Remember way back when I wrote Flattery or Fraud? and I said it was possible to be flattered that someone was “inspired” by you. I wrote that when a blogger who was following me stole my blog post, reworded it, and passed it off as his own. I had three followers, he had a thousand, and I watched the kudos rolling in for him. I couldn’t believe it. He lapped up the praise for it being ‘so insightful’ and so ‘stream of consciousness’ and ‘so different’ to his other posts … yeah, because it wasn’t his idea. But who was I? No one. I even commented that it sound awfully like the one I had written twelve days before and he replied that he ‘never saw it’. Uh huh. Same title and all. I removed him as a follower but there’s nothing to stop him from doing the same thing again, and I don’t follow him any more because I have no interest in anything he says now. Okay, it’s just a blog post, sure. Like with kids who shoplift and you say it’s just a candy bar, next thing they’re an adult and in gaol for armed robbery because there was no consequence to their actions. That’s an extreme example, but you get what I’m saying. Like the man who lifted the picture of Michelle Obama by the Ethiopian art student, but passed it off as his own and said he was “inspired” by something he saw on Pinterest. BS. They’re identical. That’s a rip off. At least my blog post stealer attempted to make it his own. That’s something, right? No.
Let’s move on to the people I’m going to label as “heartless soul-stealers”. Again that sounds extreme. It’s people worse than the piracy arseholes who steal drafts of manuscripts and put them on their sites, and they’re bad enough. No, this is a whole new level of scum. This is the people who steal another author’s whole book and pass it off as their own in the hopes of making a few bucks. Sometimes they change the names and places. Sometimes they even have the gall to send it to an editor, and the editor unknowingly works it, and they put it up for sale. How the fuck do you sleep at night? You stole something that someone put their heart and soul into, and you passed it off as your own. You have no talents of your own so you steal someone else’s hard work. That’s your skill? That’s the legacy you want to leave? You want to make a few bucks so you take something that isn’t yours, copyrighted material, and you say it’s yours. You are lower than low.
Poor readers unknowingly make you a hero, they may even help you onto some best seller’s list. All that glory and no work. How nice for you. You think the odds are low the author will come across it? You’re willing to take the risk. Fuck you. I hope you all get found out. I hope you get sued. I hope you’re publicly humiliated when the world sees you for what you are – heartless soul stealers.