So I’m sitting at my desk, eating leftovers, wondering what I was going to rant about this week. And then a topic quite literally dropped into my lap. Because a post I’d made on Facebook, with my usual-for-political-stuff friends-locking, was lifted word for word, down to the punctuation, and pasted in someone else’s post.
No credit. No “as Laura Anne Gilman so pithily said.” No “lifted with permission from Laura Anne Gilman (especially since they didn’t have permission, although I would have given it, had they asked). No “swiped from LAG’s f-locked post.” (All things people have used previously, and fair enough). Just the words, as though that person had written them all by their lonesome.
I may have rolled my eyes so hard they bowled a spare.
This is not the first time something like that has happened, with a f-locked post. And each time, when I see it (because Facebook tells me my post’s been shared), I ask the poster to either credit me for the text, or to find their own words to express their mood.
Because yeah, I’m pleased that they thought I said it so well that they couldn’t do better, but on the other hand, those are my words. I crafted them, with care and considerable thought as to what I was saying and how I was saying it. They’re mine. And you’re damn right I take it seriously when people claim them as their own, even in a passive-egressive non-attribution way.
I don’t think I’m alone in this: writer or non-professional-writer, when we do the work on something we care about, we want to be acknowledged for it, ne?
So last night I called that person on it, and they were “oh, sorry,” in the comments. And then did nothing to change it. Twelve hours later, the quote is still there, still unattributed. Honey, that pretty much shits on your apology.
Look, it’s simple. If you like the way someone says something in a non-public post, you say, “may I use that?” And then you wait for a response. If it’s public, you can consider it free to use, but you ATTRIBUTE THE QUOTE. This isn’t rocket science. It’s about on the same level as looking both ways before you cross the street.
And if you don’t get permission, or don’t want to give credit because you’re that kind of person, then find your own damn words to express what you’re thinking.
And if you’re too lazy to do that, then fucking pay me my copy-writing fee. That’s $125, please.
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