No such thing as coincidence? – Safeguarding your work on the internet, Part Two

So Рyesterday I posted about possible  theft of your writing on the internet Рand ways and means of minimising its likelihood.

Today, on Shooting People’s screenwriters forum – a big post about the very same thing, called ‘Plagiarism is alive and well’ linked here for your reference – albeit advertising the services of a script registration service called The Script Vault – which seems very reasonable in price, if that’s what you want to do.

Here’s the promised tip from Techie-Meister Tim Coxon

EASY-PEASY – click HERE to do your own

So – to try it out, I put an alert for my screenplay ‘The Melting’ – using those exact words. I get almost daily alerts. You’d be surprised how much I know about global warming and only slightly annoyed by a chain of restaurants in the US called ‘The Melting Pot’ – but it’s effective. Puts my mind at rest. I feel in control.

I also put in an alert using name of one of the characters in The Melting – a mutant snowflake (don’t ask!) called Pekka Pekkanen, a name that I made up. THAT will be a test, I thought.

Imagine my surprise, the other day, when I got an alert for Pekka Pekkanen, about a year after I’d created the alert and forgotten I’d done it! MY HEART LURCHED…

There is actually someone in real life called Pekka Pekkanen who just opened an account on Facebook! I’ve yet to find out whether or not he or she is a mutant snowflake…

So – you could choose a character or an unusual phrase out of your work and see what happens!

Thanks, Tim!

Fake sUCKs! – safeguarding your work on the internet. Is it possible?

Thanks to Toba Beta for the first part of the quote. (See, I DO TRY to acknowledge every single person from whom I borrow (steal?) words and images for this blog.)

I put links to the artists’ or writers’ websites, where possible, hoping that it will generate more interest and traffic for them – leading to purchases? If I don’t put links, it means the work is unattributed.

Imitation…the sincerest form of flattery?

From Lolha

¬†Stealing other people’s work and calling it your own. NOT.

There’s always that dilemma when posting your creative outpourings online – and here my experience is with screenplays, but it could just as well apply to anything you’ve ever written.

Looking for ways to protect your work? Here’s the bad news!

You can’t…not really.

Sure, you can register it with Writers’ Guild of America or copyright it – but even so it’s not difficult for someone to take it, change it (or not) and claim it as his own.

I’ve seen it happen.

By the way, forget that urban myth that you can prove ownership by sealing it up in an envelope and posting it to yourself.

“As the copy you post remains in your possession, the other party can easily show that you had ample opportunity to tamper with the contents, and of course once opened it could not be used as evidence in any future claim or appeal.”(The UK Copyright Service)

Counter-intuitively, the very best way to ensure that your work isn’t used without your permission is to post it in as many places as possible. That way, the ownership and date it was written is very visible and verifiable.

 Actually, I should re-phrase that Рthe best way to ensure that if your work IS used without your permission you are more likely to find out about it and be able to do something about it is to post it in as many places as possible.

A number of screenplays I know of, written by friends of mine, have been used without their consent and appeared elsewhere on the internet, either as screenplays with the author’s name changed or as completed films on YouTube. Not the end of the world, but seriously annoying and unnecessary.

The crazy thing is that if ‘the thief’ had only emailed the writer, permission would almost certainly be granted without a second thought! Writers are invariably delighted to know their work has met with approval.

Tomorrow’s blog – a brilliant tip which allows you to keep track of your work online, thought up by Techie-Meister Tim Coxon, Number One Son, of whom I am so proud. It really works!