Plagiarism Is NOT Okay. Blogarama, I'm looking at you.




Two weeks ago, I Google searched a quote from one of my old pieces, a journal entry I had written about a boy I was in love with this time last year. As my blog search bar doesn't recognise quotes, only headings and labels, I thought it would be quicker to get it up on Google.

I was right; except this piece I had written, which I had been considering taking down out of respect for that boy and the lovely girl whom he is now dating (it can be awkward having relationship ghosts floating throughout the internet) wasn't the first result on Google.

Why? Because it had been copied, word-for-word, on a blog that has way more followers than me. (by the way, it was deleted within minutes of me messaging the author and saying to correctly credit me for the piece). If it had been an essay, or even poetry, I might have been less angry. Yet, this was my JOURNAL. Those entries are my thoughts, feelings, emotions, musings. My very heart and soul resides in those particular posts and never in a million years did I imagine the day where that would be taken from me. They had taken my words, changed some names and places to fit their own life, and thanked all the people leaving them positive comments for their writing style and honesty.

I wanted to cry. I ranted and raved at Alex, sent angry messages and couldn't bring myself to publish anything new because it was heartbreaking to think that my words weren't really mine anymore. I have 400 followers, this blogger has 3000+. That made me so, so mad. Not even because the 50 people who had been lovely enough to comment on her post believed that my words are the heart and soul and thoughts of someone else. No, that didn't bother me as much as the fact that she should know better. Surely someone, who has managed to build such a large community and follower-base, should have enough creativity and thoughtfulness to not plagiarise? Surely they know that it isn't okay?

That was two weeks ago. That blogger, after eventually admitting to met that she had copied it from SOMEONE ELSE, led me into a chain of plagiarism. That "someone else" blocked me on Twitter after receiving my message and I am still trying to get her to admit to copying my work as she is refusing to down the three pieces she has copied word-for-word from my blog.


SOMEONE TOOK MY WRITING, RE-POSTED IT WORD-FOR-WORD, AND PUBLISHED IT AS THEIR OWN.
 
I didn't want to let this get to me, but as a writer, it does. It does. The week when I should be celebrating three years of this little, beautiful space, I'm instead fighting for it's place on the internet, it's right to be published without being copied.

It’s so frustrating to know that I’m pouring my heart out, that I’m writing honestly and emotionally, that I’m being vulnerable and open and real, and that someone’s copying it, pretending that it’s their words, their confessions, their heart. This is my life, I wanted to scream. Not yours.

I don’t get it. How can you copy something and say it’s your own? Do you really think that it can’t be discovered? That the internet is so huge, no one will notice? That it’s not totally illegal? How do you think your significant other will feel knowing that the words he thinks you wrote about him were actually the words I wrote about an ex-boyfriend when I was still in love? 

It’s not just me, it’s writers everywhere. It's happening to my friends, other bloggers, my favorite Instagram poets and artists. It’s people I don’t know, who write so beautifully and don’t get credit for the art they create. It breaks my heart.

So as I said, that's been my fight for the past two weeks. This morning, it took an even bigger turn. The lovely Augustin of Indie Spirit, who I love dearly and I'm lucky to call my friend, messaged me to inform me that my posts were also being published; uncredited, on www.blogarama.com. It's not just me either. It's Bethany from Curly and Wordy - who wrote this post about her experience. I'm 18, Bethany is 19 and for all intents and purposes, these people aren't just taking people's content and not crediting them, they are destroying the confidence of two teenage bloggers that their work can be safely published online without being stolen by someone else.

Blogarama, for those of who who don't know, is a site claiming to be a 'blog directory' - almost like bloglovin' but ten times as shady.  I can assure you I never signed up for an account; nor did I ever agree for my content to be published there, especially without credit. Although at the end of the post there is a "this post first appeared on A Portrait Of Youth... read the original post here" The link leads to my general blog surrounded by a blogorama frame, still on their website. By the way blogorama - "view original" means the original content -not another page on your website.


And it sucks because there’s really nothing we, as creators, can do. Sure, we can try to report copyright, we can fight back, we can ask for pieces to be removed, and we can fight to protect our creations. But it doesn’t take back all the eyes that already saw our work, and attributed it to someone else.

It doesn’t take away the pain you get from knowing that something so important, so pressing, so essential to your being, has been stolen from you.

It sucks. There’s really no other way to put it. Sure, this girl put her page on private so I can no longer report her, or not have access to her information to message her, in the sad case she creates another copied page. I've complained directly to blogorama, as well as emailing blogorama's host website, with the following email:

"Dear Sir/Madam, 

I am the owner and content creator of www.aportraitofyouth.co.uk.

This is to advise you that one of your hosting sites - blogorama.com - are posting copyrighted and protected material on their website. Their illegal use of various articles including "Forgotton Thoughts" (http://www.blogarama.com/blogs/550074-portrait-youth-blog/17669021-forgotten-thoughts)  is originally from my website/blog called "Forgotten Thoughts" at (http://www.aportraitofyouth.co.uk/2016/11/forgotten-thoughts.html).

In total Blogorama.com have published 10 of my blog posts without permission. I never signed up for an account nor did I ever give my permission for these posts to be published.

As I am sure you are aware this is original content and I am the author and copyright holder. Use of copyright protected material without permission is illegal under copyright laws. I also know I am not the first content creator who has been a victim of this site's blatant disregard for copyright.


Please see to it that the plagiarised material is removed immediately
or I will not hesitate to take further legal action.

I expect a response within 5 days to this issue. Thank you for your immediate action on this matter.


Regards, 

Anne Timmons."

The only thing I can do is hope that my words find their way back to me. And that people discover me, and how much I love sharing how I feel with the world.


So to my fellow creators, keep writing, drawing, painting, sculpting, sketching, creating. You cannot be silenced by someone trying to steal your talent. You are strong. You are gifted. We can't lose hope in sharing our words with the world, but simply support other bloggers and artists with their passions and defend them when we do find plagiarism hiding in some little corner of the internet.

Despite how often they might take your words and claim them as their own; no one will ever be you.

Comments

  1. Omg this just made me so angry!! Some people just really don't know what's okay and what isn't because that definitely isn't okay. I'm sorry you had to make such a shitty experience but I love what you said at the end of the post - to keep writing and creating really is the most important thing and I'm glad you're doing exactly that. Honestly, if someone feels the need to copy somebody else's work then that's just sad to me. You're such a talented individual, don't let it bring you down x

    Sara’sChapters

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    1. It made me so angry too Sara, but hopefully it will all be sorted out soon. thank you xx

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  2. Wow I feel so saddened and upset this happened! As a writer I can imagine how upset you must have been when you saw that your work has been copied. I don't get it. Truly, it's disrespectful and dishonest and awful. I hope this matter will be dealt with accordingly and I hope this never happens again.

    Hugs,
    Hannie from Missing Wanderer

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    Replies
    1. I'm working on getting it sorted, but sadly it's taking longer than I would like! Hugs <3

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  3. OH. MY. GOSH. I have run out of words. They have disappeared. I know not what to say except: THOU BEADS! THOU ACORNS! THOU MINUSCULES! HOW DARE YOU KIDNAP AND MUTILATE THE MANIFESTATIONS OF ANNE'S SOUL? WHO GAVE YOU THAT RIGHT? This is beyond disgusting. It is thievery, and crimeness. It is not merely crime--it is crimeness--the essence of crime. so to whichever pathetic cheshire cat skeleton is lurking out there wanting to steal you words-- you listen to me: the minute you steal someone else's work, you lose the write to call yourself an author. Furthermore, you ave just proven that you will never be as good or creative an artist as Anne-- because you can do nothing but steal. THUS, ACORNS, I DENOUNCE YOU OF YOUR TITLE. The word guillotine is over there.

    https://cynicalduchess.blogspot.com

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    Replies
    1. I love that you brought shakespeare to my defense you beautiful, wonderful soul. thank you for always supporting me xx

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  4. I just noticed parts of my blog are on blogarama too - not a happy bunny! :-( Did they take down your content after you emailed them?

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    1. I think they have now, but it took ages! I'm so sorry it's happened to you too!

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    2. I just have a same problem with my website. I found that Blogarama stole and copied my total of 10 (ten) article posts without any permission from me.

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