Literary Thief

Someone took 5 of my posts last night, with all of the photos–and put them on something called “Scoop it.”  These same posts were also reblogged on this person’s WordPress site improperly. Photos were moved around or deleted, and my initials were even removed from the end of my poem “Flowers Blooming Bright” (which was cut and pasted together without the photos between the verses).

Instead of removing my content  off of her site when I voiced my concern—she sent me the following rude message (complete with the intermittent all Caps):

“WHEN you publish to a PUBLIC DOMAIN it means that ANYONE can re-publish your artistry. Many are encouraged to do so. You do not have a DO NOT PUBLISH notice anywhere.”

So I have switched my blog from public to private—and have begun to add a clear copyright notice to every post, because apparently it is necessary.

All of the words and the photos on my website are my own.
I have never taken anything from anyone else.  I honor and respect the work of  other people. But it seems that there are people who open websites for no other reason than to take other people’s work. I do not appreciate having my work rearranged or modified–even if there is a tiny note at the end saying it was taken from “Stories with No Books.” As a result, my website will be private until I can figure out what I need to do.
Before I go—I would like to thank all of the good, honest people out there on WordPress for the follows and likes on my blog. Thank you.
~ ms

About Mary Strong-Spaid

You can find me any time wandering around in my own mind gathering thoughts.
This entry was posted in Writing. Bookmark the permalink.

64 Responses to Literary Thief

  1. That is terrible!! There must be something you can do, no? Have you check with the people of WordPress? If you go private would you be giving out your domain name so we can look you up??? I worry about that sometimes with the hard work we put into our writing.

    • There is reason to be concerned. There are people out there who just don’t care.
      I have switched my blog from public to private—and am adding the Copyright notice, because apparently it is necessary.
      After that, I will switch back to public and see what happens

      • rayncatt says:

        Mary i am SO sorry…I haven’t posted any where near as much and I want for fear of it being taken and reused by someone without permission! And here is proof it does ineed happen…so sad. You have beautiful photos and words 🙂 I too love the Islands. My mom has a condo in Kona on the Big Island and yes someday I too will stay for good 🙂
        Aloha and Mahalo!

        • I am not posting as much either. It took a lot of joy out of writing on my blog, knowing that I could work hard to put something together–and someone else could immediately take it. And then, on top of that, to write and tell me that anything on the internet is for “public” use–which is not even true.
          I do miss Hawaii every day. Aloha nui loa….

  2. this is horrible. frankly, your work is so good, I’d love people to think it was mine, but truly. do we need to have every post copyrighted? you should “out” this person so we can block her. And No, I don’t think any of us has the right to use someone else’s work without at least asking permission and giving full attribution. LMA

    • Apparently, that is exactly what we have to do.
      I have always respected other people’s work and I naturally expected them to do the same. I don’t like dealing with people like this. It is enough to make me give up blogging altogether.
      I am currently adding the copyright notice.

  3. blmaluso says:

    So sorry that you are experiencing this. It will be very sad if you choose to delete the site…you would be missed… There is a world of people out there with no boundaries between right and wrong. Howver, we must always remember how much good is in the world. Thank you for sharing goodness with us through your posts:-)

  4. So Not Acceptable!!! I am sorry this has happened to you and the person who did it does not really care. I worry about this too, especially when people reblog on their sites and I do not know them at all. Good Luck – Wish You the Best:)

    • I feel the same way.
      Someone gave me a link to a digital watermark company, but it would be another expense.
      But that would be another expense.
      WordPress is going to lose a lot of good bloggers if they don’t correct the situation. They made it extremely easy for dishonest people to take other people’s work when they added the “Reblog” feature. I didn’t mind when people I knew and trusted reblogged a post. But when complete strangers come by and click reblog–you are right–do we really know what they intend to do with the content?
      There are situations where someone reblogs a post, and then someone else reblogs the copy of the copy, and on and on…until it isn’t even pointing back to the original author at all. Unfortunately, we don’t have the option to remove the WordPress reblog feature. WordPress needs to find a way to help us do that if we do no want it.

  5. Michael says:

    Very sorry to hear about this. Whoever did that not only has no ethics but doesn’t understand what the words “copyright” and “public domain” really mean.

  6. Jackie says:

    How horrible! I’m so sorry this happened to you. That thief has no idea what they are talking about! Just because photos, poems, and the like are on the internet does not make them public domain. If the creators of the works say it’s OK then that’s different but you can’t come to someones blog and lift their stuff. I don’t want you to leave but I respect whatever you need to do.

  7. Patricia Chancey says:

    Mary, I cannot believe the nerve of some people!!!!!!!! Obviously there are people out there like you said, who have NO RESPECT and do not know how to practice “The Golden Rule”, probably were never taught to respect other people and their possessions, or are clueless to anything but their own selfish ways.

    THANK YOU for your exquisite photos and the beautiful stories you have told and shared with us —- we will certainly miss them and the joy they brought into our lives. God bless you always and will hopefully see you around the Burg. Pat C.

    Sent from my iPad

    • Thanks. I haven’t given up totally, although my joy for blogging is certainly crushed. When WordPress added the Reblog feature, they made it very easy for dishonest people to steal photos and text with a click of a button. It would be nice if there was a way to disable that feature, but there is none. There is not even a way to “opt out” of it. WordPress is making a big mistake, because this is going to drive people away.
      I have switched the blog to private, which means only people who I approve can see my website. I will stay private until I can figure out how to handle this (or maybe I will just shut my webpage down). It is sad that all of the good people cannot share their art without having to worry about being ripped off. However, it does seem to be a widespread mentality these days—Let someone else do all of the work and then take it as if it is yours.

  8. jaksichja says:

    I am very sorry to see this as well. You may consider explicitly copyrighting your work. It may offer some protection (I am unsure of the extent). I would expect the “folks” at Word Press to “act” upon the unfortunate occurrence.

    (Personally, I am going the route of copyrighting all my work–there may be a few copyright lawyers who blog at WP. There is one who follows my blog. I will post his URL in a subsequent comment.)

  9. wisejourney says:

    what a sorry tale of sheer laziness and dishonesty. so sorry to hear that.

  10. jaksichja says:

    As promised, here is the WP URL:

    • Thanks. Someone else also told me about a digital watermarking company–for anyone who is interested in protecting or tracking their photos..
      Sigh. It is starting to look like it is going to become too expensive to keep blogging.
      WordPress made it extremely easy for dishonest people to take other people’s work when they added the “Reblog” feature. All a thief has to do now is push a button and all your work is theirs. I have seen a few websites that are nothing but reblogs of other people’s work. What is the point in having a blog like that?
      I didn’t mind when people I knew and trusted reblogged my work. But when complete strangers come by and click reblog–do we really know what they intend to do with it?
      There are situations where someone reblogs the original, and then someone else reblogs that copy…until it isn’t even pointing back to the original author at all.

  11. chris13jkt says:

    So sorry to hear what has happened to you Mary. By the way, why don’t you just publish that person’s WordPress site, so everybody will know what that person did to other bloggers?

    • I notified WordPress. Hopefully they will do something.
      WordPress should have at least given us the option not to have the “reblog” feature on our webpages, but they didn’t. The reblog is not so bad when things are reposted correctly and proper credit is given, but there is no guarantee of that. Not everyone is honest; not everyone is ethical. It is not a good feeling to find your work somewhere else, with photos rearranged and/or deleted, and with text moved around.

  12. Dina says:

    Oh dear Mary, this is so upsetting! Please don’t leave us, let’s do something together to prevent more of this in the future. Thank you so much for posting and informing us.

  13. Dr_IQ says:

    Sad. There are such sick and disgusting people on the net who have no respect for others. But I think they are very few in numbers as compared to normal and honest users. We should fight for our right but to give in and actually close the site will deprive others who love your work.

  14. artscottnet says:

    So sorry to hear this Mary

    • Just sitting here, trying to figure out what to do about this.
      I hope you have picked up your beautiful pencils by now! You have them so nicely arranged—I have never been so organized. I had two regular pencils and I don’t know where either one of them is right now. 🙂

  15. Graham Brown says:

    Very sorry to hear this. As always, one selfish person spoils it for you and everyone else. I hope you find a way to keep your photos and writing available to us. Very best wishes from Orkney.

  16. Pat says:

    I think you should alert WP about her because they have a vested interest in keeping this a safe place to be creative and also you should inform her she is wrong about what is public domain. If she isn’t repentant and says she will stop, you should expose her publicly.

  17. Copyright you site….Wordpress is not public domain.
    If the thief plagiarized your work and posted it on a WordPress and/or Blogger site
    you can report them to the host and their site can be shut down.

  18. Fotostream says:

    There is an article about “Prevent Content Theft” on the support page, please refer to it. > Support > Policies & Safety > Prevent Content Theft

  19. earthstills says:

    The nerve of it? I’m sorry that your work and creativity has been pilfered in such a shameless way…

  20. The person who stole your work is a thief, there are no other words for it. Your work is not public domain, but you should add a text widget to your blog stating that everything is yours and they need your permission at the very least to use anything on your blog. Report the thief to whatever platform they use for their blog.

  21. Rasma R says:

    There is no excuse for this kind of thing. Public domain indeed! It is inexcusable to use another person’s work.

    • You are right. There is no excuse.
      When bloggers post something on WordPress, it is their published work.
      Others should respect that.
      I guess now I have to post a copyright notice on my blog…to attempt to deter dishonest people from claiming innocence, and telling me that it is perfectly OK to “borrow” and/or alter anything that has been posted on the internet because it is public domain. That is just not true.

  22. kiwiskan says:

    I’m so sorry that this has happened. And I will be sorry if you stop posting because of it. I have always enjoyed your blog.

  23. what a bizarre concept this person has of the term public domain, and really, how does a person do such a thing and sleep well at night? so sorry this has happened, thank you so much for allowing me access to this private blog.

  24. Alison says:

    Mary, so sorry this happened to you. It must have been shocking to say the least.
    I’ve had concerns about copyright and do copyright every post. Don’t know how much protection it gives me.
    I’m curious to know how you found out about it.
    I read another blogger recently who had a story stolen and the thief actually emailed him accusing the blogger of the theft!!!!
    I think you should out this person, or at least make sure WP deals with them.
    Thanks for allowing me access – I always enjoy your writing and photographs.

  25. artscottnet says:

    The sad truth about blogging, is that by doing so, we are agreeing that our work can be ‘reblogged’ by other users, there’s no avoiding that, but to ‘modify another’s work’ and post it as their own with no credit given, no link to the original post, is not just rude, but unlawful, theft is theft, and I’m almost certain it violates WP’s terms of service. Her response is specious reasoning at best… that’s like saying a homeowner has to post a ‘do not break in’ sign on the door before B&E is considered unlawful.

  26. I thank you for the ‘like and I’m glad to see that you are still out there and hopefully you can post again under better conditions

  27. Lynda says:

    Mary, you do have a right to your own work, and WordPress takes a dim view of plagiarism, so do contact them!
    Also, look at the following links from Copyscape to find out other avenues you may take to go after this idiot! I won’t fool you, it isn’t a simple journey, but I think it is important for us to protect our content from thieves.

    I hope this helps you.

  28. daeja's view says:

    When I signed on to WordPress, there was a copyright option to add to the bottom of your site. I have this at the bottom of mine (see below). I assumed that meant anything you posted was copyrighted. Is that not so?

    © 2010 Daeja’s View
    Creative Commons License
    Daeja’s View is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

    In addition, on some of my photos I add text across it like a watermark. I had somebody “reblog” my post (I got a notice saying they did), but when I went to see their site with my post, I kept getting redirected to advertising and my post was not there. Very sneaky, and creepy. Sorry this happened to you.

  29. Anonymous says:

    (I have no idea why I keep showing up as “anonymous” today, when I am trying to post replies on my own website.
    I am logged in and I don’t seem to have a problem posting anywhere else.
    Must be a glitch in the system.)
    Thanks! I see your website has “no reblogging without permission.”
    And you even have a little picture symbol of the reblog button underneath that–
    I like that!!
    Many people are complaining about the reblog feature. One lady told me that several of her posts have been “reblogged” and placed on websites that she does not want to be associated with at all.
    Some blogs are nothing but reblogs of popular posts taken from other websites– and then they make money by sponsoring advertisements. I paid extra money NOT to have advertisements. I don’t want my work associated with ads and marketing schemes. When WordPress added the reblog feature, they made it extremely easy for people to steal content with a click of a button and more difficult for us to protect our content from thieves.

  30. i am so sorry that this has happened to you; there are some people who truly do”t realize they’re ‘sharinig’ y using images they found randomly on google or to ‘share’ with others on pinterest. part of our task is to help educate that percentage and they are usually horrified and remorseful.

    then there are the users, the takers, the ones with zero conscience.

    you’ll find some good advice from many others here:

    good luck – thanks for helping slay the dragons!


  31. I always ask, belatedly sometimes (I tend to use first then ask, and have never been refused), to use images from another sight; always linked. I attribute where I can find someone or something to attribute, which is not always easy to find. As for my personal photos, if you think they are worthy, use them just link back to me. In nine years of blogging multiple blogs I have only had three snotty/snarky reactions; one of which I ditched the post and left a post explaining why in its place. I do not have a copyright notice on any of my blogs.


  32. Chrissy says:

    I’m only a little surprised. I know someone who does it all the time and no matter how many times I tell him, he says basic the same thing as your thief. Some people just can’t help themselves and yes, I have had it done to me too.

    • Sadly, in time, this sort of behavior will chase many away from WordPress.
      It takes time and effort to create a thoughtful post.
      Not really worth it if someone (who has done no work at all), is going to lift it as soon as it’s published.

  33. Michael Lane says:

    Hmm, being a newcomer to blogging, this was a very helpful post. Thank you.

  34. katyhancock says:

    That is incredibly rude of her to do something like that! And the fact that she didn’t take them down when you confronted her is just astounding to me. I can see why you’d want to protect your pictures, they’re very nice 🙂

  35. jbcamera says:

    This person could be excused for not realizing she was doing something wrong, but the refusal to take down the post and the rudeness of the reply is inexcusable. Hope you will not allow this experience to drive you away from blogging.

  36. People are RUDE! They abuse the “public domain” reality FAR too much!

  37. newsferret says:

    Thanks for this warning. Yes, in this world too we have the unintellectuals thieving intellectual property.

  38. Dove Seven Gold says:

    you know what they say ” Those who can, do, and those who can’t, pinch stuff from those who can! ” It’s sad but true there are always those who behave badly 😦
    I know some people like to ‘reblog’ but that is only supposed to be to put on their site a tiny tiny part of what another blogger has written, along with the original posters name, details and a link to their site. Re-blogging, in my opinion is only supposed to be a way of saying hey look at this good thing I’ve found, go look at it.
    I don’t even reblog others work, if I find something I like and want to tell others of, I just provide a link.
    What has been done to you here though, is in my opinion, just sick, sad and pathetic.
    I post a copyright notice in a widget down the side of my blogs, also on a page. If someone does not see it, it does not give them the right to steal.
    If you are UK based you are already covered by our copyright laws whether you publish a copyright notice or not you are covered not only from when publishing, but right from when you first wrote it, including drafts.
    I hope you have complained to WordPress about this person and their site, as they take a dim view of people who steal others work.
    All the best, wt.

  39. Dove Seven Gold says:

    Hi again,
    there are many benefits to Google and their web-crawling robots, and here’s one of them: I just typed into Google search the word poem, folowed by the name of your poem and then the word wordpress and it comes up with not only your ‘Flowers Blooming bright’ poem on your site, but also on another wordpress site; I clicked into this other site and your poem has been deleted from there, but…. oh dear the evidence of it once existing there, is still held in Google;s listing. So if this is the person who stole from you, and was rude to you, then they have not done it as anonymously as they may have wished to!
    There is also another way I think which you can check where your photo’s may be, which is to search via Google images. I think there’s also a way to actually drag your photo directly iinto the search box to look.
    Hope this helps, and very much hope it wont put you off blogging, though it hurts very much and takes away joy, I know how that feels but I have decided to keep ob going no matter what, and you will get your joy back.

  40. Hi there, Mary! I’ve read through all of this, but was wondering – at this point, any more word from WP? Can you help me understand – public vs. private – if we’re trying to encourage others to go to our sites, what happens when choosing one over the other (public vs. private). Was totally unaware of this, but then when I googled my name, I did see a lot of my photos in Google Images. Thought that was “my” doing from my own posting, but if I understand correctly, if my images are there, then someone else stole and reblogged/reposted?? This isn’t good at all. Pls drop a response when you have time. Meanwhile, am still liking your posts a lot!

  41. Private means no one can access your website without getting your permission and creating a password. It is true that not as many people will see your website that way. I have seen many of my photos on Google images also. I think Google collects photos and puts them there (under different categories) for people to find when they search for images. Or maybe someone else is doing it, I don’t know. I have come across many “photo collections” online. That’s why it is a good idea to at least put your name and a copyright symbol on your photos, because there are many people (like the one I cited in this post) who will claim that anything that is posted on the internet is free to use.
    Which is NOT true at all.
    Google usually puts a note to the side of images that says: “This photo may be subject to copyright.” But I don’t think that would stop a thief. Dishonorable, unethical people don’t care.
    I see people uploading music on Youtube that obviously doesn’t belong to them, and then they put “No copyright infringement intended” when what they have just done is definitely copyright infringement.
    It’s annoying. Good people honor and respect the work of others. Those who have true talent have no reason to steal, and those who are stealing need to learn how to do their own work.

  42. I know how it feels when someone steals your baby. It has happened with me too. Occupational hazard, I think. Some create and some feed off what others have created. Plagiarism is only a second younger to creation.

  43. arlene says:

    The nerve of this person. It is really annoying.

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