Yesterday I received an email from a publishing company informing me that a quote I was using on my blog was wrongly credited. It was a ‘Cease and Desist’ notice and the subject line said: ‘Copyright Infringement & Plagiarism’. It was not fun to read. Basically my post Doubt and Dreams
included this quote: ‘Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will’ which was written by their client Suzy Kassem. I found the quote online with credit given to someone else. I took that at face value.
Wrong thing to do.
The letter said ‘we are giving you a chance to correct it before a court order is initialized to pull down your site – and force you to compensate our writer for damages’
I took the quote down, updated it and gave Suzy Kassem credit. I replied, told the publisher what I had done and apologized.
I felt terrible about this. As a writer I would hate to have my material credited to someone else. I think (while scary for me) the reaction and sternness of the email was on point. Good for her publisher for having her back like that!
Suzy Kassem is a talented writer and she deserves to receive credit for her work. In this case, the person being given credit doesn’t seem to exists and this is an ongoing issue for them. I can’t imagine how frustrating that must be for Suzy.
This is a valuable lesson. In the future I’ll be much more careful in my posting. I also thought it was a good idea to share my experience with you so that you could benefit from my mistake.
I’ll be a double-triple checker from here on out!
‘When you mess up…own it’ – My Mother