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Stolen

Posted on Sunday, November 6th, 2005

Dave!Blogography, for lack of a better word, is a diversion. I spend about ten minutes each day writing an entry (a bit more if there's a cartoon), another ten approving comments, and another 10 to 20 answering emails. It's not a very big part of my day, but it is a part that I'm rather attached to. My online life means a lot to me, and the people I've met because of it mean even more.

Which is why I am starting to get fanatically pissed that people are stealing my blog. And I'm not talking about the hundreds of MySpace bloggers who try to hotlink to my photos... I am talking actual theft here.

Back in February, I got an email from my friend Dave++ telling me how somebody had taken photos and content from his web site and created a new fictional person based on his life (you can read the fascinating story here). Something similar had happened to me the previous summer, so I could relate... a reader had sent me an email telling me that somebody had stolen most of my travel photos (like these) and then blogged about the trips as if they were the one who had taken them. I was curious more than upset, and fired off an email telling them that they should either give me credit for my photos or remove them. Instead, they removed the entire blog, which was okay too.

But that was not the end of it. I still get emails from Blogography readers pointing me to other sites that have stolen my stuff. Sometimes it's just a photo or two, which is no big deal (though I do wish they would give me credit, as specified by my Creative Commons license)... but other times it's much worse. They steal entire entries. They steal cartoons and erase the copyright. The steal photos and claim to have taken them. They steal my site layout. They steal my web feed. They steal EVERYTHING.

What really burns my ass is that many times these thieves have money-generating ads on their blogs, meaning that they are PROFITING off of my work. Do you see any ads on MY site? No? That's because THERE AREN'T ANY! If I am not making any money off of Blogography, why should anybody else get to??

A few weeks ago I was pointed to some kind of television critics site where some ass-clown had stolen my entry about why Lost sucks... in its entirety... and posted it with their name as the author. When I wrote in about it, I was told that there must be some kind of "misunderstanding" and that they would look into it. Since the site had paid advertising, I wrote back and said that this was completely unacceptable... either they remove my content IMMEDIATELY, or I would start contacting their advertisers. Their solution? Rewrite the piece with different words to say the exact same thing. Whatever. It's not like I have the money to have a lawyer sue their thieving asses.

And a few weeks before that I was battling with somebody whose entire site was nothing more than my web feed displayed in their layout... with paid ads! WTF?!? How can ANYBODY think that it's okay to republish somebody else's free material and get money for it? But people do... because I've had my entire "television" and "Hard Rock Cafe" categories stolen as well.

Is it just me, or does this suck ass? For the web feed thief, I actually had to get the idiot's web host involved because he refused to remove my work. His attitude was that "anything put on the internet is fair game," and he "had every right to use it however he wanted to." He honestly thought that there was nothing wrong with stealing my content and making money from it. It's this kind of bizarre behavior that has me completely baffled. If you didn't write it and don't credit the original source, you're just a stealing liar. How could it possibly be interpreted any other way?

This would all be so much easier if I could hire mercenaries to track down the people who steal from me and have their stupid asses killed.


Categories: Blogging 2005Click To It: Permalink
   

Comments

  1. Chaz says:

    Sheesh, that’s pretty low. Copying may be one of the highest forms of flattery, but it still sucks. I’m not really surprised this happens these days because, afterall, we are living in a world where people want to make money for doing nothing. Look at spammers and adware developers who make lots of money for doing hardly anything (certainly nothing useful). Maybe you should hire mercenaries to track these people down and beat them into oblivion. I feel sorry for the people who go to those sites and miss out on the content from the original source. What’s worse is that for smaller sites, it will probably go unnoticed.

  2. jenny says:

    My god, is that pathetic! The whole point of blogging is that it’s a glimpse into someone’s life, their opinions, their experiences, their stories. It’s bad enough that someone would steal your stuff, but as you said, to then profit off of it is downright appauling.

    Hope you’re successful at getting these losers to stop stealing your work. I seem to remember seeing a website once where you could plug in your URL and it would search the web for identical content. Is that how you found these people?

  3. Troy says:

    If this happens and you get their personnel information, let us know and we will go web vigalante justice on their ass. Firda has had this happen to her. Mostly with her layouts. It steams me up. Makes me mad.

    I don’t understand people that do this.

  4. Pauly D says:

    That’s f#@%ed up, man.

    I’ll bet once they come out with a real Blogging magazine (like Soldier of Fortune is a “real” magazine) that you’ll be able to hire mercenaries then, to handle such idiots.

  5. ssp says:

    I wonder how profitable that really is. Not that you have ads on your site… but even if you had I wouldn’t have clicked them. And who would?

    But obviously it must be profitable.

    I suppose that the concept of things being ‘okay’ has come out of fashion and has been superseded by ‘profitable’. So as long as you don’t sue the hell out of them, you’ll remain fair game.

    I guess that the good thing here is that whatever they do might earn them money but won’t hurt you in the process. Much better than having them dump toxic waste down your road for their profits.

    Always looking for the positive points, you know…

  6. It’s really nice to know that I’m avoiding problems like this by having a blog that’s nowhere near as well-written, visually interersting, and content rich as yours. :) Let’s pretend I do it on purpose, K?

  7. James says:

    This is somewhat in response to ssp, I am also amazed that ads on websites are profitable enough to go through the trouble of ripping you off (not to say you aren’t awesome enough to not rip off) but really, I’ve NEVER clicked on a website ad…i just don’t get why they’re still alive…

  8. kilax says:

    It will be interesting to see if this entry shows up in those copied blogs… now that would be hypocritical!

    Theft on the internet is so common, especially with art and photos. Many of my friends in the art community are finding their work used for people’s layouts, and find it being manipulated without their permission. How hard is it to credit/ask?!

  9. Anthony says:

    People like that should have their genitalia removed to stop them breeding.

  10. Kevin says:

    That’s just sad and pathetic.

    Hey, when you got that guy’s host involved, how were they to deal with? Did it take a lot of time to convince them or were they more than willing to help you out? I’m just curious.

  11. theMike says:

    I’m guessing you wouldn’t respond well if someone were to tell you that copyright infringement is the sincerest form of flattery huh?

    It’s your own fault really….your blog is too good. Make it shitty like mine and you won’t have this problem. :)

  12. karla says:

    I just find it strange. I mean, the FIRST thing you learn in school is, if you quote someone, you give them credit. I am MANIC about making sure stuff I use is credited.

    Wow, that is really strange. I’m just sort of flummoxed this hppens to you. I just don’t get it, why would someone make a blog just like yours with your words? Lack of imagination, is my only guess.

    Dave, you should just go ahead and take over the world. as it is apparent that everyone wants to BE you.

  13. Kiri says:

    I’ve had this happen to me before. And they didn’t even bother to download my images. They linked them right from my web space. I changed all the graphics to be huge ugly white images with giant black and red text that said “I’m a thief and stole this graphic” over and over. It screwed up their site so bad and it was actually quite hilarious.

    I then proceeded to send them a bill. I itemized it giving each image a value of $50, charged for my labor, and a charge for the bandwidth they were stealing. They wrote back trying to be all like “whatever” but they ended up taking everything down within an hour. :)

    After that I tried watermarking all my photos.. then I gave up on that and put my photos in an album where people had to be registered to view them. This sucked but I was sick of people stealing bandwidth, and I was paranoid that the following might happen to me:

    I’ve seen two women get their entire blogs copied. Right down to photos of them pregnant and pictures of their kids copied by some weirdo passing it off as THEIR pictures, and pictures of THEIR kids. It really upset the original author. Beside the fact that these freaks stole their writing, they stole pictures of their kids… you just don’t mess with someone’s kids like that.

  14. Neil T. says:

    It’s weird – I read this and then saw several blogs linking to ebaumsworldsucks.com. ebaumsworld.com steals content from other sites and passes it off as its own – bit like what’s going on here I suppose.

    You could try hotlink protection, but be sure to make exceptions for sites like bloglines.com and newsgator.com. That’ll at least stop the hotlinkers. Or write some evil-looking takedown notices and post them (by snail mail) to anyone stealing your stuff, threatening further action if they don’t buck their ideas up. It’s a bit evil but it might scare their asses.

  15. michaelsean says:

    Dude. I am stealing all your shit now and selling it. Wish I had thought of that earlier as I am tired of the whole work thing!

  16. Harold says:

    That stealing your stuff really sucks! What’s next, seeing your “Bad Monkey” T-Shirts on a rack at K-Mart?

  17. Michelle YBF says:

    OMG, I suddenly had a vision of some of these people stealing your job, your apartment, your motorcycle, your friends and assuming your identity completely! I hope Bubba would know the difference!!

    Being completely serious, that really bites. Stealing pictures and calling them your own. Weird.

  18. Belinda says:

    I hear Sam Fisher is available.

    The weirdest thing that happened to me along those lines is when someone lifted the professional pictures of my Arabian stallion and put them all over her site, giving him a new name, a new career (one that the actual horse is wholly unsuited for), and a whole backstory, and said he was “for sale.” That was just weird, but when I harrassed her enough she took it down. Took about a month to wear her down. She had the same attitude, “It’s out there for the taking, and people do it all the time.”

    I always wondered what she did when someone wanted to buy MY horse.

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