B*tch stole my content! Plagiarism: How to Deal with a Thief

A couple weeks ago, an email notification from blogging bud B (of Beautifully Invisible) flashed across my iPhone. Excited to see what she might be contacting me about, I tapped the notification,  and then I saw this:

Oh, great, I think. Just what I need to deal with right now. I open up the email and find (in true B fashion), a succinct and very well-written note about an accidental discovery B made—a book review blogger (of all bloggers) had most assuredly lifted gratuitous amounts of our content, plus a post from Fajr of Stylish Thought, and reworked them into “original” posts on her blog.

This post captures my half of the story of how B, Fajr, and I worked together to stop a plagiarist dead in her tracks. I’ll also share tips and resources that you will need should you find yourself in the same unfortunate situation.

Be sure to read B’s post, I Think We’ve Been Plagiarized… Sort of: The Story of the Content Thief, to find out:

  • Why applications that measure and analyze blog traffic are vital—and why you should be looking at more than just how many visits you are getting.
  • What data you need to pay attention to when analyzing site traffic.
  • How to build a “case” against a plagiarist.

And on with the story…

This post looks familiar. Uh, maybe ’cause it’s MINE!

Irate and clicking like crazy, I, too landed upon B’s discovery and saw a tab at the top of the blog entitled “Building a Better Blog” (sound familiar?) that was formatted almost identically to my page. Then I saw my post, Klout—What it is and Why it Matters, which I painstakingly wrote and published in March 2011, reworked with synchronous similarities and published on that other blog in October 2011, with absolutely no attribution of any kind. Not a link, not a name, not an “inspired by,” nothing. Oh no she didn’t, I thought. She just messed with the wrong blogger.


A quick review of my blog analytics corroborated B’s findings. We both saw the same September 23, 2011 initial interaction date, and exits through links on my Build a Better Blog page to B’s blog. So, as a group, B, Fajr, and I decided to stand together and take action, and we got a resolution we are mostly happy with.

First, a little plagiarism 101. And, please note I am not an attorney, and this is not legal advice. If you have questions about plagiarism, copyright laws, etc., be sure to consult a qualified legal professional.

Plagiarism—it’s more than just copying.

We all learned in primary school that you can’t copy anyone’s writing and pass it off as your own. We’ve all done papers and reports in which we (probably begrudgingly) created a works cited page or used footnotes to cite references we paraphrased, and quotation marks to indicate a direct, word-for-word statement. We all know verbatim copying without attribution is illegal and unacceptable, and that blog scrapers are clearly committing copyright infringement.

If you look at the screens above and compare them to my Klout post, you can see they are not identical. But the subheadings, layout, and even parts of the copy are so similar to my post, there is no doubt this is not a coincidental similarity. Which brings me to my point: plagiarism doesn’t pertain only to verbatim regurgitation of another’s writing. According to Wikipedia,

“Plagiarism is defined in dictionaries as the “wrongful appropriation,” “close imitation,” or “purloining and publication” of another author’s “language, thoughts, ideas, or expressions,” and the representation of them as one’s own original work…”

Notice that definition doesn’t apply only to scraping or verbatim reproduction of content. If you “closely imitate” the work of another, changing a few words here and there—as the blogger did with content from B, Fajr, and me—you are still guilty of plagiarism. Hey, you know what’s funny? The very blogger who lifted our content offered a pretty good explanation of it in a post she dedicated to preaching about plagiarism. Couldn’t have written it better myself, so I’m quoting her, though I can’t offer linked attribution—I’ll tell you why below. Keep reading.

“Plagiarism is wrong. No matter how you look at it.

There is no excuse… ‘I didn’t know…. I didn’t mean to… I did it subconsciously.’ No, you didn’t. You did know and you did mean to.

Plagiarism isn’t just copying and pasting word for word and passing it off as your own. It can be taking someones work and changing around the sentence structure, getting out your thesaurus and changing a few words here and there… basically taking the central idea tweaking it and passing it off as your own work.”

Oh, the irony.

How we fought a plagiarist—and won.

After conferring with each other, B, Fajr, and I decided to begin by contacting the blogger to let her know that she was guilty of copyright infringement, and that we had IP address analytics to support our claim. We sent her an email on January 20, 2012, and asked for attribution on the content she purloined, and we let her know that not responding would force us to share our findings on our blogs and all our social networks, and that we would initiate takedown proceedings with DMCA.com.

She immediately added the attributions, but after she responded with this, it really inflamed us:

“In all honestly, I have never been to your blog or any of the blogs mentioned in this email until tonight when I cross referenced the posts that you had listed. I rarely if ever read blogs beyond the book blog community. But I could not agree more with your assessments of the posts. And I am sorry to say that I have no viable explanation. I even searched my web history to see if perhaps I had read the posts and had recalled them as I was writing my own.”

No viable explanation. I have never been to your blog. Right. We were surprised by her nonchalance and even more enraged by her lies since our analytics showed she’d been on both B’s blog and mine as recently as January 19, 2012. We decided collectively that simple attribution would no longer suffice and that we didn’t want to be linked with her blog in any manner. B crafted another email that demanded that she delete the posts in question from her blog and all her social networks, and that she rename her “Building a Better Blog” page.

She wrote back. This is an excerpt of her response:

Her contradictory statements and the fact that she did finally delete the posts and rename the page told us that our assumptions about her guilt were accurate. Because we obtained the resolution we sought (or 99% of it), and the plagiarized content now only exists in screen captures we took, we have chosen not to “out” her, lest we open ourselves up to libel. Although we did successfully retrieve our content, it is extremely frustrating knowing she continues to represent herself as an “honest” writer who would never, ever plagiarize.

Oh well. All I can say is I’m thinking she probably learned her lesson. I hope.

UPDATE: April 23,2012 The blogger we did not mention here was exposed by the Young Adult book blogging community. Sarah of Smart Bitches, Trashy Books, sums it all up in her post, which includes an reprint of the blogger’s “apology.”

UPDATE: April 24,2012 B of Beautifully Invisible responds to the plagiarist’s “clarification” in her post A Tale of Plagiarism Continued: Clarification of The Story Siren’s Clarification.

What should you do if you discover plagiarism?

After your blood pressure comes down, here are some pointers on what to do next:

  1. If you notice another blogger’s content somewhere else, contact the blogger to let him or her know about the plagiarized content. Chances are they are not the only one whose content is being stolen. When bloggers come together independently with strong evidence, you have a greater case and more power to get the resolution you seek.
  2. Take screen captures of the plagiarized content so you have an image/proof for future reference and use.
  3. If there is an email address provided on the site, contact the plagiarist. You should probably send a cease-and-desist letter to start.
  4. If there is no contact info, the next step is to contact the host of the blog.
  5. If the stolen content has been scraped there is usually no contact information available. I suggest you register with DMCA.com and initiate takedown proceedings.

Hopefully one of the methods above will nip the issue in the bud. Read more about what to do when all else fails.

Copyright/Anti-Plagiarism Tools and Resources

  • DMCA.com helps to enforce the Digital Millennium Copyright Act by fighting copyright infringement and conducting takedowns of stolen content. You can also get a DMCA badge for your blog.
  • Plagiarism.org defines plagiarism and provides resources for education, prevention, and more.
  • Plagiarism Today has some fantastic resources for dealing with plagiarism online—I’ve linked to several pages in the list above, but should you want more info, be sure to check the site out, especially the Stop Internet Plagiarism section.
  • Read my post, Copyright and Image Use—What You Need to Know to better understand copyright law and  intellectual property protection.
  • Read The Uncomfortable Facts About Plagiarism—great info about this topic in an easy-to-understand article.
  • Prevent content scraping—learn more and take action:

 

Remember kids, the truth always prevails—even when people think they’re getting away with something, their IP address and pingbacks will reveal the truth every single time. Stand up for your rights and your content!

PS: “B*tch stole my content!” was inspired by the E! Fashion Police segment, B*tch Stole My Look!

Comments

  1. says

    WOW!!! I can’t believe this!! I’m going to go and check out B’s post too! How crazy!! And she blatantly DENIED it!! :( V, I’m so glad in the end she went ahead and deleted the post and renamed the page. I wonder how much more stolen content is on her blog… unbelievable!! Thank you for all the resources too! :)
    -K
    Krystle {Fierce|Fabulous|Fit}’s latest post: Thirsty?? And SPA GIVEAWAY!!!My Profile

  2. says

    Having been through this myself more times than I care to remember now, I’m really sorry this happened to you guys, but happy that you’ve managed to get the plagiarised content removed. No matter how many times this kind of thing happens, it never fails to amaze me that people think it’s OK to just steal someone else’s work like that: it’s just despicable.

    And I know only too well how frustrating it is to know that the plagiarist is still out there, passing themselves off as a regular, honest blogger, but rest assured, nothing is ever really “gone” from the Internet ;)
    Amber’s latest post: Only a Nigel update if you want it to beMy Profile

  3. says

    Un-bleddin-believable!! There really are stupid people out there! Glad this is all sorted. Thanks for the tips. Not that I’m expecting something similar to happen to my currently neglected blog. I can imagine how peed off you guys must’ve been. Take good care my sweet. I hope to be in NYC maybe in September for the next IFBCon. All my love xxx
    Joy’s latest post: Christmas Charity Shop SwapMy Profile

  4. Lisa says

    THAT’S MY GIRL V! The basic code of conduct in writing- never plagiarize. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but stealing is wrong. It’s so simple to give credit to another writer. Good for you for keeping it real!

  5. says

    What a horrible experience! I read B’s post as well and while I am so sick and sad about this happening to you hard-working bloggers, I am so grateful that you put this information out to help protect us fellow bloggers. I have learned so much from both you and B, and am grateful that bloggers like you support our community and continue to provide ORIGINAL content. So proud of you women for defending your content and winning this!
    Alison’s latest post: My Wardrobe Today – TuesdayMy Profile

  6. says

    Just commented on BI as well! Great detective work ladies! I’m really impressed at the IP proof, and now have a Pmetrics account thanks to you! Plagiarism has happened to myself, as well a few blogger friends of mine, with similar “what? I’m not copying!” email responses. It’s so frustrating and I love the actions you ladies took. Thank you for documenting your experience so others can learn from it.
    Alterations Needed’s latest post: Petite Wedding Season Links (and a Giveaway)My Profile

  7. says

    Just reading about this added grey hairs to my head! How stressful and horrible! I am so glad it turned out all right in the end for you, B and Fajir. And how proud I am of all of youse for joining together to fight this! The irony that she knew the def of plagiarism and then did it- oh lawd.
    Bella Q’s latest post: outfit post: This is Not An Outfit PostMy Profile

  8. says

    Another extremely well written and researched post V. Thank you for continuing to keep us all very informed. I am happy to hear all turned out in your favor in the end.
    This has never happened to me although someone did take my birth name and name I use as a designer to start a .com it in hopes I would pay $$$$ for it back. The feeling is so violating…Unfortunately a lot of people in the world are operating with misguided intention.
    Sending you lots of hugs,
    Mish
    Mish Dish’s latest post: Accessories Trend: On the FringeMy Profile

  9. says

    Wow, I really cannot believe the audacity of some people! It makes my blood boil just reading your story, so I can only imagine how you, B, and Fajr felt when you discovered the plagiarizer. You handled the situation very professionally, especially considering how easy it is for this type of situation to get really ugly. I feel like there’s sort of a plagiarizing epidemic happening right now because recently I’ve seen tweets from different people I follow who’ve discovered that their work has been plagiarized! It really doesn’t make sense to me- why are you even blogging if all you want to do is copy other people’s content? Thanks for sharing your story and tips on how to handle this situation!

  10. says

    Cheers to you ladies for taking care of business! It’s sad that this happens. I don’t get it. I agree with Nnenna’s statement. Why blog if you copy other bloggers content? Terrible! I recently started using Google Analytics and it’s fun to see where readers come from but I now I know it is very helpful for situations like yours. Thank you and B for sharing your experience and advice.
    Donna’s latest post: How to make an earring holder using a picture frame!My Profile

  11. says

    So sorry this happened to all of you, and grateful to both you and B for providing all the resources and information bloggers may need in a time like this! The violation and defacement of intellectual property is an all too common issue for bloggers – and it can go beyond copy, to post layout replication and so on. I’ve seen page layouts, graphics and even sidebar blurbs taken from TGWSTET. Whoever said imitation is the sincerest form of flattery was seriously one fry short of a Happy Meal. But for a lot of bloggers the only thing we know to do is sit on our hands and cry a bit, and maybe through a few expletives into the mix. Thanks to posts like these and bloggers sharing from their unfortunate experiences, there’s some hope!
    Casee Marie’s latest post: Beauty Trend: Ombre LipsMy Profile

  12. says

    Ha!!!! You and B and Fajr are three of the last bloggers I would want to mess with (not that I would want to mess with anyone…)! I am so impressed with how you handled the situation.

    Interestingly I had a similar situation a few months back. I didn’t know how to handle it, because things weren’t identical…. just oddly similar (format, photos, arguments…). The blogger is no longer active, so it has sort of resolved itself. But if it were to happen again, I know where to look to for guidance!
    Alexis Grace’s latest post: Pan Am GlamMy Profile

  13. says

    The fact that this blogger didn’t even mention and than deny coming/visiting the site. Doesn’t he/she understands what going viral means? Ah well, I’m glad you all got this situation cleared out.

  14. says

    I’m so sorry this happened to all of you, but unfortunately I’m not in the least bit surprised. I’ve been fighting internet plagiarism for a little over 15 years. Various sites have stolen complete chunks (verbatim) of books and articles I’ve written and passed them off as their own. Hasn’t happened that I know of yet with the blog, but I will be checking! I found that as the internet grew so did blatant plagiarism. My guess is that people think its so vast no one will find out, and usually give the same defense as you got each and every time. I’ve been lucky in sending a cease and desist email has gotten results quickly, but thank you for the extra resources in case one day that doesn’t happen. Here’s to original content, and justice! I hope you never have to deal with plagiarism again!
    XXX
    Suzanne
    Suzanne aka Punk Glam Queen’s latest post: Illamasqua Coupon Code Giveaway!My Profile

  15. says

    Wow. First of all, what a great, well-written post. Second, unbelievable! I am bookmarking this for the information and I’m so glad it worked out in your favor. I wish I was terribly surprised that people steal great content, I guess I’m more surprised that she was so brazen about it and then tried to deny it! XO, Jill

  16. says

    The minute I saw the title of this post, I became super mad!! Blogger plagiarism is sad and ridiculous. It’s amazing how people don’t realize that they are trackable when visiting blogs and websites, so when plagiarizing, you are due to be found.

    I adore the united front you, B, and Fajr had when taking on this chick, and I’m so glad y’all prevailed without things having to get too nasty!!!

    I greatly appreciate the tips provided too, in case it ever happens to me or anyone I know.
    Consider Me Lovely’s latest post: Mixed JobMy Profile

  17. says

    No friggin’ way!!! That’s nuts! It’s crazy to think there’s bloggers out there trying to pass stuff off as their own…I remember someone literally copying and pasting word for word, post for post, Rumi’s Fashion Toast blog a couple of years back…pretending to be Rumi and claiming Fashion Toast (although she renamed the blog) as her own….Cray cray dude…Peeps be taking plagiarism to a whole ‘notha level!

    Go get ‘em gurrl!!!

    xo-Julie
    Peace. Love. LOL!

    Haute Khuuture.com

    Julie Khuu’s latest post: Trendspotting: Vintage MapsMy Profile

  18. says

    I am sorry this happened to you guys BUT I am really glad you knew what to do and shared it with the rest of us. Of all the bloggers out there, she definitely chose the wrong people to steal from! She must not have read enough and looked at enough photos to know our V is one tough chic! I love the way you guys handled it. Sheer perfection > which describes all of to a T.
    Maybe she will be too scared to steal again. I certainly hope so!
    Fashnlvr’s latest post: Gardening: When you can’t move Heaven…My Profile

  19. says

    Thanks, Cate! I appreciate the input…and you probably are right about “She can’t sue you if you’re RIGHT.” BUT…you know, trying to keep my karma clean too.

    Have already submitted to LALM, so we’ll see. Thanks for your comment and tweets!

  20. says

    THIS IS ABSOLUTELY INFURIATING!!!
    I just recently celebrated the one year anniversary for my blog- and one of the major points I reflected on was the fact that I had built it all on my own. I conceptualized the entire project – start to finish – may not be the most successful, or the best, but in the end, I know that it’s MINE…

    The fact that someone took your ideas, your design, and layout – your creativity & energy – makes me livid. I would be so upset if someone did that to me. There’s a reason why it’s illegal!

    People say that imitation is the most sincere form of flattery…but not even knowing that can make this better, I’m sure.
    grrr

    The Fashionable ESQ
    http://www.thefashionableesq.blogspot.com/
    The Fashionable ESQ’s latest post: Can’t Afford, Can Afford: Leopard Edition (Happy Birthday, Blog!)My Profile

  21. says

    Just read the post over on B’s blog also, bravo to you all for handling the situation so professionally and for keeping a level head throughout the easily enraging ordeal. You’re a figure of grace, V :)
    Miss ED’s latest post: Equipment!My Profile

  22. says

    I just came from B’s blog and I don’t want to reiterate everything I commented on there, but I want to thank you also for handling this situation with B and Fajr, 2 of the best people in this whole wide blogsphere. I am honestly a little sad that this happened. I have a whole genesis of that guest post I did for B and it really came from a genuine place to help new bloggers like me. So to have someone steal so much of the content and really the heart of the message makes me really sad.

    But I am thankful that you guys handled everything with a great deal of thoughtfulness and in awe with the generosity you showed her. I do worry though, what about the rest of her blog? What if she is siphoning others? Also, I hate to be bitter but her Klout is at 67 which means she has at least a very active network on twitter that probably thinks she is sharing her pearls of wisdom (our PEARLS!!!) to help others, meanwhile she is completely spitting on what community is about. Le sigh. I think maybe I need the couple of days you have to come back to a grounded place, but really the incident did make me sad.
    Jamillah’s latest post: I Heart the Internet-My Profile

  23. says

    This happened to me recently, too, but there was nothing I could do! Someone copied a recipe of mine and linked it to me (which was fine – even though the link wasn’t really a link, it was just typed out, if you know what I mean). Then, a few months later she said in a blog post “go and check out my awesome recipe for ___ here!” and I was like what do you mean YOUR recipe? But I don’t think there’s anything I can do in this case!

    Anyway, glad you managed to resolve your situation!
    Leia’s latest post: Maxed OutMy Profile

  24. says

    Oh my goodness, this is incredible! It would be quite laughable if it wasn’t so serious and so very wrong. Ok, so we all get ‘inspired’ by other people’s posts from time to time but that’s normally because we feel we can put our own sway on it. Not just blatantly uplift a post and call it our own! Good on you girls for not letting it go and finally getting something done about it!

    Emma
    GawgusThings’s latest post: The Happiness Project (2)My Profile

  25. says

    Hey Vahni, I’m so glad this got resolved. I’ve had my content copyrighted word for word in those “spam” blogs, but my most recent was a fellow beauty blogger copying my post ideas and putting it on her blog. And it was obvious too because she had written me an email a few weeks earlier saying she loved my blog, so I knew she was reading. It kinds sucks, I didn’t do anything about it, btu I think if it happens again I should contact her. Thanks for your tips.

    xx Renee
    Renee | Beauty Fool’s latest post: Using Baby “Beauty” Products – Crazy or Cool?My Profile

  26. says

    Sadly this has happened to me before too….I had the same “is this chick for real”? thought and I immediately emailed her and demanded that she take down the post. After a few emails back and forth she wrote a formal apology post saying how sorry she was and how she would never copy someone on purpose. It’s sad that people have started blogs “to express themselves” but can’t come up with their own content! What’s the point? It is a really shi**y feeling and I definitely can relate! I hope she learned a valuable lesson…thanks for another brilliant and informative post. xo

  27. says

    OMG! When I read this it gave me chills, I’m sorry this horrible episode happened, but I’m glad that you all bonded together and fought back. The only thing that I’ve recently noticed is a few of my images on a site, and I came across by accident, so glad because I had to ask the person to take it down, and they did. I cannot believe people actually think it’s okay. It’s sad that this happens when it comes to content too. Inexcusable. Go get ‘em ladies! Brilliantly informative post V! -xo

  28. says

    Wowzers…this is crazy. Especially for her to pretend she’s never been to your blog. If that were true, her excuse of reading your post and channeling it when writing her post don’t quite make sense, does it?

    Also, it’s pretty easy to find out which block this is, just google “There is no excuse… ‘I didn’t know…. I didn’t mean to… I did it subconsciously.’ No, you didn’t. You did know and you did mean to.” Only comes up with 2 results, this post and the post of the blog.
    Avery’s latest post: Top 5 Favorite Current AthletesMy Profile

  29. says

    wow. this is… just no words. how can this be possible. I would be ashamed if someone accused me of stealing content even if it was by mistake. If that is even possible. I can`t even imagine what goes on in the head of this person, how she justifies this to herself. I just can`t understand people like this and why they do it. Internet is big, but we are still proven, every day, that in the end its a global village. everything comes out. I can`t understand this.

  30. says

    So very timely Miss V. We are having an Australian issue at the moment with Fat Mum Slim who’s photo a day challenge has been blatantly ripped off.

    I recently discovered that someone (who I know damn well has been reading my blog for years) has ripped of a regular segment of mine that I’ve been writing since I started my blog in 2007. Copied the title as well, right down to the punctuation.

    Makes my blood boil! Thanks for the amazing advice. You are awesome. As always.

    • says

      Hey cupcake…nothing, nothing worse than liars and fakers, I say. Knowing the AWESOMENESS of your content, I’d be super duper POed to find my content had been pilfered. I hope you take action. You are a true original, and you MUST protect yourself!

      And might you be in Sydney in May, maybe?! Would love to get together if you are.

  31. says

    Brilliant post – saving for future reference! Oh the irony indeed hah! I’m so glad you all did something about it and came out on top. Can I ask how you could tell from the analytics that she visited your blog (I’m such a luddite I doubt I could distinguish) – are you using google analytics? I still get alot of scraper blogs taking my content which means points 1-4 out of your 5 for dealing with plagarism are generally not possible to pursue because there is no contact (or it is a fake one) or the host is just not regulating anything (they don’t reply to complaints of abuse or say they have no jurisdiction over the blog you refer to and pass the buck) – so I go straight to the DMCA on google generally.
    Veshoevius’s latest post: Buy Cape, Wear Cape, WorkMy Profile

  32. says

    No my comment got lost!
    I wanted to say really glad to see you fought against this and won! I’m still seeing my content pop up on scraper blogs which is infuriating as there is usually nobody to contact on the site to complain (they stick up fake email addresses) and the host company are usually lazy and say they have no power over the blog in question – so I go straight to the DMCA form on google – brilliant post V!
    Veshoevius’s latest post: Buy Cape, Wear Cape, WorkMy Profile

  33. says

    Thanks again to all of you for commenting and reading B’s post as well. I hope you never have to deal with anything like this!

  34. Sarah says

    Oh my god, I know that blogger. I am so shocked and disappointed by all this. She was like a big thing in the book blogging community. I would never have known about it if I haven’t accidentally stumbled upon your site. Wow, this was really something.

    • says

      Hi Sarah, thanks for your comment.

      That’s kind of why it’s unfair that we didn’t just blow the whole thing wide open—she still gets her respect and underneath it all, she’s a fraud. Of ALL the types of bloggers in the world to plagiarize, I never imagined it would be a book reviewer. Makes me wonder how many other posts and paragraphs she’s stolen in her lifetime. It really was something, especially when she alternately admitted to it and denied it in her emails to us.

  35. says

    Thank you very much for this post. I am very sorry that you have been plagiarized though. And I admit to copying a part of this blogpost in a word document for use if I ever discover my blogposts have been copied. Even though I still cannot understand why someone would post reviews of books they have not read.
    aurian’s latest post: Gini Koch – Alien DiplomacyMy Profile

    • says

      Hi Aurian~

      Thanks for your comment. Of course keeping this post as a reference is permissible. That’s totally why I wrote it! This is not the first time plagiarism has happened in the fashion blogging world, so B and I teamed up so people would no what to do if it happened to them.

    • says

      Hi Midnyte, thank you for your thoughts. It’s never a good situation, but we all learned a lot about how to combat it, though. At least that!

  36. says

    Geez — I recognized the blogger immediately. That is such a shame, because she is very well-known book blogger and it puts a bad light on all of us. It happens so much and of all the people…it’s usually newbies or someone that is quickly vetted and kicked out, so this just makes me question everything she’s done. Your blogs even look alike and have the same feel. And the unjust thing of the whole situation is the fact that I knew of hers first, so if I would have stumbled upon yours, it would look like you were similar to hers, not the reverse. I’m sincerely sorry for this. I recently had mine stolen also, the plagiarist was a little more tacky about it, just copying and pasting the whole review — even kept my affiliate links in there, which is how I tracked it back. I made .15¢ ;)

    I’m glad the situation was rectified and know that a few of us have had our eyes opened.
    Parajunkee’s latest post: Romancing the Weekends: Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah OcklerMy Profile

    • says

      Parajunkee~

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts. As you noted, the insidious thing about plagiarism is that the rightful author could be accused of being the plagiarist if people aren’t familiar with the original work first. As a writer, that terrifies me. I believe strongly in individuality and EARNING any accolades I receive, not taking the easy, untruthful route. My body of work and voice are my livelihood. There is no way I’d jeopardize my credibility by passing off someone else’s words as my own.

      It’s good that the situation was rectified—I had a feeling that sooner or later, the truth would come out. As it should. Thinking back on this situation, if copyright infringement was committed (and it was), acknowledging who did it isn’t exactly libel on my part. But now that she has removed all the evidence from her site, without our screen shots, it could have been dangerous.

  37. Lililala says

    Such a horrible situation. The saddest part is that [she] is a very well known book blogger and she is always bragging about the correct ways of Book Blogging. I guess she didn’t get the memo that copying other peoples content is not ok.

    • says

      That’s one of the reasons we were soooooo angry! She was actually preaching about plagiarism on her blog! And then to do it? That makes it 10 times more disgusting.

      Thanks for your comment!

  38. says

    I came across your post on Twitter. I’ve always been really afraid that my content was going to get stolen so its so nice to see that there are ways to protect your intellectual property. I’m bookmarking this page (and hoping that I never, ever have to heed the advice here; plagiarism sucks so much).

    • says

      Hi Meg, thanks for your comment. There are indeed ways to protect yourself. Of course, I hope you never have to employ all the steps outlined above!

  39. says

    I’m just stunned. I’m also a book blogger. I have the offending book blogger’s web site in my sidebar. I read the apology she posted on her blog, and thought “what the heck is she talking about?” A simple Google search answered my question. I visit her blog regularly and like many of the features on it, including the content she passed off as her own. I went to her web site regularly for advice. Now I’m wondering how much of the content on her blog is actually her own. Not sure what to do now? It’s disgusting that she tried to deny it.
    Jael’s latest post: My take on: Somebody to LoveMy Profile

  40. Tina says

    I just compared your post with hers. Yes the headings are similiar, but the content is not. She wrote her own content. It does look like she followed your outline, but this attack is blown out of proportion. You are making it sound like your post was copied completely, and no it was not. I understand your anger, but be honest on all fronts. Yes, your headings are similiar, but she wrote her own content.

    (You point out her link on the top of her blog. I too have an About button on my blog, please don’t accuse me of plagarism! I’ve never seen your blog before.) “Build A Better Blog” is a title to numerous blog posts on the web. Did you plagarism from them?

    • says

      Tina, I’ll repost the definition of plagiarism to refresh your memory:

      According to Wikipedia,

      “Plagiarism is defined in dictionaries as the “wrongful appropriation,” “close imitation,” or “purloining and publication” of another author’s “language, thoughts, ideas, or expressions,” and the representation of them as one’s own original work…”

      Plagiarism isn’t just copying word-for-word. It’s tweaking/reformatting six pages originated by other bloggers and passing them off as your own. If you actually do a close read of all the evidence we posted, you will see that plagiarism is blindingly obvious. Not only are the pages similar in cadence and voice, we have undeniable IP evidence to show she visited those exact pages shortly before publishing similar posts on her blog.

      Just today she finally admitted (more-or-less) to doing it. If she were not guilty, don’t you think she would have been extremely vocal about her innocence? Would you let people insinuate YOU plagiarized if you truly had not? I know I wouldn’t. I’d shout it from the mountaintops and get my attorney involved. Instead she offers a half-assed apology and never once says the allegations are false.

      So don’t come over here to MY BLOG waving your finger in self-righteousness. I’m not the one who did something wrong. She did.

      And PS: We never “attacked,” in fact, we kept it under wraps for three months. You book people put it on Twitter yesterday and wrote a gazillion posts about it.

  41. Lily says

    I am so sorry that this happened to you and that people are vilifying you. Keep your head up darling. A lot of us in the book blogging world support you and think what she did is inexcusable and will no longer be going to her blog following her on any of her social media outlets.

    I do need help on my poor fashion sense so I will be following your blog in hopes that it can help me and my out dated closet.

    Lily X

    • says

      Aw, thanks Lily! That’s the one positive thing that has come of all this. Fashion bloggers and book bloggers collide! And show support. That’s so cool.

      Thanks again for your comment and support. Drop me a URL if you have one. :)

    • Lily says

      Sorry I have more to say. This pisses me off so much that some people are giving her a free pass because of who she is and how big her blog is. She cried so loud when her content (if it truly was hers) was stolen. She was constantly talking about how bad it is to steal and that there is no excuse for plagiarism.

      It makes me sick! The half assed apology seemed to me to be more that she’s sorry she got caught sorry she could loose out on all those ARCs and free sh*t she gets from the publishers.

      I think it was admirable of you to keep on the down low and not blow up Twitter when this all broke in January. I didn’t hear about it until I saw the post on Smart Bitches site yesterday.

      Once again, I as a book blogger will not be following her and I do not support her, I have lost so much respect for her and a lot of people in the book blogging world today and yesterday. For defending her. She was wrong. I also am very sorry this happened to you.

      BTW totally awesome name for your blog!

      Lily XX

  42. says

    Like many in the book blogging community I first heard about this yesterday and I was appalled at what I saw. That someone with so much klout in the community to do something she preached against is just wrong. To have others try to spin her actions as a mistake and that you, the victim, are wrong is just not cool. I’m a bit ashamed at how some people in the community are dealing with this issue. I’m sorry this happened to you and I’m glad word got out. I just hope that we can all learn from this and move forward in a positive manner.
    Irish’s latest post: Teaser Tuesdays: 24 April 2012 (Dark Goddess by Sarwat ChaddaMy Profile

  43. says

    I’m sorry to hear that you had to experience this! How very wrong of her to do such a thing.. I can’t understand why someone would do such a thing. Of course, it’s logical that you can come up with your own ideas when you see a post on a blog you like, but it’s so wrong to steal everything :s

    I hope everybody learns something from it and I think you did a very good job after you found out about it. You handled it very well :)
    Melanie @thedailyprohecy’s latest post: Top 10 Tuesday (8)My Profile

  44. aj says

    I work in book publishing and have taken a few media law classes. It makes me mad that people think plagiarism has to be exact copying word for word. As the law is written, to be founded guilty of copyright infringement, one only has to have committed “significant” copying of the “nature of the work.”

    Oh well. V, I’m glad that you’ve been able to resolve this.

  45. says

    I’m so sorry this happened! I’m appalled not only that The Story Siren stole content from your blog, but that after she was caught and called out on it she just threw out a bunch of excuses and tried to make herself look like a victim. It took her, what? Two or three attempts at an honest apology? Seriously? It’s disgusting! Keep up the great work on your blog – only just found it because of this mess – and take care!
    lisa-marie’s latest post: Flowers!My Profile

  46. says

    I really am sorry that you had to experience something so terrible. I seriously cannot understand what she was thinking and her apologies are laughably lacking. I cannot say that I represent anyone even though I am a book blogger but I am glad that you do not categorize all book bloggers as being the same as Kristi, at least where plagiarism is concerned. On the bright side, this led me to discover some great blogs.
    Nafiza Azad’s latest post: New on my Shelves for the Month of AprilMy Profile

  47. says

    I’ve seen a lot of tweets about this and whilst it’s taken me some time to get round to reading this article, I’m incredibly impressed and grateful for the actions that you took to defend yourselves. I’ve learned a lot of lessons here, this is a must read for bloggers.

    http://www.styleonthecouch.com

  48. says

    I am so glad I found your post on this. Another blogger visited my blog, left a comment (proof she was there, in fact, was a frequent visitor)she read my post, saw the method, read my ‘how-to’, saw a little phrase I ‘coined’. One month later she had set up another whole blog using the exact imitation of my post, even using my ‘coined’ phrase. Her ‘plagiarism’ of my post has now extended into a book deal. It has not been published yet but she is showing the cover of the book and everyone is ooohh and aaahhh and congratulating her. I am LIVID!!!! I contacted the publisher(since she is under contract with them) about my concerns and they basically sited they were not in copyright infringement and that the little phrase I ‘coined’ (it’s really only 2 words but is the premise and whole concept of the post and idea I had posted) was not included in copyright. Stating that copyright does not protect names, title,slogans or “””short phrases”””!
    So in all my research I came across your blog and discovered the definition of plagiarism. This EXACTLY the definition of what happened to me!!
    I have not contacted her about this. I just wanted to get to the truth on my rights without starting a blog land cat fight.
    We were all visitors to each others blogs occasionally, so it is hard to jump in and start something that will spread like wildfire (from her end I’m sure, I’m not one for big confrontations). She is well know and EVERYONE just swoons over her and I feel I am setting myself up for being black balled by the other bloggers. I feel they will see her side and not mine. When I discovered what she had done it just let the wind out of my sail and I stopped blogging as much. I found I was VERY selective on what I showed or demonstrated on my blog from then on.
    As it now stands, the other bloggers say she is genius and think she is the originator of the idea……EVEN THO some of these same bloggers had read and commented on MY post. What is WRONG with these people??
    Anyway I am thankful for the generous info you have shared here. You have given me the plagiarism route to use since I can’t seem to claim copyright infringement! I have just been sick to death over all of this. It is scary confronting people and publishing companies not knowing if all I am going to do is make a fool out of myself……..

    • says

      Hi Belinda…so sorry to hear you’ve been victimized by another blogger! It IS scary confronting others, but if you do it professionally, with facts and evidence to back up your claim, you usually prevail. Definitely don’t let it slide. Good luck!

    • says

      That’s horrible! The world of blogging is scary!
      I wish you luck and love. Be strong. Can you get any screenshots or dates or anything? Don’t ask me, because I’m horrible at that type of stuff, but most in the blogging community are super darling. Are you in the book blogging community?
      Anyway, be strong!
      Kim @ Snuggle’s latest post: Ender’s Game by Orson Scott CardMy Profile

    • says

      Thanks Elaine…sucks when it happens for sure. Thankfully it’s all blown over now, and some good actually did come of it.

      I appreciate your comment!

  49. says

    This is really horrible. I can’t believe that I ever did respect her. I just used her help, (only about, two weeks ago, I think?) for my own blog, when I came back to find it deleted. Not being in the know quite yet, I had no idea what was happening, but now I feel so guilty when all of those page views should have gone to you fashion bloggers. Sorry, I’m kind of illiterate right now, but I’m super shocked. I saw that she ran into some trouble, I think, but I didn’t expect it to be that.

    Anyway, I believe that her site has really gone down, and neither is she getting much of her respect, since she didn’t even apologize for her actions. Soo sorry that this happened to you. But hey, I’m a new follower and I’m sure many book people are following you now. I love books AND fashion!

    Don’t know if you’ll read this, but:
    Loves, loves, and more loves~
    Do well!

    • says

      Hi Kim, thanks much for you comment and support! I read EVERY comment on G&G, and do my best to respond to as many as I can.

      Not to be nasty, but it would be nice if karma paid her a visit soon (in the form of lower visits/endorsements/and popularity). If you say her light has faded a bit, well, perhaps karma is paying that visit!

      I love books and fashion too. So I hope our paths will cross again soon.

  50. says

    Hi,

    I know there is a lot of female in here and i don’t know if i am suppose to be here anyway, i found your website from my serps and thought i should give in my two cents. Okay, if you want to publish your content online. Here is something you need to be considered about. There is a lot of lo self people out there to steal your content and i know it makes you very mad but anything you put online will get attention and people may try to steal it and you can’t do anything about it specially to those third world countries. There are billions of internet users out in the virtual world. I say that you just let it go and let the Google algorithm handles it. Don’t waste your time writing to content plagiarist. Trust me, they will not last long. I’m speaking of my own experience. Every day my content get stolen from various bloggers, webmaster and internet marketers wanna bees. I guess it makes me more happier that they found my article to be that good specially from some one like me that speak so so English haha I don’t know how many times your content get stolen but i’m running out of energy and i want Google to work hard on this cases. Thanks for sharing this article and i hope no body steal your content again :)
    Alex Shaikh’s latest post: Tips For Writing Affiliate Marketing In Order To Make Money OnlineMy Profile

  51. says

    I actually know who you’re talking about. For the same reason, she took my content too. It was basically the next week after I published my article on how to create a better media kit… and not just her, my content gets stolen regularly – photos, articles, ideas… Even someone stole my photo of me (!!!) and uploaded as their Instagram profile photo. On another occasion, I got a few Twitter followers who had my face on thier profile photos… Weird? Yes. But to be honest, after a few attempts and fights over my own content I got tired, I don;t bother anymore. It’s just to painful and you never know if you succeed or not. It’s frustrating but what can you do? I wouldn’t have to left to blog if I were fighting over each piece.

    But you ladies did very well!! Respect.
    Maria @CrashingRed’s latest post: Fab Friday – Top 5 foundations for mature skinMy Profile

    • says

      Thank you! Yeah, it’s no fun trying to fight the liars and thieves. You just have to try and do what you can to prevent it and then go on.

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