You don’t need to have gone to uni to understand plagiarism.
In fact, the first time you were protective of your work was probably in Reception, when snotty nosed Kevin was looking over at your painting and trying to draw the dinosaur in the same way that you did.
Or in Year 4 maths tests, when you knew you had studied the night before and on the way in with mum, so you covered your sheet with your arms to make sure your precious times tables are shielded from your not-so-mathematically-gifted neighbours. All of a sudden, we get to an age where our creations are actually paying our bills, and the importance of protecting your work goes out the window?
Make it make sense!
I don’t know who needs to hear this but:
Build your business on your own merit. Too many businesses are getting outed for posting images on socials as if they’re their own: claiming meals that they did not make, clients that they did not have, and roles in business that they’ve never worked for/with.
Practice makes perfect and there are people putting in so much elbow grease that their elbows shine, yet people are stealing. Coming like thieves in the night to take peoples hard work from any platforms and promote them as if it were their own.
Which you will, by the way, almost every time. The world is a small place. And the internet makes it even smaller. Not only will you get found out, you will get exposed, dragged and then made into a meme.
When you weigh up the short-term gratification (likes, followers, and shares) you will see that it was not worth the long-term damage to your reputation. Yikes!
To all the hustlers, movers, shakers, creators, doers, thinkers: I urge you to go back to the child-like protectiveness of your masterpiece.
It’s cold out here on these creative streets, make sure you’re doing whatever you can, watermark your images, document your meetings and most importantly don’t expose your early ideas to too many people without having laid the foundations for your concept first.
Having said that, it’s much easier to be plagiarised if you keep quiet about your work. Post as much as you can, show it off, let the world know your style, your flare your creative edge, without revealing your secret sauce.
Once you create that distinction, it becomes harder to authentically pass as you.
That’s the thing about copying, you’ll always be one step behind.
Special thanks to Francesca (Totally Frankie) for this week’s contribution to the Weekly Squeeze!