I am glad to hear that someone other than myself is finally doing more than making noise about content stealing in the Nigerian space, but now actually taking legal action against it. Spurred on by a desire for traffic and quick money, an army of intellectually lazy and inept bloggers have emerged in Nigeria. They operate like vultures – waiting for someone else to do all the hard work, and then latching on to lift the finished work for reproduction on their blogs. In the words of Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, it is a case of “monkey dey work; baboon dey chop“.
The DailyPost has taken Naij to court over allegations that the latter reproduced word for word over 80 posts from the DailyPost’s website. The official statement from DailyPost reads in part:
The news organization further affirmed that it was a sad development that a news website like Naij.com, that is supposed to know the legal implication of plagiarism to continue to lift its materials WORD FOR WORD. It said that the only additional work noticed in the copied version of several of its original stories uncovered on Naij.com was the removal of DailyPost from the text.
A search on naij.com showed that more than 80 news items were copied over the last few weeks.
That is an incredible case of stealing, and Naij should get what is coming to it.
But Newspapers Are Guilty Too
Yes; newspapers are as guilty of stealing content as many bloggers are. Last year, one newspaper lifted an entire article off MOBILITY blog and published it. I got a lawyer to serve them notice that I would be suing if they didn’t get back to me to meet our conditions for reproduction. No; it is not enough to lift someone’s work and then write one small reference at the bottom of the article. It is still stealing. You ought to get permission before reproducing an author’s works. The newspaper did get back to me and met my conditions for reproduction. I really was going to sue if they had not done so.
When Honest Work Does Not Pay
Nigeria has become a country where the honest, hard-working person gets the short end of the stick. Nigeria has become a place where to identify oneself as a blogger means to be regarded as a thief. This needs to change. I for one am tired of putting in hours of hard work in creating fresh and unique content, and having some else come lift my content. A number of content thieves have lifted from MOBILITY. Thankfully, when contacted, they have behaved (though some grumbled about it – and they can grumble all they like; it is MY content). I will not stop crusading against content thieves. A thief is a thief. A lot of our bloggers are thieves.
Just last week, a popular blogger was reported as having lifted a writer’s photos and used them on her site without permission. That is stealing as well, and this has to stop. It has become so widespread that it is an epidemic. It has to stop. I welcome the action by DailyPost and look forward to more law suits flying around.
Authors and creatives need to stop just making noise and start suing when their rights are violated. If you are a blogger or aspiring blogger, take out some time to go through the following articles to understand the issues involved:
- Don’t copy wrong! Writers own the exclusive rights to their works
- Here is an example of how to use others’ content on your site
If you want to publish offline or online, go put your act together and start generating your own content. If you want to use someone else’s content or works, contact them upfront for permission. Whatever you do, just stop stealing.