Why Plagiarism Hurts
Let’s start by defining exactly what Plagiarism is. Start by checking out Plagiarism.org’s website which gives the best (by far) example in short, easy to understand language. I could not have said it any better myself.
What most people do not realize is there are two additional concepts which also affect whether or not an author will claim you have plagiarized their work. The Copyright Protection laws and SEO or Search Engine Optimization rules.
The problem with all of this is there is both a legal side and a people side to most of the cases you find on the internet. People want to share information. In fact, many sites urge you to share information by tweeting or sharing on your facebook page. These sites are completely different than a little web site owned by an individual who writes all of the information on their site. It does not hurt facebook when you share a post with others. In fact, it actually helps them. It is a different story when you are taking information from a site such as The Gemstone Dictionary, especially when you do not follow standard procedures.
With Twitter, posts rarely hurt sites like GD because the amount of information is far too small to cause any problems. With facebook, the situation starts to change. It really depends on how much information you share and whether or not you include a link back to the original work. If you remember to keep the amount of work copied as small as possible and to include a link back to this site, everything will probably be fine. I rarely claim plagiarism in these instances.
When you have your own personal website, it becomes yet a different situation, but again, it depends on how much work you take and whether or not you include a link back to GD.
How much is too much? General if all you copy is a paragraph or two and you include a link back to GD, you are fine. I do not push the issue in these instances. If you are ever in doubt, run your page through Copyscape.com. It will tell you the exact percentages of how many words are copied directly from GD. Less than 5% and you are fine. The farther above 5% you go, the more apt I am to claim my copyrights on the information.
No matter how small the amount of information you have taken, YOU MUST INCLUDE A LINK DIRECTLY TO THE PAGE YOU TOOK THE INFORMATION FROM. If you do not include the link, it is within my rights as the author of the information to claim my copyright on the material.
If you choose to take more than 25% of any one page on GD, even if you include a link back to GD, there is a good change I will still claim my copyright on the material. It is not my being mean or hateful, it is 100% because you are literally costing me money when you choose to take my work.
All the millions of small, independently owned websites like The Gemstone Dictionary, depend on where we rank within the search engines to make money. The higher we rank on each individual search term, the more money we make, plain and simple. When you take our work and include it on your site, the search engines see it as DUPLICATE INFORMATION.
Search engines use an algorithm to determine where each website falls within the search engine rankings. The website that is at the top of each search term is the one to get the most traffic. The second from the top gets the 2nd most traffic and so on down the line. If your site is not within the top 10 sites listed for a specific search term, you are lucky if you get any visitors to your site from the specific search terms.
Sites such as GD depend on that ranking for traffic because we earn money from hosting advertising on our sites. When you take my work and make it become Duplicate Information, you are literally stealing money from me. Many people who run small websites such as GD are physically handicapped. We cannot work outside of our homes for various reasons and we depend on the money we make from our websites to help support our families.
For those that do not know, I am blind in one eye and I am quickly losing my vision in the other. Plus, I am physically disabled due to a very severe car accident and I suffer from anomic aphasia (have problems remembering nouns), which is horrible for a writer. The money I make from my websites helps pay the bills at my house. The reason I decided to write this article was because I just watched the Gemstone Dictionary drop from making about $2000 a month, to having made less than $100 in September 2013. I cannot afford to let that go on.
Let’s Work Together
I fully understand why people want to share the information on GD. I know how much you want others to experience the same things you have experienced by working with stones. With very few exceptions, I do not believe any of the people who have taken my work actually intended to hurt anyone. In fact, I believe most wanted nothing more than to help others. At the same time, I can only hope you can understand why I cannot allow the copyright infringement to continue.
Gemstones are about life, love, peace, happiness and all the little things that bring light and positive energy into our lives. Rather than hurting the Gemstone Dictionary and my personal finances, why don’t we work together to make things better for all of us. Keep the light growing!