Posted by: barbaraneill | March 18, 2012

Do you think it’s OK to steal?

Of course, the answer to that is likely to be “no”. I’m sure most of us wouldn’t dream of walking into a shop and helping ourselves to the merchandise without paying for it, but what about helping ourselves to someone else’s work and claiming it as our own? Is that wrong, too?

Today, a friend of mine made the decision to include a copyright notice on her blog posts. She posts details of a tarot card and its meaning each day on her blog and it seems that others have seen fit to help themselves to her words; her work. This particular lady is a caring individual whose nature is in sharing and helping others, and that shines through in her daily tarot posts. Of course, I can’t speak for her but I would imagine she’d have no problem with other people sharing her work, if it were credited to her, (especially if it included a link to its origin).

I have published some of my artwork online and, when I first did so, was advised by a friend to disable the possibility of copying it and, therefore, allowing other people to help themselves to my work. I thought long and hard about whether or not I should do this and decided against it. The reason for this is that most of my artwork is best viewed as a large format print and, frankly, if anyone tried to print from a low-resolution, online version, the end result would be much smaller than its original high-resolution counterpart. I, personally, don’t have a problem with this so, if anyone wants to print a small version of any of my pictures, I would be happy to turn a blind eye, provided it was for their own appreciation only.

If, on the other hand, the intention was to profit in any way from my work or, horror of horrors, to pass it off as their own work, there would be hell to pay! A lot of time, effort and creativity has gone into those pictures, just as it does when a writer produces a piece of written work.

It is not value-less and, if it were easy to produce a piece of written work, such as my friend’s daily tarot blogs, surely the answer is to do it yourself, rather than steal hers and claim it as your own.

Yes; there are plenty of people who are happy to share their work, but the creator of that work should be shown respect. Sharing is about giving; not taking.


  1. wow what an amazing post!!!! Well written and really thought provoking. Not only that, it makes me realise that it is not just words that get copied! I have noticed more and more that people are copyrighting ideas as well as the manifestion of those ideas. On the other hand, I never knew you drew, so now I would love to see your work!!!! 🙂

    Yet another interesting post, I hope others read, think, and take note that “property and ownership” come in many forms and should be treated with respect.

    • Thank you, Cheryl.

      I don’t draw, by the way; my artwork is in the form of fine art photography.Some of it is displayed in this blog, (and can be seen via the ‘gallery’ tab).

  2. I’m thinking about putting a copywrite notice on my blog, as I quite often post snippets of writing and my photos….hmmmm, thanks hon, think I will now 🙂


    • It’s a shame it has to come to that, isn’t it?!

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