It’s happened again.
Back in the day, when How to tame a Marauder was ridiculously popular, I had a bit of a problem with plagiarism. That is, I would find the story posted on sites I had not posted it to, usually attributed to a different author. The first time it happened I was flabbergasted, but then it became, well, not normal, but common enough to not raise too much of an eyebrow. Needless to say I became very cognisant with the copyright rules of different sites, and I never had much trouble getting an offending version taken down.
But, of course, that was years ago. I haven’t written anything of substance (that’s been published) for years, and HTM is old news now. Or so I thought.
On the weekend I discovered it had been posted to Wattpad. Wattpad is one it’s been on before, so the rules and I are old friends. The person who posted it had even made a funky cover for it (or sourced one somehow) and listed me as the author, which is nice because at least they’re not pretending they wrote it themselves. (And yes, that has happened before.) But, you see, they didn’t ask first. And I don’t take too kindly to that.
I’m cool with people making their own copies of my story so they can read it at their leisure. That’s fine. I understand it lives on more than one USB stick around the globe. And I’m cool with them sharing it with their friends, which of course is a huge compliment. But posting it online without permission? No, sorry, that’s not okay. While I agree it’s not the classic definition of plagiarism, it’s still not exactly ethical. It’s my story and I reserve the right to say which websites it’s published on. It’s as simple as that.
To Wattpad’s credit , the story has now been taken down, an event which happened almost immediately. But that doesn’t stop me wondering why people think this sort of thing is okay? Is it wrong to want to have some sort of control over where your intellectual property is posted online? Or am I being unreasonable? And, if this has happened to you (or if it did), what did, or would, you do?