Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Don't Fuck With Mama

We're losing one of our most prominent bloggers today, Mama Tulip. Be sure to go over there and let her know what she's meant to you.

Personally? I'm hurt... and way beyond pissed. But not toward her. She has very legitimate reasons for leaving. I'm ticked because these "reasons" should have never been a concern for her in the first place. Or for any of us, for that matter. There are websites out there that are stealing our blogs, word for word, and not giving credit to us. They're scalping our pictures, stealing our lives, republishing our stories, and getting PAID for it through advertisements. They may be doing it to you as we speak.

It's called "splogging" and Google isn't doing a damn thing about it. Part of me is worried. But in general, it's made me determined. I refuse to be bullied into shutting down shop. I'm trying to research ways for us to lock down our sites. It's slow going and I'm not very adept at HTML. I'm looking for a code that will disable right-clicking, making it more difficult for copy-and-paste thieves. Then I'm going to focus on a way to cloak our web addresses, or redirect them to a copyright message. I've heard this can be done.

Here are four suggestions that were given to me:

1. Include your blog address in every post title. This way people can tell where the post originally came from if it's stolen and reposted. The down side is, that will pretty much eliminate any room for an actual title.

2. Get off of Blogger. Out of all the blog providers, Blogger is the worst for spam and stolen content. Not only do they not offer any protection to their customers, but they rarely respond or act on complaints about plagiarism.

3. Switch to partial feed. I believe you can do this in Blogger by going to "Settings" and then "Site Feed" and changing the "Descriptions" from full to short. The disadvantage of this is that it's annoying to readers. People like to pop in and pop out, not click around just to read one post.

4. Put a copyright notice at the footer of each post. You can do this by changing a few things around in your template.

A little over half way down you should see this code:

Replace the highlighted areas with this:

Make sure you switch my name and dates with your own.

It's not much, but it is a start.

(UPDATE)I THINK THEY'RE ON TO ME. I have not been able to access Google, Blogger, or Pickled Beef since directly after I posted. But I know others have been able to, since a copy of everyone's comments goes directly to my email. So I'm sorry for not visiting anyone today! Hopefully this message will update, as it's taken me 30 minutes to get on here and I can't check it after it's posted. I'll try again tonight.


At 11 October, 2006, Blogger Jay said...

While I think it's unlikely that anyone would want my stuff, I have wondered about this before. Actually I have seen a number of sites where people are posting stuff they've found on some pretty popluar sites. Almost word for word too. I see this and think "do they think they are the only ones who read 'whatever site'?"

Anyway, people like you, with your Twisted Tink stories and others with thier stories and photos should be keeping an eye out. There are a number of bloggers who are lawyers, maybe if we made blog friends with them they could start sending out "cease and desist" orders.

Or, just everybody switch to wordpress or teypad or somebody who will give a damn.

YouTube is another place that has this problem. People are posting copywritten material and they are stealing copywritten materieal right and left over there. Now that Google is buying YouTube, it will only get worse.

Thanks for showing us how to put the copywrite on the bottom of each post. It may not really stop people, but at least it's there, and without it you could never make any claims of ownership.

At 11 October, 2006, Blogger Jay said...

How sad that such a small, private thing can be so thoughtlessly stolen.

At 11 October, 2006, Blogger Jess Riley said...

We're losing MT?!?!?!

Thanks for the update on splogging. Have people no shame?

Wait. What am I thinking? I live in a country where MEMOIRS are fabricated for sales.

At 11 October, 2006, Blogger EE said...

So.fucking.pissed. It's not right. Not right AT ALL.....and for something as shitty as this to make someone as awesome as Katherine leave....


Thanks for the advice Tink.

At 11 October, 2006, Blogger Pamer said...

Wow... i really had no idea. Thank You Thank You Thank You for the advise, you are too cool.

At 11 October, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tink, I'm flattered by your words. I consider you to be a personal friend and I am constantly amazed by your positive outlook on life, your maturity, wisdom and the way you so obviously care about those around you.

I hate that this has made me feel the way I do -- vulnerable, violated, mad and scared. I hate that this is happening to other bloggers, too. Thanks for the great advice and please, keep fighting.


At 11 October, 2006, Blogger Mike Y said...

I think it's a real shame for so many reasons. Mamatulip is one of the most gifted writers I've come across and has been a help to me when I wanted to just walk away.

At 11 October, 2006, Blogger spiderweed said...

Just to let you know, its not really google or any other site thats enabling sites like b.i.t.a.c.l.e.

Its the RSS or Atom feeds. Those feeds used to find out who's posted new blogs through sites like bloglines are the same feeds that b.i.t.a.c.l.e. is picking up and getting direct feeds to your site. Personally, i'd remove the feeds. If you do that, you're not going to be pumping your content out. Even though you want it fed for sites like bloglines, there are abuser sites that will take advantage of that technology. :)

At 11 October, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh man, this really stinks. I've always worried that maybe I shouldn't show photos of my kids and tell stories and such...but it never occured to me that people would steal someone's actual posts. Sigh...

Thanks for alerting us to this and giving us some solutions.


At 11 October, 2006, Blogger Kell said...

This is pretty awful. I always thought that once you created something you didn't have to copyright it because it was yours. But it sure doesn't hurt to make it absolutely clear that this is your stuff. It's a scary world out there. It's too bad she felt she had to stop blogging. It's just unfair.

At 11 October, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bitacle has been stealing my content for months and they have ignored any and all requests to stop the copyright infringment. What they did do, only recently was begin to include my url in the content that they STOLE from me. Gee thanks a lot assholes.
I'm going to be addressing this on my site sometime soon.

At 11 October, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No shit? I dont know what this Bitacle is, but they suck then.

Once I actually did find a post of mine, and some comments almost word for word-but for the most part I dont put anything VERY time intensive on blogs these days. Its too bad that this happens, that people are violated without even any credit.

I dont know how you can even prove a post was yours- since dates can be changed. I dont know of a way to show whose words came first.

Ive read Mama Tulip, and think its a loss for this to happen.

At 11 October, 2006, Blogger Tink said...

Ah FINALLY! So I come home, get on the computer, and what-do-you-know I can access Blogger and Google again. What the hell is going on people?

Jay: >>Thanks for showing us how to put the copywrite on the bottom of each post. It may not really stop people, but at least it's there, and without it you could never make any claims of ownership.<< That's exactly what it's for. Copyright, unfortunately, doesn't stop anyone from stealing anything. But it does give you something to fall back on if you ever want to pursue it.

Jay/Jess/EE/Susan/Kell: I know... I seriously just want to beat them all up. Can we do that?

Pamer: Aw, thanks! Hopefully I'll have some more stuff for everyone soon.

Mama T: I can't even express to you how much you leaving the blogosphere is tearing me apart. I really love ya girl. You better not forget me OK? I want updates on the kiddos damn it.

Mike Y: I think she's been an inspiration to anyone who's read/befriended her. She'll be sorely missed.

Spiderweed: >>Personally, i'd remove the feeds. If you do that, you're not going to be pumping your content out.<< How do I do that? I'd be willing to try anything.

TB: I wondered if you hadn't been hit too. I know it sounds strange but I always considered you and Mama T on the same level. Like the B+ listers lol. Surely there's something we can do. I'm going to keep contacting people to see if there's a petition out or something.

Lily: I've had that happen too. Fortunately the site was more like Bloglines. It said where the content had come from. Still... I'd rather none of these sites got my feed than the few good ones.

At 12 October, 2006, Blogger F&W said...

There's a great article on Plagiarism Today about this very thing:

While I'm not too concerned about my content (um...hello? who wants to read about me bitching about my job?!), I am SO GRATEFUL I never posted a picture bigger than 400x300. That being said, I'm seriously thinking about removing any/all images and/or closing up shop myself.

That being said, though, I still feel creeped out and weird about the whole thing. *sigh* This sucks.

At 12 October, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Speaking as a writer/journalist with degrees to prove it. Also, I did a paper in my master's program on copyright issues with regard to the Internet, so here goes...

Writing and posting on the Internet is public domain. Other than putting some programming (behind the scenes) in that would not allow right clicking, it's pretty much free territory and open to everyone.

There are, however, 2 things you can do and should remember:

1) Attribution - This is giving who ever you are taking the information acknowledgement that you are not the owner per se. In that case, you can say in a caption or title that you are using the information but it belongs to another.

2) Request for use - Post in your header that anyone who uses your content/pictures should send a request first asking permission. That's what I did with a picture Tink took of a statue. She happily agreed!

Keep in mind, most of the public isn't aware that plagerism is wrong and/or that they are even doing it. As a writer, I do. I guess I'd be flattered that anyone thought enough of my material to actually copy it.

Well, that's my 2 cents. Take it for what it's worth. Just keep blogging, folks! Tink, I love your conversations with Hoop. Mama, you'll be missed.


At 12 October, 2006, Blogger Amy said...

I don't blog for notoriety, nor for money, and I only post pictures that I'm comfortable with someone else seeing/using. I guess if someone wants to copy my stuff and call it their own, so be it. I'll just take it as flattery. If they can make money off of it, wow! If it's money-worthy and I'm not taking advantage of it myself, then shame on me. The internet is a snarky place. Anything you post, you should be well aware it can be copied, posted and used against you. With that knowledge, I will confidently continue to post - for me and me alone.

At 12 October, 2006, Blogger Heather said...

It really hadn't dawned on me that someone would WANT to steal my stuff. Besides that fact that there are only about 30 people who EVER visit my site. BUT... it does make me think a little harder about having a password protected place to put pictures of the little man when he gets here.

At 12 October, 2006, Blogger Chris said...

Thanks for the great info, Tink! I'm pissed about it, too - but nowhere near as active/proactive about it!

At 12 October, 2006, Blogger Chelle Y. said...

That's too scary, and I am saddened that "Mama" is leaving too. She was one of the sites that I always looked forward to everyday.

At 12 October, 2006, Blogger Newt said...

Well, we find a good thing and of course there are blankety blank blank blanks that want to go and ruin it. Oh, please Karma Cow, do your thing..............

At 12 October, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just wanted to pop back and say thanks for the info!

I actually dont know how the codes would work. My site is part of a Website called The Blue Republic and my spot is like the closet they gave me for my winter clothes, special to me, but our time really goes to the two main sites as they are elaborate. I just speak my mind on my own at Gynocracy.

I dont know what codes can be done.

Like I said in my post, I dont see why more cant be done! And like I also said- not everything is even a big deal- (take my no bake cookie recipe!) but some people DO put alot of time and energy into their posts.

Then they deserve credit.

Hell, even the petty stuff should be credited. On principle.

At 14 October, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks, Tink, for the information and tips.

At 19 October, 2006, Blogger Andrew Fletcher said...

Copyright infringement has been around forever. Just think how many people regularly put things in papers for school that is just plain plagarized. It's awful. The web has just compounded the problem.


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