I recently met a famous journalist at a local function. She and I discussed to current business, and how it's increasingly cut-throat with decreasing wages, and greater company control over the ownership rights and intellectual property rights of writers and authors.
Then we moved over into discussing the world of blogging.
She told me that it's no secret that journalists often use a special feature in google, where they can be notified about new articles, essays, blog-posts on certain subject matter. She said that many journalists actually like to look at blog-posts, because they often have limited copyright protection, and use them as "inspiration" or as the "spiritual and substantive" scaffolding upon which serious essays and articles in leading national magazines are based. As journalists, they are very careful to not actually plagiarize stuff, line by line. But they use the basic ideas and premises of these articles, as well as rehash the basic arguments with new dressing. She said it's very common and that bloggers are often unaware of how their writings are being "harvested" so to speak by leading journalists. She went on to say that in the field of journalism, intellectual copyright law only protects the big newspapers and publishing companies from encroachments by (a) other big companies or (b) small time writers. She said that one almost never encounters a situation where a small-time writer sues a big company or journalist for plagiarism, because the IP lawyers are far too expensive.
In this light, she said that blog articles on the internet are seen as "low hanging fruit" and that "more people lift stuff from blog articles" than you know.
Although this causes me some discomfort, knowing how dishonest many people are, I don't really care if my ideas are picked up by somebody else. It just means I was on the right track, even if I don't get credit. My only concern is a reverse claim of plagiarism, where if a writer writes something in 2010, and let's say it's semi-plagiarized by a newspaper or magazine in 2025, and said paper sues the original 2010 author for republishing his 2010 article in 2026, or something in that manner. This sort of thing happens often in IP law, as I learned in law school, and it will only become more common as IP protection and IP attorneys and suits remain the province of the very wealthy and powerful.