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Tuesday, August 25, 2009


There's something terrible happening in our beautiful corner of the Internet and I cannot stay silent about it any longer. In the past two months, two of my dear blogger friends have been ripped off. Both of them had their templates stolen. Both of them had their content stolen. One of them had her blog name stolen! (I've even heard about another woman who put a right-click lock on her site to stop the thieves!) This is crazy!

There needs to be a strong code of conduct -- or a copyright lawyer who willing to fight for bloggers who want to protect their content and identities. How can we call ourselves "inspiration bloggers" when we're stealing inspiration from our colleagues? Or even from our friends? I realize that many of us are new to blogging and are still trying to figure out HTML.

Unfortunately, a lot of the templates you get for Blogger tend to look a lot alike. (Witness mine). But there has to be a way to make them look different enough that each person has their signature. There is a line between similarity and copying!

One of my friends -- who is probably one of the largest bloggers on Blogspot at the moment -- was so disheartened last night that she told me she wanted to quit blogging. If the Internet is really the medium of our future then we must make it original -- and more beautiful.

Bloggers, do you really want inspiration? Visit this site: Make Better Websites.

I would like to say this: We should make better blogs. Give credit where credit is due. And don't steal!



Blogger Liz said...

Truly terrible. Thanks for an important post!

August 25, 2009 at 3:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

amen to that ...

August 25, 2009 at 3:20 PM  
Blogger Neltner said...

As an English teacher in a high school, I have made it my job to teach students proper Internet etiquette - including giving credit where credit is due. It boggles my mind sometimes how quickly things change, and we it is incredibly difficult to keep up with those changes - it seems that even MLA hasn't quite been able to get a grip on what is proper documentation and not - witness the 2009 changes they don't require a URL for internet sites any more. I have begun focusing my attention on getting my students to document but also to attribute their sources- so when they encounter a "new" medium that doesn't have MLA rules (like designs and page formats) they at least have a common sense way to at least give credit to the original. Even that seems insufficient to me. Tina, you bring up a huge problem and the only way to combat the problem is to create awareness - and not enough people do that. Props to you girlie!

August 25, 2009 at 3:34 PM  
Blogger cassandra @ coco+kelley said...

thank you so much for this post!! this was a HUGE topic of discussion for us on sunday at the Blog Out Loud event in San Francisco - it seems that many bloggers are simply stealing from others - content, layouts, you name it. it's hugely frustrating to those of us who take the time to make sure we give credit where it's due AND spend hours on creating original posts. this is a topic that needs to be addressed, and i'm sure we'll see more legal action taking place in the future!

August 25, 2009 at 3:36 PM  
Blogger Broke-ass Bride said...

I agree! I've had content stolen more times than I can count, sometimes reposted in its entirety on other sites. Its discouraging and frustrating. Thanks for posting this, hopefully it will create more awareness about giving credit where credit is due, and respecting copyrights across the 'net and beyond.

August 25, 2009 at 3:48 PM  
Blogger Joanna Goddard said...

wonderful post, tina! i hope these people will realize what they are doing -- even small amounts of copying -- is VERY wrong. thank you for this great post!

August 25, 2009 at 3:53 PM  
Blogger anna and the ring said...

Imitation may be flattering but not in this case.

Whilst I am only new to blogging and adapting the custom templates.

I would hate to think someone was passing off my ideas as their own.

People, blogs are here for the sharing not stealing of ideas!

August 25, 2009 at 4:19 PM  
Blogger Simply Mel said...

Amen sistah!

If you don't have a creative mind of your own, then maybe blogging isn't for you....stop ripping everyone else's thoughts and content off.

Can't we all just play fair?!

August 25, 2009 at 4:21 PM  
Blogger Daniella said...

Thank you for posting this!!

August 25, 2009 at 4:21 PM  
Blogger TERI REES WANG said...

Wow!..who knew?..

I do hope that those who are in the know do share that note with those who they view to be the takers...with out emotion, and judgment but, just a simple "We see you, and we expect you to be original all on your own".

Me-be-a-newbie, who accidentally hit some button on some other blog, not knowing what would happen. She did not share with me directly but, shared with everyone only after shutting down and re-opening another. I would have rather known of my mistake so I could have stepped back and saved her the worry and the trouble. It still had taken me a long while to realize it was Me and retract my actions. I had no idea until it was way too late. Share truth sooner.

Be well.
Do good.
All ways.
All days.
Stay true.

August 25, 2009 at 4:36 PM  
Blogger Jane Flanagan said...

Oh, it's truly heartbreaking. One of my very personal, reflective posts was copied verbatim not long ago and it made me think about quitting too.

It's one thing to see objects posted and reposted (so hard to claim to be the "first" to discover anything). But it's another to rip off the thoughts, ideas, musings that are wrapped around those objects.

We all started blogging with nothing but the idea of expressing ourselves. And I have to believe ultimately that is what will stick.

August 25, 2009 at 4:39 PM  
Blogger Ms. Jenn said...

Funny you posted this... Check your e-mail.

August 25, 2009 at 4:45 PM  
Blogger Daydream Lily said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

August 25, 2009 at 4:52 PM  
Blogger Teri said...

Being new to the blogging world, I can understand that. I truly am trying to develop my own sense... I don't really understand any of the template thing, I've just used the basic one so far until I can figure it all out. But I do want this to be my own, I would think that it would be horrible for all my creative work to go into something I create on my own from my heart and then have it shallowly ripped off.

I'm so worried about legalities that I don't even use photos from anywhere... only my own. I still don't understand how any of that works yet. Which could also be a reason my blog is kind of boring so far...

August 25, 2009 at 4:53 PM  
Blogger Melissa said...

Wow! I didn't realize that this kind of thing was happening. I guess for me, blogging is such an expression of my personality, that I couldn't imagine copying something and passing it off as my own. If I like something, I'll credit it, but I must say I'm surprised!

August 25, 2009 at 4:56 PM  
Blogger Daydream Lily said...

my blogging ettiquete has always been to give credit as much as possible and always try to find the original source of an image. But these people who copy others whether is be there entire blog post in exact order of images and even the wording the same really infuriates me.

being inspired is one thing, but copying is completely different.

August 25, 2009 at 4:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree to what you're saying and you are completely right! Yet, the reason why I love blogging is so much is that I can get an inspiration either from a website, or another blog and then put in words and order in my blog and express it the way i see it. Of course, proper refernecing is always present! :) Having said that, again, sometimes I write my posts up front and save them, and somoone i follow or read, posts about a similar thing, or even uses a same photo. That way I don't reference it, but I don't see that as stealing or anything unfair or dishonest. Otherwise, I always try to find source and/or creator!
I don't understand why would somebody even want to blog if they need to steal somebody else's blog entries or design. It makes me sad! Thank you for posting this and hopefully there will be some sort of revival in blogworld!

August 25, 2009 at 5:08 PM  
Blogger Kate8085 said...

Wait. So people actually take
a whole post, copy and paste the photos and text into
their own blog? I wasn't aware that
people even did such a thing.

I maybe understand the layout thing, I use just a basic three column layout and maybe my blog looks like alot of others, but I like simplicity.

But I have seen a layout that was obviously made by the owner, catered to her style, (very popular blogger) and then received a request to follow a blog that the new blogger had stolen her whole layout. Not cool.

August 25, 2009 at 5:14 PM  
Blogger Susanna-Cole said...

Amen, sister! I can't even count all the times I've been plagiarized (and perhaps, there are even more, that I simply haven't found out about), my writing gets stolen the most, but I've also noticed people who have taken photographers from my blog and not credited the photographer...I put credits at the foot of every entry I post, with complete, written out credits for each photographer, all you have to do is copy and paste that, I hate seeing these talented photographers get ripped off, as I know the feeling (just with writing, instead of photography).

Really wish there was more that could be done, but the internet is so vague, and being able to hide behind a screen seems to allow for this, much more...

I know people saying, copying is the highest form of flattery, but does any really feel that someone receiving credit or praise for something you actually did is truly flattering in any way? Cause I sure don't!

Great post! <3 This is definitely a topic that needs to be talked about!


August 25, 2009 at 5:30 PM  
Blogger Mishy & Ange said...

The first time I had my work plagiarised was back in the days of myspace. I worked so hard to make my page unique and suited to my personality. One day I stumbled upon a friend of a friends page which was totally a knock off of my page – page layout, art work & all! I was furious! I know they say that imitation is the highest form of flattery, but it’s not flattering if you get no recognition at all.

Needless to say I eventually met this girl and she is now my archenemy. Ha.

August 25, 2009 at 5:33 PM  
Blogger Andrea Yu said...

Thank you for the warning. I just don't understand why people would do such a thing. Even stealing the name of a blog?? That's pretty pathetic. Things such as this make me so angry. I was already weird about stuff like this to begin with and is one of the reasons why I'm hesitant to post all of my projects online. Do people not look at copyrights? Sheeesh.

Thanks again.

August 25, 2009 at 5:34 PM  
Blogger Diana said...

Amen! I found so many of my photographs on, and on Live Journal icons. Someone told me about them and I was so mad and felt soo alone in this. It really doesn't matter if it's one photo, one sentence, or a name, it's a creation you should get credit for and i wish people would respect that.

August 25, 2009 at 5:36 PM  
Blogger Meg Fee said...

oh no, i'm feeling so bad right now, because i totally stole your idea of tabs from your previous template and had just recently added them to my blog, without giving you credit. it was meant as a form of flattery, but let me apologize publicly here that i did not give you the credit you deserved. it was meant in no other was as a form of flattery, but i should have posted about it and given you credit. so i quickly amended that tonight after reading this because you're so right!
i adore you and your blog.


August 25, 2009 at 5:38 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

Great post! I'm new to the blog world (as you can tell from my standard blogger template) but I've always believed in giving credit where due. If you use a topic, quote or photo give the source.

I think people need to realize the difference between inspiration and copying. For example I am working on a website aimed towards biker; I know nothing about bikers. I view as many biker websites as I can and draw conclusions (i.e they like black & orange and clean design) but that is as far as inspiration should go, any thing after that is copying.

August 25, 2009 at 5:48 PM  
Blogger Tina said...

oh meg darling, you can have the tabs!!!

August 25, 2009 at 5:56 PM  
Blogger Lindsey said...


I totally agree! I've had content stolen from two blogs of mine. Most recently a blogger linked to me in her "blog love" section which sent a reader to my site. When I noticed the referral I headed over and saw she had word for word copied several of my posts. I sent her a very nice request to remove my content in the friendliest / least threatening way I could. She never responded but instead put her blog as a password protected site. Do I think she has quick stealing my work? No. Is there anything I can do about it? No. So frustrating!

Thanks for posting this and I hope that bloggers will get some sort of relief soon!

{ Lindsey }

August 25, 2009 at 6:02 PM  
Blogger Tina said...

what's at issue is not the occasionally slips, like forgetting to ID a photograph or messing up a linkback.

we're talking about the big stuff: stealing templates (and selling them)...taking people's content --huge chunks of it -- without any attribution. copying an idea, like a regular feature a blog is known for...

blatantly stealing someone else's more popular blog name to cause confusion and traffic.

in other words, taking another blog -- and blogger's -- identity.

August 25, 2009 at 6:05 PM  
Blogger Suzy said...

You should check out the ladies over at Food Blog Ethics. They are trying to tackle many of the same issues as they pertain to food blogging.

Thank you for shedding light on this issue.

August 25, 2009 at 6:15 PM  
Blogger Lori said...

Wonderful post, Tina — and the comments have been an eye opener as well. Sad to see how many bloggers have been directly affected by this (including me). Thanks so much again for this.


August 25, 2009 at 6:23 PM  
Blogger Yellowgoat said...

I actually don't mind people re-post the entire thing if credit is given, but if they don't, I will just move on. One thing I learn, is that, don't waste time on these people, if they only copy and have no original thinking or thoughts to share, the readers will eventually find out.

When I first started having a tiny personal website years back when the Internet only has Yahoo as the sole search engine, there was no resource whatsoever, so I created all my images, having 3D animated gifs that took me weeks to make and whatnot, and you know what, people just drag and drop onto their own site and call it their own.

I of course got really furious, because quality good looking icons were, rare those days. Unlike now. I wrote people email and some of them took them off, and one guy told me he created those images and icons. hm..... What could I do? Nothing, other than spending time and energy being furious.

Then it hit me. There's really no reason to waste time and energy on people who can only copy but not create. Instead of being mad at those people, I pity them, and move on.

what bugs me more to no ends is the spammers who spam my comment, so I have to moderate my comment section.

August 25, 2009 at 6:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Seriously? Stealing entire posts? How do people think they're going to get away with something so egregious? How awful. I guess the best thing to do is band together and send a message that this type of thing is not tolerated. Thanks for opening up the discussion.

August 25, 2009 at 6:26 PM  
Blogger naomi megan. said...

i couldn't agree more. amen. amen. amen.

a few copy cat blogs have recently been brought to my attention and i can't believe their guts! taking words and posts verbatim and claiming them as their own. i wish i had the guts to confront them and but i hate confrontation. i'm definitely getting annoyed though as i watch them continue to blog my stuff- word for word.

tina- i wonder if the big blogger you speak of is the one i just talked with this weekend about this entire issue. she had someone steal her same layout, same posts, steal her sponsors, everything, right? yes yes, it's a problem.

we need to better respect other people's space and ideas and creativity. i'm so over blogging if this continues...


August 25, 2009 at 6:33 PM  
Blogger WendyB said...

I sort of anticipate that someone could reuse my template. I don't know how much I care about that. Using my words is another story! So far, I've only caught my stuff being reused on spam blogs, which I hate, but there's no weird individual to confront. My weirdest experience wasn't regular plagiarism but kind of felt the same to me. A site called Hypebeast featured some hideous gold belt that they attributed to "Wendy Brandes Jewelry in London." When I nicely inquired in the comments as to whether there was, in fact, another jeweler named Wendy Brandes in London (whom I'd never heard of) they banned me from the site! So not plagiarism but...psycho brand name stealing? WTF? It's terrible to see your name on some weird product that has nothing to do with you!

August 25, 2009 at 6:45 PM  
Blogger Brooke Premo said...

Amen! I found a Valentine's Day card I had made for my husband on some random blog one day (no credit, no nothing). I thought I was sharing with friends and readers because I was excited about how the project turned out, but then I just felt weird and vulnerable with the way they presented it. I mean, throw a girl a link!

(Nelter, I'm an English teacher too, and I've had plenty of papers turned in that I know are straight plagiarized. Do students think we are stupid?)
I can only imagine how this might feel for the bigger bloggers out there.

August 25, 2009 at 6:57 PM  
Blogger The editor said...

One of the issues with the names of blogs is that they need to be defined in copyright law in the same way as names of publications. Book, movie and song titles aren't copyright protected. Blog names shouldn't be lumped in with titles.

Full disclosure: My blog, Key to the Highway, is also the name of an old blues song and that was my inspiration.

--Bob Beamesderfer

August 25, 2009 at 7:11 PM  
Blogger Paresh said...

I just hope this post is not targetted at me. :-) I hate copying too !

August 25, 2009 at 7:16 PM  
Blogger Dream Sequins said...

I'm really disheartened to read this. Are people so unoriginal and lazy that they lift content from people's sites like that? UGH. I'm reworking my template and moving my content around, but I'm hoping that I'm not stepping on anyone's toes in the process. BTW, I do love YOUR new template :)

August 25, 2009 at 7:37 PM  
Blogger Char said...

it seems in the blog world this is so upsetting and it would seem that something could be done about it. i would hope that i never follow anyone that has done that. that would be horrible.

August 25, 2009 at 7:43 PM  
Blogger Katie said...

I'm kind of new to the blogger world and find this upsetting, but worry that I've crossed the line at times? Not always sure what's acceptable. Of course I always link back if I share something that I've seen on blogger and give credit where it's due. How much is too much?

Also makes me nervous to post my own writings and drawings if people are just going to claim it as their own.

And like Char said, I hope I'm following the original bloggers and not the copy-cat ones...

August 25, 2009 at 7:55 PM  
Blogger Michelle May said...

In the words of a true creative, “Those who create are rare; those who cannot are numerous. Therefore, the latter are stronger.” and my very fav “In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different.” said by none other, Coco Chanel. Any avid blog reader knows who the original thinkers are, and shame on anyone who takes without giving.

August 25, 2009 at 8:02 PM  
Blogger Shell said...

Wow..taking whole pictures and blog posts is not cool. The whole point of blogging is to be creative. What is creative about copying other people's work.
People need to have faith in their own abilities and find their own groove as other bloggers have to make their blogs unique instead of copying.

August 25, 2009 at 8:15 PM  
Blogger Elz said...

absolutely!! It's one thing to take inspiration from another post but it's awful to copy somebody entirely!! I don't often mention anything from other blogs on mine as that's not really the format but if I ever do I make sure to link the original blog and give credit (mind you I'm pretty sure nobody really reads mine except my friends anyway so it's probably a moot point there!). It's so important to give credit where it's due! I never did understand people who think they can just take whatever they like and not care about the consequences >:(

Thank god for people like you who stand up against this sort of thing!

August 25, 2009 at 8:25 PM  
Blogger Crystal Ball said...

I'm so glad you wrote this! I think people have to understand how horrible it is to steal somebody else's ideas and hard work. I was taught a long time ago in High School that giving credit is an essential part of being on the internet. I give you kudos for this, thank you.

August 25, 2009 at 8:26 PM  
Blogger Meg Fee said...

i did leave the navbar up! i'm glad you didn't notice it. my head had started spiraling, and i suddenly saw myself at the forefront of this whole thing (egos out of control and time zone changes are throwing me off). hope your well otherwise. i think about you and your family often--and am so glad you're getting a chance to be on vacation!!

August 25, 2009 at 8:27 PM  
Blogger vanessa joie said...

What an important subject to bring up! I'm shocked that people are so blatant in their use of other people's hard work/thoughts/designs.

I would HATE to see some of my favorite blogs close because of these selfish people.

August 25, 2009 at 9:11 PM  
Blogger CaraBella said...

I'm glad you clarified this -- I keep my blog as a way to be able to visually lay out for myself all the things I fall in love with across the blogosphere---but I've been seeing so much on this topic lately, I've been a little worried, but I always try to properly cite my sources --- so I'm so shocked that there are people out there who try to profit off and/or pass off someone else's work as their own! As a writing-lover, plagiarism (in any form!) is so heartbreaking --- thanks for this great post! Ps: I think I have an idea of the business rip on the name of a well-known blog --- I was super surprised she was able to register that name, I thought surely that was some copyright infringement. Boo!

August 25, 2009 at 9:49 PM  
Blogger Carolyn G said...

Really? How did she find out? I can't believe people would do something like this. It's terrible. DO these people have no shame. It's so crazy. They should be outed so people don't go visit the site and they get shut down.

Is there anything she can do? Legally does she have a leg to stand on?

August 25, 2009 at 10:08 PM  
Blogger SaraLouise said...

this is so sad. why cant we just be individual

August 26, 2009 at 1:26 AM  
Blogger The Gourmet Traveller said...

I actually saw that between two of the blogs I read, and was shocked. One entry was a complete copy of the style, feeling, picture and idea of another. It was even posted on the same day. It is definitely sad.

August 26, 2009 at 2:32 AM  
Blogger SHOKOOFEH said...

I agree with Yellowgoat:
Their readers will eventually find out, Tina. this is not going like this.

August 26, 2009 at 2:35 AM  
Blogger SHOKOOFEH said...

oh and something else. I think we should all post or link to this post of you. I think it's the best way to let everyone know about it. then we will have more cautious readers who can easily understand what's happening. right?

August 26, 2009 at 2:44 AM  
Blogger amanda said...

Well this certainly stinks, Tina.

I've never had blog posts stolen that I know of, but I have had photographs and I'm pretty sure ideas behind photographs stolen. I know as an artist, how much that drives me insane.

I think Weheartit and tumblr have a lot to answer for, but that's another story.

Naomi Megan, don't you dare stop blogging! I would hate to think that awesome bloggers would even think of stopping because of a few idiots.
That's letting them beat you!

I say, you have to just call them on it and politely tell them it needs to be removed.
People might have to start copyrighting their website name and blog templates and posts.

August 26, 2009 at 3:34 AM  
Blogger Couture Millinery Atelier. said...

Thank you for writing this post. I have recently delt with the situation far worst than I could ever imagine. Somebody went on my Blog, copied my information and the pictures of my designes and presneted as there on. Not only that, but they did not even bother to change name and used MY name along with my designes. Under my name, they started to send letters to editors and people in my industry. I have to be grateful for the fact that I did find out about it very fast and was able, with great difficulty, to stop that person. I have e-mailed directly to this person and asked very politely to stop. She wrote back a very angry e-mail, still pretending to be me. I had to contact technical support and administration of the site. I had to e-mail back and forth with them for a week!!! before they blocked the account of the thief. The entire experience left me feel terrible and exhausted...

August 26, 2009 at 4:15 AM  
Blogger giulia said...

Hi Tina,

Long time no comment...but I'm one of the people who is thinking of stopping. I thought of it last year. I've spent hours (starting before I began both blogs) on fair use sites, etc. So, this is why I never post more than a few lines of something I have already published in print & even then I make it very small. Other poets & writers I know have been reduced to putting up a draft or partial post less than 24 hours & then editing it out. (Asking some of us for reactions, opinion, editing ideas.) I don't even do that.

I don't know the answer. I do wish I knew exactly what happened as I don't have the computer capability, nor good health at this time, to find out. But yeah, I know exactly what this is like.

I hope you are well, though, & have been thinking of your dad.


August 26, 2009 at 5:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i completely agree with this... i cannot understand why a person would start a blog... (which is suppose to be their personal thoughts and ideas) and then copy others words etc... how is this being yourself? very bizarre to me. i have a friend who is an amazing writer and would like to start her own blog but is afraid someone will steal her words...sad

August 26, 2009 at 6:59 AM  
Blogger Eleonora said...

That is terrible news, thanks for the warning.

I'm a new blogger, and I asked a friend to design my blog to be unique.

I show artworks and I write on it, and I thought about what I would feel if someone stole my work.

Stealing inspiration is not possible... Inspiration can only be donated! If you steal you lose.

I hope these people will always be fewer than the really nice and inspiring people I met on the internet.


August 26, 2009 at 7:15 AM  
Blogger labeck said...

Thank you for posting about this. It's mindboggling that people would blatantly steal formats, images and words! Why?!

I occasionally check in with just to see what's going on. Anyone else use this site?

August 26, 2009 at 7:58 AM  
Blogger nbraceros said...



August 26, 2009 at 8:25 AM  
Blogger Triin said...

There are also so many people who don’t know about copyright.
They are often not aware or educated enough about it.
It’s not so simple anymore, specially in internet.

In the end that is how you recognize professionals, they usually respect other artists or writers.
You can never underestimate the readers, they know what they are getting.

I wish the law would be stronger!
On Flickr I used to see from stats who is stealing my photos, but now Flickr team has taken this possibilty away.

August 26, 2009 at 8:33 AM  
Blogger Yvonne said...

I am new to the blog world as of a year ago. I don't really have much time on my hands to keep up my blog but I read many everyday.

So here is my thought and this may sound like stupid idea, but just like we would like to know of a "trouble maker" in our community, or a bogus buyer/seller on Ebay, etc., our community speaks out. Why doesn't someone post the names of these blogs on this comment form?! I know we are all grown adult men and women and the the though of being a tattle-tail is way beneath us but SERIOUSLY......let's look out for our fellow bloggers and be a community and protect our friends. This plagiarism wont stop if people feel like they can easily get away with it. If we watch each others back, it will then be impossible for these people to get away with it all.

August 26, 2009 at 8:35 AM  
Blogger Teri said...

Wow, this is so disheartening as a new blogger. I wanted to start something new for myself as a way to get back into the world after raising my children for 19 years of my life. I thought this would be a way to show my new endeavors and share them with others in a creative and fun manner. There is a lot more to this than I originally had anticipated.

I certainly hope that this does not stop some of the well-established bloggers that we all love to read from continuing doing what they love to do!!! You all have faithful followers, and you do this because it is your creative outlet and it brings joy to many of us! Please do not let what a few cyberbullies do deter you from doing what you love. As Yvonne said, maybe we could look out for our fellow bloggers and make this a more close nit community.

August 26, 2009 at 9:36 AM  
Blogger The Decorated House said...

I don't think you understand the shock until it happens to you.

Thanks to google alerts I found someone had stolen all of my blog elements, banner and side bar art, AND my Etsy banner as well. She had them on the internet as her OWN work for sale or free, not sure which.

I went to the site, contacted the admin, and they took it off.
I contacted her through the site telling her to stop using my art immediately. I had to join to send it the message.

She wrote back, very angry, that I had only joined to contact her.

If someone steals from your Etsy the admin there does nothing but tells you to work it out. I love Etsy, but don't like that policy.

So I feel your friends' pain!
You could have something stolen and never even know about it. BlogLand is so big now.

August 26, 2009 at 10:01 AM  
Blogger down and out chic said...

way to bring up an important topic in a mature way.
i concur and thank you.

August 26, 2009 at 10:20 AM  
Blogger Tina Tarnoff said...

I felt sad and disheartened reading this. This kind of thing is happening in the art world as well. Steeling of the images and using them to print on notebooks, t-shirts etc. I always try to do my best to give credit when I see something on a site or when I use the image. I often spend hours searching for the credit as I know how important it is. Thanks for this important post and I do hope your friend will not stop blogging!!

P.S. So glad to see that you have found Wi-Fi !! And hope you are having a great relaxing time despite of this! xoxo

August 26, 2009 at 10:25 AM  
Blogger gibbywmu said...

Who cares? Seriously. Most people are just link building anyway.

August 26, 2009 at 11:28 AM  
Blogger allaboutg said...

Stealing someone's design straight out is just wrong. Being inspired by someone's design is fine as long as you make it your own and not a copy/paste of theirs. There is content being stolen everyday and the only thing you can do is tell the person that their content is not actually theirs and ask them to remove it - but it won't stop unfortunately because one day it will be Blogger A and the next day it will be Blogger B and so on and so forth.

August 26, 2009 at 12:09 PM  
Blogger Matt Michel said...


I quoted from this blog at Comanche Marketing...

People have no idea how bad plagiarism is today. The music industry worries about someone downloading and sharing a piece of intellectual property. The plagiarist downloads intellectual property, claims it as his own, and in some cases doesn't merely share it, but sells it.

I know one person who has copied entire books, given them new names, and resold them as his own... and incredibly, resold them as "manuals" for multiples of what the original would cost at the local bookstore.

We need a means to expose plagiarists without retribution to the whistleblowers.

August 26, 2009 at 12:17 PM  
Blogger gabe said...

You can rewrite but not copy directly if this is what an individual intends to do.

August 26, 2009 at 12:32 PM  
Blogger recklessdaughter said...

wow, this is a pretty scary thought. How and why would someone steal an entire template or post? yikes.

It is one thing to take "inspiration" from other blogs (in which case one would hope that credit would be given) but the other is truly theft.

I always appreciate creative unique posts and blogs - this blog included!

August 26, 2009 at 12:34 PM  
Blogger Faux Trixie said...

I see this a lot. I'm particularly disheartened on blogs that focus primarily on re-posting photographs from the web, often time with no credit given to the photographer. I've only had my work ripped off once, during college. Someone stole an entire story I had posted on a site and turned it in to one of my professors as his own. Luckily, my blog stuff is a little too "shocking" and/or random for anyone to want to steal.

August 26, 2009 at 2:16 PM  
Blogger Melissa Blake said...

It is disheartening, especially when people quibble over what they think is plagiarized. I always make sure I give credit, and I'm all about bloggers helping one another. I suppose it helps to have a really original blog in a very unique niche.

I don't think anyone would be able to pass off the stuff on my many people have Freeman-Sheldon Syndrome and detail its impact on their love lives? ;)

August 26, 2009 at 3:33 PM  
Blogger Rhianne said...

I still find this unbelievable! I try so hard to write interesting and individual things... surely copying other peoples blogs word for word takes the fun out of blogging?

It would be such a terrible shame if some of my favourite bloggers stopped blogging because of this...

August 27, 2009 at 1:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, Tina. I've just started my own little blog, but have been blogging for years on behalf of others. I'm no stranger to those who make a habit of purloining the work of others. An authentic voice of their own evades them so they take ownership of, and fail to give attribution to, content they are not capable of creating. Fortunately, I've had access to the legal dept. of those for whom I blog so the offenders were pursued. It's difficult, but not impossible to pursue the perpetrators on ones own. I certainly hope your friends do so, and don't give up, because turning a blind eye to these offenses only serves to foster the practice.

August 27, 2009 at 7:54 AM  
Blogger virginia said...

i googled the phrase i chose for my blog name for several weeks prior to registering (june 2007), to make certain it wasn't taken, only to discover that someone has taken my name: colorinformal, and used it for her flickr account (recently).

i don't know if it was deliberate, but she now appears in all searches for my blog.

August 27, 2009 at 8:04 AM  
Blogger Hannah said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

August 27, 2009 at 3:04 PM  
Blogger Ashley said...

I think the more we post on subjects like this the more it will bring it to light. I've added Copyscape and My Free Copyright to my blog. One of my friends had her Etsy shop name copied EXACTLY, her product copied EXACTLY and her content copied. She had a heck of a time getting the other person to go away. I have "unfollowed" a few blogs because I KNEW they had copied someone else's work and did not give ANY was too obvious. I work VERY hard to come up with original ideas and I try to give all credit and I would hope that someone would contact me if they though otherwise. OR if I had given credit to someone who had stolen an idea. Strangely enough it IS possible for people to come up with the same idea at the same time. Several times I have posted an original idea and then stumbled across an almost identical idea that was dated before mine.....or dated after. And I wonder did they steal my idea? Will they think I stole their idea? There is a lot of gray area. Many new bloggers do not know Internet etiquette either. I almost think every blog should have a little link on their front page to an "etiquette" page to educate the "newbies"....when in doubt I try to go overboard on giving credit.....but some people just think the Internet is too big and nobody will find out. I have FRONT page on my blog to NOT use photos of my daughter....and I come across blogs all the time that have used them.....can they not read? Are they naive? Do they not care? I can't figure it out.

August 27, 2009 at 5:18 PM  
Blogger poet said...

This is frightening. What if someone takes my poems, pretends they are their own, and actually gets them published in print somewhere? Makes me want to stop posting them... I know I'm not always good at citing picture sources myself, but if I forgot where I found something I always try to include a note that says something like "Hey there, if this is yours, please let me know, so I can give you credit"... It's a bad thing. I don't believe people who plagiarize should be ignored - what if they get the book deal, the illustration contract, the fame, while you don't get anything? We can't let this happen. We have to speak up for our rights.


August 27, 2009 at 9:57 PM  
Blogger The Lil Bee said...

That is really disheartening. A friend of mine with a very popular blog went through something along these lines recently, and I honestly feel for her. I think we all work really hard to come up with unique content and inspiration, and I can't imagine putting something out there that didn't come from my heart.

August 28, 2009 at 7:40 AM  
Blogger Helen James said...

As a newcomer to the land of blogging I would like to say it is very difficult to research what the etiquette is? I agree with previous comment that each blog should have a little etiquette line in their sidebar or a link to one saying what is acceptable for them. I have tried to credit anything That was not my own image or if another blogger has led me to an artist I liked I have credited them with introducing me and put a direct link to their blog. I hope to act with dignity and respect and would hope the same is paid to me? It is a minefield though and perhaps someone could start an "anti copyright" blog or bloggingbasics101 could do a large section on what is acceptable and invite comments from experienced bloggers. I am sure it would get a lot of traffic as a lot of new bloggers seem to want to know what is right but it is quite difficult to find out.

August 29, 2009 at 5:16 AM  
Blogger Liz said...

I feel as though this is becoming an epidemic. I recently wrote a post of my own on the topic if you care to look. (Diana over at linked me to you over here) :)

September 18, 2009 at 11:35 AM  
Blogger Bessouiket Benamara said...

sorry to hear stories like these, content should be origial to everyone even when you write you have to come up with something new not something already written.
melamine dinnerware

January 5, 2010 at 9:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for this post! I'm glad for this forum of support, though not thrilled for the reason: plagiarism. I don't know if it's coincidence or plagiarism, but a blogger whom I (formerly) admired published a post very similar to my content a week later; while the entire post was not copied, the topic was the same and there were 2 sentences within that post that were suspiciously close in wording to mine. I don't know if that's enough to call her out, but it put a bad taste in my mouth and momentarily discouraged me about blogging. The irony is that this person is supposed to be a trendsetter...

Creativity has a lot to do with being inspired by others, there's a fine line between being inspired and stealing words. Word thieves suck!

July 27, 2010 at 4:17 PM  

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