“The thief, as will become apparent, was a special type of thief. This thief was an artist of theft. Other thieves merely stole everything that was not nailed down, but this thief stole the nails as well.” Terry Pratchett, ‘Sourcery’
Well it had to happen sooner or later I suppose!
And apparently I should be flattered that someone liked my blog content and images so much …
But I wasn’t flattered … I was furious!
A random Google search for something one morning … and I happened upon some text and thought ‘hang on, that sounds like me…’ And it was me! And my blog! And my images! All there – in glorious technicolour … on someone else’s blog!!!
And no – before you ask – I’m not going to give them the time of day and share their name or blog with you…!
It read beautifully – just enough ‘minor changes’ to make it theirs (not!) and a slight change of title – but all of our images – often in the same order – on their posts! They had obviously been on holiday to Portugal recently and thought they could just help themselves to my posts (yes – we are talking in the plural here!!) – and make out they had written it all themselves.
So I was hopping mad as I sat there trawling their blog and seeing my work.
And then I thought – heck – what can I do? Back to Google and another quick search brought up some amazingly helpful sites and links. And in the interest of sharing with you all (in case it happens to you too!) – and in the absolute sense of fairness with appropriate links and thanks – here are the pages I found most useful:
Thank you Joshua – for writing a brilliant post How to Protect Your Website’s Copyright When Someone Steals Your Content
Just go to this post – you won’t need to go anywhere else – brilliantly written advice and drafts of the letters you will need. And a warning – ‘Cease and Desist’ letters and emails are great – but mine were completely ignored – so I went to Typepad (the blog’s host) too.
Every host should have a page which tells you what to do if you suspect Copyright has been breached – they investigated my complaint for me (it took me several hours to put my case together for them) and I got this reply a few days later:
“Thanks for providing requirements of the DMCA. The Owner of the blog has deleted the posts and images”
And here’s another gizmo I have discovered which is just brilliant:
Search Google By Image Chrome Extension
Thank you to the website GHacks.com for this one!
Right Click any of your images and find out where it appears all over the web! I have also started adding metadata to all of our images – so beware! Use my images from my blogs and I will find them!
So – why am I sharing all of this with you? Well partly to let you know – and also to let any other – however well meaning – hackers out there know that it is not nice – or funny – or clever – to nick other people’s work and pass it off as your own. Period. And to let you know that if I find it – I will chase you!
And also to say that I am very happy for people to share my work – if they have my permission – and they credit me properly.
It’s simple really – it’s on our About Us page:
All images contained in this website are copyright © Alyson and David Sheldrake, A3Art unless otherwise attributed. All rights are reserved. Content and images may not be downloaded, reproduced, copied, projected or used in any way without express written permission.
So please – enjoy my blog – and feel free to add your comments and thoughts – and if you want to use any of my content or images – please ask me!
Shame on them!
The blog hosts should have outright banned their whole blog, IMO!
yes I’m not sure that would happen though! but they have deleted all the posts (including Julie’s too!) so they have hopefully got the message?!
Thanks for sharing all that valuable research with us.
you’re welcome! hope it helps someone else too
Thank you for all the great research!
Would you allow them to use the images if they asked first? I have been asked first a few times and always say yes.
yes – that’s the annoying part isn’t it! You just have to ask! (and credit properly of course!)
But obviously not my text too – she wrote the posts as if she had visited the same places as me and experienced all the same things – made me gnash my teeth!!!
That is a bit weird!
yep that’s what I thought too – when I’d calmed down!!!
Great that there is some somewhere to go for help, thanks for the links Alyson
yes – it’s a good job there is something we can do about things like this… it took a lot of work though (I was a bit determined!!)
OK I’ll try this again, since I already commented and it hasn’t shown. If you get this twice I appologise.
I am sorry you had to go through this. It is so easy to just cut and paste from the interenet, but do people stop and think they are stealing? I teach and work with 7 & 8 year olds and I have started to talk to them about this since I find any little projects are mostly copied from somewhere. With older grades it has become a bigger problem and there are data bases where they need to submit essays and reports to see if they are cutting and pasting, or copying full papers from somewhere. It is becoming a big problem….
Good for you to take action and have something done about it.
hi! only one comment made it thorough! thanks for your thoughts – we used to call it ‘plagiarism’ when I was at school – but it felt more like someone had physically stolen something from me! The internet has made it all very easy to steal from others though in this way – I remember when I was writing my 10,000 dissertation for my degree I had to write it all by hand and then pay someone to type it up – double spaced etc …. how times have moved on now for students (and I’m not THAT old!!!) – so not all progress is a bad thing!
thanks for reading and commenting
I can imagine the horrible feeling that came over you… I also think people feel it is on the net and it is OK, but it is still plagerism!
It is still wrong and stealing no matter how easy it is. I wonder how can people live with themselves and pass this off as their own? Like if friends said “great post….” wouldn’t they feel guilty? I can imagine it felt pretty horrible.
Very spectacular, beautiful and lovely photos.
thank you very much! thanks for visiting the blog and commenting
Hi, thanks for sharing this. Some very useful information. I sometimes write for a blog about The Gambia and a ‘ping back’ led me to a site that had copied EVERY single post on to theirs and claimed it as their own! Unbelievable!
it’s SO annoying isn’t it!! hope you sorted it all out ok
and have a great weekend!
Oh yes, the administrator of the site got on the case!
Sorry to be so late to the parade, but I’m glad you found my article to be valuable!
I attempted to report the theft of my Doctor Who blog post, but it turns out that, because it’s a wordpress.com site (unlike those of us who pay for a domain) there’s nothing that can be done. My husband, as we speak, is setting up a program that watermarks photographs that I’ve taken myself though.
I had to smile when I saw the Pratchett quote; my husband and I are big Discworld/Pratchett fans and Terry has joined me in song once at a Discworld Convention 🙂
not true re wordpress.com sites!! check out their t&c’s here http://en.wordpress.com/tos/
and how to report a site that infringes your copyright here http://en.support.wordpress.com/disputes/
hope you get it sorted!
Thanks, I’ll look into it. My husband looked at the site though, and believes it could be some kind of bot harvesting blogs. If he’s right I’m not sure how to proceed
your complaint should go to their host site if you don’t get any joy from contacting them direct and sending them a ‘cease and desist’ type letter and insist they take down all your content…