How Does It Feel To Be a Plagiarizer?

Real Estate Agent with Liberty Homes RS-#62825

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'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'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:

  1. 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. 
  2. 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.
  3. 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."
  4. "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.'
  5. 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? 

Posted by



Celeste "Sally" Cheeseman  is a Realtor-Associate® and Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) with Century 21 Liberty Homes in Mililani, Hawaii. With a sharp understanding that a listening ear is the key to a client's needs  she serves the island of Oahu (Honolulu County) and all Hawaii Military Relocations, Hawaii Retirees, Hawaii Job Transfers and Hawaii Residents, Home Buyers and Sellers.


 © 2007-2015 Celeste "Sally" Cheeseman's

Hawaii Real Estate and Relocation Blog.

All rights reserved.






Re-Blogged 4 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Maureen Bray Portland OR Home Stager ~ Room Solutions Staging 10/21/2009 04:06 PM
  2. Laurel Stone 10/22/2009 01:57 AM
  3. Kat DeLong 10/22/2009 02:05 AM
  4. Judy Chapman 10/22/2009 11:33 AM
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Nelson Carrillo
McMillin Realty - Phone: (619) 940-6560 - Bonita, CA
South San Diego, CA Homes For Sale

One time I saw in the MLS a property listed for sale that I had sold about 3 years prior (I had represented the Seller).  Well, I clicked on property listing for details, and what do I see??????

The agent copied all the photos of the property that I took with my own camera then.  The agent copied (verbatim) the property description AND adcopy.

Oct 22, 2009 11:50 AM #104
Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
Liberty Homes - Mililani, HI

TLW: No kidding....can you imagine how many are not following rules for business, real estate and the list goes on. What part of 'there are rules with anything in life' do some not understand?

Oct 22, 2009 01:17 PM #105
Lisa Hill
Florida Property Experts - Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Beach Real Estate

What are you pointing at on your tortoise? Did you put something in the photo, to help you detect it as yours? Or did it already have a distinguishing mark?

Oct 22, 2009 01:25 PM #106
John Elwell
CENTURY 21 Bill Nye Realty, Inc. - Zephyrhills, FL
You Deserve a Full-Time Agent, Not Reduced Results

It seems that if you want a lot of comments and points, plus a featured post, write about plagarism. It is always a hot button issue here for some.

Personally, I think that this horse died a long time ago and rather than keep beating it trying to get it to move, you should do as others have. If your personal work has been plagarized, take legal action, contact the offender's office, or contact the service that supports their blog, bb, report it to AR, or whatever.

Don't get me wrong, I do not like to see anyone's work copied illegally. But venting will not change it a bit. You are preaching to the choir. Go after the bum that is waiting outside the vestry with his copy-and-paste button.

But so many keep posting this topic here time and time again, it is a bit like ranting against a social injustice but not being willing to write your congressman or march in protest.

Oct 22, 2009 01:38 PM #107
Stephen Arnold
HomeSmart Elite Group - Scottsdale, AZ

Hi Sally ~  GREAT POST!! Original material speaks volume about the individual!  I have noticed that most 'high-ranking' rainmakers are very creative and original!! 

Oct 22, 2009 02:19 PM #108
Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
Liberty Homes - Mililani, HI

John: Thanks for sharing but it wasn't a rant. It was MY opinion on the same subject. You can personally have your own opinion...but this platform is soooo HUGE that some (as you can see in the comments) appreciated it. Again, thank you for sharing. :) 

Oct 22, 2009 02:22 PM #109
Kathy McGraw
CELLing Realty - White Water, CA
Riverside County CA Real Estate

Like TLW this explains why I got a comment on an old Post :)  Anyway, just today I was reading about someone taking other people's pictures and linking them through HTML- effectively STEALING Bandwidth.  They "thought" it was OK, but it is not. It is illegal!

The thing here is that almost all the older Bloggers know better, (doesn't mean they follow the rules though) and these types of educational posts keep the newer generation of bloggers informed, and the more experienced ones, well it's like a continuing education class.

Good to see you bring this subject up, as I have seen some people posting a lot tying to get that #1 spot, and some of them have totallly plagurized material from other sites.  Not a good way to be #1 in my opinion.  Last but not least is this cannot be tolerated by people that know better, but just want a quick and easy way to get to the Top!

Oct 22, 2009 03:02 PM #110
Bryan Fagan
Law Office of Bryan Fagan - Houston, TX

Plagerism is bad. However, reblogging is a big part of activerain. Everytime we make a post here we make a choice on whether to let someone repost our blog.

Also, as to someone elses post about there using photos they took thats also a big part of being a member of the MLS is that our listing can be reposted through out the Multiple Listing Service so that we can bring the greatest number of buyers together with the greatest number of Sellers.

Oct 22, 2009 03:23 PM #111
Wayne B. Pruner
Oregon First - Tigard, OR
Tigard Oregon Homes for Sale, Realtor, GRI

This is always a hot topic around here. However, plagiarism is never going away. The Internet makes it too easy.

Oct 22, 2009 04:21 PM #112
Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
Liberty Homes - Mililani, HI

Kathy: Ongoing topic as it's an ongoing problem.  And as you know we constantly write (may in different ways as we all humans have different thinking...therefore...different opinions..) to hopefully reach a few. Those who just don't get it....don't want to get it.

Bryan: Reblogging is not the same. It's us showing that the post was worthy of bringing up again on our own blog. It also makes sure to have everything ...including author's link in the post and we can add why we reblogged it. We also have the ablility to turn it off. It's our choice whereas stealing is just plain stealing. No knowledge etc. How you connected the two together is not correct.  And the mls is not reposting's up there once...for all to see. Now when another member gets that listing (if withdrawn by the first) and they steal the pictures and put it in as their own...again it's stealing and reporting to your local board/mls will get the offenders a hefty fine as well.

Tigard: That may be true...but the true...honest....real estate industry professionals can set an example and lead by example. Unfortunately, not all will follow suit....shame.

Oct 22, 2009 04:36 PM #113
Ginger Moore
Wilkinson & Associates Realty - Gastonia, NC

Hi Sally, Very well written blog!  I am relatively new here (about 1 year), but I always try to use my own words. I think others do too.  Mabe they are doing this unknowingly.

Oct 23, 2009 01:17 AM #114
Bill Gillhespy
16 Sunview Blvd - Fort Myers Beach, FL
Fort Myers Beach Realtor, Fort Myers Beach Agent - Homes & Condos

Hi Sally,  As usual, your reminder is absilutely correct.  So many agents stillelieve that using original work of others is allowed on the 'net !  Well done !

Oct 23, 2009 03:34 AM #115
Beverly of Bev & Bob Meaux
Keller Williams Suburban Realty - West Orange, NJ
Where Buying & Selling Works

I have two kids and this is stuff you should only have to tell kids. A person knows when they are copying straight from someone else. I must say, though, with all the blogs in the sphere there have to be some that touch on the same point and say similar things without ever reading each other's blogs. In the end it's all about authenticity.

Oct 24, 2009 10:50 AM #119
Mike Henderson
Your complete source for buying HUD homes - Littleton, CO
HUD Home Hub - 303-949-5848

Nice post and the links to those five blogs are greatly appreciated.

Oct 24, 2009 06:21 PM #120
Randy Prothero
eXp Realty - Mililani, HI
Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645

I can't believe folks are so lazy that they steal a picture or an article.  Take 5 minutes and write your own.

Oct 25, 2009 09:11 AM #121
John Cleek, Ph.D.

Plagiarism, copyright infringement, violating another person's intellectual property rights in any manner is not only wrong, it is illegal! 

In the academic world this has become a major issue. We put a very strongly worded warning in every course syllabus and yet students will still try to get away with turning in work that is not their own. I even had two students in a class who turned in the same identical paper for a take home final exam. When confronted they claimed they had collaborated in doing the writing so it really did belong to both of them. However the steps they took to camouflage what they had done with comical. They used different type fonts, different spacing and margins, apparently assuming that with the number of papers to be graded in a short time I wouldn't notice.

It was an excellent paper so I gave both of them half of the credit, i.e., 50 out of a hundred points which moved each of them from a high A in the course to a D for their final grade. When they complained I simply told them that the university policy permitted me to drop them from the course with a failing grade so they should be glad they got off lightly. I think I got their attention.

The key issue is permission if the material being used is extensive and full citation and credit even for short quotes. Virtually anything I write is available for others to use and share, provided they ask my written permission if they want to use more than a few sentences, and in all cases that the cite the source which includes not only my name as the author, but the website, or blog where they found it.

Nov 10, 2009 02:48 AM #122
Theresa Redman
Keller Williams Group One Inc - Carson City, NV
Certified Residential Specialist

Let's all get along. When you hear someone tell you information and then you pass that on to someone else does that mean you should sue them for sharing that info?

I think our Ego's are getting in the way most of the time. If you are putting information together to make a profit from then use the proper channels for copyright etc. Sharing is not a crime.

We as human beings share many of the same qualities and feelings. So we are not as unique as we would sometimes like to think. Many people have the same thoughts and/or feelings as someone else but the other person has the ability to put it on paper more eloquently. I know, I know, that all the ego maniacs have made laws for this but GET REAL. We are all from the same energy source.

Don't take yourselves so seriously.

Nov 17, 2009 07:35 AM #123
Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
Liberty Homes - Mililani, HI

Theresa: We're talking about STEALING other people's writing. If one cannot write their OWN content then they need to quit blogging. Blogging is to give a little of us in our writing relay info to the consumer in our OWN words. It's the same as a best selling book. Are you going to steal that authors book and claim it as your own...or that you're authorized to do so? 

Ego has nothing to do with it. I wrote it...I took the's MINE.

It's serious to steal.  It's not's not sharing. Plagiarizing is STEALING.

Nov 18, 2009 02:43 AM #124
Judy Orr
HomeSmart Realty Group - Orland Park, IL
SW & Near West Chicago suburbs

Surprised this post is still going, but I need to back up Celeste here - plagiarism isn't a new law that started with the Internet and ego has nothing to do with it.  Theresa, some of my posts take me a long time to think up and write out, along with finding and uploading the right photo(s) or clip-art (that I have paid to use in most cases unless I found it on a free & clear site) to go along with it.  So it's my ego if I fight for my rights against someone who just goes ahead and steals my hard work by cutting and pasting it, adding it to their blog or website without asking my permission or giving me a link or any credit for my work? 

I belong to a real estate forum that has banned members after finding out they "stole" content.  I fought to keep a newbie on after he was informed what he did was not acceptable but the site owner would not tolerate it and feels that people should know better than to steal other's photos or writings.  Again, nothing to do with ego - it wasn't the forum owner's stuff that was stolen.  But this forum owner takes plagiarism very seriously and it is not tolerated.


Nov 18, 2009 05:32 AM #125
Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
Liberty Homes - Mililani, HI

Judy....I think some just don't want to 'get it' :)  that's okay though...because we put these topics out there for people to learn....if they don't want to ...well, there's always consequences for ones actions.

thanks for your input...yeah...I couldn't believe it was still going on too :)

Nov 18, 2009 06:28 AM #126
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