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Compliment or Copyright Infringement?
When you just can’t tell the difference between a compliment and copyright infringement.
So, there I was minding my own business. Scrolling my Facebook feed like a mindless couch potato yesterday afternoon. I had a quick thought and wanted to jump over to the She’s Moving Mountains Facebook page. Well, FB wouldn’t load my page in the corner so I got sick of waiting for it and just typed “She’s Moving Mountains” into the search bar. What to my wondering eyes would appear?! Apparently some of my biggest fans. And their copyright infringement hanging out there for all to see. I hear you silently asking yourself “wtf?” because I KNOW! ME TOO!
Found a blog with the same name, who by the way, also blatantly plagiarized large portions from this one. A line or two here, a paragraph there. She did not pull full posts or anything, nor did she pretend to be me or anything like that. (I’ve deleted or updated most of the content that was plagiarized, but some still exists.) It’s still infringement, and I do maintain impeccable records to protect myself from just such nonsense. If you’d like to read more about copyright infringement as it pertains to blogs, check out: Is Your Blog A Copyright Infringement Suit Waiting To Happen?
Next up, just down the list, two businesses who were using versions of my logo. Mind you, I create ALL of my own graphics here on She’s Moving Mountains, so it’s not as if I have some graphic designer that might have sold similar designs or something. One was clearly my work, undeniably, including a mountain that I drew and digitized myself, and never sold to anyone. The other, they outright copied mine including layout of words and graphics, slightly changed the fonts, likely because they couldn’t find the fonts I have. (I’m a commercial font hoarder, yes, really, I’ve got THOUSANDS) Yet, they got as close as they could using free fonts.
First, I was terribly offended that someone would rip off my hard work, whether that’s my words or my graphics and designs. I felt, in some ways, violated.
THE LEAST YOU COULD DO IS LEAVE A DAMN COMMENT ON MY BLOG, HOE. I’m just sayin’ show me some love if you’re gonna steal my stuff. Like, help out a girl’s ego here. But to just take it without even dropping a “I love your stuff” before doing it? Monsters.
So as I was telling my daughter about this I see her getting so mad. Then, I’m like “Mindy, get a grip because is it really worth being mad about?” So, I totally switch it up and tell her that ya know, when I was new at things I made mistakes. Sometimes I copied other people’s work or art because I didn’t really have a “style” or direction of my own yet. I emulated other people THAT I LOOKED UP TO until I found that in myself. Immediately, I felt better because underneath it all, I knew that to be 100% true.
(Note: I have never plagiarized a single thing in my life that I am aware of. When I was a new artist I would often recreate other people’s art, but I never sold it, and honestly most of my reproductions are in my house to this day because I loved and admired that person’s work so much.)
I continued on in this conversation that I actually hope this girl’s blog is successful because it’s only going to fuel the people who click on my blog. Why? Because despite my recent delete fest I am long established with my blog name, website address, etc. I will always outrank her in searches. So, maybe it’s not a bad thing after all? As for the ones who stole logos and images- well, it’s a good thing I’m running around the internet naked with no logo for the time being because I wanted something new. I’d likely have a lawyer today if they were using my logo while I was still using it.
For this moment, I wish them ALL well. I hope their ventures are successful. I hope their businesses flourish. There is enough room for all of us in this world, and clearly we are all just trying to muddle our way through and move our own mountains- however different they may be.
After all that, I never did manage to make that post on my Facebook page. I was entirely too distracted, and full of conflicting emotions. I have worked hard with this blog, with building my name, my online reputation, and my presence to have it overtaken by people who don’t know me, my story, my struggles, or my mountains.
Today, I choose to just be. Joyful. Happy. Forgiving. Full of grace.