We blog so we can give the consumer information regarding the Real Estate Industry, our Local Areas, Businesses while giving them a bit about ourselves. It's a shame when one of those consumers reads something and then Googles it to look for other articles and finds out it's on another website too...written by another person. Or they see the same picture from one author or site and then see it on another. Shame, shame, shame.
It's stealing...it's plagiarism and you could be sued or heavily fined!
We talk about transparency and writing as if we're 'talking' with the person. Through our writing the reader will determine just how sincere and REAL we are. Especially when they finally pick up the phone and contact us. You better be like the person in those stories you're 'writing' lest the reader loses interest...REAL QUICK.
We write OUR OWN words and use our own pictures.
This is the whole essence of blogging with ORIGINAL content so everyone who reads will ‘feel' a bit of who we are as a person as well. If you cut corners and steal, borrow, copy or even think that just because you ‘gave credit' to the photographer or the writer...it's wrong if you didn't get written permission.
In our industry we get EVERYTHING in writing.
Following are wonderful 'oldies but goodies' for those that THINK they are above the law:
- Taking a stand of copyright violations by the Active Rain Real Estate Network This can have a very adverse effect on the community as a whole and must be stopped.
- TLW (The Lovely Wife) wrote about If You Think It Can't Happen To You...You'd Be Wrong About That...ROAR! and copyright laws when it comes to PICTURES IN YOUR POSTS on your blog. Read why she and BB are very careful about what pictures they insert into their posts.
- PLAGIARISM, COPYRIGHT AND GOOGLE JUICE is one article of Lenn Harley'sthat IS a must read. One of the points Lenn states is: "Distain for the law. The copyright law doesn't apply to them or it only applies of they get caught and then only if the owner of the intellectual property is willing or able to enforce their copyright."
- "A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words? How About a Thousand Dollars?" Community Guidelines Re-Visited Rich Jacobson explains that ‘this guideline is extremely important, and will help to keep your hard-earmed money where it belongs and your butt out of court. It reads as follows: Respect copyrights. Only upload content/images that you have the right to use (what you have paid for or own), and whose copyright rules allow for commercial use.'
- Blog Photos: How to use images from the Internet and not get sued Kathy McGraw opens a group in Flickr where they use the ‘Creative Commons License' for people who truly want to share and allow commercial use. Check it out here: Foto Share Shop for Bloggers
Just as in our business.......
Think Twice and when in doubt......ASK!
Note: Be assured that the consumer and other professionals are wondering...what kind of professional do I want representing me?