Updated: May 9
What can we learn about the plagiarism allegations against B. Simone?
A lesson in copyright law!
Meet B. Simone! An internet personality, rapper, comedian and actress. She is known for her Instagram videos, appearing on MTV's Wild 'n Out, and opening for Martin Lawrence's comedy tour. She has also been highlighted in Forbes for making her first million using her creative talents.
Recently, B. Simone came out with a book titled “"Baby Girl: Manifest the Life You Want." The book was aimed at helping her audience achieve their dreams by manifesting and speaking affirmations in their life.
After the book dropped, sales skyrocketed and the purchases helped her hit her first million dollars! However, a few months later, she was slammed with allegations of plagiarism for content inside the book.
@BGbloggers wrote: "Would love for @TheBSimone to STOP taking small content creators’ hard work and selling it as her own!!!"
Another blogger, @BlogsWithGrace, replied to the tweet with a photo from a different page in B. Simone's book, showing that the page was similar to a page in The Happiness Planner.
Although the internet was laced with opinions regarding B. Simone, I see that there is a copyright issue that is intertwined in the mix. Learning from other people’s businesses, we can gain wisdom on how to implement practices in our businesses!
According to the United States Copyright Office, a copyright is a form of protection provided by U.S. law to authors of “original works of authorship” from the time the works are created in a fixed form. A work is “fixed” when it is captured (either by or under the authority of an author) in a sufficiently permanent medium such that the work can be perceived, reproduced, or communicated for more than a short time.
Examples of content that may be protected by copyright are: books, eBooks, website content, podcast recordings, logos, speeches, webinars, phots, videos, music, lyrics, choreography, and much more.
Content that is afforded copyright protection is automatically protected. However, in order to receive certain benefits of a copyright, one must register the copyright with the United States Copyright Office. Once a person registers a copyright with the Copyright Office, it:
1) establishes a public record of the copyright holder’s ownership;
2) provides evidence in court concerning the validity of the copyright;
3) entitles the copyright owner to seek statutory damages and attorney’s fees in federal court; and
4)enables the copyright owner to sue for infringement in federal court.
(this is not an exhaustive list of benefits)
In B. Simone’s matter, several journals and pages from other creators are in question. As stated above, these works are afforded copyright protection and can be registered with the Copyright Office. If the authors in question have registered their rights, they can be afforded more protection than someone who hasn’t registered their rights.
In the event someone steals your work, you want to have the most rights available for you and your business. As we can learn from the B. Simone allegations, we can see the importance of registering your copyright so that you can sue for copyright infringement in federal court if need be. Without registration, you will lack the right to seek statutory damages from the defendant.
Events are still happening in this legal matter, so we will have to stay tuned to see how things unfold. To all the business owners involved, I wish everyone the best of luck with their company and future endeavors! And to you, I hope you have gained a little more insight on the importance of copyright registration!
Until next time,