Just a brief comment here after a recent incident I had with someone stealing parts of my blog posts from several years ago and trying to pass it off as their own work.
I write this blog. Just as it says, I am the sole author of "Flying Off the Broom Handle" and have been for 13 years and counting. The thoughts I put here are my own opinions, my own tales of experiences I've had or thoughts which may cross my cranial spaces that I felt were worth sharing.
Sometimes I do this to give readers something to chuckle about or contemplate or question.
Sometimes I write things that were inspired by conversations I've participated in while online or in public pagan spaces. Things that made me curious or pissed me off. Things that made me hopeful about the larger pagan scene or made me scratch my head.
But what I write here is my own content. It has purpose and meaning for me because I've created it, drafted the words and cultivated the phrases. From the passionate diatribes to the satirical rants...all borne from the witchy heart that resides within my own chest. ((thump thump, hand to heart))
And so that is why my posts...ALL OF MY POSTS...are held in copyright.
I want the words out there to be read and enjoyed, yes, but I want them to be known as my intellectual property.
If what I say inspires you, then fantastic. If you have an AH-HA moment from them, that's wonderful! If you get fired up and want to post a reply or offer a different view than what I've shared, please do!
But please, be respectful. If you want to "borrow" from my words, then please do the honest thing and ask. I generally do grant permission for private use.
What I don't do is want my words co-opted and used as though they belong to another author, another promoted agenda for which I've not given consent. It is like having your name stolen, your identity taken or your likeness used to peddle goods that you have no idea you've been associated with.
So yes, I do take the stealing of my intellectual property seriously. It isn't flattering to have someone outright steal your hard work. It feels invasive, intrusive and hostile. Not unlike someone coming into my home and helping themselves to my physical property.
There are laws against stealing someone's personal property, and yes, there are laws against stealing someone's intellectual and artistic property and passing it off as your own. Hence the copyright disclaimer, which I legally update every year, as posted on my blog page.
So yeah, plagiarism is ugly and painful. It cannot be couched in clever, honeyed fawning of "Oh, but you had put things so succinctly and so eloquently, I thought you'd be honored to have it spread to a wider audience" ---- that's so much unctuousness it chokes me.
Artists, be they famous, infamous, or just garden-variety diarists like me....we hold our creative endeavors dear. They represent something of ourselves that we uniquely have produced and given to the world.
We hope that folks will like what we do. We hope they will find it useful, charming, thoughtful or contemplative. We hope they will respect and honor the awen that sparked it. Or the humor which spawned it within and led to the words on the page or screen.
In my case, I hope that readers will find the connection between me as author and themselves in the reading of my blog posts and rambles.
Mostly, I hope that if my readers do have a mind toward gratitude for any of my writing, they simply take a moment to comment, be it to cajole, sympathize or offer cheerful response and comical retort.
Essentially, like so many things in life: DON'T TAKE WHAT ISN'T YOURS. BE RESPECTFUL. BE HONORABLE. BE DECENT.
And hey, don't lie.