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CopyCat/CopyScape

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I’m fairly new to the Virtual Assistant (VA) industry…I opened my business in August 2008.  The VA industry is growing and more people are acquainted with the term and its definition.  Still, it is common to have a “Frequently Asked Questions” (FAQ) page on your website which outlines, amongst other things, the general definition of a VA.

I recently received a message from another VA stating that my FAQ page duplicated hers – practically verbatim – I was a copycat.  She was notified of this infraction through copyscape.  I immediately responded that I would look into the matter as I don’t recall where I got the verbiage and did not make my own web updates.  Within 3 days, at most, she had escalated the issue to the attention of the board of directors for 2 VA professional organizations we are members of – wow!  Now, in addition to my own personal ethics and standards, there is an ethical agreement amongst VAs. She accused me of knowingly taking her intellectual property!  Calling into scrutiny my business and personal ethics as well as my integrity as a business owner!  She pulled out the big guns before I realized weapons were necessary!

In short order, the issue was resolved – but it left me wondering – what is the process for conflict resolution? For me, I first seek resolution with the perpetrator and allow a reasonable amount of time – more than 3 days! – for response and/or solution.  If the issue remains outstanding with no sign of effort to settle – then perhaps its time to escalate.

What is your approach to conflict resolution?  Do you use a baseball bat to swat a fly?  Or do you have a more gentle approach?

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