by Joseph T. Sinclair
Recently I had the occasion to use Spin Rewriter software for a five-day trial. This is a program which takes any article (or chapter) and rewrites it. The software is actually aimed at creating multiple copies of an article for posting on various websites in order to provide SEO (search engine optimization) for a website. But a secondary purpose is also to grab your article off the Web and rewrite it for my commercial use so as to avoid copyright
How well does it work? Well, that depends on what the use is. It seems to work pretty well for SEO; but Google changes its search algorithms all the time, and the word is out that Google has suppressed the flooding of articles on the Web to be an ineffective SEO technique.
Moreover, in my opinion, using the program to rewrite your article from your website for my use while avoiding infringing on your copyright is not effective by itself. Nonetheless, Spin Rewriter is indeed effective and very clever. It does an amazing job of rewriting. And it enables a user to manipulate the program to rewrite articles using a variety of literary and grammatical techniques. In the end, however, it provides an article that is awkwardly written with inappropriate—but not incorrect—words.
But regrettably that’s not the end of the story. If I’m an expert in a particular area and need to write an article, I can write more efficiently from scratch than using Spin Rewriter to rewrite your article on the same topic. So where’s the value? Well, the value is for creating articles for which I have no expertise. I can simply take your article on the topic (a topic with which I’m unfamiliar) and spin rewrite it with the software. Although the result is an unusable article, I can then edit the article and make it right with a lot less effort than trying to write an article on the topic myself from scratch.
I‘ve only tried the software several times, but it’s easy to imagine myself becoming adroit in the use of the software to routinely rewrite the articles of other authors and avoid copyright infringement. In other words, the editing of a spin rewritten article is a lot less work than writing such an article from scratch when one is not familiar with the subject matter.
You would be mistaken to assume that this software is lightweight and gimmicky. It is very powerful software that takes advantage of the user’s personal computer power as well as the programming in the cloud. Cloud computer power is unlimited. This software is not offered as a standalone program but is a programming service used via the cloud.
I’m sorry to report that I suspect the software is just the opening round of powerful software that will be available in the future to achieve much the same purpose. Thus, whatever you write is easily transformable via computer into somebody else’s purported authorship without any copyright infringement. The copyright laws protect your text as written but do not protect your ideas, your lists, or your forms. And there is no assurance that the copyright laws will protect your text if rewritten by software. Even if the copyright laws provide such protection, infringement will be very difficult to prove in court.
You can expect those who are not members of the literati to use this software without compunction. But what about the literati, those who are active authors and publishers? They can be expected to be a little bit more sensitive to the copyright protection of others. But ultimately I doubt that membership in the literati will stop them from using such software. They will just use it more carefully than others.
One can interpret this to mean that the author as a productive member of society, who deserves an adequate compensation for his or her services, is screwed. I think that would be shortsighted. Rather the efforts of authors and publishers should be to adapt to the new realities of digital publishing whatever they may be and use them as much up as possible to work in their favor. What that means in regard to Spin Rewriter, I don’t know. What I do know is that the future is here to stay and you have to learn to live with it.
The author of this article, Joseph T. Sinclair, is the author of twenty How2 books published by national publishers.
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©2016 Joseph T. Sinclair. All rights reserved.