don’t do this website for material gain. I run no ads, make no money from it, and devote most of my waking hours to it, simply as a labor of love.
But this doesn’t mean I’m not proud of the pieces I write. My name is Phylis Feiner Johnson, and I’m a real, breathing human being, with human feelings.
And I’m not okay with plagiarism.
If anyone reading this wants to quote one of my pieces — in part or in whole — that’s great.
My colleagues on other websites and Facebook pages have shared them often.
But there’s a right way to do this. Common courtesy dictates that you:
1. Place a byline on the piece that attributes the source to my name and the link to EpilepsyTalk.com. (As Facebook does.)
2. And if you’re an independent publication, please ASK ME. I nearly always say “yes” when the request comes from a not-for-profit site or page.
Okay? Please do continue to quote and reproduce my pieces. But when you do — ask first. And run my byline.
Thanks so much.
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