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Where’s Roy Rodgers when we need him?

Recently, I read a very disturbing blog post. I would link to it but I can’t find it again. A Mommy Blogger found out that another woman had stolen photos of her children and blog posts off her blog and posted them on Facebook as her own. Is that creepy or what? Makes you want to never post a personal photo or story ever again!

Copying other people’s work seems to be a problem in the blogger-sphere. I remember when Nancy from Count Down to Mexico had a problem with someone stealing her copy. Click on the link, Nancy explains it better than I ever could. You should also read the comments, there is good information there. She also links to Jennifer of Mexscape, who goes into more detail, since her blog was also ripped off. You can read that post here. The perpetrator was a real estate site selling property in Mazatlan and providing information for potential clients. It must be easy to produce copy when all you have to do is push control c and control v.

The other day, a friend was reading a forum and someone there quoted something that included my name. She thought it was odd, so she passed the link on to me. It was a quote lifted from a forum where we were discussing how to pay for purchases here in Mexico. The quoter didn’t acknowledge where the original came from. He used it out of context to push his own crazy agenda. I decided not to get involved, since he wasn’t actually quoting me. One thing is to quote someone, and as you know I love a good quote. Check out the comments on my post, At least the bear had a good meal, I tried to find a quote to answer every commenter.

As I said, it’s one thing is to quote someone. Another thing entirely is to post a complete article or blog post with out permission. The person who stole from Nancy and Jennifer knew exactly they were doing. Personally, I have seen people post entire articles that they have gotten from other blogs. I think sometimes it’s innocent, sometimes it’s honest admiration, but no matter the motivation, it’s harmful. When you publish, without permission, someone else’s work on your blog, you are robbing the person of traffic to their site. Instead of helping them by linking and sharing with your readers a great blog post or a new blog you’ve found, you are actively harming the original writer. Especially, if the author is a professional and was paid to produce the piece.

I have several blogger friends who are published authors. Their websites or blogs are a way to show to potential publishers just how much interest there is in their writing. If instead of linking to them, their posts were just copied, those readers do not show up on their statistics. It can be potentially damaging thing to their reputations too. What happens when they don’t answer comments or questions on someone else’s blog? How does that look to potential employers? Or to the snubbed reader?

Then there are the blogs with ad content. Some advertisers pay per click, but there are others who pay according to your readership. If your readers are reading your stuff but on someone else’s blog, you lose that revenue. If the person who publishes your post is paid ad revenue they are actively stealing by doing so, they deprive the original author and receive the revenue themselves.

When I am doing research on something, it amazes me how much of this is out there. When I was looking up information on nopales, it seemed like almost all the sites had copied verbatim from another site. Did everyone in their High School history class turn in the same term paper? How did that affect the one person who actually did the work?

I am wondering if the Latin American Blogger’s Convention should also have a round table discussion on the ethics of blogging? I know a couple of retired lawyers who might have a thing or two to say on the subject.

About Theresa

Born in New York City, I grew up in California, and have lived in 3 countries and 6 states. I'm a first generation Cuban-American who lives in Merida, Yucatan, Mexico. I'm committed to living an abundant and creative life and helping others do so too through DIY!


  1. Leslie, As a parent, I find it disconcerting at best. I hate watermarks because if you put it across the whole photo it distorts the picture, if you just put a small one, then they can photoshop it out. All you can really do is not post any really world class photos on your blog, which is not a problem for me!


  2. The story of the woman who posted another woman’s pictures as her own is just scary. I’ve heard of foreign ad companies “stealing” a woman’s pic from her blog and using them for their ads.

    There are several web pages that offer tutorial on how to add a watermark to your pictures, with Photoshop and Photobucket.

    I hope you will fill us in on the deatail, if this does become a roundtable discussion at the Blogger’s Convention.

  3. Karen, How exciting.Twin grandbabies!

    As for linking etc. I don’t want to be the blog police. I was just getting something off my chest.

    Whether it’s a blog or apost,I don’t think it really matters what you call it, does it? The individual articles are blog posts because you post them to your blog. But if someone is that picky, they have too much time on their hands. Then again, when your looking for information it helps to know what to call them.

    I didn’t write down what I did for the crocheted diaper cover so I can’t email you directions but I can email you a general idea. Also a link to a free crocheted diaper wrap that is pretty cool looking.
    I kept laying the one I crocheted against the patterns that I had printed out for the sewn ones, to check the size. That helps.
    I bet for twins you need to make more new born sizes, right?
    How fun for you! Baby things are so much fun to make.


  4. Thank you for your help. I enjoy your (is it correctly referred to as Blog or Posts?) I am so new to this I must seem really a sad case. But I have never been afraid to ask for help, though I prefer to try and muddle my way through without bothering people with far more to do than answer me.

    I was trying to figure out the whole linking thing and posted on my everyday life blog what I hope is correct links. Let me know please if I have done anything not acceptable.

    I have to confess, I was inspired by your diaper covers and have been trying to create my own unique crochet pattern. I wanted something close to the cloth ones you made but crocheted. The sizing has been an issue, I cannot find patterns anywhere for what I want and it will be December before my 2nd set of twin granddaughters (not to brag or anything) are born. So I have to figure out where I can find babies to try them on for size.

  5. Hi Karen, the way to find out if someone is reading is to get an analytics or reader tracking program. Mine is from google and there are others available out there. The simplest one is a widget that counts every time someone visits your blog. You can’t go by the number of comments. According to my stats, this blog receives (an amazing amount)3,000 visits a month (out of which about 1,200 are unique visitors)but if you went by my regular commentators, you’d think about 20 people read my blog.It is my understanding that all you need to do to copyright something is to state that you retain the rights to it.By the way,it’s copy RIGHT not write, “the right to copy”. I get them confused all the time.
    To register something is more complicated and I am not really clear on that procedure.
    You should read the links in my post for more information.

  6. I am new to blogging and found this informative and now I have to go research “copywriting” is it really as simple as posting a sentence or is there some legal avenue required?

    Based on the lack of comments I have received I don’t think anyone reads what I write, which is not a bad thing since I am just starting. But sometimes I come up with catchy titles or phrases that are unique to me and would like to learn more about protecting some of the strange places my mind flows to.

  7. Gloria, yes, that is the way it can be, but it doesn’t have to be. I like to think that stuff is the exception not the rule. I am glad to have you back commenting on my blog!That must mean your husband is feeling better.
    Oh, recipes cannot be copyrighted,but the prose accompanying the recipe can be.It has to do with the process. So I can post a Jame Beard recipe but not the little blurb where he tells where it came from etc. It’s always nice to give credit!

    Steve, oh, I am so happy to read that! Expect an email.

    Madame Pliers, First off, people like you who are thoughtful about everything, are not the problem.
    I am sure you know the difference between paraphrasing and plagiarism. Apparently, there is a big problem with the people’s inability to distinguish between those two things. That in itself is an entire blog post. I would hate to be a teacher these days.

    In my opinion, quoting and linking is helping the fellow blogger. You send traffic their way. It’s those who copy entire posts verbatim instead of linking who are doing harm, or even worse those who don’t even give credit.

    I found the whole “stealing my life” thing bizarre. That is too weird for me. It is an entirely different issue all together. Probably someone, somewhere is writing their thesis on the phenomenon.

    Living here in the land of blatant copyright infringement, I am well aware that anything you put out there can and will be copied.
    I also toyed with placing a copyright blurb on my blog. I will probably do so now.


  8. The story about the woman who lifted the other woman’s bloglife and children photos is fascinating. Particularly since she chose to upload it all to fb. Poor thing… Reminds me of an episode from Law & Order that I saw where a woman swears that another woman’s kids are her own.

    I have to admit it would never have occurred to me to do such a thing although I don’t have any children, nor much of a life, thus, it could have come in handy. I’ll have to give it some thought now.

    I do imagine that I’ve been guilty of quoting someone else on my blahg(s)––to give a taste of their writing––AND linking to them so that others can go on to explore further. Although I have begun to be dubious about the utility of writing or linking as concerns my own blog. I don’t think anyone is that interested in my backwater of Blogdom. Who knows? In light of your post, in the future, I will reflect upon the appropriateness of quoting the living, perhaps, a little more than I have done to date, when and if I have quoted them.

    I can understand Gloria’s point about the ubiquity of theft of intellectual property in Blahgville, as well as those very fine ones that you yourself have made, Theresa. However, I cannot imagine anyone else wanting to make my spew appear to have come out of his or her brain.

    It does occur to me to wonder though what any thoughtful person thinks might happen if s/he decides to make her/his thoughts public worldwide in a totally theft-supportive environment.

    Once an individual decides to move beyond her/his private spiral-bound notebook and pen, Corona manual typewriter, IBM Selectric, or ’98 copy of WORD, it does become a whole different ballgame in terms of personal responsibility. Not in the sense that the rules (if I may use such a vague and quick-sandy notion) are different than in work with ISBN#s, but that if an individual takes her writing seriously, she will have to go to the trouble to be informed of what regulations might exist in cyberspace and put people on notice that her stuff is “copyrighted.”

    Thinking about it now, almost two and a half years after I launched my own first blahg, it seems like I would have had to have put a notice on my blahg that my words were not to be plagiarized by others way back at the get-go. It would probably have been a good idea but I didn’t do it.

    With respect to your thoughts on the professional side of blogging, I cannot say anything because my own work has been strictly amateur. It would be interesting to read anything that you have to say after your Latin American bloggers’ convention.

    Happy Trails!

  9. I agree. Sounds like a good roundtable discussion topic.

  10. That’s the way it is on blogland. People are out there stealing your words, your thoughts, your ideas, your art, your cooking recipes, and on and on. You may even have a (c) on your site and that doesn’t matter to the crooks, they’ll take it anyway. Everything we post is an open domain and more than likely will be here long after we are gone. I usually print out posts I’ve made, just in case. Sorry Teresa that is truly the way it is in this cyber world.Roy Rogers is resting peacefully with his Dale. Oh well, have a great Friday. :))

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