Lessons, musings and advice from the author of ‘The Life I Won’
Most of my blogs come from the real-life experiences of my clients in my Creative Mastermind program and from our conversations during our bi-weekly group calls.
Why would I write about anything other than real-life?
This blog is rooted in what is a real-life problem when you are an entrepreneur.
As creative women it has been tough for you to get your business up and running. You have had to battle ‘the naysayers’ and the ‘dream squashers’ and when you are just starting to see some traction in your social media and fabulous online content, ‘the Lurkers’ appear.
These people have watched you, followed you, made the occasional comment and lurked in the background of your business. They have liked what you have to say and your products or services but never actually bought anything. Then suddenly you see your content on their page! They lurk so that they can steal because they don’t have your ability or creative brain.
It happens ALL the time in business, especially to creatives. So, how do you deal with these people who lurk and steal?
Any content or images that you have personally created and shared online are automatically protected under copyright law. You don’t need a solicitor or to use the © symbol. Without your permission nobody else can use or publish your content. This doesn’t need to be war & peace written permission, a verbal request is fine, just back it up with an e-mail or online message in case of any comeback.
Unlike academia you can’t just use it and credit the source, this merely ticks the plagiarism box, you MUST ask and receive explicit permission from the owner to avoid copyright infringement.
There is one thing you can do and that is to use a sentence or extract from another article, if you credit the source.
E.G. In a blog post about Lurkers, Mandy Nicholson said, ‘You created it – you own it’.
The simple answer is that you probably don’t. If you are not spending every waking moment trawling other people’s social media pages & blog content to check then you will be lucky if you see something. Your best eyes and ears are your network and supporters, they will likely be the ones who see and recognise something that belongs to you, their eyes are on more than just you.
Checking your own work is equally as important, even if you just ‘spot check’ it to make sure that it doesn’t sound like someone else’s work. You may not be a Lurker, but you may have innocently covered the same subject as another person in your field and written something similar.
There are a lot of common phrases and terminologies used online today which are essential so that our audiences understand what we are talking about. This can sometimes lead to misinterpretation or accidental plagiarism.
It can be very frustrating when you see work that has taken you hours to create being used by someone else. Or even your original artwork, designs or quotes appearing on other people’s pages.
Don’t jump to conclusions or overreact, keep calm, and put things into perspective first.
There are no right or wrong answers here, as an artist I would be unhappy if somebody used my image without consent and I may feel like taking legal action. If someone stole one of my quotes, then not so much. Take it as a compliment that they love your work and just don’t have the ability to come up with anything original yet.
Everything in moderation, including anger, I say. In fact, when we discussed this issue on one of my group calls we collectively created a new derogatory term for those people and I will own the quote but allow all of my clients to use it – ‘the Lurkers can Lurk Off!’ © Mandy Nicholson All Rights Reserved 2022