As a subscriber, I read an article sent to me in a newsletter from www.MarketingSherpa.com, that discussed the theft (reprinting without permission or attribution) of copyrighted materials. Anne Holland, the publisher, is pretty ticked, for good reason. I am as well.
I write articles for two reasons: (1) to provide ongoing value to my loyal clients and people who buy my books and attend my seminars, and (2) to help get (and keep) my name out there so I can earn a living--get hired to speak, consult, train, and sell a few more books.
Anyone can subscribe to my monthly e-Zine and receive the articles at no charge. You can save them if you like. Send them to your friends. Print them out and keep them in a scrapbook. No problem. If you want to reprint one on your site, no problem either. Just stick to the simple conditions I require: my name, URL, and the name of my book must appear.
If you'd like to see what a pirated version of a copyrighted article looks like, Google "hiring great sales reps" There will only be a few hits. The one that references the article I wrote entitled, "How to Hire Great Sales Reps," will take you to a site of a Boston-based management consultant, who not only knowingly pirated one of my articles (and it appears many dozens of others as well) but arrogantly refuses to remove it. For anyone who questions whether that is my article, I can tell you that I can prove, without a shadow of a doubt, that it is. Send me an email and I'll tell you how.
The guy strips off the copyright notice, as in "(c) 2005 -- Dave Stein -- All Rights Reserved," and the byline, as in, "Written by Dave Stein, author of How Winners Sell," and my website address. The article sits there, for more than a year now, on his site, making him look like an expert rather than the copyright infringer he is.
If you write articles, you'll want to go to this site and take a look. If you find one of yours that's been pirated, let me know. Don't bother contacting Jack. He doesn't care.
Why don't I sue him, or at least have my lawyer send him a letter? Because I'm a competitive strategist who grew up in the Bronx and I have a much, much better idea.
By the way, to demonstrate how wierd people can be, I recieved a series of nasty emails from a guy last week who had subscribed to my e-Zine for four months, then got angry when I told him the only way to get the articles into Word was to copy and paste from the HTML. I thought a number of times about having a printer-friendly version of the articles, but after having so many appear on people's sites as their own, I thought better of that idea. He also thought it was outrageous that I charge $3.95 for archived issues of my articles. He not only unsubscribed from my list--thank heavens for that--but also wanted his money back for the copy of my book he had bought, apparently a while back.