This is my blog. Every word on it belongs to me.
I make it clear that the copyright belongs to me, both on the home page and the ‘About Me’ section.
Imagine my surprise then when I received a pingback yesterday telling me that someone had linked to one of my posts… and I clicked on the url to find that they hadn’t just linked to it (which they did at the bottom).
They’d stolen the post in its entirety, put it up with their own byline on it. Changed the headline slightly so that they could drive traffic to their blog. And to add insult to injury, they’d even copied my image, with my face on it.
Of course we’ve all had incidences of our blog posts being lifted by random websites overseas, and unfortunately there’s usually little way of contacting the offenders. (I’ve never seen an image lifted too though.)
But in this instance there was a way of contacting the offender, so that’s what I did. I emailed her and in no uncertain terms told her what would happen if she didn’t remove the post.
What happened next is truly astonishing to me.
She said she was taking the post down, which she did, but she then emailed me to say her ‘computer guy’ said she’d done nothing wrong. She said she thought I’d appreciate the traffic (from her website? Not so much.)
If she’d really thought I’d appreciate a link from her site (!) she could have emailed me to ask me if it would be OK; she could have lifted a few paragraphs and put my name on it, and made it clear she didn’t write it. But she didn’t do any of those things.
I explained copyright law and how it works, and she insisted she normally followed the rules but as my post was ‘so short’ she didn’t think it would matter. It’s fair to say at this point I was very cross indeed.
When I asked her why she had put my image up – why would you even want my face on your blog unless you know me?! – she replied ‘Geez, you are very mistrusting.’
Very mistrusting? When someone steals your words, and your image, and puts their name (not yours) on it, and you complain about it, that’s not an issue of trust. That’s an issue of copyright infringement.
It was a wake up call though – a reminder that some people will steal your pictures from your blog in a heartbeat. And if you have pictures of your children on your blog, that’s pretty bloody frightening.