Last weekend, I posted a blog about the water slide in Sinchon, Seoul, where a lot of Seoulites had fun. That blog post was to complete a mission as a blogger member of the K-Performance Supporters group organized by the Korea Tourism Organization (KTO). As members, we get points for the text and the photographs.
Imagine my surprise when a fellow member uploaded a post two days later using my photographs! He stole my photographs so he could earn points for himself! He didn't even cite his source, nor gave me any credit.
I raised the issue with the KTO staff, who then issued a reminder that anyone who steals photos of other members to benefit themselves will be banned from the group. (I'm wondering if this was the first time I caught him stealing, could he have been stealing from me or from other members all this time? And since he was writing in another language, could he have been stealing other bloggers' words and text, too? Hmm.)
Thou Shall Not Steal
If you google 'rules on blogging', you would always the see rule on using other people's images/photos in your blog. It requires one to cite the source, give credit to the source, or even ask the permission of the original author/source. In the case above, he didn't cite my blog, he didn't give credit to my blog, and he didn't ask my permission. And although he already deleted my photos from his blog, I still have the screen shots of his blog using my photos.
In 2012, I also caught the personnel running the Korea in Motion website steal my text and photographs about a Korean musical. She just copied and pasted the whole blog without asking my permission and without even citing my blog, considering she works for the KTO. I sent her a complaint and threatened to report her to the KTO management. She apologized and immediately took my work down from the website. She learned a lesson I hope.
While most seasoned bloggers know the ethics, etiquette and copyright laws that govern the Internet, I suggest to those who are still new to blogging to google 'rules on blogging' and read up before you get into trouble!
Also googe the word 'plagiarist' while you're at it.
Because if you are one, and you just steal and copy other people's work, into which they put a lot of time, money and effort, it just shows what kind of person you actually are.