13 March 2006

I've been scalped!

I did a bit of ego-Googling--all good, all expected--then I checked for my little blog. I recognized most of it--people who link to me, people who've mentioned this blog in theirs, but there was one entry that didn't look familiar.

Being a curious sort, I clicked on it.

My Vanilla Primer (parts
one and two) along with the photo I took were on a retail site (won't be named here).

Apparently they liked my words and piccie well enough to use them as a customer info-lure. But apparently they didn't like my words or piccie well enough to contact me for something as courteous as a heads up nor as necessary as a permission to help them make money. They didn't even have a hot link to my blog.

You know what else they didn't have? The next post in my vanilla series --
how to make your own extracts, sugar, salt, etc etc...gee. I wonder why...could it be because if people knew how easy it was to make good-quality flavourings, they wouldn't buy pre-made stuff? Yes, I know, I'm being all mean and horrible for not allowing these people to make a living off the unaware.

I quickly checked my CC license...they broke all three terms: improper attribution, they were using my creations for their profit AND they posted derivatives of my posts (yup, they took out the preambles). I contacted a few writer friends (novelists, journalists and communicator types) and someone who knows Canadian copyright law backwards and forwards. Yup...my copyright was infringed upon (but I knew that already).

I shot off a very polite email letting the scalper know that all original material on my blog was copyright as per the Creative Commons deed and to contact me ASAP. I mean the CC logo is right on my blog...easy to accidentally miss, I suppose, but even easier to purposefully miss.

I received a note the next day saying that the posts and images were removed.

No apology.

No "Oops! We didn't realize...."

No "Uh-oh...do we owe you any money from stealing 1000 words and a picture?"

Not even an "Oh geez, here's some cumin to make up for it."

Don't even think about "We like the way you write, can we contract you to write a series for us?"

You know...I was even prepared for a metablog-like rebuttal...but nope.

I confirmed my materials' removal in case whomever replied was a lying-lyee-lie-face--I have no reason to trust them. My stuff's no longer there...but there are other posts lifted from company websites and magazines. I didn't recognize anything by any blogger I read, but I'll be heading back with a cup of tea to see if any of my friends or people I like to read have been equally violated.

Yes, violated. I feel violated.

Posting is risky. You don't know who's reading, who's thieving and who's scheming. I like to think that people who return to read my ramblings are, on the whole, good people, but sometimes mistakes are made.

Blogging, the Internet and the Web are strange new worlds for many and some niceties have been lost or never existed. I know I'm learning things all the time about netiquette's evolution on a regular basis. If I know I've done something wrong, I apologize and try and fix it with as little fuss as possible. Sometimes people have to tell me what I've done wrong, sometimes I figure things out on my own. I try to be reasonable about it all...unfortunately there are scavengers and predators around.

I'm not going to get all egotistical and say that it will happen again, but there's a chance that the next time I Google my blog I might find my words or picture on another store's site. I'm more ready for it next time.

Because I have copyright...hear me roar.


Timmys count: 38 coffees; 2 free coffees, 1 free doughnut


Stephanie said...

That's terrible! I've seen this happening to some of the other bloggers too and I think it is reprehensible.

Anonymous said...

That is appalling. Good for you for demanding they cease and desist. Consider a civil suit for damages next.
You have reminded me I very badly need to post copyright notice on Fishclock. Thank you.

Anonymous said...


Good for you for demanding that your rights be respected. It's interesting because bloggers have been set upon for misappropriating recipes and not giving credit. And yet here you are, an honest blogger, being taken advantage of.

Congratulations for not taking it!

K and S said...

that is just awful! I'm glad you're standing up to those copy-cats!

jasmine said...

Hello all you lovely people.

Stephanie (yeah, it took me a while to read your sidebar :) )-- Thanks! I realize I'm not the only one out there, I'm just hoping if someone reads this, and they find themselves in the same situation, they just won't sit there and take it.

Ryan! So glad your site is up--love the fishie :)

Ivonne: Thanks for your kind words. One of these days, these horrid people will get their own--I have a plan...it involves being sneaky :)

Kat: Thanks for your encouragement :)