We feel for our First Lady Michelle Obama. For those living in places where there is no wifi but who manage to make their way to higher ground to read our college admissions blog, extensive passages of our First Lady’s speech at the 2008 Democratic National Convention was plagiarized verbatim in Melania Trump’s speech last night — at the 2016 Republican National Convention. And while Ms. Trump is starting to receive a powerful wave of criticism for her plagiarism (and a whole lot of really funny memes too!), we would also like to point out that Ms. Trump’s speech was a copyright violation of our First Lady’s speech. Yes, a violation of copyright law — Section 17 of the U.S. Code to be precise.
The reason we feel for our First Lady is because each and every year we come across extensive infringers of Ivy Coach’s copyrights. The content on our website is directly registered with the United States Copyright Office. So even though it’s enough, in the eyes of the law, to assert your rights to your own original content that you published before anyone else chose to copy it, we go a step further by backing up our material, by officially registering it. Because we’re so used to folks who profess to be private college counselors copying our content. Maybe it’s because we tell it like it is. Maybe it’s because our original content attracts such a wide audience. Maybe it’s because people read our college admissions blog years after their children have earned admission to college just because they happen to enjoy it. Or maybe it’s because these private college counselors who copy our content have no original thoughts of their own — or an inability to articulate their thoughts as we do.
We have no sympathy for such violators of our copyright. Indeed when folks copy our original content, it’s actually really easy for us to catch them since there are plagiarism detection services we subscribe to. And much to their surprise — and chagrin — they then receive notification of the hot and deep legal waters they’ve dived into by trying to claim our content as their own. So to those folks who are considering copying our content and claiming it as their own, we ask you to ask yourselves just how that turned out for Melania Trump who seems to have all but disappeared from the public spotlight.