Two days ago, I stumbled upon one of my original articles: https://chocolatechutzpah.wordpress.com/2011/11/15/21-unbelievable-things-women-will-do-to-get-married/ on Stella Dimoko-Korkus’ blog: http://www.stelladimokokorkus.com/2014/01/crazy-things-some-ladies-do-to-get.html.
No acknowledgement had been given to me and I immediately sent her an email drawing it to her attention. This was the response I got:
” My dear. Im sorry bout this oh. Even punch stole all my original words last week when they went to defend a story and did not give me credit. I did a double take and almost fainted.
Before i became a blogger. My magazine articles was taken by Linda without giving me credit for yrs. She and others and there was notin i cud do.
There is no. Effective law on this. Just stop puttn out ur articles until u device a way. I cant say more but i have decided to join them since they will not stop oh.”
I was too stunned for words. Stella didn’t change her blog post after the email. As far as she was concerned she had mentioned in the post that she didn’t write it and linked back to the website she took it from. More importantly intellectual property theft was normal since she had been a victim in the past but I wasn’t ready to let it go. I wasn’t angry with Stella for taking my work, I was angry that she chose not to fight for herself when others took her work and now expected me to follow suit!
On a whim I googled that particular post and these blogs had also stolen that post without any acknowledgement:
After the first Google page had yielded these four as well as two other blogs who did the right thing and acknowledged me, I was too angry to search for more. I wondered how many of my posts had been illegally reproduced elsewhere on the internet and what my next line of action should be.
So many people have suffered this in silence, from the big shot bloggers to the newbies and it continues to be a disturbing trend. Now in Nigeria, every Tom, Dick and Harry feels they can start a blog with zero imagination and zero creativity just as long as they can ‘copy and paste’ from the vast material available on the Internet. These materials were written by human beings who in many cases do not require any form of financial settlement in exchange for using their materials but just an acknowledgement and perhaps a link to the original post so that they get the recognition they deserve.
Nigerians especially are guilty of this copy and paste menace. In my first year as a masters student at the University of Sheffield, I was amazed at what emphasis the University placed on plagiarism. It wasn’t even enough to include your source as a reference, you were not allowed to lift the contents word for word and before submitting your assignment you had to first submit a draft to turnitin which was an automated plagiarism checker. The penalty for plagiarism was not a laughing matter and facing a panel or repeating the course were just a few of the punishments.
People have been involved in lawsuits costing them thousands of dollars due to intellectual property theft but like Stella sadly pointed out such laws are absent or lax at best in Nigeria and common in all spheres of the entertainment industry. I remember when Nollywood actors and actresses came together to fight against piracy and even in the music industry it’s a serious problem. One might say Piracy and Plagiarism are two different things but if an artist sweats to come up with some good stuff and someone else takes the recognition, glory or gains then it is just wrong. It is daylight robbery to pass someone else’s work off as yours and to all those who justify themselves that they got it from someone else who was the actual thief, ask the policeman whether he doesn’t arrest a person found with stolen goods even if the person claims the stolen goods were bought from the actual thief.
I have been advised to stop putting articles out till I device a way and this is one way I hope will make a difference. I am speaking out today against intellectual property theft in Nigeria and copy and paste bloggers. Honest, talented bloggers in the blogosphere should unite and put a stop to this. No more monkey dey work, baboon dey chop! If you doubt that this is a legit issue, contact a lawyer. I have two working with me who are encouraging me to sue. Now that I have put this post out in the open, I will make stealing posts from my blog/website a legal issue from henceforth.
Please stop copy and paste blogging. I don’t think any writer would prevent you from reproducing part of their work if you gave them some credit in the post. Let’s fight for what’s right and shake off the Naija mentality and oppression. I almost didn’t write this because some people kept tryna scare me into letting go but now is the time to SPEAK OUT! Please keep sharing this post till the word gets out.
Have a blessed day Chutzpah fam,