“I’m as Mad as Hell and I’m Not Gonna Take This Anymore!” A Tale of Copyright Infringement

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fist bumpThis post will be a slight departure from Positively Peggy because I am positively pissed. Let's talk about copyright infringement.

I recently watched the movie Network and in it Howard Beale has a mental breakdown live on the 6:00 o'clock news. When this movie was filmed, in the 1970s, everyone watched the network news at 6:oo or 11:00.  In this scene, Howard encourages people to open their windows and shout “I am as mad as hell and I'm not gonna take it anymore!” This inspired people all over the country to open their window and express their anger.

Why am I telling you this? Last night I checked my email and had a notification that someone had linked back to my blog. So I checked the link and was absolutely shocked. This person had not only linked to my blog, they copied my whole entire post with photos, formatting, etc. Can you say copyright infringement? The reason that I got the pingback was that I had linked one of my other posts as a reference in that post. I contacted this person via tweet (she did not respond) and by email.

Her email response was this: “My apologies. I am using software to auto-post curated articles, and I did not realize the code that generated the attribution link was not functioning properly. It was including a backlink to the source but did not list the author's name. I have modified the code so that this should not be a problem going forward. If you would prefer that I exclude all your articles in the future even with the attribution and backlink, please let me know and I will configure an exception.” So in her world, this credit at the bottom of the post “This curated Social Media article was written by: Peg Fitzpatrick, as published at Social | Business 2 Community” gave her permission to run my post. Unbelievable!

So, I did some research on her blog. She had no original content at all (100% copyright infringement) and is taking posts from Business2Community (which syndicates posts with permission from the authors) and the biggest majority of the posts were from Mashable and HubSpot.

A quick example for you. Here is the Hubspot blog (look at their last 5 posts), now look here Blueprint New Media and you will see these five HubSpot articles. {this website is no longer online}

And I am mad as hell and I'm not gonna take this anymore! Are you?

Not only was she “curating” this content for her blog, but she was also tweeting is as her content, she has it set up through RSS Graffiti to populate her companies Facebook page. You tell me, does it look like this post was written and published by HubSpot?











I contacted HubSpot and Mashable to let them know about it. Mashable has an extensive page for reprint permission and I couldn't find HubSpot's republication guidelines.

So the cautionary tale for you?

  1. Check all the pingbacks to your blog.
  2. Learn about copyright infringement. There are resources! This is very clear text on Plagiarism.Org.
  3. Have clear republication guidelines on your blog.
  4. Don't let people get away with stealing your content or other people's content!

I am as mad as hell and I'm not gonna take this anymore! Are you with me?

Some notes on copyright infringement:

Here is some information from Google on Blogger Copyright Tips.  I love this part: “The way to ensure that your blog doesn't infringe someone else's copyright is to use your skills and imagination to create something completely original. If it's all yours, you never have to worry about the copyright—you own it! If you want to republish content from another author or creator, make sure to get their authorization first.”

Now back to our regularly scheduled programming…

Featured image courtesy of  Alva Chien via Creative Commons.

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  1. This happened to me a few months ago – the person even stole my images which are all hand drawn by me. I was furious. I only found out because she missed out an internal link in my post so I got a pingback – by the time I got over there the title was changed, all the internal links removed, and the call to action was her email address. I found other posts she’d stolen too – all being passed off as her content on the interwebs. When I contacted her she said she was new to blogging and didn’t know the rules… 2 days later I find out she had a second blog with the same thing going on. I was furious. Then apparently it was her assistants fault. She was subscribed to my newsletter and I have no doubt that she was stealing that content too.
    I console myself with the fact that no one steals crap and that these thieves are doing a larger injustice to themselves as they’ll always being little sh*tty scrapers. BUT OMG they are SO annoying. 

    1.  @Ameenafalchetto It totally sucks, doesn’t it? I can’t believe that these people can sleep at night. If you have no ideas or no time to write, then don’t have a blog. Simple as that. Or you could host guest writers and post with their permission. 
      This must be a really wide spread problem. We need to address it when it happens. Thanks for sharing your story with me.

  2. The fact that she puts her own byline at the top of the post starts out with the misleading impression that she writes that post. Shamelss.

  3. It happens to us ALL the time over at Social Media Examiner and people think this is OKAY as long as they link back to us.  I have no idea who is teaching these people to do this, but it just is lame and we have a very aggressive take down procedure we employ.

    1.  @Michael Stelzner It is quite perplexing. I did address this with her immediately as did Brian with Business2Community. I will be interested to see if Mashable takes notice. HubSpot needs to add copyright information to their website. 
      I really like your copyright notice on Social Media Examiner, Michael.

  4. I’ve had designs and concepts “borrowed” or stolen since high school — one being a cartoon idea that showed up in our newspaper by a Pulitzer prize-winning cartoonist (albeit in a modified form).
    Imitation is a form of flattery, I guess, but that never really feels good to me either. I work hard for my ideas and developing a style that is unique and my own — for both my design work, my illustration work and now I am doing the same for my blogging. Downright copying, however, is theft. Pure and simple.
    Great post, Positively Pissed Peggy — go get ’em!

    1.  @PaulBiedermann I just can’t see someone stealing ideas as flattery. You and I have discussed this in great detail so you know that I feel that people are chipping a little bit away off me and my ideas each time they take it and use it as there own. 
      I could view it as flattery that someone takes sections from a bio that I created and uses it but I don’t because I spent a lot of time to make it unique and interesting. Something to reflect just me. When it is seen somewhere else, who is to say that mine was the original bio? No one would know that except me. 
      Thank you for reading and commenting. 🙂

  5. Hi Peggy
    Thanks again for brining this to my attention so quickly and for sharing your story here.  I really appreciate your participation in Business2Community!

    1.  @briansrice I love participating on the Business2Community website. A huge sincere thank you for addressing the issue so quickly. Choosing to syndicate your blog is a huge difference than someone setting up their own blog and “syndicating” it with other’s content. I put the link to B2C and how to syndicate your own blog for others. I am honored that you choose to share my material.
      Guest posting is another way that you can fill your blog and a great way to establish your voice in the blogging world. Bottom line is that social media and blogging are a much smaller, tighter community than you would expect. I get the feeling people just think that no one will catch them.
      Thanks for your thoughts, Brian!

      1.  @Peg Fitzpatrick
        I agree 100%.  When I started the blog it was my own personal space and then I started opening it up for guest posts.  Eventually that led to syndication of other blogs with 100% expressed permission and full author attribution.  I take this very seriously because when I first began blogging and participating on a major social media syndication site on several occassions they made it look like my work was their own.
        Too many individuals (and even companies) make the mistake of failing to build relationships with bloggers and take content assuming that everything on the web is “free”.
        You certainly created a great discussion with this post.

        1.  @briansrice I love what you have done on B2C, Brian. Being original and creating something great is special. We take notice of everyone who is doing lists of 12 around the blogosphere and let me tell you, the number is increasing. I just can’t buy into the whole “flattery thing” — flattery would be telling me you liked my site/article/photograph, not stealing my idea/article/photo and trying to build a business with it.
          If I set up the C2B website, got all my friends (whose names I borrowed from B2C) and started a syndicated blog, that would not be cool. In any way, shape or form. Of course it is harder to be original but if you can’t do something else that you are good at.
          And YES >> “take content assuming that everything on the web is “free.” But it isn’t.
          This is a great conversation! It is also occurring on Twitter and Facebook in the 12 Most group. Passionate people rock!

    1.  @rbowden56 It is a little off my usual, as I mentioned at the beginning, but it is generating a lot of conversation and hopefully will help some people make better decisions in the future.

  6. The irony of social media is that it makes stealing content easier to do and easier to detect. Calling the cheaters out is essential. Merciless shaming is fine — even preferred — in these cases.
    Here’s my example from May…
    Stealing is stealing. If someone steals something physical from you or your car or house, you can press charges. So why is lifting intellectual property any different? It’s not.
    Stealers must be hunted down. And called out. If they didn’t get it before, they will get it the hard, and publicly humiliating, way.
    And I think it helps to be on the look out for those in our communities. When we see someone’s work being lifted, we should speak up. Sound the alarm. Like a virtual Neighborhood watch. 
    This is our work. This is our business. It is not for free. And it is definitely not up for grabs by lazy cheaters who have the gall to stick it on their site, as if it’s theirs.
    And you have EVERY right to be pissed, Peggy. Go get ’em! Grrr.

    1.  @BeckyGaylord I was going to link your post in Becky, sorry I missed that and thanks for adding it here for people to read.
      Having the courage to stand up to people who do something is important. Yes, it could go very badly live on some social media channel but ignoring it is totally wrong too.
      And I agree >> “Stealers must be hunted down. And called out. If they didn’t get it before, they will get it the hard, and publicly humiliating, way.”
      I also agree with your statements about this being our work and business. For someone to take my work to support their business is just wrong on so many levels. Thanks for your support, Becky. It means the world to me.

  7. Good for you Peg in standing up for what’s right. That woman’s blog WILL crash…it is doomed by its very existence. Forget about it and get back to your positive ponderings and have a GREAT 4th!

    1.  @BruceSallan Well, she might be getting a boost in traffic today on the posts that I mentioned but hopefully she learns (whether from Mashable or other people) that she can’t just use their content.
      I actually felt much better after I wrote this. Thanks for your support and hope you have a lovely 4th as well!

  8. I can totally understand the pain, @Peg Fitzpatrick . I had blogged about content theft/autoblogs back in 2010 after fallen as a victim from scrappers. Early this year, a popular Spanish site translated my post and claimed their own (written by ‘staff’, they said). A reader was kind enough to notify me about this otherwise I wouldn’t have known since they removed all the backlinks from my original post (that’s how I normally detect scrappers via linkbacks, but not this time). The post went viral on their site, more popular than my site or the one posted on social media today. I had to write to them and demand for removal or proper link back is given. They did respond after few days but the site, since then, has no place in my ‘credibility’ list regardless how popular it is. Content theft should not be tolerated.

    1.  @wchingya That does suck! So awesome that one of your readers told you.
      We had someone take a whole 12 Most post that one of our writers wrote and turn it into an infographic which she posted on her Facebook wall and it had like 15,000 hits! 
      “Content theft should not be tolerated” <<strongly agree! Thank you for joining my conversation here.

  9. I’m surprised this is the first time you’ve had to deal with this on your blog Peggy since you’re so well read and articulate, but in general online marketing content doesn’t get scraped near as much as content on other subjects. It may be because people involved in web development are a little more aware of what constitutes copyright infringement, and it could be that online marketing just isn’t a popular subect with scrapers (it has a low pay day with Ad Sense and doesn’t get searched as much as more general content). 
    I’ve sent out quite a few DMCA notices over the years, but it doesn’t stop the next guy from doing it. Some people are resistant to do anything about it – they honestly believe that citing the source gives them providence over the Internet. And in fact in some cases, it does, such as parody, educational uses, and the use of excerpts for commentary. Here is the complete US Copyright law, which outlines fair use, Basic US Copyright law and the Digital Millenium Copyright act http://www.copyright.gov/title17/ . I have used the same boilerplate for my ToS and Privacy pages with few changes for a while now, an it’s the one area where I don’t care who wants to copy it word for word (just replace all the instances of my name or Social Media Sun lol). Educating bloggers on what their rights are and how to detect scraping is one of the most proactive things you can do to fight infringement. If you keep becoming more prevalent in the blogosphere (and my Google+ feed!) you’ll need to hire someone to respond to all the content stealing before too long!
    If the person who owns the blog doesn’t comply with infringement, you have the option of contacting their host. Believe it or not, I’ve contacted GoDaddy with an identical infringement to watch you described (regarding content I originally posted on a large online content producer), and they replied telling me that since it was sourced that they didn’t see it as infringement. In the same case I contacted Google who told me to contact the host (which I already did) and they told me they wouldn’t do anything, but a few days later the website was removed from the Google SERPs (which was the original reason I contacted them. Having my own articles that were scraped outranking the identical content I wrote for another website took it a step further lol). Have you ever heard of the Cook’s Source? Prolific content infringement has a way of policing itself if the person who is doing it ever gains notoriety.
    I don’t know Peggy, judging by all the reactions, I think “Peggy is Positively Pissed” may be a cool new blog idea for you!

    1.  @etelligence I appreciate your nice thoughts, Adam. Am I still filling up your Google+ stream? Awesome!
      This is the first time I found a full post stolen from my site but I have had people take ideas and sections of my posts before. I wrote about that here: Oops You Did it Again! http://vsb.li/krsHP9
      I appreciate that you shared your ToS and Privacy Policy, I will check those out. I have information on my blog as well. Interestingly enough, she actually boosted this from B2C and not my site specifically.
      This person did pull my post from her site after I emailed her but then I had to contact her about her Facebook page post. She left all the other posts that she “borrowed” from other people though. She practices every single bad social media form possible. 
       @PaulBiedermann likes your “Peggy is Positively Pissed” blog idea. I’ll save it and use it when needed. I really don’t enjoy being the angry girl but in the words of Patrick Swayze “nobody puts Baby in a corner.” Nice and smiley does not equal pushover. Thank you for your thoughtful comments, greatly appreciated!

  10. Peggy – In some odd way this person has paid homage to you and your writing, so you might be a tad flattered. On the other hand, regardless the excuse, it is a pretty clear case of copyright infringement. Unfortunately, there are no copyright police and it is up to the creator to keep track; especially difficult in today’s digital world. 
    However, there is an up side. Now that it has been identified and “outed”, your article has been viewed by even more eyes than had seen it previously.
    Looking ahead, perhaps you could give your permission to publish your material (proper credits given, of course) in exchange for greater access to her audience?
    Positive waves, Peg! 🙂
    As far as further infringements, I have been schooled to believe that any time you put pen to paper (or keyboard to HTML), your work is protected by copyright law. It does not require any registrations of any kind. Only proof that you are the creator and publisher.

    1. Hi @MZazeela !
      I would not dream of giving her permission to use my material after seeing the way she operates. Very untrustworthy in my opinion.
      My network is quite extensive compared to hers, it wasn’t a case of my post getting more eyeballs. It is an ethical bone of contention with me. And running it on her business blog that she is selling social media consulting on is using my intellectual property for her potential financial gain. That is a no-no for me. 
      Thanks for your thoughts!
      Waves back,

      1.  @Peg Fitzpatrick 
        Based on her TOS disclaimer, it seems that she understands the copyright issue quite well, so ethics is not too high on her list of things to remember. Sadly, some folks believe the rules only apply to others.
        So, what’s the answer?
        Policing is a near impossible task.
        I believe that you get what you give. If that is even half true, she won’t be around for too long as her reputation spreads and others begin to see what is happening. On the other hand, you’ll be around for the long haul.
        I was never much of a student and didn’t do a lot of learning until after I finished my formal education. One of the things I have learned was not to worry about stuff I cannot control. That takes too much energy and usually results in nothing better than a bad headache.
        PS. I think the best thing you could have done has already been done. You wrote this post which she is bound to see. Shame and embarrassment can be powerful motivators.

        1.  @MZazeela Thanks, Marc. I really am not worried about it. I’m not sure she gets the message since she continued to pump other’s content on her blog, Facebook, Twitter and Google+ account today. 
          I don’t imagine she will go far. 
          Thanks for your thoughts!

  11. HA HA Did you see her “terms of service” for her website?
    “All materials published on the web site are protected by copyright laws, and may not be reproduced, republished, distributed, transmitted, resold, displayed, broadcast, or otherwise exploited in any manner without the express written permission of either Blueprint New Media or, in the case of content licensed by Blueprint New Media from third parties, the entity that is credited as the copyright holder of such licensed content. ”
    So…I can copy your work without your permission, but don’t copy mine without “express written permissio”!! LOL

    1.  @anitahovey I did see her “terms of service” what a joke.  Honestly, it is a great case study on how NOT to run a blog or a business.
      12 Most Scummy Ways you are Creating an Environment of Unethical Behavior (and why no one will ever work with you)
      Parts of this are laughable. Agreed!

    2.  @anitahovey Oh that is rich. We gotta “out” this woman all we can.

  12. Positively (Pissed) Peggy, thanks for this lively post and discussion! It reminds me of the quote I heard from Angela Maiers. “You are a  genius, and the world demands your contribution.” People who rely on plagiarism are going to be left in the dust, as you and your commenters have pointed out. For those who don’t have anything to say, they should wait and figure out what it is they want and can contribute to the conversation.

    1.  @mrsdkrebs Funny! angelamaiers is very wise. 
      I 100% agree that people should wait and find their voice. Very nice advice. I appreciate your thoughts, Denise.

  13. This happens to me almost every day. It is like chasing ghosts and I’vepretty much given up.
    Two weeks, an international site associated with Edelman took my post word for word under their own byline. Last week a lady reprinted my entire post under her name for her PR company. When I asked her about she was very sinnpy about it and said that I did not know the copyright laws.
    But I’ll go one better on you. How about people who use your blogs posts as content in their private client emails?  Technically, this is a competitor using your content to promote their business.
    i wrote a post about this last year and said the blogging scene was corrupt and people actually defended these practices, telling me I should be grateful for a backlink. Bullshit.
    Sad thing is, I have no idea how to stop it. It;s like whack-a-mole.

    1.  @markwschaefer There’s always a lawsuit. Also, if it’s a monetized site that’s ripping you off, you can write to the advertisers on the site to let them know what the “curator” is up to. Then, there’s always getting your blogging buddies who actually have scruples to climb on the offending page and comment about where the post actually from. It’s definitely whack-a-mole, but we’ll help you whack it in the head. 

    2.  @markwschaefer Whack-a-mole is the perfect metaphor for this problem. 
      The shocking part to me is “professional” people, like the PR lady, who KNOWS better and still does it. She must know that it is wrong. With a job in PR she must be creating content, press releases etc. How do people sleep at night with stolen material on their blog, commenting like they wrote it? It is nauseating to me that ethics and standards are so very, very low.
      Let’s keep trying to educate people on what is right and whack some moles! Do we need a little disclaimer at the bottom of each post? Can you add a hidden link in the text to get a ping back?
      It is a monumental problem but if people like you and I are going to continue to take pride in our work and create original content, let’s call them out. 

  14. People steal ideas, tweets, content ,blogpost, headlines, and other peoples work all the time. You can’t stop people procreating  on the internet. Unless you are google of course. 
    People are looking for any snippet to wake up there tired old blog brain from its inertia. There is no way to stop this practice. I see it constantly. This is why people get pissed because some lame writer or semi corporate wanna be with no moral compass or indeed the social climbers who follow  take your micro/blog content and use it passing it off as their own original thought. You see it in quotes on Twitter, Blog posts. It is laughable and sad. Ideas are meant to be shared but when you put no work into providing a new perspective. It is Shisterism. Yes I made that up. 🙂 Please do not infringe my copyright. 
    Look at it this way. It means you have something that is valuable. The choice is to step up your game and let them do there thing except in the worse cases. Otherwise you will end up spending valuable time chasing your tail. 
    I used the clip above in my very first post on a blog. 
    Give me back my content. I am not going to take it anymore lol 🙂
    Hugs Peggy.  

    1.  @KRLRose Kenny!
      I agree that it is a rampant problem but I am not going to just ignore it. If I see it, I am going to address it whether it is my blog, 12 Most or one of my friends. It is just wrong.
      Getting a seed of an idea from someone else is great BUT you should mention that in your post. Just put a little note saying inspired by or put a link to their post. It has been said a lot that there are no new or original ideas but flat out taking someone’s entire material is ridiculous.
      Thanks for your .02¢, Kenny. 

      1.  @Peg Fitzpatrick I am not telling you to ignore it. I am saying it is a problem that cannot be solved. How do you police ideas. Will someone with no integrity listen to you. No. They will carry on doing what they are doing.  Taking a whole post is wrong totally. But how do you stop it. ? I see it all the time. It is the same as the tribe mentality excluding people who do not fit their world view. People steal and fake their way forward to get their own needs met constantly. It is what people do. Learned behavior. The world rewards it, at every level. And if that ain’t worth a dollar a word. Cool 🙂 

        1.  @KRLRose It is a very big problem, agreed. If only people used all their crazy skills with programming to catch this garbage the interwebs would be a great place.
          How about someone creates a widget that catches people who scrape your content? Yeah!
          Pshawww on the people rewarded for their stealing and faking. I think that what goes around, comes around. They will be found out eventually. And then they will be seen for what they are: thieves and phonies.

  15. Great article Peggy.  
    I know exactly how you feel.  I haven’t had a blog post taken word for word, but I have had FB photos used to provide someone else content for their Pinterest site.  2nd Best part…when you click through the Pins, they go to her sales site.
    Best part…she acts as an advisor to an industry that lives on honesty and credibility.
    I’ve been trying to figure out how I want to deal with it.
    Have a great night.

    1.  @T_Burrows Arggg that is so frustrating. Sorry about that. Address it! I think ignoring it allows them to think that it is ok. 
      And a link to the sales site. Blech.
      I appreciate your sharing with me.

  16. On Tumblr, there is a button to re-blog every post that anyone you follow writes. Initially, I had people take re-blog my entire post – with my personal travel photography, and text, etc. (like, why would someone want to re-blog MY feelings on Prague or how much I care about independent bookstores??) My tech savvy friend assured me that re-blogging is giving you exposure. And on Tumblr, it’s just part of the culture. To the point, where if there’s a funny comic, or something that is REALLY similar to the way I feel about something, I’ll re-blog it – but generally it’s something that’s already been re-blogged 5,000 times anyway (the numbers are all there) and you never know how many sources it went through before you can find the actual original. Information sharing is what the internet is now – the Atlantic did a very colorful graph on the unemployment numbers recently, and 50 other news sites blogged about it, and re-posted the graph. Or was it the PBS NewsHour? See – I can’t even remember the source. I get upset when I take the time to craft a personal, thoughtful book review or travelogue and some stranger yanks it and posts it to their blog, but there’s not a lot I can do about it. There is a blog on Tumblr that only takes pictures of book and bookshelves – they must post 20 times a day. I have no idea how they have the time. But it’s not hard to just surf for images online and re-post them and call it a blog…

    1.  @shanna_wilson It seems that Tumblr is a very separate culture that in which everything is meant to be shared and re-blogged which is different than the rest of the blogging world. It seems like Pinterest in that things get shared so many times that you can’t even find the source when you want to, I don’t see how that gives the original writer exposure. 
      This is exactly correct “But it’s not hard to just surf for images online and re-post them and call it a blog…” this is what people are doing when they are scraping other people’s blog or pulling things from ScoopIt and syndicating it out. They are not creating content but curating it, sometimes in a legitimate manner and sometimes not. Is this being done for blog traffic? Not sure but using other people’s material as your own isn’t right. The Oatmeal/FunnyJumk case is a perfect example.
      Thanks for sharing your thoughts. 🙂

      1.  @Peg Fitzpatrick Right – it is. And oh gads – I just re-read my original post – I think it was almost 1am here when I was typing that so I apologize that it’s somewhat illegible. When I was deciding which blogging platform to use, I looked at several blogs that I personally love and know to be popular, and/or the writer also contributes at national pubs like NYTimes, etc. Several of these were on Tumblr, so I thought I would aim for that one. When I asked several peers which they preferred, I got five different responses, so I assumed everyone simply had a favorite flavor. I also listened in on a blogging conference about a year ago, and one of the lecturers was a VP of Marketing Development at Harper Collins, and she said that of all the blogging platforms out there, Tumblr was the best for the built in community and the marketing that can easily be done within the site itself among users, so I thought I made a good choice. (I also think a lot can change in the blogosphere within one year)  In a short time frame, Tumblr has become both like Facebook (everybody’s got one) as well as like a supplemental resume of sorts for various creative types – interior designers, artists, etc. where they throw together a portfolio of ideas and info from around the web, and call it their own simply because they chose the images, content. I didn’t quite get what that meant until I created my own blog on Tumblr’s platform and played around with the themes and started following all the other bloggers there. Before I just threw together my favorite food, design, news and current events blogs and sites into Google Reader. I have some regrets about using Tumblr as my platform, because I see all the re-blogging from multiple party sources, which just doesn’t make sense to me. People say it gives you exposure, but I don’t imagine other bloggers are scrutinizing the source of where something came from in many cases. They just see where THEY got it from, and it rarely means they’ll start following you.
        On the “stealing” note, if I were putting out some witty quip with a flashy graphic that I would hope to go viral, I would welcome the re-posting all over the place, but personal posts on travel, my own experiences, etc. I definitely do not expect, nor wish for others to re-blog.
        Coming from a publishing background, the way I see blogs in general these days are simply as a means of individual credibility. If you don’t have one, who are you? So I don’t think blogs can be thought of as much as they were in the past, in driving tons of traffic to a particular place, because the market is simply too fragmented and difficult to acquire, unless you have a real business behind it or $$ behind your brand, which most bloggers don’t. So I think the idea should be to make it as authentically personal and professional as possible. Which means, don’t plagiarize, and don’t do and say what everyone else is doing.  With Tumblr, the source is built into the post, but I just think the culture on that site host is too copycat and disingenuous. I don’t like the “curators” or that concept, because my golden retriever could do that if he had thumbs. I follow maybe 100 blogs on Tumblr, some of which, have similar goals (books, arts, etc) and I see the same things on different blogs when I scroll through my dashboard. Crazy! I do love being able to scroll through and see what I want to see in a quick, easily digestible way, and I do find fresh content a lot of the time, but all this “micro-blogging”…I dunno. Thanks for this post – I got really mad about all this about 4 months ago, but I was told that I had an old way of thinking about things. I’m 32!!!

  17. Everybody keeps saying “there’s not a lot I can do about it” but there is. Earlier comment ~ There’s always a lawsuit. Also, if it’s a monetized site that’s ripping you off, you can write to the advertisers on the site to let them know what the “curator” is up to. Then, there’s always getting your blogging buddies who actually have scruples to climb on the offending page and comment about where the post actually from. It’s definitely whack-a-mole, but we’ll help you whack it in the head. ~ Also, I haven’t seen anyone mention http://copyscape.com/ ~ I don’t care what the culture is… stealing is stealing.

  18. I’ve had this happen to me too. It’s too bad that this keeps happening. Much like you, I only discovered it from a pingback thanks to a backlink in my post. It makes me wonder how many other posts may be scraped that I’m not catching.
    So, this begs the question – how do you stop it? I mean, yes, we can go after each and every one and ask them to take it down. But, as it becomes more prevalent, it’s just too time consuming to keep doing. Is there anything that can be done to help prevent it? And, if not, what’s the best course of action for handling this?
    I’m all ears if someone has some ideas and suggestions!

  19. I’ve had this happen to me too. It’s too bad that this keeps happening. Much like you, I only discovered it from a pingback thanks to a backlink in my post. It makes me wonder how many other posts may be scraped that I’m not catching.
    Thanks for sharing your republication page from 12Most. Has that helped at all?
    I’m wondering if there are any WordPress plugins that can help with any of this. I think I’ve seen copyright language at the bottom of some blogs and I wonder if that can help with catching posts that have stripped the links back to your blog. If there are any other tips or tricks on how to handle this, I’m all ears!

    1.  @lauraclick I wish I had a ton of answers. I would love a plug-in that caught this too!
      I haven’t tried it yet but there is this: http://www.digiprove.com/copyright_proof_wordpress_plugin.aspx
      I think that it helps on 12 Most but I don’t know. I think that it is imperative as a blog owner to have information on your blog.
      Good luck with your blog and thanks for commenting!

      1.  @Peg Fitzpatrick  @lauraclick  Laura and Peggy, I am working on a project for a company that has just such a plug in.  I don’t want to hijack this thread to promote their product, but it is free so hopefully OK to mention it here.  The company is icopyright.com, and the feature that tells you where your content has been scraped, and gives you recourse to mitigate, is called the “discovery” feature. Contact me if you would like to know more.

  20. I have had it happen to me a lot, and I used to get mad about it too, but now I just stop caring. If my work gets out there and enriches someone’s life, then I know I will reap my reward.
    It just wasn’t worth all the stress that I went through.
    I’ll just keep being a giver and making the world a better place.
    You need to do what is right for you though.

      1.  @Peg Fitzpatrick  I worked in advertising for a production company for years, not a big national agency, just a small one, but things were stolen constantly. Ideas, scripts, video, you name it. If you came up with something original, you could bet it would be stolen sooner or later.
        I used to get so stressed out about it, and wanted to fight back, but my employer said it wasn’t worth the legal costs. I still stressed though, and almost had a heart attack over it.
        Not worth it! Life is short enough without killing myself over something that is really trivial in the grand scheme of things.
        Now, like I said, I just refuse to worry about it. When I post something, I don’t claim any copyright to it. If it blesses someone, I know I’ll receive my reward.
        I really do care more about helping people than getting credit for my work. I believe that God knows my heart, and will see to it that I am well taken care of.
        I can’t say that my solution is the best for everyone. It works for me though, and I can have peace in my life that I didn’t have before.

        1.  @PrinceElemir The fact that you are at peace and happy with your choice is the most important thing. There really is only a right in our own hearts and minds. We each have to live with our own decisions.
          I work in social media and being original is important. Yes, legal fees for things would be crazy but I do believe it is my right do defend my intellectual property. And for me, that seems right.

        2.  @Peg Fitzpatrick  If that is what you need to do, then I sincerely wish you success! Maybe you will even be able to profit from it. (I hope so.)
          Like I said before, my way isn’t right for anyone but me.
          I wish everyone peace and happiness in whatever they do. I do not pass any judgments on anyone. Everyone must live their own lives, and for your sake, I really hope it all works out in your favor!

  21. Personally I love when my content is syndicated with a backlink and my name, as long as they are not selling ads. For me that is what it comes down to, I dont care as long as you are not monitzing my work. I dont monitze my work, so that one bugs me a little. 

  22. Saying it’s OK for people to steal your stuff as long as it “enriches someone’s life” is like saying that if I work at McDonald’s all day for minimum wage, it’s OK for them not to pay me because I was busy feeding people all day. 

    1.  @Kim Phillips  It would only be stealing if I was claiming it. It is a gift to humanity. You can’t steal a gift!
      If I worked in a soup kitchen all day and fed the needy for free, it wouldn’t be stealing.
      I just refuse to have a materialistic, “It’s mine! I own it!” attitude.
      You can can live however you wish. It’s your choice.
      I choose love and peace!

      1.  @PrinceElemir You’re just so much more evolved than me. Keep giving your stuff away.

  23. I have found that many people feel this way or that way about stealing another person’s photos and/or posts.  There are those who say they want everyone to see it, there are those who say it’s okay if it’s a link back to your original post, and there are those who say the person can use their post but not their photos.  It’s within our psyche to have feelings about everthing.  But the law is clear and so it doesn’t matter how you, or I , or anyone else feels.  If permission is not requested and given prior to the post, it is stealing.  To me, it’s a bit like hearing a woman say it is okay if her grandson breaks into her house and steals the family silver because it was going to be his one day anyway.  It doesn’t matter if it is okay with her or not, it is stealing and illegal and should be prosecuted.  We do no one any favor by “allowing” them to steal because today it is something intangible and tomorrow it may be very real.  A person CAN get lulled into a sense of comfort on these things and decide it’s really not that big a deal – but when someone steals their car, they will feel very different. 

    1. @Kalamity Kelli Thanks so much for your comment here, I just saw it so sorry. This is so true ” But the law is clear and so it doesn’t matter how you, or I , or anyone else feels.”

  24. Hello, I wanted to pin the article with the video as a main image for the pin… but the url that got linked was youtube and it deleted your credit…
    Now, I fixed my pin, I don’t know if you can fix the button 😉
    Also, remember the beauty of Pinterest is that people can go back to the source of the content by clicking the image, and I have found that several of your articles have one title and image on Pinterest and a complete different article (also yours) when you click it.
    Ah, really enjoy the article, thanks

  25. I am not surprised that you are the victim of content stealing as your collective “stuff” is so creative and cutting edge. I suppose if it weren’t so unfair it would be an homage! I am proud of you for taking a stand and giving them a stern reminder. I am afraid you will have to remain on guard. Do let the community know what we can do to assist you.

  26. Hey, Peggy!  Remember that post of mine that got bogarted a while back by Rainforest Action Network?  I sometimes check up on it to see if there are new comments.  This has been added to the end of the post recently.  Hmmmmm.
    “Web Editor’s Note: We apologize that the link back to Brian’s blog was temporarily removed. It was a mistake on our part and we have put the hyperlink back into the article.The blog was originally published with this hyperlink.”

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