Sunday, October 17, 2010

Article Reprinting Beef to Grind

I am always pleased when a blogger or business chooses to reprint my articles on their sites. It’s a win-win situation. The site gets fresh content, and I get visibility.

In the past I have come across sites that have used my articles (I should say plagiarized my articles) and didn’t include my byline. While this is problematic and unethical on the site owner’s part, it’s not as bad as what I encounter last week.

As a somewhat savvy writer and marketer, I have my name, site names, and some of my articles in Google Alert. If my name, or a site name, or an article title is published on the internet, Google Alert informs me. All writers should take advantage of this free service.

The other day, I received an alert listing a blogsite that is using my article, “Foods to Avoid with Multiple Sclerosis.” As I mentioned above, this is usually a positive thing.

When I am alerted a site is using my article, as a precaution, and to stop by and say “hi,” I usually visit the site. When I visited the site that posted my article, I got a shock.

The blog owner, or other party who is able to post to the site, edited my article. The site is in French (I think), but the articles are in English. My article resembled mine, but it now lacks clarity; it’s actually a mess. It was poorly edited and makes it look like I’m a VERY POOR WRITER.

I study and work hard to hone my craft, and while I know I have much more to learn, I am a pretty good nonfiction writer.

I left a comment on the site requesting the edited article be taken down and replaced with my own version. I explained that I would rather not have my name associated with their version.

As a freelance writer and ghostwriter, having my name attached to that article is damaging. I can honestly see that having a blogger steal my article is much better than having my name attached to a poorly written article.

I’m not quite sure why someone would take another author’s article, edit it, and leave the author’s by line attached. To me, this is worse than plagiarism – this is damaging my reputation as a writer.

If a potential client goolge’s my name and finds that article, I’ll lose a client.

I’m just hoping that the blog owner understands my dilemma and takes down the article.

Have any of you had experiences such as this? If you have, how did you handle it?

If you are interested, here is the very poorly edited article:

If you do stop by there, I’d greatly appreciate it if you request the owner to remove his edited version of the article - if you have the time to leave a quick comment.

My original article is at:

In trying to find out if I had any recourse, I came upon a site called Reputation Defender. I contacted them, but they only provide favorable content for their clients. I had to laugh because that’s what I do for my clients.

Adding to this post, on Saturday, October 16th, I received another Google Alert. My name is now being used on another site that is blatantly using my name to sell products. At the end of the post, it has a list of links to my articles, but they all lead back to a different page on that site using my name again. It's crazy!!!

The new site url is:
What on earth is going on?

And, Yahoo has my email targeted as a spam account. I'm now wondering if this is all connected.

Just color me angry and frustrated.

Related Article:

Article Reprint Strategy: Good or Bad?

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Until next time,

Karen Cioffi
Author, Ghostwriter-for-hire, Freelance writer, Reviewer,
Acquisitions Editor Intern for
4RV Publishing



Karen Cioffi said...

As an after thought, I did file a Spam Report with Google for each incident, but unfortunately Google doesn't make the sites accountable.

Rena said...

I'd be angry too. :(

Karen Cioffi said...

Hi, Rena, Thanks for stopping by!

Another note: someone in one of my groups asked if I used article distribution services. I don't. I post my own articles to 1-3 different article directories.

Susanne Drazic said...

Hi, Karen. Sorry you are having to deal with this. I can understand your frustration.

Karen Cioffi said...

Hi, Susanne, Thanks. It really is problematic, especially since there's no recourse.