Posts Tagged ‘copyright violation’

What to do when your copyright has been violated

On May 1, 2012, Duane Lester from wrote a story titled “Changes Implemented After MO Auditor Finds ‘Serious Shortcomings’ In Holt County Sheriff’s Department.” Ten days later the local paper, The Oregon Times Observer, reprinted the story almost verbatim, even including typos that appeared in the original story. Though the newspaper had removed the word Missouri from the headline and added a paragraph to the story, it was essentially the same. Yet Lester was not given credit for the original story. In fact, he received no attribution. Lester confronted reps at the The Oregon Times Observer and demanded payment for his work. Watch as the scene unfolds.


For more information on this story, including screen shots of the original online and print stories and an explanation of copyright violations, visit Lester’s story online.

Sadly, with the proliferation of online news, this type of thing happens much more than it should. Whether you are a freelance journalist, or a journalist working for a specific media organization, it is important to understand copyright law and the consequences of plagiarism and copyright violations. Protect yourself and your work.

*A special thanks to Virginia Pro Chapter President Paul Fletcher of Virginia Lawyers Media for sharing this story with the SPJ Freelance Committee. We’re glad you’re watching out for us!*



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