Saturday, June 26, 2010
Some time ago I blogged about the unintentional plagiarism thousands of people do by forwarding things on the internet. As I mentioned, twice I was reading books written by authors I knew personally and, each time, I found chapters from those books in my inbox with no mention of who had written them on the same day.
If writers' material is sent for free all over the internet they can never sell it again, and that's partly how they support themselves.
Even if forwarded messages have cute pictures and fancy fonts it doesn't mean they weren't stolen.
I was reminded of that problem today because I listened to a CD of a workshop about copyright laws from a writers conference I attended. The speaker mentioned that plagiarism is a serious, legal offense. Although nobody is likely to sue or fine all the thousands of people who forwarded the same material, it is still against the law to send it.
Please don't forward "forwards" unless you're positive that the material is in the public domain.