What do you call content that isn't yours?
|Image courtesy of Leo Synapse at stock.xchng|
Whoa, my gracious. I just found a blog by a freelance writer that said it was okay to "rewrite" another writer's stuff if you aren't creative enough to write your own.
"A rewrite is simply just redoing another writer’s article in your own words. It gives you the opportunity to redo articles that you have previously found to be informative and thus relevant to your readers."
- from Rinforsideweb.com (click the quote to read the entire post).
Terrible, horrible freelance writing advice.
No matter how long you've been freelance writing - or even if you're just kicking the idea around in your head - don't take another writer's idea and 're-write' it in your own words.
That. Is. Stealing.
While it may not be out-and-out content theft, it's nacho content.
What if you took the time to come up with something on your own - and it was the most brilliant idea ever - and somebody took it and rewrote it in their own words?
What's the big deal about Nacho Content, anyway?
- The original writer, if he/she finds it, is going to be super ticked. (If it's me, I'll stay up till midnight just to come get you - simply because I hate thievery and tomfoolery.)
- You are a sham if you are re-writing someone else's original content - you are not a writer.
- Ideas can be plagiarized, and plagiarism is - gasp - unethical.
- If the work you took was copyrighted and it's close enough to prove, you could be in some legal hot water.
Nacho Content vs. Research
That said, you can use other peoples' writings for research. However, you compile all the research (from several different sources) in your head and then pull the information you need, ordering it logically and crafting it into an entirely different piece... an original one.
If it's possible - and it pretty much IS - give credit where credit is due. If you pulled info from Encyclopaedia Brittanica, cite 'em.
You don't ever re-write someone else's work and call it yours. That's absolutely ridiculous.
Follow me on Twitter, join me on Facebook or subscribe to this blog via e-mail.
© Angie Papple Johnston 2010. Don't steal from me or I'll come getcha. Really... I've got that kind of time.