Duplicate content is a recurring theme in content marketing. A few days ago I stumbled upon the following blog piece (down there at the bottom). Although it was written in 2015, most of its contents is still relevant today. Whoever is a Web author and enjoys some sort of visibility has witnessed the theft of their content at one point or another. It so happens that people with bad intentions, as stated by Rosalind Gardner in her piece, might confuse theft for curation, plagiarism for inspiration.
This is very evil indeed. At the same time however, Internet writers might take a bit of hindsight and brace for impact for something which is bound to happen anyway. The Web is chock full of memes and parody and Creative Commons. Copyright on the Web? Come on, who believes in this nowadays apart from Getty images (even they seem to have thrown in the towel). Let’s have a look at duplicate content and let us ask the question: “should we whine or rejoice?”
Duplicate content, true talent and divas
Internet writers should be wary of behaving like divas and ponder about the true value of their talent (not to mention that non Internet writers should too). Honestly, not all plagiarists are thieves. Hell may be paved with good intentions, but let’s remember that they are good. Automated blogging and duplicate content are two very different things. Here I’ll focus on duplicate content.
I have had some of my content duplicated and even though my initial reaction has been anger, on second thought I don’t think it’s the end of the world. To an extent, one might even consider this to be a form of acknowledgement.
How my perception of duplicate content has changed over the years
Over the years my behaviour has changed a lot in that respect. Even though, let me repeat this once more, every word in this piece is absolutely true from a technical point of view.
One day, as I was presenting at a conference in front of a bunch of people, one of them cried “I’ve seen those slides before! My teacher showed them to us but he never mentioned your name”.
Shock, horror! Well, not really.
Who’s got the last laugh now? The thief who was eventually taken for a twit by his former pupil? I don’t think so. If I may say so, I was particularly happy that an academic was using my content for his lectures. He may not have quoted my name but others must have. I felt proud, in a way. Read more