The escort world is rife with plagiarism. This is no secret among escorts. One of my naïve goals in writing Book 2 was to give escorts a way to learn how to write for themselves. There are new escorts who have read my books and taken the lessons to heart — the results are easy to see on their personality-driven sites and ads. There are others who took my examples a bit too literally and I have spotted them sprinkled over websites, much to my chagrin. And then there are those who just decided to go directly to the source (me) and lift whatever they feel like taking. How nice of me to do all the hard work for them!
I have a habit of this — I’ve changed escort-text everywhere I’ve worked. I’ve worked under different names and have found my writing appearing elsewhere (and obviously these girls had no clue whose text they stole). And people have seen fit to taken whatever they want from my book’s site too. I’m long past being amused, flattered or anything except completely and totally furious when I find my work stolen. Dragging around a truckload of others is very tiring work. I keep thinking that if I stop writing, they’ll have to go elsewhere for their ideas and words. It’s becoming the more tempting option, frankly.
It seems the issue is getting worse as more girls get online. Many seem to think that Internet = free for some reason. Some surely know better and yet still they steal.
In the online world, words entice, often more than pictures. Words = money to escorts. Copyright violations are violations on a serious level.
Case study: Cici has a distinctive online voice. I know this because she not only read my books, she asked me (and others) for critique when she debuted her website. She hasn’t been around long and is just an Austin escort with no stated grand ambitions within this industry, yet already she knows of two other girls who have stolen her unique words. (I keep urging her to blog and she resists. Who can blame her?)
What’s a girl to do? I’ve considered issuing royalty invoices — after all, they use my words to help themselves make money. I’ve considered offering a paid editing/ad-writing service for escorts but they just seem to like taking what I’ve already put out there (for free!!!). The copyright-violators don’t seem to wish to be themselves, they seem to wish to be someone else.
None of us can afford copyright lawyers to file lawsuits because the bill would add up quickly. (Though Cici has told me about a $30/month prepaid legal service she has used successfully with other legal matters. I’m looking into it for myself.) Email is the weapon of choice. Yet every girl I know, myself included, who sends a cease-and-desist email ends up feeling like they’re somehow in the wrong for defending their own work.
Thieves caught in the act don’t take to it kindly. They explain they were “inspired” and so hit Ctrl+C. Inspiration is creation. Copying is stealing. One escort discovered her words on a site and the explanation by the content-thief was the words were used as a “placeholder” and somehow it was “forgotten” they were there. Other popular excuses include “My webmaster put the text on my site” and “I didn’t know you wrote that!” Of course, the most common reaction is defensive, angry and telling the escort they stole from that they don’t like her anymore (so don’t use her text!). The energy spent in defending their thievery would be better spent in writing their own text — but nevermind that.
If a girl wishes she had the language skills of another escort — why not ask that escort for some editing? It may not always work out, but it’s a much better solution than simply taking words and alienating someone who could be helpful.
Copyright is not a foreign word.
There are escorts who inspire me. They’ll never know because they won’t recognize themselves on my site. And why should they? They and I are two different people. There should be no shared descriptions between us. There shouldn’t be a shared anything between us, really.
Ironically, though I spend a ridiculous amount of time surfing escort sites, the biggest writing lesson it’s provided me has been in showing me what not to write because it’s already been done to death. In fact, it’s extremely easy to write for one’s self and not imitate other escorts because there is an awful lot of similarity out there even without copyright violation.
In the grand scheme of things, yes, this is small. But theft is theft. It doesn’t really matter if I slaved for weeks over adjusting a single sentence or just threw something up there – it is mine and it expresses my thoughts and it is my creation. Every escort who deals with content-thieves feels the exact same way. I no more appreciate someone stealing my words than I would having them rifle through my home and taking what they wanted. Though my online words are free to read (and please do!) they are not free for the taking.
Ideas are a different matter. Ideas cannot be copyrighted. Though it is blatantly obvious when someone just rides on another’s idea. It drives copyright-aware escorts insane because they understand they can’t protect ideas. One girl works hard to be unique or perhaps has that bolt of true inspiration. And suddenly, she has just made it easier for everyone who stumbles across her site.
To be honest, clients aren’t really a part of this. Escorts who have been ripped off rarely concern themselves with what clients think — it’s the violation of their creative selves that offends them. The original escort (whoever it is with the bright idea or perfect words) retains that spark and a side-by-side comparison never leaves anyone in doubt.
The exception is online ads. When it comes to online-ad plagarism, it’s all about the clients. This is especially true for the regularly-plagiarized escorts who post ads on message boards or BackPage. Due to the high-turnover nature of these advertising venues, there is no recourse. They can do nothing but sit and watch someone else make money using their words — while their phone stays silent. Not to mention that BackPage itself is regularly scraped by online aggregators posing as escort advertising malls.
Creating clever ads or the perfect website content is hard work. Escorts who are stolen from are invariably the ones who work hard on their ads/sites. They rack their brains, consult their friends for editing, spend hours, days or weeks working things over and making it just right. That’s why it’s so good — they put work into it. If the thieves spent this same amount of time/effort on their own work they would suddenly find themselves with something worthy of being stolen too.
I miss IDoNotHaveaBraininMyHead.com. The amount of maintenance the site would require these days would make it a full-time job. It’s also going to be interesting to see how many escort blogs suddenly talk about escort-plagarism.
(Let’s not even touch on the issue of photo-stealing or unethical online advertising malls. Another day, please.)