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Is this some form of plagiarism?
Posted - 2/15/2013 4:23:53 AM | show profile | email poster | flag this post
Hi - Quick question about some gray areas in publishing content through an employer.
I was working for a marketing agency, mostly doing PR, but also quite heavily focused on ghostwriting and general copywriting.
Since quitting, I have noticed that my old blog posts on the company site, which sometimes included in-depth interviews and original photography, now say By: NEW EMPLOYEE X.
What's the deal here? Should I be mildly perturbed and let it go? Or say something? Is it understandable enough if I keep this work in my portfolio and explain the name change to future employers?
Perhaps it's all too subjective, but I always appreciate the advice found here. Thanks in advance for any input!
-- eltempleton, or perhaps soon... New Employee X
Posted - 2/15/2013 9:53:07 AM | show profile | flag this post
The employer has the right to do whatever they want with stuff created as work for hire, which is what happens when you're on salary. On the other hand, you do want it properly credited. It's not plagiarism, per se. It may be that the CMS automatically generates the byline, so when NEW X posts it goes up with his/her byline. Or it could just be petty, and they don't want your name on stuff since you aren't working there.
I would contact your old boss and ask if it can be fixed, at least on stories that you want to use in your portfolio. If they are uncomfortable keeping your name on the stuff, ask them to at least use a generic form, such as XYZ Staff Writer or ABC Corp.
Posted - 2/16/2013 7:09:36 PM | show profile | flag this post
My company (a market information firm) has the same practice with formal written deliverables, though not with blog posts.
It's not mean-spirited. It's simply meant to avoid the situation where a prospective client sees something interesting and tries to get in touch with the author, only to find they have left the company, which is likely to end the conversation before we'd like it to.
It's worth asking your former company if they could retain actual authors' names, but I wouldn't expect too much.