Friday, May 25, 2012

Bloggers Beware!


Some folks aren't nice and they do not play fair.

In the past I've read about other bloggers who have had their blog posts stolen taken from their blogs and posted on another blog without their permission.  I'm sure most bloggers will agree using a picture or two from our blogs with a proper link back is perfectly fine.  But don't assume, not everyone will give you permission to use their photos.  Taking our work and passing it off as your own is not acceptable.

While checking my stats, I noticed traffic from a site I wasn't familiar with.  After clicking my way through their blog, I noticed a lot of the projects(tutorials) that were posted, were from a blog that I am very familiar with.  The blog owner actually copied entire blog posts as well as features from her link party(I was featured on her blog, that's how I was able to find this blog- through my stats).  I contacted the blogger and she was furious, upset that someone would do this and think that it's OK.

Later in the week while browsing Pinterest I noticed a company that was advertising a product using a room in another blogger's home.  I emailed the blogger to make her aware and again she was mad.

After all of that, I was prompted to do a search on my own blog.  Using Google Images, I chose a few pics from my popular posts and searched to see if any of my content was published on another blog(website) without my permission.  Low and behold there it was, my entire blog post on another blog.  I immediately contacted the blogger and asked her nicely to remove my post.  My exact words were, "Although I'm flattered that you enjoyed my post, copying my post word for word, picture for picture is not acceptable".  For days I heard nothing, then she made her blog private.

In my search I also found a few blogs that used pictures from my blog without linking back to me.  I chalked it up as an oversight. I'd like to believe that most bloggers are honest and don’t intend to infringe upon copyrights, but I still went ahead and contacted the blog owners and asked them to credit my blog.

We are surrounded by so many fabulous blogs and loads of inspiration.  Most of the blogs I read freely share their creativity to inspire others.  When someone takes from another blogger by stealing their work or not properly linking the images they use in their blog posts, they are not playing nicely.

*Side note:  I've had this post saved to my drafts for some time now.  I was hesitant about publishing this post because I didn't want to come off as being "preachy".  I wrote this post to make you aware and for you to take steps to protect your blog.  Watermarking your photos is a great idea, but unfortunately this step does not prevent them from being used without permission. 


I am linking this post to:
Funky Junk's Saturday Nite SpecialIt's OVerflowingOur Delightful Home Tip Junkie handmade projectsUndertheTableandDreaming

61 comments:

  1. You're not being preachy, Brandi, you're being helpful. I don't think a lot of bloggers check their stats. I check mine all the time. It's important to know who's stalking you. I have come across a few that were private with no access. What does that tell you? It has been said that the internet is like the ocean. Beautiful, but full of sharks. Blogland, is a favorite target. You may not be able to put a stop to all the sharks, but we can let them know we are on to them.

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  2. That really sucks! I don't think some understand the time and sweat that is put into our blogs. I always try to be diligent when it comes to features to make sure that the links and pictures link back to the proper sight. I love giving folks their props, but copying is so a no-no. Folks get kicked out of college for that, the real world (blog world) should be no different.

    Sorry to hear that someone was copying your stuff:(

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  3. I do watermark my photos but as you mentioned, they could easily remove those words. I would get totally pissed if someone stole by text word for word without asking me first.
    m.

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  4. Hi Brandi,

    It's unfortunate to hear this.
    Thanks for the info.

    Have a wonderful weekend :)

    Dee

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  5. I don't know what is wrong with some people. Its really sad that anyone would steal others work. Thanks for the heads up Brandi. I'm sorry that you and others have had to experience this.

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  6. It's sad really. I had a fiasco one time when I first started blogging I linked back to an original post but it was the wrong post in the first place and the actual original person asked me where I got it from I told her I got it from what I thought was the original person. After that I am very careful about putting pictures on the blog unless it's my own. I put a few from time to time but you have to be careful.

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  7. You are definitely not preachy, Brandi! Thanks so much for this very well written post. I, for one, am happy that you have brought this to light. I'm so sorry that happened to you and wish that you had gotten a different outcome when you notified the blogger. I can understand why someone would admire and appreciate the gift that you have and share with us here. I'm a huge fan; but what happened to you was theft...plain and simple. It's just wrong.

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  8. Thanks for the heads up, girl. It amazes me that people would post things that are not their own. Ugh!

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  9. My daughter has an etsy store where she sells children's shirts - most of them are her original designs, with a few designs that she has purchased. We have been shocked to see some other etsy shop owners just steal her designs and put them out there for sale. Some people ignored her emails requesting them to remove her designs, some tried to deny and claim that it was actually their designs, and others were combative. Interesting world. I get it that there is plenty to admire out in cyberspace, but really, would you steal lawn furniture off your neighbors' porch just because you liked it? Both are stealing.

    How's that for preaching, Brandi?

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  10. WOW. We appreciate this Brandi! Thank you. Blatant copying without giving credit is NOT cool.

    -Shelly

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  11. Well that's just shoddy blogging on the copiers' parts! On the other hand, good on you for a)creating awesome content, and b) calling the copiers on their thievery.

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  12. Preachy you are NOT! I can not even believe that people do this! How could someone possibly think it was OK to copy someone elses work? Thank you so much for writing this post! It will open the eyes of a lot of people!
    Thanks
    Susan
    Homeroad

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  13. Good post... there is probably more plagiarizing and copyright infringement than any of us could imagine! I even had one the local FOX News station here in Seattle use one of my images on their newsblog without permission AND they had the audacity to cut my watermark off it to boot! The web master for the TV station was rude, I wrote the station manager (asking for a reply no less) and never heard a word about my copy right infringement. All of the images I upload to my blog and Google + are now visibly watermarked but also invisibly watermarked with a DIGI mark.

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  14. I think we can all say how much we appreciate the information you gave us today, Brandi. Thank you! I will definitely be more diligent in checking my stats from now on. Bless you!

    xoxo laurie

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  15. I've heard of this, but never checked into for myself. Not sure how I look for MY images on google, but I'd like to know how. I doubt there's much of my content that anyone would want to copy, but I'd still like to know what's going on with it. Thanks for this very informative post!

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  16. Koodos to you, Brandi! I've had my blog photos used without my permission on facebook. So far, that I know of, not my word content. There is one lady on FB who makes a practice of using others photos on her page without due credits. I've brought it up twice and she said she didn't know who it belonged to. I said maybe you shouldn't use it until you do. Both times the photos were mine and it was obvious the watermark had been cut off.
    I never thought of checking my stats. Thanks for this post!

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  17. Not preachy! Informative!!!
    Thanks for bringing this to our attention. I don't really pay attention to my stats and certainly haven't followed up on them or checked for photos(not sure how). Thanks again for the GOOD information!!!

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  18. I, for one, am glad you shared this. I just read yesterday about the blog being taken over by someone from China...crazy! Who knew we needed to protect ourselves...not me. Thanks for the hints on how to find if someone has been using your photos/posts without permission. I wasn't quite sure how to go about that. Hope you're having a lovely weekend!!!!

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  19. You are not being preachy Brandi! It stinks to have anything stolen and amazing when people steal an entire post. I had one of mine taken word for word by a blogger out of the country. I didn't do anything about it, but found it quite unsettling...
    Now I have to go search Google and see what I can find.

    Have a great weekend!
    Pam

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  20. It's very annoying and happens far too often. You aren't preachy. It's great to get more awareness out there as sometimes it's just ignorance as opposed to pure theft.

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  21. Thanks for the heads up about this! I'm with some of the others, though, in that I'm not sure how to go about searching for specific images or posts from my blog. Would you be able to share how you did that?

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  22. This is the second time this week that I've read about this. Some people need to be called out on their reckless behavior. It's totally unacceptable.

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  23. GREAT post Brandi! While my blog has been vacant for a long time, your post spurred me to look up ways to prevent "scraping". It's a good thing to check out.
    All the best,
    Christina in Cleveland

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  24. Wow! First time I read your blog. I'm not even sure how I got here but I clicked a link and voila! I don't think it was preachy but it was informative and I just couldn't believe the audacity of FOX News in reference to Madge Blooms comment. That's just plain crazy!

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  25. Wow! Some people have no shame. Thank you for making us aware of this. I noticed the MyFreeCopyright image on your blog. How do you like using that? Would you recommend it? Thanks!

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  26. This would be a great subject for a series of blog posts. How to create a digi watermark, how to find those who are stealing content, etc. Thanks for bringing this to light.
    Liz

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  27. I am so sorry that this happen to you. Though I wish I could be so creative but I always give the credit due. Keep sharing. We care.

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  28. Not preachy at all! In fact, it needed to be said unfortunately. I'd really like you to link this post up at my linky going on now.... http://www.salttree.net/2012/05/open-call-tuesdays-6.html. It's a good reminder to people!

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  29. Sorry to hear that. I don't understand why people don't credit the information and ask for permission. A link back at least lets a person at least know you thought about giving credit.
    Your content is great and I am glad you contacted them about it.

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  30. Link backs Its just courteous!!!

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  31. Thank you for posting this. Not preachy at all - necessary!! I was a victim of this during my 1st year of blogging. Someone stole 3 entire posts, word for word, photo for photo. Huh??? I feel sorry for the people who can't carve out a space of their own, but it also makes me angry.

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  32. Too bad people have no decency these days. There doesn't seem to be anything we can do to prevent this. I try to keep that in mind when I post things. But it is an unsettling feeling knowing your photos could show up anywhere. Thanks for bringing it to our attention.

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  33. Brandi, glad you posted this. People do need to know this does happen. I have had mine copied to a blog in Russia, but don't speak the language so I couldn't say anything. I was blog hopping yesterday and noticed a couple of bloggers who posted pictures that were from other sites with no mention or link. Drives me crazy.

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  34. Brandi,
    Thanks for calling this to our attention. I'm not sure that I would be aware that someone was copying, but I think your idea of looking at your own images is a good one.

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  35. Hi Brandi, this was very informative. I also had heard about this problem, and so started watermarking my pictures, now, I wonder what else we can do to keep this from happening. Thanks for the reminder, and for the tip about checking your stats.

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  36. Brandi, This is so interesting. Please do a post about how to search for our images on google. I don't know anything about digi watermarks.
    I rarely use any images other than my own. When I do I always link back or give written credit.
    I am so sorry this happened to you.
    Please keep us updated.
    Ginger

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  37. wow! thanks for sharing Brandi...great information!

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  38. Thank you so much! I'm off to check my stats and will do it more often!

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  39. Thank you so much! I'm off to check my stats and will do it more often!

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  40. Brandi, thanks so much for updating me. I've been hearing a lot about this but I never knew anyone was bold enough to use word content as well. I generally try to put my name below or above an image, guess I better slap it across my images going forward.

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  41. You know we all want names! LOL
    I always give credit to other bloggers. I don't see the purpose of stealing content.

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  42. Great post Brandi - I'm glad you decided to publish it. It's amazing that some people think it's OK to publish others content as their own. Very frustrating & upsetting!!!

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  43. Brandi, great post. That sucks! I usually ALWAYS use my own images and If I don't I alwlays email the person and ask permission first. While doing a search, I found some of my images used on anothers blog without my permission. I also emailed this person and asked that if she wanted to post my images that she needed to ask first. I never heard from her. I freely share my ideas and photos with the hopes that someone wouldn't pass it off as their own photo. Us honest bloggers need to stick together.

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  44. Brandi, thanks for sharing this. I think it's ok for us to be paranoid about stuff like this. We work hard to do what we do and it sucks if someone else tries to steal it. I'm going to keep checking for my stuff out there as well. Good luck to you.

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  45. Found you via someday crafts...I clicked on your site because I thought the picture was too funny! Then I continued to read. Wow, I'm farely new to blogy world, and didn't think people really did this kind of stuff. Then just recently I looked at the stats page and clicked on an unformiliar site. Sure enough they copied my entire post, and it's in spanish, so I don't even know if they would understand that I don't appreciate it. You have a great idea about googling and seeing what pops up. I'm going to try it. Thanks for the info!

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  46. It's so sad that people can't come up with their own content ... now I feel like I need to search for myself out there. Thanks for the heads up.

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  47. Thanks for making us aware of this. I am going to start marking my photos too. Hope you have a great new week Chickie.

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  48. Great post, and I agree wholeheartedly with you! I'd love it if you posted more info about HOW you found these scrapers. I also agree with Barbe at Beez Rental Designs - I'm pretty sure I know who she's referring to on FB that never credits photos she posts, and it drives me batty! Thanks Brandi!

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  49. Thank you for sharing this information.

    Mrs. Delightful
    www.ourdelightfulhome.blogspot.com

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  50. I had no idea this sort of thing happens. Thanks for sharing!!

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  51. I don't even understand why people would do that! Why have a blog if your not creative enough to come up with your posts? Are they making money from the blogs through advertising? Just ridiculous! Stealing is Stealing....It's wrong folks!

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  52. This is not preachy at all! Now I have a question for you... what do you do when you discover a referring url that is questionable? I clicked on it for just a second and immediately regretted it... lets just say it was nothing I would EVER approve of... Is there a way to block these referring URL's?? Trust me I do NOT want any referrals from a pornographic site. Thanks, I appreciate any help you can offer!!

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  53. That really is quite unbelievable! Thanks so much for telling us this-I'm going to check my stats and see if I can find anything.

    How sad that people do this!

    Thanks again and best wishes for a lovely week,
    Natasha in Oz

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  54. Been there, done that. Had way too many of my images stolen and I hate that over the years my watermarks have consequently gotten bigger and bigger. So sad people do this, I can't even imagine what these people are thinking when thy do it!

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  55. I just saw this post, and thank you so much for letting us know. Not nice. Good for you for checking.
    I am not the most computer savvy, so they could take all of mine and I would not even know it.....lol

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  56. Brandi, you're so right. I'm surprised at the number of bloggers who are so willing to benefit from the hard work of others. It's unfortunate that those who create original content and share it with others are the ones who suffer. I like your wording in your request to the other blogger. Do you mind if I use it? :) Thanks Brandi.

    Debbie

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  57. Thanks for the great post, Brandi! Very UN-Cool, stealing someone else's hard work. Good info on how to check with images, too!

    Val @ artsybuildinglady.blogspot.ca

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  58. I read Joyce Meyer's website a lot amd half the time I want to copy-paste what I've read to send to friends, but the website won't let you do that. I wonder if there is a way to set up our blogs that way?

    While this is unfortunate, the hilarious llama photo on the top made me smile brightly. Love it! My husband and I long to be llama farmers (or, even better, alpacas!) I don't know why. We're not even regular farmers. We don't even have a cat or dog. :-) ah, well, dreams!

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  59. True Confession. I used to use any picture I saw on the internet not realizing I was stealing. It was on the NET. Anybody could use it. Then I got messages from some of those people. I was also using their bandwidth. I removed the photos or they removed them and sent me a nasty note. I NEVER used anyone's words. Now I don't use anyone's pics unless they are free or I ask ahead. There my conscience is clear. I will step out of the confessional booth.

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