Thursday, 17 September 2009

Kika, the content thief: blog plagiarism at its most brazen

I don't know why I still get upset about this. It's not unusual, at all, for bloggers to steal, lift, nick and plunder other people's work: it happens all the time, often in the most subtle of ways.

But I do get my knickers in a knot when I stumble across bloggers who brazenly pinch the work of freelance professionals who have spent years, even decades, honing their craft, and who are trying to earn a living from the fruits of their labours.

I am more or less resigned to the fact that, if you post content online, the chances are that sooner or later someone will re-use or rehash what you've written or photographed. I don't mind this, generally speaking, because I do believe in the free exchange of information, particularly when whoever's reproduced that content takes the trouble to acknowledge its source.

But I do get maddened when I see amateurs passing off someone else's excellent work as their own. I suppose my outrage stems from the fact that I know, from long experience, how difficult it is to make money as a freelance writer, and how many years it takes to build a portfolio and make a name for yourself.

My old pal Rob Woodburn, a South African who has lived in Australia for many years now, is a freelance photographer, journalist and travel writer whose compelling blog, Lost in Transit, is packed with superb photographs and high-quality travel articles. Lost in Transit was the first travel blog to appear in the online editions of two leading Australian newspapers, the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, and the blog has a significant and devoted following.

This prestige has not deterred a certain Australian blogger, one 'Kika' (no surname, no contact details) of Sydney, from audaciously lifting Rob's photographs and text, and passing them off as her own work.

Is it possible that 'Kika' genuinely doesn't realise that lifting text and photographs without permission is not acceptable? Maybe. Then again, maybe not: if you have the savvy to create your own blog, I reckon you should know full well that stealing is stealing, whichever way you slice it.

I am tempted to post a picture of this Kika here, so you can identify her, but, then again, I'd have to take it off her personal blog, and that would be stealing.

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Mad scientist chef! said...

Wow, she's one piece of work.

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Anonymous said...

If you don't know who Kika is, how do you know "she" is not a "he"?

Juno said...

Er, I looked at the picture of her?