X is for Xerox Machines

Hi guys! Merry Monday to you all! Hope you had a wonderful weekend and that life is treating you well on this fine day. :D The A to Z challenge is sadly drawing very near to its finish, and today we have basically the hardest word in the entire alphabet (you have no idea how long I've been sitting here trying to think of something to post for X!). For those of you who might not have heard of Xerox machines, they're a brand of copy machine, and what I wanted to talk about today is people who basically act like these things.

Ever had an amazing idea, written a piece based on it, and been so completely excited to post it on your blog / website / forum / other sharing website? It's happened to me I don't even know how many times - I've been feeling pretty awesome because the comments are lovely, people seem to like it just as much as I do, and life is good.

Enter... the Xerox machine.

These people seem specifically designed to sniff out the best ideas on the Internet and then make a copy with just the slightest twist and claim it as their own. I've seen this done countless times over - not only with my own writing, but also with others' and even with books. (Not even fanfiction either - literally, taking the same idea that the author used and saying that you made it up.) I don't even understand the point of this. I mean, where's the satisfaction in pretending to have come up with an idea that you so obviously didn't, right?

This doesn't mean that I don't think you should post your best work online for fear of Xerox machines, because of course you should! Why live in fear of a couple of bad eggs when there's thousands of other good ones out there? ;) But at the same time, I think we should all be wary of these people, and that we shouldn't be afraid of calling them out on it. I've found that most Xerox machines will back down when confronted because they know that they are stealing others' ideas. If you encounter somebody doing this, please please don't be ashamed to tell them that it's not okay - you're in the right here!

And - though I sincerely hope this is a given - most of all, do not be one. For heaven's sake, I promise you that it really does not pay off in life!

So have you ever encountered a Xerox machine? How did you react to him/her/it? ;) What's the worst thing you've ever encountered when posting your works online? Let me know in the comments section!

love, Topaz