Life as a successful wedding planner is never an easy one, despite the well-documented (and false) image of glamour. Sadly, to add to our already demanding workload it is a requirement to check that you’re not being plagiarised by a ‘wannabe’. We hope that by posting here to planners, we can make everyone more aware and start to rid the industry of this practice.
For clarification a simple definition of plagiarism is as follows: a piece of writing that has been copied from someone else and is presented as being your own work
Sadly week in week out we are hearing and seeing blatant plagiarism going on of wedding planners work. We are talking about word for word copying of company names, images, and most commonly text from a planner’s website. Anyone who runs a successful planning business knows that it takes A LOT more than copying somebody’s work to make a successful business; it takes years and years of slog, effort, dedication and talent and good planners think long and hard about their website and promotional materials writing them in their words and their style to reflect their brand; it’s vital that we each do our best to protect our work and come down hard on individuals who think they only have to whip up a website and ‘wow’ they have a business!
How can you protect yourself?
A great website where you can check for copies of your company website (or large chunks of text copied) is www.copyscape.com – put your web address into it and it’ll quickly pull up copies – make a note to do this once monthly to make sure that your site is not being plagiarised.
How to react if you have been plagiarised?
Contact the company owner directly (by email or letter preferably) informing them of the plagiarism (and demonstrating it with copies of your text and their text) and asking them to remove the offending text within 7 days. If that does not succeed then legal advice should be sought – naturally take copies of the offending website pages as it could be taken off-line at any moment. None of us want costly legal bills but we must stand up to thieves and stamp it out of our industry. UKAWP and the individual companies of its Directors have all sadly encountered plagiarism both here in the UK and from overseas and have a very strong policy towards it.
What do you think? Have you encountered this yourself?