Is Everything on the Internet Free for the Taking?

Every once in a while I run a little test with some of my new articles or blog posts. Surprisingly some have turned up on other websites. I've been lucky though, as the websites have been those that target job hunters and I've been given credit. But I have colleagues who were disappointed to find their work stolen.

Yes, colleagues have discovered their websites copied word-for-word on someone else's site. Or their LinkedIn profile "borrowed" by another "professional." And some colleagues report that their clients who paid them to write a LinkedIn profile discovered that another LinkedIn user stole their profile!

What is a person to do?

In the case of the LinkedIn issue, there is a recourse for action. Within LinkedIn's agreements this is of course seen as theft and if the original owner registers a complaint, the thief will lose his or her right to a LinkedIn presence. Don't doubt that LinkedIn can access who wrote what first!

No, not everything on the internet is free to use, borrow, copy or appropriate. That is theft pure and simple.