A Word on Plagiarism

June 21st, 2012 → 8:45 am @

I’ve been following Suzanne Fyhrie Parrot at Unruly Guides via her blog and podcast.

I also hired her to convert my Micro Business for Teens book series into e-reader format. She’s doing a great job. Saving me tons of headaches!

I was disappointed to hear that content from one of her books was stolen and being sold by another person…yes… plagiarism.

A Word on Plagiarism by Suzanne Fyhrie Parrott

Just the word sends chills down the spines of every hard-working writer in the world. And though we would love to be able to eradicate every aspect of literary piracy that simply isn’t possible; however, there are strides we can take to protect ourselves.

I was the victim of plagiarism not once, but twice, and both within the same month. One was so blatant, it was laughable; the second, which I have a strange suspicion is the same person using a different name, simply re-purposed my content, and not very accurately, I might add.

So what are these strides I talk about to protect myself? I pay for a registered copyright for every one of my books, including the images and book cover art. This paid copyright provides more protection not only in the Untied States but Internationally.

But my work is copyrighted from the moment my pen goes to paper, right?

Yes, it is, but in this technologically advanced world where everything is written on the computer it is getting harder to prove who wrote what first. By paying the $35 US for your copyright registration, you are supplying a little more protection than just “hoping” your content won’t be pilfered.

I also purchase an ISBN number for every form of my book. This includes a separate ISBN number for digital and print. This can be costly if you purchase individually, so I suggest buying in bulk of 10 or 100.

Lastly, I have a lawyer that will pursue blatant offenders. I purchase competitors books. I read them, and if I find my content in their book, I contact my lawyer.

One final comment. Your work, if it is good, will at some point be plagiarized – that is a given. The world has become a small place and there are just too many countries and too many unscrupulous people to monitor. I suggest you go after the ones you can, don’t worry about the ones you don’t know about and write another book.


So, following Suzanne’s suggestion, last week I filed for copyright registration for 3 of my books.I also have separate ISBNS fo rthe digital versions and I know a good lawyer. I just hope I never need her.

Have you registered your copyright yet?

Carol Topp,CPA


2 Comments → “A Word on Plagiarism”

  1. Jonah Wilson

    11 years ago

    Hi Carol,
    I have met you before at the Cincinnati Homeschoool Convention in 2009. I bought a couple of your books and have email you a couple of times in the past about starting an iPhone app business. I just read your blog post earlier today and had a question. My mom has started a blog and we were both wondering what you recommend to protect your blog posts from plagiarism. Has your lawyer recommended any way to register a copyright for your blog posts?

    Jonah Wilson

  2. Carol

    11 years ago

    I did a little digging on protecting a blog. Here are two helpful websites:

    Explains how to grant or withhold permissions and then goes on to list ways you can protect your blog including scripts you can add to your blog to make it harder to copy and paste.

    I thought that this blog, Nature Blog Network, had some helpful ideas on protecting a blog as well, including registering your blog with DMCA.com

    I hope that helps!

    Carol Topp, CPA