Don’t cheat: You can be caught out if it isn’t your own work.

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Warline painting
Vancouver-based Warline Painting Ltd. warns painters who think they can simply steal the company's website images and post them as their own.
Warline painting
Vancouver-based Warline Painting Ltd. warns painters who think they can simply steal the company’s website images and post them as their own.

In case you are tempted to fake or manipulate, perhaps by stealing some dressy content and well-written words from a seemingly non-competitive website, you may wish to return to earth (before you are brought crashing down) by this rather effective warning by Vancouver-based Warline Painting Ltd.: “Fighting Back Against Bad Painters Who Steal”

Developing a good website is not easy. Writing good copy is tough work. It takes time and talent. I spend a lot of money to professionally photograph our work. That’s why our photos look so good. I work very hard and invest a lot of time, effort and money to make our website as good as it is.
News flash. I am not doing it to make life easier for the hack painters out there. I am not writing quality content for someone else to re-massage as their own. I am not for sale and my content is not free for the taking because someone likes it.
So I am fighting back.
Much like I am calling out bad paint jobs and bad practices when I see them, I am calling out the painters that steal my writing and photos from my website.
If you steal my photos; if you copy my text and only replace my name for yours; if you use my website as a template for yours and don’t bother to create your own, I will come after you.
I will shame you on Facebook. I will tweet to the world that you stole my stuff. I will ask your customers the question “If they would steal photos and content from a website, what would they be willing to steal from your home?”
Dumb mistake. Create your own work — and take responsibility and care, if you subcontract your work, to verify that things are right.  (One simple test is to grab a phrase of 10 or 11 words and see if it shows up elsewhere on a Google search.  You can even extend this power to the actual image — just copy it and drop it in the image search box and see if something else appears.)
Don’t cheat. You will get caught.
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3 COMMENTS

    • Thanks Darren. The two things about this that bug me the most are that it is a time and energy drain and that it makes me out to be meaner and more ruthless than I really am.
      The problem is that it is not something I can ignore. I am shocked how many people have said to me “you should be flattered”. They don’t seem to get that it is theft. You wouldn’t be flattered if someone stole your car.

  1. It is truly sad that lazy or incompetent people think they can get away with this sort of intellectual theft. It is quite okay to borrow ideas and learn from others, but misrepresentation and stealing just take you down the path to long-term failure, in my opinion.

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