Wednesday, July 30, 2008

How to piss me off in a huge way. Or, find your own warthogs.

I like to think of myself as generous. You can use almost anything of mine. As long as you ask.

But if you use my, oh, blog content, for example, my memories and my words, all without asking, you will make me really, really mad. If you pretend my words are your own, you will piss me the fuck off.

I know for most of us, anyway, the point of blogging is to write. And when I say write, I mean the following: To come up with something and then put it down in your own words. Not, oh, say, MY words. On YOUR blog.

Because doing that, it's called plagiarism. It turns out it's also called copyright infringement. And my friend Dagny pointed out that the good people at Blogger have a place where you can file a complaint.

Because I don't know if you've ever visited a blog that linked to yours (well, which did yesterday - but today, no longer does), started reading a post, and thought, "Wow, that sounds veryvery familiar!"

This was the first time this had happened to me.

The post starts out talking about her third date. In which she goes on to have the exact same conversation with a guy from New Jersey that I had!

The one I wrote about last year!

And when I say exact same? I mean, um, verbatim. Glad you liked the dialogue. Except that it's mine.

What I discovered was that there are several posts that use large chunks of my writing. Verbatim.

So, you know, you can call it "Of doors and rabbit holes," but The One who wasn't the one, the door that was closed over and over - that's MY not-One - not yours. That's MY door! That's MY hurt the size of the Grand Canyon!

And "Warthog theory" - are you fucking kidding me? That's my Warthog Theory Goes Out the Window angst from last July! My warthog theory, and my unicorn! I don't even care if you use the same ideas. Just don't lift my text and pretend it's yours!

Theft always makes you feel violated, but somehow taking ownership of my warthogs, and my devastation over my ex-boyfriend are more galling than someone swiping money from my wallet. It's like someone reached into your brain and your heart and snipped off a little piece of each.

I share all this stuff on LG because I want to. But I don't expect people to take pieces of me and pretend they're theirs.

Who takes your stories and your words and offers them up as their own?

Find your own warthogs. Draw from your own heartbreak. Honestly.


  1. I am Most Peeved on your behalf, and am tempted to say certain Very Hurtful things about the Plagiarist. Since this is your space, and you don't do vicious, I'll refrain from saying any such thing.

    Here. I'll refrain from it... here. :o)

    But didn't we always think that Bridget Fonda looked a little better than Jennifer Jason Leigh anyway?

  2. HA HA DAG!

    Single white female!

    love the reference.

    I shamed the offender. Let's hope that Blogger shuts her down.

    And heartbreak, while somewhat universal, is always INDIVIDUAL to you, so yeah.

    Write about your own warthogs, and unicorns. You know, because that is what GROWN-UPS do.

  3. Dagny - Thanks for your constantly amazing support. And thank you for being MP on my behalf. And creepy movie reference! Eeeee!

    Slightly Disorganized - I have seen you (virtually) stick up for friends before and I know I would never, ever want to get on your bad side. I love how you said writing about unicorns is what GROWN-UPs do. And now I'm going to take a break from work and play with My Little Pony. :)

  4. oh no! you are a unique and talented writer. she may aspire to blog like you do... but steal from you? that's AWFUL. sorry this happened to you.

  5. What a snatch!

    And how seemingly pointless. I am most confused as to why someone would even bother.

    Not that your words aren't worth stealing, it's just... why would you want to plagiarize someone's journal. This isn't exactly a money making venture.

  6. seriously irritating! i was about to ream her out on your behalf, but her blog has been taken down.

  7. Oooh. I was waiting all morning for this! Get her, L-Glo!

    I will say that, if I were going to steal material from anyone, it would be yours. Still, what's the point in blogging about your life, if it's not your life you are writing about? If you crave attention that badly, make out with other girls in sports pubs.

  8. And the blog has been REMOVED!

  9. victory to Lisa! Woot woot.

    And BTW you could never get on my bad side. No one who smears butter could ever be anything but charming.

  10. oh i'm so sorry. that is so wrong, low, stupid, and all sorts of other things. i can't believe someone would do that! glad blogger (i assume) pulled the blog. rock on lisa!

  11. Doesn't that person realize you have a fiancee who has proclaimed his willingness to kill for you? (err that was a joke right?)
    Also, what a sad horrible fake blogger.

    Dagney's a good egg to watch your back:)

  12. What odd behavior. Pathetic.

    Just out of curiousity, how did you find out about it?

  13. charlotteharris - Thank you. It really did feel like a huge violation.

    Maiden Metallurgist - I know - it's not about money; it's about catharsis. What's the point of fake catharsis?

    LJ - Thank you for the offer of reaming. I feel flattered so many people have my back.

    FreckledK - Huge thanks to you in backing me on this, and for the kind words. I know - I don't get the point. And hahaha to making out in sports pubs with girls.

    Slightly Disorganized - Well, good. As long as it doesn't make you nervous about our dinner plans. :)

    mrsmac - Yah, I don't know how fast Blogger works. I was surprised.

    Mary - I suspect he's all talk and no follow-through in this case. At least, that's what I'm hoping. What with the waterboarding and all. And Dagny? Completely rocks. As does FreckledK, who totally backed me in posting this.

    Wendy - Yah, odd. And statcounter.

  14. That's nuts! I'm so sorry! I found yor blog through MrsMac's (thanks MrsMac!) and I think it's great, I really enjoy following it! Are you going to make your blog private now? That's what I have to do unfortunately (we have some crazy in our family), but if you do let me know because I want an invite!

  15. that shit sucks! it's crazy!

    this is the second blog i've read where this happened. i don't understand how you find this stuff out anyway? not that i think anyone would bother stealing my posts but i wouldn't have a clue if they did. it's bad enough that a blog i was reading put up a post about the same "found site" that i'd posted about the day before. i don't care except that she never credited me... i at least expected a "i saw this over here" snippet or some sort of shout out. whatever. i just stopped reading her. who needs that crap?! but i can't imagine if someone had actually stolen my posts word for word. people are freakin nuts.

  16. Wow - I'm so sorry that happened to you. Like the other commenters, I am shocked and outraged that a person could be so craven and desperate to steal your stories. And they are your stories - your words, your memories.

    Having said that, can I still use the word spendy in conversation (never in writing!), because Rich is right. That's a great word. I'll even credit you.

  17. YEAH!!! So glad they removed the blog....glad she's in the litter box, hopefully for good...MPD

  18. that is just so atrocious, I don't even have words for it.

    I'm glad that she's been removed!

  19. Lisa - was she, by chance, from another country? I noticed some plagiarism awhile back and did my best to connect the bloggers that appeared to have been lifted with the blog - she was all over my blogroll...just wondering if it's the same gal?

  20. Unfortunately this happens very often.

    When it happened to me, my entire layout-- down to the books I was reading, items on my Amazon Wishlist, AND MY NAME!!-- were copied.

    It's incredibly offensive and anger-inducing. If there'd been a way I could have reached through cyberspace and slapped her upside the head, I'd have done it in a heartbeat.

    But I settled for copying her posts to the letter, and comparing them to mine, accompanied by a politely-worded admonishment.

    It was almost two years ago, but it still kind of angers me when I think about it.

  21. Katie - I love MrsMac (although I'm never sure whether to upper or lower case her)! I am not making it private, at least not at this point. But will definitely invite you if I do! :)

    notsojenny - I don't mind if people take ideas - I get ideas from others constantly. Although credit is nice, for sure. I found it because I clicked a link in my Statcounter.

    DCup - My darling, of course you can use spendy - it's a fun word! I think I got it from my friend Kris. This is the thing - we absorb things from people around us - but we make them our own. That's the difference.

    MPD - I imagine she removed it. A couple of my blogfriends paid a visit, and they aer people who are not shy about voicing their opinions.

    moosie - It's a really shocking thing that makes you so mad!

    Mood Indigo - I don't think so. Her blogname was Alice, and her writing seemed like native speaker English.

    thatgirl - That is immensely shocking and so completely galling. I'm sorry to hear that. Grrrrrrr!

  22. Someone copied a short (very short, ever so short) thing I wrote in book once and attached her name to it on a creative writing website. When I sent a cease and desist email to the website, they demanded proof, so I re-sent the email only this time I included a link to the book on Amazon. Only then did they cease and desist. That's how dedicated the creative writing website was to creativity. It wasn't plagiarism until I took the 15 second job of googling my story out of their hands.

    Nice work getting blogger to stop the madness, Lisa. I know how wretched it feels.

  23. And, PS, I loved the Warthogs entry. I think of it often.

  24. Plagiarist Bloggers go to the Special Hell

  25. Yeah, I agree w/other commentors: there is a special ring in hell for plagarists. I mean seriously. Karma is a bitch and I feel fairly certain that idiot (whose blog is now shut-down..hahahah!) won't know what hit her.

  26. Catching up on my blogs now -- the one you link to has already been removed. Yay!

  27. Ugh, this is awful. I'm so sorry!

  28. Alex - That is really and truly rude and sucky. And the fact that the website was so uninterested in investigating is irritating. Glad you got it resolved. And thanks about the Warthogs. I hadn't thought about them in a while, actually.

    GaryQ - Hi! Thanks for the support from Down Under!

    Ryane - Yes- Karma is a bitch and I worrry much more about it than so many other things.

    Beach Bum - I am betting she removed it. Either way, not up anymore.

    Nicole - Thanks. I was so fired up about this the last couple days.

  29. I felt a touch of guilt when you said that it makes you mad when others use your words without asking. I did copy and paste something you wrote regarding what you thought about love--as an excerpt with citation!--during an entry last year. This is the way it was used:

    Should I have asked first? Can I leave the post up? I'll ask in the future if something like that comes up again.

  30. Uch, that sucks! Content thieves are the worst kind of fakers and deserve only to be despised. Weird, though, that this person actually kept a link to your site -- almost as if wanting to be caught. Maybe that increases the thrill. Ick. So sorry this happened!

  31. aww lisa thanks! i love you too! and go with what feels right- Mrsmac, mrsMac, whatever floats your boat. ;-)


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