Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Trust, Disappointment and the Internet

Writing to me is personal. It's a way to share my thoughts, my experiences, my life. I've always done it and I always will, whether it's on a coffee-stained napkin, in a notebook or on the palm of my hand.

It's what I do. It's who I am.

It's not so important to me who reads it, although I appreciate that people do. It's not important to me who doesn't read it. Up until now, sharing my life in this space has been nothing but good.

And then last week happened.

I want to ask you a question. What would you do if your writing was posted somewhere else? It's a simple question. Material of mine was posted on someone else's blog, nothing personal thankfully or even something that I worked really hard at writing, but still...mine. Mine.

Not hers.


When I found the content, I tried everything I could to contact this person privately...which she in turn saw as "stalkerish." I'm sorry, but I have a few (more than a few) issues with this.

#1 - The blog author has her personal information all over the Internet. Now, I'm not Agatha Christie, but it took less than 5 minutes to find her on Twitter, Facebook and her photography site. And from those avenues, I attempted to send her a polite email asking her to please get back to me regarding her blog. I thought I was being nice, instead of leaving a comment for all of her readers to see. Apparently, being nice makes you a stalker, according the the email she sent back to me.

#2 - Are you kidding me??? I just so happened to find my material on your site and I'm the one with the problem????? Sure, you didn't pretend that you authored it, but you didn't ask permission OR credit the blog author at all (which would have been done had you had permission).

#3 - What ever happened to bloggers common sense? I guess just like regular common sense, not everyone is blessed with it.

#4 - It's okay to link to someones blog without permission. It's not okay to TAKE THEIR ENTIRE POST and say you don't know where you found it! The blog author stated in her email to me that "tons of sites link to me without my permission so I don't link to others," which, alright fine I don't really care because that has nothing to do with what you did! A link is very different from a post. And by the way, in her profile, she says she is a teacher.

#5 - I understand that the Internet has grown at such a rapid pace since people began using it for everything from how to look up a recipe to how to save a life, but there are LAWS protecting Intellectual Property and it's common knowledge that you don't take what is not yours. Apparently they didn't teach this at whatever school this lady attended.

It's not the end of the world, but it makes me want to bang my head against the wall.

And the worst part about the whole thing?

I've made an enemy.

I never intended to do that.


Michelle said...

I hear you. Last week someone C&P'd an entire post of mine (photos, links & all) into a forum. I found it because I was getting internal links from somewhere weird. I contacted the person who posted it and thankfully she was really nice (and apologetic) after I explained that she could use portions with proper attribution, but she was violating copyright to C&P the entire thing.

I think that maybe some people just don't know, but it doesn't sound like that was what happened in your case.

And that sucks.

Ignorance about the source is not an excuse either, all you have to do is C&P a portion into Google to find your source. Anyone who isn't a fucking idiot can figure that out.

Karen said...

Gosh..when I first started reading this, my first thought was, "Oh no, she didn't like that I mentioned her beautiful post on my FB page." I was relieved it was not me you were upset at, because even after asking your permission, I felt as if I was intruding on your space by wanting to repost it.
As for whoever did this to you....Im sorry. It's happened to me before as well, not with anything I wrote on my own, but I posted a poem (not mine), with a picture I had created on my blog, and then ran across another blog that had the EXACT SAME POEM WITH PICTURE attached to it, even the same background! I felt like someone was really intruding on my space, and it wasn't even my poem....just my arrangement, so I can only imagine how you must have felt by taking your words!
I hope this does not mean you will stop posting so much. I truly look forward to your posts. Although, I would encourage you to put it into book format for your children.

carrie said...

Oh Karen...please be my facebook friend so that I can chit chat with you there! I absolutely didn't mind you asking or sharing - that is TOTALLY different!

monstergirlee said...

That just sucks.
I cannot believe she wouldn't cop to her "error" and be nice about it. Obviously she's defensive because she got caught being naughty. What a jerk.
I'm sorry this happened to you. :-(

Miller Family said...

That happened to a friend of mine and somehow she was able to make her blog so people could not cut and paste. Not private, but she had it copyrighted somehow. Not sure how she did it, but she is writing books so maybe her publisher knew how to do this.
What a "Not Nice Person". Creapy too! I recommend printing your blog. I do it every year as my journal and our yearly family scrapbook through blurb.com. Then I don't feel so guilty about not scrapbooking a family album. I just scrapbook the boys' special events and awards etc.

Scout's Honor said...

Yep, it stinks and by her defensiveness, it shows she knew it was wrong. I made a lot of mistakes when I first started innocent blogging, but it doesn't look like she was a new blogger and taking someone's post-- even part of it--without linking at the very least tells me she didn't want to send traffic away from her site. Selfish and wrong. Theft really! I sure wouldn't want that woman teaching my kids about plagiarism.


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