Upon the advice of John, the first thing I did was look at the copyright details on Hubpages (the site where the article is originally published). According to their regulations, I own everything I’ve written and have no legal backup through them to go after anyone. Once we sat down and discussed exactly who this person probably is, and what she is doing, John further advised me to simply write her an email equivalent of a cease and desist letter.
To me, this option didn’t pack enough punch.
Instead, I got on the Googler.
I may have jumped the gun in my excitement to let Terry know she had been caught red-handed. According to the advice of one particularly helpful blog, the pursuit of having someone’s website shut down for plagiarism must be personal. What does this mean? Well, once she had removed my content, I no longer had a reason, according to Google (who owns Blogger) to file a complaint. Further, it seems that shutting down an entire website is a little more difficult than simply pointing out that nothing on the website is original, though it is claiming to be.
So I wrote the dang email.
Here’s what I said:
Teresa:I am the author of the Viggle article you cut and pasted onto your blog claiming you wrote it. I left you a rather snarky comment on the blog itself yesterday.I see and appreciate that you have removed the post. However, I see that much of your blog is not written by you even though you claim everything as “written and edited” by you in your disclaimer page. Since your blog is entirely about making money through adware as well as all the bonuses you get from clicks to your various referral links, you should know that what you are doing is not petty. It is illegal, and it costs everyone money who has put the time and effort into writing the articles you are stealing.So, I’m writing this email as an appeal to you, and I am asking that you remove anything on your blog that you did not write. You have stolen from dozens of people like me. If you do not remove all plagiarized material or shut down your site, I will notify all of them. You should also know it will not be hard for me to find legal counsel if it comes to that.At first I was really angry with you. But, after looking at more of your profile and reading a little more about you, I believe that you are just a regular person trying to make a little extra cash. I can appreciate your position, but this is not the way to do it. I was a high school English teacher for five years before I became a stay-at-home mom, and cannot count the number of lessons/lectures I gave my classes about turning in something they did not write and claiming it as their own. As a mother, I cannot count the number of times I’ve given my children the lesson/lecture that even if you never get caught, lying is still wrong.I’m sure you’ve given and received these lessons as well.I’m asking you to do the right thing.
She did not respond. However, I had already begun my pursuit to find and contact each of the original authors of all the other plagiarized content on her blog. In so doing, I found that though she had removed the post that I wrote, she kept my original formatting and re-filled in each section with other cut-and-pasted content. Just annoyed, this time, I left this comment:
Nanna.Seriously?You are going to have to do better than this. I am trying to be nice. But honest to God, this is out of control. You can’t take my article, erase everything inside MY original formatting, and then cut-and-paste what Viggle published on their website and call it “original” either.
After posting this comment, I received this email:
I would like to let you know that I am not the one that did that post. It was one of my helpers that I had helping me and has now been removed from the site. The other blog post that you commented on I can let you know that it is a copy and paste post from them as per there request. That is the way that they wanted the post done so as far as that Viggle post it will stay that way. I am sorry that my helper did this to you and like I said they are no longer with this blogThey have been left go.
I’d like to know exactly who this “helper” is. I’m taking immense satisfaction in imagining it is actually one of her grandchildren. This lends itself to the picture of where he went when she let him go. Running about the community yard, no doubt, sans pants and trailing snot. Additionally, she posted this on her blog:
You don’t have to be an English teacher to decipher original content here.
This could so easily be one of my former high school students.