Monday, November 7, 2011

Stealing Someone's Blog Posts-Not Cool

Original Blog Post

Many of my blogging friends and readers will recognize the above post of mine that I posted January 13, 2009. This post is one of my most often Googled posts and people seem to love the pictures of my treasured glass on glass mosaics that I made and mounted in my garden. In fact, it is such a beloved post another 'blogger' (read thief) decided to 'gather' a bunch of Internet articles that the person (not sure if a he or she) felt were 'wonderful' articles from the Internet. The problem is that these wonderful articles don't just appear on the Internet and don't belong to the Internet. Someone has to post these wonderful articles and hopefully that someone is the creative individual who originated the article. Posting someone else's work as your own is so not cool and this is what happened to my glass on glass mosaic post. 

When I found this post of mine I was absolutely shocked. First at the audacity, then, well just at the audacity and I am outraged. I found my post when I checked my Sitemeter for outclicks. I almost always check Sitemeter for outclicks because you can kind of see what people are interested in, where they came from and what photos they like best. This particular visitor was interested in a picture and outclicked on a picture that was posted in my original Glass on Glass post. I then went to look at the referral words which were "Glass Mosaic". When I clicked on that referral it took me to this other blog! That was not what I had expected at all needless to say. 

At this point I did two things. I left a very loud comment about letting the 'owner' of the blog know that I was the lawful owner of the post the person had posted and that I was reporting the theft to Blogger. You see, Blogger has its own policies for operating and copyright infringement is clearly in contradiction to those policies. They have a wonderful reporting page where you can report these kinds of thefts. Reporting this theft was the second thing I did. 

I am happy to report I promptly received a response that my legal complaint was received and was in the queue for action. It took another two days to finally receive an email that the offending site was removed and no longer available. I went and verified it myself and I was ever so happy the system worked! You see, had Blogger not taken the site down I'm not sure what I could've done. The 'blogger' who posted my article did not acknowledge my comment though the blog is still active-with a post on the same day I left my comment! The person did not try to contact me or apologize or offer to remove it at all. That would've been the right thing to do. 

Theft of Blog Post

I certainly realize that when you post things on the web, whether they be comments, words, pictures, or videos then those things are there forever and that other people can access your stuff. I get it. I do, but that does not mean that you can republish original work as your own. Certainly I don't mind links to my blog and my work and I'm sure Skeeter does not mind that either, but republishing work as your own??? Even when links within that original blog link back to the original blog? There was no link in the post that gave me credit for my work. This blogger, and I use the term loosely, made it seem as though the work belonged to him or her. Even though in the blogs header it says 'this is collection of articles from the Internet'. People don't understand what when there is an article on a blog that it might be from someone else. Blogs should be from the blogger unless specifically stated that there is a guest blogger. There are problems with bloggers or anyone else publishing the work of others. It is not the way to go even without legal problems republishing another's work as your own is unethical and amoral. If you are going to have a blog then have a blog for your own use of things you do. Surely no one has a life that is so boring they must collect articles from other authors to post on a blog? If this person appreciated my article then he or she should've copied it or bookmarked it for their own use and/or included a link in their blog for others to locate. This is the normal procedure I see used by most bloggers. Note: I must say that this blog was not a commercial blog and as far as I could see did not earn any money from ads or anything else but I still did not appreciate my blog post reposted word for word by another blogger.

We at In the Garden never have to worry about anyone saying they found their blog work on our blog because we post all original artwork and thoughts from our own lives and experiences. We post our own pictures and our words because this blog is a scrapbook of our gardens and experiences that we just happen to share with all of you and the world. When it gets to the point that our lives and experiences are stolen like this it really makes us wonder if all of our work is even worth it. 

This is the second time this has happened to our blog posts that I am aware of. In the first case Blogger took the offending website down once I proved the post was mine. While I don't mind proving the post is mine; which I do by keeping all of the original emails of my posts and by the fact that once I hit publish my photos and words are time stamped in the great world of links and urls; I think people need to discipline themselves and act how they would like to be treated. I wonder if this person would appreciate me stealing their words (if they have any) and republishing them as my work? 

in the garden....

Words and Photos Property of In the Garden Blog Team, In the Garden


  1. You Go Girl!

    I had a similar problem with feed scrapers. Some would just post a thumbnail picture as well as the first few lines of my post, and by clicking the link you would go straight to my blog. I didn't mind this. However, I found one site that was posting my articles entirely and without any link to my blog. Fortunately, I contacted the person responsible and he agreed to remove all of my posts. Since then I have changed the settings on my blog so that anyone who subscribes only gets a snippet of the post and has to go to the blog for the whole thing.

    We all need to stay vigilent so this wonderful thing stays wonderful.

  2. I agree Les. I had changed my settings a long time ago (I hope subscribers only get a snippet) and had not had too many issues but this blog blew me away. The purpose of posting others posts according the blog owner is 'in case that original blog goes down there is still a record'. Straight from the blog. Huh? I'm glad the blogger worked with you. This one did not respond even to this day but Blogger removed my post.

  3. Hi Tina thanks for a very enlightening comment. This happened to me a few years ago with my Joanne's Cottage garden blog- I tried to do something about it at that time but was frightened off by something that suggested that if I didn't prove it was mine I would be charged the legal costs so I just gave up.

    However I have to say I would be delighted for anyone to copy and re post anything from my

    What is happening in denying this disease in it's chronic form is an International medical disgrace far worse than the denial AIDS patients encounter in the early days of their disease.

    One day when medicine wakes up to what fraud has been committed by the IDSA Guideline authors then I may have more time to enjoy garden blogs again.

  4. I think I should re-check my settings again. I am shocked that person did not even apologize to you.

  5. What a strange thing to do when it wasn't trying to draw commercial traffic - I get quite a lot of emails from people asking to use photos or posting links to my work and am always happy to agree with the proviso that it is acknowledged as mine but I have yet to find my work out there word for word as a blog post or article.

    I did have a map that I had created for an article on my website appear on a foreign university blog and like you I posted a comment but had no response!

  6. You go girl. It is a shame that someone would steal another s hard work. What is this world coming to?

  7. Hi Tina, early this year i have also posted my experiences when my photos were reposted in a forum by a few people as theirs. I think some people are really just very irresponsible and outright st--p-d! But i don't know how to check what you did, which you said outlicks in Sitemeter, which i don't have also. I also don't know what settings will be more difficult for the thieves. Anyway, thank you for the information.

  8. Hi

    I suppose you remember that my Mothra post was reposted by a certain blogger as his/her post. Not only this post but also many other posts of mine were reposted by the same person who seemed to have two blogs. On the both blogs, I discovered that my entire posts(more than 50) had been reposted by him/her. I reported the issues to "Blogger" and fortunately I was able to prove that I really had written those posts. Eventually, the two blogs disappeared(probably Blogger removed them).
    As Andrea say, I also don't know what settings will be more difficult for the thieves. Thank you tina for your kindness back then.

    PS:I read your previous post and found your new camera very cool. The colors in your photos are beautiful, especially the color pink is really fantastic.

  9. Over the last few years, I've found blogs who took one article or 500 articles!

    Like you, I report them to Blogger. However, the last time that I reported that another blogger had stolen hundreds of my articles, they asked me to submit a spreadsheet with the link to mine and a link to the copied blog. I just haven't taken the time to report those hundreds of links.

    A interesting thing to note is that if the perp has placed ADSENSE ADS on the blog and using your content to pull in traffic, that is another story. You can report it to both Blogger and Adsense--both owned by Google.

    Maybe I should repost my "how to" story on adding names and blog links to the template for new garden bloggers? I know that you do that to your blog.

    Sorry that thieves struck your blog.

    Since I write professionally (off my blog; my blog posts aren't paid), I get really irritated when my stories are stolen. I have just as much trouble with individual flower photos being stolen by RETAIL NURSERIES! I send the thieves emails to tell them that they are using my photos without permission. Some get nasty, some apologetic, a few offer to pay.

    Anyway...this is one of my rant topics!

  10. Tina, I am sorry that this happened to you. Hopefully the other blogger learned a lesson, even if they won't apologize or acknowledge any wrongdoing. I hope this doesn't happen again. Carla

  11. It's infuriating. This is a link to copyright info for bloggers, not that I think the offenders care:

  12. Yeah, I just don't get it. Why anyone would republish a whole post as their own makes NO SENSE! Glad you reported it!! P.S> Now I'm giggling at the thought of someone copying your post on how copying posts is wrong. Sorry, that's just my weird brain!

  13. This just boggles my mind. At first I was thinking, okay maybe they did not realize they were doing wrong. But by not responding to your comment or apologizing, in my opinion, that says they knew they were doing wrong!

    I am guilty of using a photograph off the internet but when I have done so, I state that the photo was borrowed from the internet. When I have done this, the photo was found by a Google Image search. I would never use another’s photos or words as that is just not right. Isn’t that called Plagiarism?

    After this, I doubt I will ever use another “Borrowed” picture from the Internet…

    Seems there is always a Rotten Apple in the Basket… Gee….

  14. I was also wondering like Skeeter if they were just STUPID and did not know but by not responding I guess they must have known. So then I thought maybe they were too stupid to be able to write their own work. With all my thoughts while reading the post, again like Skeeter, I am thinking, is it not plagiarism? Was surprised it was not mentioned by several people. People with very good jobs (sports writers, college professors, authors and several others) get fired from their jobs for plagiarism and when in a high powered job it makes the news. As it should!!

  15. Geez, I'm so glad this worked out in the end. It must have been two days of utter aggravation!

  16. It still amazes me at the audacity of people to believe that stealing is boundaries...glad it was infuriating...

  17. I am so glad you posted this! Wow! What an awful situation! I do not print any of my writing on my blog because I am always afraid the work will be stolen. And I used to have a painting blog. I still have my tile blog even though I haven't worked on my tiles in quite a while or posted anything on the blog. I ought to check and see if any of those things were stolen and posted as someone else's work! I will also check my settings for my main blog and my quilting blog! Thanks!

  18. Skeeter,
    I thought I might email you but did not see an email address. I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed your long comment to my blog post. It's neat that we both had grandmothers with apple trees in their yards (I too ate many a green apple, sprinkled with salt, incidently!) and that we both have their paring knives! I'm glad you enjoyed the info on the Gila woodpecker. I went by your other blog and saw someone mention you are having surgery! Get well soon! All my best--

  19. Grrr! That makes my blood boil! I'm glad you were able to resolve it this time by contacting Blogger. I guess vigilance pays off. I'm a little lazy about checking on my stats or to see if anyone out there is "borrowing" stuff. There are some bad apples out there spoiling things for everyone.

  20. Just strange. Why would they do this if they weren't getting money somehow? What would be the motivation? To look smart? How very, very odd. Glad you found them and reported them. It shocks me to think that people would even think of doing this!

  21. I have not had this happen,but I haven't been looking for it either. It really doesn't surprise me because it's just like bragging about things you didn't do, which people do all the time. My photographs appear on Google images all the time, but I haven't given permission for them to be there or for anyone to use them. If you use an image from there without permission, then it really isn't any different than taking it off my blog. Before I started blogging though, I thought that people submitted photos to Goggle images. But now I think Goggle is a photo scraper instead of a feed scraper. What do you think?

  22. Thanks everyone for weighing in on the subject matter. It is a real problem for sure.

    Cameron, Yes, I found your post most helpful it might be time for another one.

    Mom, Yes, indeed-plagiarism at its core for sure.

    Carolyn, Picasa is owned by Google and so is images. I never knew once I uploaded my photos via Picasa that they went straight to Google images. Frustrating indeed. I now use Flickr and have the settings set to private-that's not to say someone can't access my photos via my blog but they won't (I hope!) find my photos on Google images anymore. So far it has only been the Picasa images I find there.

  23. Tina, I am back to read others' comments too, so i can read their suggestions like that of Cameron. Also to add something more, I've seen a lot of people citing google as their reference, but actually google is just the search engine and the real reference users must cite is not google but the person or article which is the main source. Google search results are just like a bibliographical list of all articles containing the word we are looking for. Again, citing the actual references is not clear to most people, many internet users are not taught in school the responsible way of doing citations.

  24. Andrea, You are so right about citing. Google does however have measures in place to prevent to copyright and will right the infraction if it is a proven violation. I think folks should use website links and never ever copy and paste the work personally.

    I meant to tell you about Sitemeter. It is a very good resource but I think perhaps Google analytics and stats works the same way. I am just so used to Sitemeter that I prefer it. It shows where visitors come from and other information. I have even been able to trace spammer IP addresses by using information from Sitemeter. I did post on this you can check the sidebar for spammers or spam, not sure since it has been a while.

    As far as the settings, I'm no expert but it seems like syndicating the feed to short would prevent complete posts from going out to subscribers so that if they wished to read the whole thing then they have to come to the blog? Not sure if it works as I don't subscribe to my own blog and I've never gotten feedback from subscribers. This setting is on your dashboard under feed.

  25. wow, being a new blogger I didnt even know this kind of thing was a problem, am much more aware now, thanks!
    please dont stop your posts are very worthwhile & I love reading them.

  26. Here is the link to the story that I wrote:

    How to Automatically Add Your Blog Name to Each Post:

    Since Blogger has changed to a new editing format in the beta, I need to go through and update the screen shots.

  27. I do save favorite posts on my " links" for future reference and the blogger who posted them. So many keepers out there. Is this ok?

  28. Patsi, You don't repost the whole favorite post do you? That is what this person did. Saving links is great, no problem there.

  29. Patsi, Forgot to say, the blogger reposts the whole post in case the link and original blog post goes down. That is their reasoning. Not cool if you ask me no matter what. It is awful to see your words and photos posted as another persons on their blog.

  30. Update on the blog that reposted my post-that blog is now closed to the public unless you have an invite. Very interesting.

  31. Tina, I'm sorry to hear this -it's just not right! Wow, some people have no shame -I'm glad it was pulled -you do all the work girl and fair is fair. Ciao!

  32. I've had this happen before too Tina so I understand your feelings and share them. I think it's outrageous but unscrupulous people exist everywhere (Internet and real world) so it shouldn't surprise us. Just very sad.