I wrote a popular article entitled “How Not to Write a Blog” that appears here in your favorite Urban Semiotic blog:
http://urbansemiotic.com/2005/06/02/how-to-not-to-write-a-blog/
Today, I discovered this blatant copy and past theft of my article on a BlogCharm site:

Ripping Off a David W. Boles Article!

You cannot copy and paste articles as you wish without getting the author’s permission. Pointing to a “source” is not the same as getting the author’s permission.
I have requested BlogCharm, as the service publishing this Copyright infringement, to remove the content.
If you write something, it belongs to you instantly under the U.S. Copyright law. You are not required by Copyright law to formally Copyright your work in order to earn this protection. If you can prove you own the work, the Copyright is yours.
Here is what the U.S. Copyright Office says:


What is copyright?

Copyright is a form of protection grounded in the U.S. Constitution and granted by law for original works of authorship fixed in a tangible medium of expression. Copyright covers both published and unpublished works.

Note “published and unpublished” and “fixed in a tangible medium.”

http://www.copyright.gov/help/faq/faq-general.html#mywork

10 Comments

  1. Thanks for that tip, Chris!
    I thought “Pro Blogger” sounded awfully familiar!
    I appreciate the link to the real site.
    It burns me up when this happens and I don’t care if it’s another 9-year old ripping and republishing our stuff or an 80-year old — they know what they’re doing is certainly not right and the rest of us pay by losing our hard-earned work to others who pilfer it for their own devices.

  2. How did you find it? – It seems to me it is a good way to lose credibility real quick. I’m certain Blogcharm doesn’t want their name associated with such behaviour and will be keeping an eye on the offender. At least I hope so.
    There is the Fair Use Law that says it is ok to take portions for writing reviews or to comment on.
    For example taking a paragraph out of a news article and commenting on it or a piece from another blog etc.
    Found a good article on it here. – Lessig Blog on Fair Use

  3. Hi prying1!
    There are search bots you can employ to watch your back. You can also use other investigative services to root out the unfair use of your work. I don’t want to reveal too much here because the truly bad guys are always interested in finding ways to thwart you.
    Yes, if a paragraph had been quoted with proper attribution, no problem. It’s the wholesale copying without permission that is the crux of the problem.
    Your link didn’t come through! You can just copy and paste the raw URL in your comment and it will get auto-hyperlinked when it is posted. If the link runs off the page I’ll fix it for you if you want to post it again.

  4. The latest post on my blog is about stolen layouts. I recently found someone who is selling custom blogger templates for almost $100, but has stolen the code from someone else’s free templates to create some of these layouts. I’ve contacted the person whose code the designer is using, but I don’t know what else I could do. It really annoys me that this person is making money of someone else’s designs. I’m hesitant to actually give a link to who the designer is who’s done this, should I “out” this person?

  5. That’s very true, but here’s the catch. The designer who’s stolen the code gives “credit” to the person who actually wrote the code. Yes, as stupid as that sounds they have listed who wrote the code, but the person who wrote it had no clue they’re work had been taken and used against the terms on their site.