This is not the first time this has happened and , sadly, it will likely not be the last,but this afternoon I found one of my stories on a website without my permission.
I'm not sure how someone rationalises this type of behaviour. Writing takes time. It takes effort. For me it is my sole way of earning an income. When a story is published online, it is published and now is of less value financially. In most cases you can no longer submit it for competitions either. Also, a writer has the right to decide where and when they want their writing to appear online or anywhere else for that matter. I own the copyright to that story, no one else. Surprisingly at the bottom of his web page it says- "Images/Writing © their respective owners and creators" so apparently he seems to have some loose grasp of the concept of copyright.
I contacted the man and asked him why he had used my story on his website. I asked if perhaps I had given him permission but had forgotten. I have many published stories and this could happen but it is unlikely. His response:
"No, I do not recall also. May I have your permission? Thank you."
How arrogant is that? Here is a person who has stolen my words and posted them on his site to draw readers to his site, to bring himself personal gain and this is his response? No remorse at all.
When I told him that first he would need to pay for the eight months that he had my story on the site illegally his response was:
"I will remove your story from the website. I am sorry that I cannot have your permission. It is writing that I liked very much.
Stealing is stealing. He might as well have broken into my house and stole my television. I suppose the law according to him is that you can steal something from someone as long as you like it very much. That certainly makes life much easier.
Here is the link to the story. The man's name is Stephen Laidlaw. He is apparently Canadian.
To my writing friends, you best check his site to see if he liked your story too.
PS: He has now taken my story down but if you want to check the site for your own content here is the website.