A fox in the hen house


Hi guys, have you ever had a fox in your hen house? Ok that is a little vague and cliche, what I mean is: have you ever had your blog content poached? What did it feel like? How did you react? What did you do?

The reason I asked is that it’s happened to me once or twice, over at Death by Expectations mainly. One time I was feeling lazy to load WordPress and simply googled the name of my piece, and among all the guff that a search engine throws at you when you do a search I found the same piece, the one I wrote on another site, no mention of the author. Not cool. On the one hand, it warms my heart that someone was kind enough or thought highly enough of my words to wanna share them. On the other though, if nobody knows they are mine it kinda sucks.

Another time I found, a few actually, on a site that was actually making money from the content, again no mention of the author. I was kind of hurt, I sent an email asking them to please at least give credit where credit was due, but to date no reply.

For me, especially in the case of poetry which is very often a very personal thing, it cuts a bit deeper. But I guess that is one of the evils of the Net-Nation that I guess we all just have to live with. But what to do? For a moment I thought about just shutting down. Stop sharing and go back to those black and white composition books of my youth. But I like my audience, I love all you guys, so that was definitely not an option. So…instead, I went researching and even spoke to some of the established folks I know who have dealt with or have to deal with matters of creative license.

I was told, to put up a copyright notice on the site, or to apply for a license for the site. Make the thing legal, this relationship between me and my art, formalizing the ownership. huh. Well at least this time I didn’t have to buy an expensive dress and bake cakes, and all that other stuff. I was directed to the  Creative commons which is totally free, but please donate anyway, and allows me to chose a license that allows my readers to share and share and share for non-profit purposes which is what this whole blogoshpere thing is all about, as long as they pay homage to the tears and rage and joy that is my life and thus me.  Anything outside of that and they gotta drop me a line to work out the details of the things you do with the things that come from me.

I know it’s not a fool proof deterrent, and I know that it doesn’t disable the copy and paste option of anyone with  those kinds of intentions. But it’s kind of like that time we stood up to the bully in school. We may not have changed their lives, and they will probably be at it next week, but at least we stood up for ourselves and that in itself gives us some measure of peace, and what’s better than peace to have?

Anyways, that’s been one of my adventures in the last few months, just wanted to share. Has anyone else had the experience? What did you do?


2 thoughts on “A fox in the hen house

  1. I’ve run into that. I reported it WP; it’s a violation of the TOS of WP if someone takes your stuff. The TOS team at WP took my content down from that site. The owner of that site has since posted only snippets of my posts with links. He is an avid follower who never comments but reads and likes everything. So I guess it worked out. I figure he may not have known the rules.


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