“Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery”, once said Oscar Wilde. If that is the case, I am really soaking in a bathtub full of flattery!
From time to time, it comes to my attention that my work, writing and images have been “hijacked” by others. I just shake my head as to WHY!?! Surely, there is enough creative thinking skills around for others to not steal from me.
Cases in point…
Louise Sattler at FLUTTER experience – looking bewildered!
Once, I was giving a training in Kentucky when a very nice lady asked to speak to me at the break. She conveyed to me that she had heard my presentation before given by another “expert” in the autism and safety fields. HUH? I was perplexed! She elaborated and stated that she was bewildered as to how my opening “story” was exactly the same as this other presenters. How could this be? By my asking a few more questions, I figured it out. This person had attended one of my sessions and must have liked it enough to have “borrowed” my opening story as his own. Thankfully, people recognized the authenticity of my recollections and the information I shared as credible. As for the “imposter” – well he heard from me and “others”. I believe, hope, he has ceased using my personal life as his own. Let’s just say that he may have had some “mail” that helped him decide to halt his behavior.
Next… As you may know, I love photography and take a zillion photos, including at high profile events. I must be REALLY good as I have seen my work credited others. One person had the audacity to remove my @LouiseSattler.com and put his own name and website on my photo and post it publicly. Really! Well guess what?… I have the originals and yes, I called this person “out” on social media within seconds of discovering my photos being passed off as his. He took down the photos when he realized I was not going to “be passive”. Such is the life of working in social media where people love to “borrow” what is not theirs. But, there are laws and just a moral duty to not take what doesn’t belong to you!
Recently, I was given a copy of an article in a holiday issue of a regional magazine. It was an article that seemed all too familiar. It should have. I wrote it as a blog a few years ago and this “author” simply changed a few words around to make it “her own”. Should I have called this person out for plagiarizing? Hmmm.. I felt in the “holiday spirit” and didn’t want to make a big fuss because it wasn’t that popular a blog. So, I didn’t say anything. Maybe I should have. (Would love to know your opinions on this one!)
Well, lo and behold – the copy-cat monster struck again this month! I must have “mad skills” to have such luck! There on my social media timeline was a post with a description of my previous company – nearly word for word. I thought I was dreaming! Who would hijack a description of a company that was so recognizable to so many? And more importantly- WHY!?! Clearly, I was wrong, or so I thought! I contacted my associate and asked her to read the post. Yep, I wasn’t dreaming. It was what she and I had written as our company mission statement just a few years earlier. Of course, a few words were swapped out, but all in all it was ours. UGH!
So, here lies the moral dilemma – do you call people out for snatching your media content or do you just “Do a FROZEN” – and let it go? Love to know your thoughts on the subject.
Thanks for reading!