Saturday, August 13, 2011

"Along the Way" to Plagiarism

I don't typically spend my Saturday night blogging, but something just happen that I want EVERYONE to know about.

I was robbed.

No, not "doors knocked down, tvs missing, glass smashed" kinda robbed.

I was stolen from, on here.  My blog.  My precious words were taken from me and used as someone's own. And I feel violated.

Here's what happened:  Y'all know I have another blog where I feature Friday Daydreams right??

ATTENTION BLOG STEALER: I am the writer behind R We There Yet Mom? (& the Friday Daydreams)

I like to visit all who link up.  So I had a late link today and went to see her "daydream" - it was a lovely one about her honeymoon - I really loved it - and typed up a great comment about it, thanking her.  As I hit to save my comment, Blogger must have known I needed to see a little more of her blog, because it didn't save my comment but instead re-routed me to a post on her blog titled "Ugh Facebook".

I started reading it and thought to myself - "that's weird, that sounds a lot like the one I wrote in July about The Facebook.  THAT'S CAUSE IT WAS Y'ALL.  my post.  mostly word for word.  Right down to the Jake Ryan & HEB reference.  At least she took the references to my kids out if it.

So what's the first thing I do??  IM all my IRL blogging buddies - they convince me to ask her to remove it.  Which I politely do:

And cause they all have nothing better to do on a Saturday night, they all left AWESOME comments telling her their opinions of stealing someone's hard written words too.

Oh how I love these girls!!!!!!!!!

Now I am not naive enough to think this never happens.  I am sure MANY unethical bloggers out there steal other's posts.  I just never thought anyone would want to take mine.  (ha ha).  Am I flattered? Not.At.All.

I worked hard on that post - put the time in to make it witty - and to top it off, it was a meaningful post - I have seen some relationships ruined by Facebook - as silly as it is, writing about The Facebook was rather cathartic for me. And to have someone take my words from me feels just as violating as if they broke into my house and took my tv.

And after a little googling and some advice from some friends, I learned that I have a copyright on anything I publish here on my blog.  In fact, did you know:

1. You DO NOT have to put notice that your material is "copyright protected" on your blog.  YOU AUTOMATICALLY have copyright protection.

2. Even if you credit the author (but have not asked permission to use their materials, photos, etc), you are still in danger of copyright infringement.

3. If you do feel like you have infringed on someone's copyright, just because you take it down off of your blog, you are not out of danger.  That person can still go after you in court.

(BTW, I found this information on Copyright Law: 12 Dos & Don'ts.  I did not plagiarize their material to post it on here.  If you would like to hear their version (which sounds much more technical), you can do so by clicking here. )

No, I'm not going to go after someone in court over my family blog.  It was a mistake that she got caught in and received a good flaming.

I know I put myself out there by posting my life on the web....that anyone can read..... I have done what I can to protect my family (I don't use their real names - come on, Sissy & Bubba? ).  I have started putting watermarks on my photos so they won't show up on bus advertisement in Europe (true story y'all).  But it's a gamble.

She didn't knock down my doors.  She didn't steal my tv.  It's just a blog.  I really do have it all in perspective.

Just don't do it again, ok lady?

BTW - My sweet friend, Vivienne, came up with this title.  I asked her permission to use it.


Connie said...

You do know that this means you have arrived. Chic, C'est La Vie.

I still can't believe that CHURCH going people do things like this. It's stealing and God hates when people break commandments.

I looked through her blog and she's been blogging for 2 years without a single comment.

Until tonight...

Vivienne @ the V Spot said...

Good post, Becca. I hope she takes it down soon.

Tracy said...

Good for you for outing here ! That's horrible, i'm sorry that happened to you.

I don't reply to posts often but I went on hers and commented, and I wanted to tell you that I think it's horrible, AND that I enjoy your blog.

She sucks. :)

♥ Drazil ♥ said...

I've heard of this being done. Just doesn't seem worth it to me. I mean - people ALWAYS get caught....I'm sorry this happened to you.

Keri said...

That is just so crazy. It would never even enter my mind to copy and paste someone's's crazy! One time someone posted a quote on FB that looked very familiar and it was something I had written..word for a blog post. I commented "sounds familiar" and that was it. She never said anything about it. The whole thing is just weird!!! Good for you for sticking up for yourself!

Darling's said...

How crazy, and that she actually linked up leading you to find what she did. Sorry that happened and I am glad you confronted her and I hope she learned her lesson. Good info about watermarking your photos, you will have to let me know how to do that!!

Shawn said...

I'm sorry this happened to you but sadly I feel this offense is just a drop in the bucket. I am confident this happens over and over again and never gets noticed. Good for you for bringing attention to it in such a respectful way!

So proud to call you my IRL friends!

Macey said...

Did you hear or see the one that happened like this last year?? Yeah, she reposted pics from another blogger's blog and said they were her kids. :(

Steph said...

WOW...just wow....I was looking at her blog and its funny to me that she listed your blog on her Top Blog List and this post is right on

Karma sucks...


Robin said...

I recently learned that someone ripped off my velvettush to sell diaper covers. buy your domain.

Anonymous said...

grrr this makes me so mad for you! I hope she takes it down and that it never happens again!! Thanks for the copyright info!

Amber said...

Oh my gosh! It always baffles me how people have the balls to do something like that - she participates in a link up you hosts and genuinely thinks she isn't going to get caught??

I hope she's since apologized and removed the post.

Thanks for sharing the information about copyrighted materials, after reading this I realized I didn't know anything about it nor thought it was something I had to worry about. Definitely an eye opener!

Johnson Boys said...

First off let me say. There is a lot of unnecessary word slinging going on for something that was merely innocent. I have blogged for 2 years and yes with no comments as my 3 blogs are mostly for my family and close friends. Not so much caddiness from strangers like this. I understand now that you may be upset but also from the other side you should see it as a compliment as well. I totally agree with every single word you said and not sure I could have written it or said it any better myself. However, good call out on the “Guest Writer” thing I have never done that but for sure will learn how.
I honestly didn't mean to offend anyone nor make a bunch of blogging enemies. I enjoy reading your blog and think by far you do a really nice job and we do think a lot alike. I would have called someone out too for borrowing my idea. Hell come up with your own. But really Christian people don't do that and it is stealing are you kidding me? Come on people I am a hard core Christian and by far never really thought of it as "stealing" easy on stones you throw around and the judgments one makes. It is a blog and we are grown adults here to share stories about life and make connections. Not rally around like a bunch of hateful little high school girls in the hallway at school slinging hateful words. Sorry that so many of you were so offended that was not the intention. I was only passing it along and sharing with my friends those exact same feelings that most of them do not even blog and have no clue who Texas Darling even is.. so I thought there was no real harm.

Impulsive Addict said...

Are you serious, crazy lady? You don't think you did anything wrong? If you wanna "steal" someone else's material, GIVE THEM CREDIT. Everybody knows this. You've been a blogger for 2 years. Caddiness? Oh haven't even seen catty yet. Did you take down the post yet?

Jessica | The Frilly Coconut said...

@Johnson Boys

Can I first just say that Becca is a client of mine and unfortunately she's right - she's not the only one that faces copyright infringement like this. People face it on a daily basis.

It seems to me that her readers have merely rallied around her because they all thought what you did was wrong.

I think that a simple admittance of your wrong doing would have sufficed. Unfortunately, it appears that you have failed to realize just how wrong your actions were.

Are you aware that this could become a legal issue if Becca so chooses it to be? Stealing is stealing.

If you don't give credit, you're stealing. And stealing is very wrong and could potentially cost you a lot.

Anonymous said...

I just heard about this on Twitter from Connie and I'm with all of you. This is wrong plain and simple. IT IS WRONG and she needs to be hung up by her toes and taught it is wrong to steal.

buttonbrain said...

How bizzare! If you copy the words of Stephen King and publish them as your own, you understand it's copyrighted and illegal right?? What is the difference. Written word is copyrighted. End of story. And without being nasty, if you are unaware of that, you need to get some legal advise before you write another word or publish another pic. If your blog is for personal use only then it ought to be locked and private.

Kristin @ What She Said said...

I'm sorry you had your content stolen and think the comments you and your friends left her were well-said and showed a lot of class. I hope she takes the stolen post down and offers you an apology. Has she responded to any of the comments?

Emmy said...

Sorry that happened. I had heard of a site where you can put in your URL to see if things have been copied from your blog but I cannot remember it.

Christie in Dallas, TX said...

@Johnson Boys - JUST APOLOGIZE! I seriously don't understand how you could have been blogging this long and not understand the impact of plagiarizing someone else's efforts. But even if you really are that naive -- HOW ABOUT AN APOLOGY? A sincere one. Not a "don't-get-your-panties-in-a-bunch-cuz-it's-a-compliment" kind of way. A true, sincere apology. That's what "hard core Christians" do.

Unknown said...

Ok, first of all, I have to say I LOVED the comment by Connie about "church going people" Why do people assume that just because people go to church that they are perfect? CHURCH going people make just as many mistakes, we are human. The difference (hopefully) is that we live our lives accepting God's grace and sharing that grace with others. Why are people so quick to judge others which was also in the Bible. In fact of the two GREATEST commandment in the Bible which wasn't part of the 10 famous ones was to "love your neighbor as yourself" Well if you break it down, it means to be forgiving when others make a mistake. Maybe not ASSUME the worst in them. Like maybe not assuming that they truly intended on "stealing" which I don't think she did. Cause lets face it, we ALL make mistakes and we would ALL want someone to forgive us and not assume the worst of our intentions. I don't condone copying someone else work, but how would you know exactly how you would respond in this situation? It kills me that other Christian women on here are getting their "panties in a bunch" over someone they have not personally met. Forget about the 10 commandments and concentrate on the ONE.

AndreaLeigh said...

A compliment? that's what people always say when they get caught ripping you off.

i'm sorry this happened to you, and I'm even more sorry of her reaction when you brought it up to her.

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