Defining “ORIGINAL CONTENT” and “EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS”

At EzineArticles, we only accept 100% original material for which you have exclusive rights. What does that mean exactly?

In a nutshell, it means the words in your articles are uniquely YOURS (a.k.a. You’ve written the article yourself). If you employ a ghostwriter, it means you are sure no other author is receiving any version of the same material.

Exclusive content is…

  • Associated *only* with your author name
  • Written by you personally from scratch, OR;
  • Ghost written exclusively for you and no one else, from scratch

Exclusive content is not…

  • Re-written from another article
  • A combination of paragraphs, sentences, or article fragments re-arranged or re-worded from multiple sources
  • Private Label Rights content or re-written PLR material
  • Attributed to a company or organization
  • Published under multiple different author names/ pen names
  • Comprised primarily of sourced/ quoted material from others
  • Lifted from the public domain

Here are some common questions:

I have rewritten my article to be 30% different from the original I received, so it is unique. Why won’t you accept it?

An article which was re-worded by 30% (or 50%, or 70%) is NOT 100% original; it’s derivative.

An argument we often hear is, “Of course my article is 30% copied. I can’t change the facts about my niche!”

This argument is used to justify derivative writing. We understand that you can’t change established facts, but if you channel your personal knowledge of “the facts” by writing from your own consciousness rather than relying on COPY+PASTE, the word combinations you choose will always come out 100% unique and original.

If my article passes a copy detection search, does that make it original?

Not necessarily. In our experience, authors who feel the need to see how many websites match their article before they submit it for review lack confidence in the originality of their work.

Copy detection searches are best used to see if anyone is copying YOU, not to see if you have copied someone else. If you are not certain that your article is a genuine original, it’s time to audit your writing style or find another ghostwriter.

I wrote the article, but it contains quoted definitions, statistics, and some sourced material. Is that okay?

Yes, as long as ALL quoted/sourced material is clearly identified as such within the article. If you quote definitions for common terms or include outside statistics, make sure you give credit where credit is due. Since we want you to share your OWN expertise, also take note that our Editorial Guidelines limit quoted/sourced material to a maximum of 3-5 lines.

The article is produced by and owned by my company. Can I submit it under my name on their behalf?

For an article to be considered “exclusive” to you, it must be your own copyright. If the content can rightfully be attributed only to an organization and not a person, it is best not to submit the article to us.

Writing original articles is hard work. How does it benefit ME?

Quality matters to your readers and to publishers. Readers are much more likely to click over to your site and make a purchase if they trust you. They will only trust you if you come across as a real person with unique insights.

Re-hashed and copied material does not offer unique insights, so it does not create trust with the reader or build an author’s legitimacy as an expert. That means less clicks and less sales. Even worse, authors who waste time rewriting articles will ultimately find their articles removed, accounts suspended, and memberships terminated.

KEY POINT:
The effort it takes to write original articles is time well spent; the effort it takes to re-word copied “Frankenstein articles” is time wasted.

To Summarize…

We believe that writing 100% original articles that you own the exclusive rights to is inevitably the most beneficial and ethical practice not only for you, but your readers and article/ezine publishers as well.

42 Comments »


1
Alan Young writes:

Wow, This really takes everything to a whole new level and it is actually very encouraging and motivating for me. If one truly has a passion regarding their niche then it should not be a problem producing 100% original articles. If however, one is more passionate about just making money etc. it will definitely be more of a challenge. Thanks for the great post!

Comment provided October 28, 2009 at 12:07 PM

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Robert Choat writes:

Alan,

Your spot on. Passion about your subject will drive one to want to tell others about it. Articles is that door to let the world know. And writing should be easy. Heck, if I can do 100 articles in one month, then it should be a no-brainer for other folks.

Bob :-)

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2
Sonny Dinger writes:

Hi Chris,
Thank you for such good instructions, i , too love the original
writings, I try to write every thing that way,

i really Enjoy Articles!
Sonny

Comment provided October 28, 2009 at 12:41 PM

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3

Thank you, and I hope folks online stop using my content and running it through derivative software and then try to pass it off as their own, just because the sentences have been re-worded.

Comment provided October 28, 2009 at 1:13 PM

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4
Philip Robinson writes:

Just a thought – I find it more than interesting that “original writing” has to be defined at all. Before this I thought it was quite obvious.
Live and learn I suppose.

Comment provided October 28, 2009 at 1:48 PM

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5
Shannon writes:

Thanks for clarifying. This is a very well written article. I do have a question about exclusivity. I have not yet done this, but have thought about it. Would it be ok to place my articles on my own site with my author name in the domain? For example – authornamearitcles.com. It might be fun to post them over time. Just wondering if this was acceptable. The author name would be in the domain and you could also place a burb or an “about me” on the site. Thanks for all you do. Shannon

Comment provided October 28, 2009 at 1:50 PM

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Shannon,

Yes, you can! That is a great branding technique. If you post your articles on your site, you can repackage them by submitting them to us.

See Chris’ recent post here: http://blog.EzineArticles.com/2009/10/repackaging-articles-is-not-derivative-content.html

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Shannon writes:

Hi Penny – thanks. I’m glad to know it’s OK and it would be cool to see the evolution of my writing over time. You know, I’ve actually seen in the article report section of my articles that a few people have actually been searching for my articles by my author name. I would have never thought this is possible, but it is so cool, and this is where the idea of putting up the site came from.

Since I have many articles that I’ve only been posting to EzineArticles – and I haven’t yet put up this site – they would be posted to my branding site AFTER being published with you guys. If I’m understanding this right, that’s still OK, right?

Thanks for the response! I hate to be so thick about this but I just don’t want to do anything wrong.

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Yes, that is OK too. It’s your content! :)

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Shannon writes:

Thank you!

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6
Shirley Bass writes:

Big Smile! :-)) Like it.

Comment provided October 28, 2009 at 2:18 PM

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7
Eddington writes:

Thanks for clarifying this issue. There is so much being taught about duplicate content, this imformation clearly irons out issues.

Best regards.

Comment provided October 28, 2009 at 2:28 PM

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8
Aurther writes:

This is commendable. i think we are going back to the original idea behind articles before spammers and ill-motivated people invaded this space.

Comment provided October 28, 2009 at 2:36 PM

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9
Peter Eidson writes:

Shannon poses a good question: “Would it be ok to place my articles on my own site with my author name in the domain?”

The question begs to be answered by the author of this post. Afterall, he claims to be an authority on originality.

Comment provided October 28, 2009 at 3:43 PM

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10
Denise Willms writes:

Thank you! It’s refreshing to finally read a definition of “original” that concurs with my own. It’s also disheartening to realize how rare this definition of “original” now seems when it comes to online articles.

I’ve often wondered why so many people have convinced themselves that rewriting another’s online article is acceptable. These same people probably wouldn’t even consider copying from an article in a magazine they paid for or from their morning newspaper.

I appreciate you clarifying your definition of “original” for everyone.

Comment provided October 28, 2009 at 5:02 PM

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11
Dave Doolin writes:

I’m watching this thread very carefully before I commit to writing anything for ezine. I like the concept quite a lot, but some of the details are fuzzy to me.

I’ll have to reread the terms of sevice very carefully.

Basically I’m cool with everything except if I can’t extract content from my own website. Writing a killer article is hard work, and having exclusive ownership and copyright is meaningless if publication in one venue means I can’t publish for myself.

Again, I haven’t looked over TOS lately, just reading over the article here and attempting to understand it.

Here’s why it matters for me though: I’ve spent 30 years working for The Man. And I have literally NOTHING tangible to show for it. NOTHING. It all belongs to employers of various stripes, or has encumbered IP of some other type. My writing on the web is the only IP I own outright.

Hopefully, a close reading of TOS will clarify it all.

Comment provided October 28, 2009 at 6:20 PM

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That’s *not* correct Dave.

You CAN submit articles to EzineArticles that are on your existing website without needing to rewrite them.

Watch for a new short video I’ll be shooting today to clear up this area. :-)

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Dave Doolin writes:

Christopher, thanks! That’s very motivating. So much to do, so little time to do it.

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12
Deep writes:

Thank you for such nice instructions and clarifying this issue.

Comment provided October 29, 2009 at 9:07 AM

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13
Safe Homes writes:

This was a great article on defining what was what in this field. Original material is the only way to write. Thanks

Comment provided October 29, 2009 at 6:49 PM

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14
JT Stone writes:

Thank you very much for helping clear up so many misconceptions about these policies.

Comment provided October 30, 2009 at 1:45 AM

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15
Sonny Dinger writes:

HI Chris,
WOW,I NEVER CONSIDERED MY SELF MUCH OF A WRITER,
BUT ,INEVER HAD ANY PROBLEM WRITING MY OWN
ARTICLES, NEVER ONCE THOUHGT ABOUT USING SOMEONE
ELSE’S, SORRY FOR ALL CAPS, I SEE IT BETTER,
THANK YOU FOR ALLOWING MY FEEDBACK,
I ENJOY YOUR SITE, I HAVE A COUPLE OF ARTICLES I WILL SUBMIT, (ORIGINAL)
SONNY

Comment provided October 31, 2009 at 3:54 AM

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16
Tim Moore writes:

Chris, this is a great article. I’m glad to read that EzineArticles, which in my opinion stands far above all other articles sites, takes this issue seriously. Question: a member of EzineArticles is rewriting my content and submitting it to EzineArticles. The infringing work is easily identifiable as being rewritten from my own work. How do I get this resolved with regard to the pirated content that has been placed on EzineArticles? I’ve already submitted this issue through your site’s contact form but I haven’t heard back.

Comment provided November 3, 2009 at 1:32 PM

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Tim,

This is not something that we tolerate as it is not OK to rip content from other authors. We will review the issue and address your questions privately.

Look for this to be addressed by me sometime today.

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17
Jim Robinson writes:

Can I re-publish EzineArticles 100% written by me but published already?

About 9 months ago I submitted 8 articles to Helium.com, my first efforts to see whether they would be acceptable and ranked, they were published by Helium in February 2009.

Just wondering, Jim Robinson

Comment provided November 4, 2009 at 12:24 PM

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Jim,

Yes, if you own the content. Keep in mind that you must use the same name. It’s not OK to submit an article on another site and use the name “John Smith” and submit it to us under “Kevin King”.

For your credibility, use the same names (or add your name to it if you haven’t done so already).

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18
Kyle Culpepper writes:

I’m a newbie and was wondering what this will do to all the PLR/MRR article products?

I also know your concern is the integrity of what’s allowed at EzineArticles. Can you enlighten me?I want to start submitting articles but, don’t want to start off on the wrong foot with bad habits.

Comment provided November 10, 2009 at 5:15 AM

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Kyle,

Who cares what it will do to the PLR products?

That industry is not our concern.

Our goal is to mute/delete/reject ALL PLR articles that get submitted to EzineArticles because they do not add unique/original/exclusive rights value.

Start by focusing on original content you write yourself.

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19

You mean authors are not allowed to use this:

http://www.secrets-of-internet-success.com/ArticleMarketingCDs/index2.htm

Are you banning this sort of thing here at EzineArticles? If so, I am glad, because it sure irks me.

Comment provided November 11, 2009 at 12:23 AM

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Lance,

A squeeze page like this is OK but it’s not the best and it’s not recommended. You don’t want to force your readers to do something. Instead, you should be sending them to a content rich page that offers just as much quality as your article. A sign-up form should be included on your website, not be your landing page.

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Penny, it’s not the page I am worried about, and it definitely isn’t my page, you see, it’s the content and what it’s selling and recommending, and the individual selling it, has 20,000 articles plus on your site, please read the page. It is selling the schemes EzineArticles claims to be against. Please read that page. Is this what you want your EzineArticles authors to be doing

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20
Jim Robinson writes:

Yes, agreed, I see that a Jason Nymack has 12 articles, on today’s Front Page articles, of what I believe is a similar promotion. Why not have EzineArticles subscribe to his service?
Jim R.

Comment provided November 11, 2009 at 4:00 PM

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21
Royce writes:

Chris,

I am a new author trying to learn the ropes. The first articles I have submitted are drawn from my personal experiences and have been done to gain experience in article writing. I currently have an article in problem status and I don’t know what to do to fix it. The email I received states:

Your article MUST BE informative and share your own unique expertise. Include tips, strategies, techniques, case-studies, analysis, opinions and commentary in your articles. Your article must also be at least 250 word in length. Please edit your article to include these things.

The article deals with how the typical home owner can increase the energy efficiency of the their home and save money by doing so. All of the tips I give are things I have done and recommended others do in the real world. The article is 573 words long. It contains 7 tips that can be implemented by any homeowner. In contrast, out of the last 30 articles approved in the submitted category 18 are about building solar panels. I seriously doubt that is a viable way for the typical homeowner to save money on thier energy bills.

I would rewrite this article if I knew what the editor deemed lacking. However, it is 573 words long, contains seven (7) tips that I know work at saving energy and is drawn from my own experience. What am I missing? Thanks for all you do.

Comment provided December 22, 2009 at 8:36 AM

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Royce,

I don’t normally address this publicly but I want to provide an answer that everyone will benefit from. Please also see your email for the private details.

Your article was written well and provided 7 great tips but 4 of those tips are already included in another article of yours. This means that 289/573 words are not original.

Every article should be 100% unique and your reader should never read 2 articles and get the same information. You want to provide new value in every article you write.

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Dave Doolin writes:

100% unique makes it easier on us authors really. It helps enforce quality.

I still haven’t submitted any articles dammit! There’s so much to do… here, there, and everywhere.

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22
Deep writes:

Nice article and info everyone should follow to put a good article.

Comment provided December 22, 2009 at 8:47 AM

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23
Royce writes:

Penny,

Thanks for your reponse. I have reworked the article and replaced the 4 previously used tips with new ones. In the process, I have brainstormed and researched enough material that I may be able to develop several more new articles. Time definitely well spent. Hope you enjoy your holidays.

Royce

Comment provided December 22, 2009 at 4:22 PM

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24
michael writes:

Thanks Man for that wonderful insight. that makes a lot of difference to me. I appreciate.

Comment provided January 14, 2010 at 11:19 AM

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25

nice blog,
i will follow your tips . please give me more information for an article.

Comment provided June 29, 2010 at 11:53 PM

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26

So that is what original content really is!
You’ve made my day and I wished I saw this earlier. But it’s not that late, I will endeavor to put them to work on my articles to your directory.

Comment provided May 24, 2011 at 1:10 PM

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27

This is a wonderful post and I think it’s still useful to today’s business. If we want to build a credible portfolio, sticking with these juicy content is all we need. Thanks for sharing and keep them coming.

Comment provided May 24, 2011 at 1:12 PM

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28

Nice post Knights.
I have been following your post since 3 years ago and no regrets. Originality is the key and without it, success is short sighted. Thanks a bunch

Comment provided May 24, 2011 at 1:15 PM

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