On Stealing Shit

online copyright infringement“Hey — you’ve arrived. People think you’re worth stealing from!”

“Imitation is the most sincere form of flattery.”

“It happens to everybody — quit bitching.”

“Take comfort in that you’re an innovator, not an imitator.”

“Some of the words were changed — it looks like they made an attempt to personalize it…”

“I had no idea — I hired a marketing intern to write my web copy!”

Since Friday morning, these are just some of the things I’ve heard when I busted a “social media expert” for stealing my web copy for my Buy Me Coffee service. The plain, no-bullshit truth is that just over 24 hours later, I’m exhausted. (I’m writing this post on Saturday afternoon.) I am, and without argument:

Exhausted with anyone who thinks that stealing intellectual property is normal.

Exhausted with ludicrous suggestions that I “orchestrated” my content being stolen to help…what was it…RAISE the thief’s profile.

Exhausted with anyone who wants to call me egotistic or a bully for standing up for keeping what’s mine…mine.

Exhausted with excuses from one thief, the lack of even a HINT of acknowledgement from the other.

Exhausted with starting a day with one rip-off, being alerted to another one only moments later, and finding someone with balls of an incomprehensible size appear as yet a THIRD ripoff in one day.

And I’m exhausted even more having heard from a colleague who teaches a well-known copywriting class that her students are ripping her off. Her motherfucking students.

So — do I have rage? Yes, I do. Do I have recourse? Yes, I do. Is it a pain in the ass? Undoubtedly. But today, I’m laying down the law.

Some of you might unsubscribe and leave the community. That’s cool — it’s your community to leave.

But no one should have to sit by as they look at 40 years of work ripped off 3 times in one day and be made to feel as if they’re a bully for cowgirling the fuck up and saying: HEY! THAT’S NOT YOUR SHIT!

In the only way I know how, I present to you the arguments and my rebuttals for each. If you’re a content creator, we’ll likely be singing the same tune. If you’re in the business of acquiring content (as in hiring others to create it for you), take note. And if you’re a thief…well, you’re just a thief.

“I had no idea — I hired a marketing intern to write my web copy!”

As Rae Hoffman stated on her blog on this very subject, this is the digital equivalent of “the dog ate my homework.” When you hire someone to create content for you, you are the one ultimately responsible for that web content and the rights attached to it. It’s the same reason you can’t go out any buy a stolen car without clear title and tell the cops, “Hey! I didn’t know it was stolen!” Clear title for a car equates to clear ownership of any content you procure. You either purchase it outright and clear the rights for it up front (even if it’s created for you for free), you negotiate the terms of the rights and how it can be used and who retains copyright, or you don’t use it. This is why the cops can confiscate — without compensation to you — a car you purchased, if proven stolen, without clear title. It’s also why content creators can file DMCA Takedown Notices to shut your website down if you steal their intellectual property. If you’re going to do business on the shady side, best be ready to pay the consequences.

“Hey — you’ve arrived. People think you’re worth stealing from!”

While pithy, this is no consolation. Having your content stolen and saying, “Hey, at least you’re worth stealing from” is the digital equivalent to having a custom hot rod you built from the ground-up from your designs stolen out of your driveway and having the cops say, “Hey — at least it was worth stealing!” <insert blank stare>

“Imitation is the most sincere form of flattery.”

If you ask any stand-up comic or singer, they’ll lay a list of influences on you. People who made an impact on their career, style, and the content they create today — as well as how they create it. When we’re learning a craft, we all go through some phase of imitation or another. Imitation is how we learn as kids and I consider it the greatest compliment when anyone tells me I’ve inspired them to do anything. But if I’ve inspired you to steal my shit, I can do without that compliment. It’s not okay to rip someone else’s shit off (aka: “imitate”) because you’re too lazy to create your own. Or worse, you thought you wouldn’t get caught. And it’s even worse when you steal words from someone who makes a living using words. As a professional writer, this is what pisses me off most. By ripping off my words, you’re stealing money out of my pocket. You’re stealing my continuously-honed talent, ideas, and time. I’m paid to write, and you didn’t pay me to write for you.

“It happens to everybody — quit bitching.”

Do you want to tell Rosa Parks to get her ass to the back of the bus? Just because theft of content these days is as common as one of Lindsay Lohan’s stints in rehab doesn’t mean it warrants acceptance, tolerance, or silence. I will do and be none of those things. Words like these are too often used in instances of rape, abuse, and other acts that some feel aren’t to be spoken of — because they happen so often that it’s commonplace. I will not be silent when someone steals my shit. It’s not okay, and by not talking about it, I am willingly and knowingly pushing an important issue (online copyright infringement aka THEFT) under the rug when I have a voice powerful enough to make a difference. I will use that voice EVERY. MOTHERFUCKING. DAY.

“Some of the words were changed — it looks like they made an attempt to personalize it…”

I’m going to get a little Fair Use on you and drop some mad shit you need to know. First, bookmark Copyright.gov’s Fair Use guidelines. Next, know that hitting “publish” on a blog post or web page grants copyright on that material to the creator. I have an additional copyright notice at the bottom left hand corner of my website for those who don’t know that legal tidbit.

online copyright infringement - on page copyright example

That doesn’t say “some” rights reserved. It says ALL.

Now, let’s use a little Fair Use to demonstrate when it’s okay to copy someone else’s work:

How much of someone else’s work can I use without getting permission?

Under the fair use doctrine of the U.S. copyright statute, it is permissible to use limited portions of a work including quotes, for purposes such as commentary, criticism, news reporting, and scholarly reports. There are no legal rules permitting the use of a specific number of words, a certain number of musical notes, or percentage of a work. 

Source: Copyright.gov

Now, the fun part is I cited copy from another website that talks about citing limited portions for the purposes in bold: commentary, criticism, news reporting, scholarly reports. This means that it’s in complete violation of Fair Use guidelines to copy entire webpages unless you are offering COMMENTARY, CRITICISM, NEWS REPORTING, or CREATING A SCHOLARLY REPORT. Wait — how can I say that? Well, let’s use another citation from Copyright.gov to explain why paraphrasing, or moving a few words around, isn’t kosher:

How much do I have to change in order to claim copyright in someone else’s work?

Only the owner of copyright in a work has the right to prepare, or to authorize someone else to create, a new version of that work. Accordingly, you cannot claim copyright to another’s work, no matter how much you change it, unless you have the owner’s consent.

No matter how much you change it. Damn. Did it really say that? Fucking A right, it did.

This means that you can’t paraphrase my shit and call it your shit. If you do, that’s stealing shit. Especially if you didn’t have the wherewithal to not follow the exact flow of my page, section for section, including bold face, italics, and key phrasing. By key phrasing, I mean entire paragraphs that are materially the same as my copyrighted material. And here’s the thing: I could give three frog’s fine ass hairs if you want to create a consulting product called “Buy Me Coffee.” What I do care about, however, is that you use your words and not mine to describe that service. Consulting’s been around since the dawn of time. But the words I use to describe how I do it, why you might want to do it, and what you might get out of it — in the order I put them together — haven’t.

“You make it sound like stealing your content is worse than stealing someone else’s.”

It’s not. Ever. Theft is theft, doesn’t matter if you’re a dad in Peoria, Illinois with the beginnings of a home brew blog for your buddies or a site like Digiday. But if you’re going to steal, you’d best be aware of from whom you’re stealing. Not unlike a Guy Ritchie flick where some poor bloke finds he’s unwittingly stolen from the Ukrainian mob, it’s probably not a good idea to steal content from someone like me — a twice-published author, a columnist for two national business magazines, and with mad presences on social media. And is that ego? No. It’s practicality. The backlash from stealing from me is going to be greater than if you steal from someone with no voice, no community, and no presence.

And you never really know with whom you’re dealing, as that home-brewing dad could be an IP attorney. Or part of the Ukranian mob.

There’s not a single person reading this post who would say that their life has been easy. You’ve busted your ass to get to where you are, and I know damn well that I don’t have a community filled with people who think that fucking off and status quo are ways of life. It pisses you off when people phone it in and it pisses you off when you catch yourself in an ever-so-rare phone-it-in moment (we all have ’em).

I haven’t had it easy, either. There have been no bluebirds flying through my window and no one’s dropped a large bag of $50s on my front porch quite yet for no reason at all. I owe everything I have to my community and the people in it. You appreciate my content. You come back for more of it and bring your friends. You grow the community. Every opportunity I’ve been afforded above is the result of you — my community — 40 years of living, the combination of my experiences during those 40 years, and some knack I’ve got with putting words together.

And the kicker? You — my community — are the ones who brought all three instances of online copyright infringement of my content to my attention. For this, in addition to everything else you’ve afforded me, I thank you.

By saying that it’s cocky or egotistic for me to say that these thieves are stealing from someone who’s:

  • busted her ass to get to where she is — and is grateful for where she is
  • busts her ass every day to not just stay where she is, but do more, different, and better

then you’ve never had anything stolen and I’m wondering what you would say to someone who thinks you’ve had it easy when you dare defend what you’ve achieved and created.

There’s this negative connotation of “ego” and I’m here to say, while it can mean conceit, it also means having self-esteem. Being content with what you’ve accomplished. I grew up with parents who always told me that they were proud of my accomplishments. As an adult, I fell into this black hole of shame that said you should never talk about yourself and that it’s unattractive to be proud.

I’m over that shit. There’s not a day that goes by where I’m not proud of where my 40 years have brought me — and dear reader, they’ve brought me you. If protecting the content that’s built this community and daring state the information that’s included in my boilerplate bio is being conceited, call me conceited. 

You’re letting the name calling persist — why do you tolerate this in your community?

There has been some super shitty name calling going on in the comments section of both Facebook and this blog. I haven’t really known how to deal with it.

Why? Because I’m pissed. Because there’s a part of me that wants to join in and thinks all the things you’re saying about the people who are ripping me off. And that’s what happens when you get angry. You lose site of the goal.

My goal is this community — not to waste my time with lazy ass thieves. Hence:

First: I appreciate your enthusiasm and fervent support. Fuck yes, I do. You are the ranch dip for my baby carrots and the hummus for my pita. I’d fuck you at 4AM when I’m in the middle of a good dream and then again at 7:43AM when I have a meeting scheduled for 8AM. Yeah, you’re that good

Secondly: This shit has to stop. I will not have the Facebook page or blog comments — this community — become another bathroom stall filled with YouTube comment-like spew. I have called the people who have stolen from me lazy and thieves — as that is undoubtedly true. I have not called them cunts, twats, assholes, motherfuckers (OK, once in a comment to Nick Armstrong), or made judgements on whether or not they have reproduced. I have not cited their looks, clothing, nor web design.

So, I’ll ask: Can we come up with more creative ways than name calling to express our pissed-offness if we feel the need to lay out a thrashing? This community has been an endless source of hilarity and holy-shit-can-I-steal-that-not-in-an-infringement-way-but-a-funny-as-fuck-way worthy comments. Let’s aim for more of those and less of the Cunty McCunterson-type responses. And I know there are assholes in the world and I’m certainly not going to put a dog turn in a Tiffany’s box and call it anything but a turd. Let’s just keep the vitriol to a minimum.

 

And finally, a word on ways to prevent yourself from stealing shit, buying stolen shit, and finding shit people stole from you…

Have you met Copyscape? You should.

How do I verify when people are stealing my shit? Simple. I just drop in a URL from my website.

copyscape

 

If you hire people to create content for you, I highly recommend Copyscape Pro. Expensive? Shit howdy, it sure is.

It’s $0.05 per search. That’s right. FIVE CENT*.

*ending S intentionally omitted

When that “marketing student” or “intern” or copywriter you hired submits their work, drop it into Copyscape to ensure that someone like me isn’t going to be sending someone like you a Cease & Desist letter with a fancy DMCA Takedown Notice for stealing her shit.

You can also protect your site by signing up for Copysentry. This is a monthly service — only $4.95 for pages with less than 500 pages in their sitemap — that will monitor the web for ripoffs of your content. You’ll have to contact them for how to set this up if your site is like mine and has a wealth of indexed pages (read: more than 500). But that’s easy. And now, so is finding the people who steal shit.

That’s all — and thanks for reading all 2606 2608 words today. Holy shit.

 

42 comments
Lauren Tharp
Lauren Tharp

Good lord. I just had a woman advertise her freelance writing business with MY face! lol. Okay, it was a drawing of my face...created by my husband...specifically for MY freelance writing business. But still! She didn't give credit to either of us!

I think it's a little silly for her to use a drawing of ME to advertise her business, but I would have shrugged it off...had she given my hubby credit for the artwork. He's a freelancer too! In a different field, of course, but his work still has value.

When I first read this post back in May, I could--I thought--sympathize. Now I can truly EMPATHIZE. Whereas I could "understand" your rage back in May, I can FEEL it now. And it really sucks.

One of the best things, to me, about being a freelancer is building a network--a community--of people who look out for you. And that's not possible if we go around stealing from each other. It's just so...uncool.

I just wanted to let you know that I'm sorry that happened to you. But that I remembered it. And I used it as an inspiration to speak out. To tell that person, "Hey. Not cool."

So, thank you. :) I don't comment very often, but I lurk constantly. And I remember.

Take care!

awesomehotdogs
awesomehotdogs

Gotta disagree. 

Yes, it seems to be the nature of the internet. Hell, it's the nature of industry. Hell, it's the nature of NATURE. Copying happens, ideas are "borrowed", things get stolen. 

If you were who I thought you were, you wouldn't have cared, or written this post, or drawn attention to the copycats. If you are as good at what you do as you say you are, then it shouldn't matter. If someone copies you, then succeeds where you haven't, whose fault is that? 

Anyone can steal from anyone else. Every silly law out there may try to protect/prosecute whoever, but people still steal. All you've done with this post is make yourself a bigger target to future thieves. Instead, you should have kept doing what you do, except do it better, bigger, more persistently. 

This was rather childish. 

TweetStrange
TweetStrange

I've been keeping up with your case, because I work for an intellectual property firm (on the marketing side), and two weeks ago I actually assisted with an architectural copyright case where I graphically highlighted the similarities between two house plans. I was impressed with the way you outlined the similarities in your previous post. I'm no IP attorney (so obviously nothing I say should be taken as legal advice), but I've learned quite a bit about IP law working for the firm and helping our litigation team with trial graphics. The funny thing about copyright law is that we are called to see what the "striking" or "substantial" similarities to make a call of whether or not copyright has been infringed. The people who say that they changed enough stuff aren't clued in to what the law is. I like to demonstrate it this way: J.K. Rowling writes Harry Potter. Then, someone else writes a book about wizards name Harry, Hermoine, and Ron, and an evil villain named Voldemort. This "someone else" changes the entire plot but takes the main characters from Rowling's books. Isn't that strikingly similar? I'd argue that the person you're accusing stole your main characters, put a different face on it, and added a couple new personality quirks. Anyway, I think it's great you're bringing attention to copyright law and standing up for your stuff. Just thought I'd point out the "striking similarities" subject to clear some air. 

MitchRezman
MitchRezman

Had a a chat with my buddy Charlie over the weekend. Charlie heads the patent department for a medical device manufacturer I thought I would just run this it by him. He basically said regardless of all the "law" people have quoted in this thread it's all well and good until you end up in court. 

vsellis
vsellis

Erika - First off this is all total BS. Sorry it happend but I'm glad you're actively protecting yourself. Second, I wanted to share another great resource. http://www.plagiarismtoday.com/ is authored by Jonathan Bailey, and he's been covering this stuff for a long time. He's not an attorney but really knows his stuff. 

Latest blog post: burning-horizon

RochelleMitchel
RochelleMitchel

Muchas Gracias for the CopyScape info. Nonprofits tend to rely on "volunteers" to write content for them, especially on their websites. This will go very far in nonprofit marketing workshops. BTW, my Prezi has an image of your book (and Tony Hsiehs, and John Jantsch, and some links) in the credits as well as the title and author typed clearly for all to read. Respect and credit where credit is due was taught in Kindergarten, wasn't it? 

Realtaholic
Realtaholic

I'm a Realtor. Unlike most of the 34,769 Realtors in the Tampa Bay area of Florida, I am full time. This is not a hobby for me. It is my profession. This is how I pay my bills. To be any good at it, an agent has to do this full time because the market is like a living, breathing thing that morphs constantly. If you dabble in it, you can't keep up. But every Realtor -- part time or full time -- has to complete an Ethics course in order to become a member of the local board of Realtors (important because otherwise you have no access to the MLS). Here are some of the things that are covered: If a homeowner has signed a contract with Realtor A, Realtor B or CDEFG cannot contact that homeowner. Period. A Realtor can lose his/her license for doing that. And yet they do. Boldly sometimes. There are 34,769 Realtors in my area. Do I want to do battle with all of them? No. But when I catch one in the act, I call them on it. HARD. My goal is that when they see MY sign in the yard, they know to just keep walking. It's like you said, Erika, "The backlash from stealing from me is going to be greater than if you steal from someone (else)." 

olanzagalindo
olanzagalindo

Good...for...you. I hate the lame excuses. I see them much too often. I still think that some people don't WANT to understand the law so they can claim ignorance. Others are just lazy and are looking for a quick way out. And then there are those who just don't care and are willing to do anything to get ahead off of someone else.

I know that copyright law can be confusing, but there are enough FREE resources to make sure you don't violate copyright law. AND...here is the kicker, people know when something doesn't feel right. People know that it is wrong to copy and paste. Unless they just stepped off the Garden of Eden before the snake even had a chance to offer the apple....I call LIARS!!!!


As you can tell, I have no patience for people those people. Seriously rubs me the wrong way, every which way. 

Now...have a wonderful morning and thanks for the awesome post. :)


twb
twb

Congratulations, Erika - it appears you've attracted so much attention to http://thelovecoach.com/buy-me-a-chai-latte that the site has run out of bandwidth.

What a way to take down your enemies - not only have they been publicly called on their thievery, but they're also facing either an expensive bandwidth bill, or weeks of site downtime. And you didn't even need to submit a DCMA notice.

What a way to (inadvertently) get revenge!

(Remind me to always stay on your good side…)

Bob Boucher
Bob Boucher

Just accepted a new job as an agency creative director and will soon be introduced to the team -- which is often a squirrelly experience for all parties, right? Thought I'd share a few select blogs, posts, people, etc., that have helped inform and define my professional and creative philosophies. This post, and your blog, goes right to the top of the effin' pile. Thanks, Erika! 

CShakespeare
CShakespeare

Our society has been desensitized to the blatant theft of intellectual property, ideas, concepts, art and talent.  Mostly because they couldn't come up with the concepts on their own so think nothing of "borrowing" others' work and tweaking it a bit and passing it off as their own.  Your example was a prime instance.  Another outrageous theft of a fabulous product and idea based out of creating and selling a product, using artisans in other countries for assistance (incorporating their designs and processes giving them full credit and paying them for their part in the process).  The beauty of the product concept is the fact that it gives back to those who participated in the creation AND others who are in need.  I am, of course, talking about the company TOMS.  After reading Blake Mycoskie's book "Start Something That Matters" i was shocked and angry when Skechers came out with "Bobs", using the same concept of donating a pair of shoes to someone in need in another country.  When I had a conversation with others about this, they were confused as to why I was angry given that people were being helped.  Seriously? Such an obvious rip off?  

Some people think nothing of illegally downloading songs and movies, with the rationale that the artists and studios already make so much money that it doesn't matter.  Would these same people agree to perform their own work, especially if it is involved talent of any type, for free?

Whenever major league sports players go on strike, all the media focuses upon are the "obscene" salaries that the players command, the same players who have short career lives, endanger their health and livelihood every time they hit the field.  You NEVER hear about the astronomical profits that the team owners make, inclusive of (often) putting very little (if any) of their own capital on the line instead raking it in from concessions, televised rights, corporate sponsorship and often times getting the home cities to pony up most if not all of the money to build the stadiums and arenas in which the teams play.  These parasites suck the life out of the folks who actually put butts in seats and make huge sacrifices to their health and welfare to play the game.  Plus the average citizen simply cannot afford to go to these events in person.

Stealing is easier than actually applying oneself to creating something original.  The people who support these thieves are just as culpable.  It sucks, people need to see their culpability in this and wake up.  Someday it could happen to you. 


SophieLatulippeOuellet
SophieLatulippeOuellet

Dear Erika (who never answers my posts...hmmm), I am convinced that you know that my answer to your latest post wasn't meant to undermine your situation. (Having a Master's degree, copyrights are sacred). Rather, it stemmed in part from a situation that happened as a teenager, when people would stare or laugh at me having CP and my mother who told me that I had the choice between being angry all my life, or just ignoring them. But I command you for following your instincts. Because of you, a whole bunch of people (including me and, perhaps my husband) will be better armed to protect themselves . As I think you know, I am not someone who shies away from admitting that I am wrong, and, once again, I was... Thank you, thank you, thank you... You are an inspiration for me...

AmanthaTsaros
AmanthaTsaros

I hope that if/when I get ripped off that I am able to handle it with the power that you have shown. You are amazing. Taking notes.

WTFMarketing
WTFMarketing

This is why I have mad respect for you. You took a one line explanation you gave to me (and a few others) in a comment and turned it into a whole-hog blog post.

Not only that, you addressed the concerns quite a few folks had about the "slut shaming". Well done. Comment high-five.

ukgreg
ukgreg

Just a quick note of support. No caveats and no conditions. Keep up the great work!

Greg

AutumnRio
AutumnRio

     As a marketing communications student, I am distressed that this is what the professional community thinks of marketing students. I work very hard as a student (maintain a 4.0 and graduate in 4 months) and as an intern (I have a non-plagiarized guest blog post and maintain a couple of social media sites) and hate to think a few bad apples are spoiling the bunch. Actions like this make it much harder for those like myself to find employment or ever be trusted as contractors. As I stated to another blogger that I look up to, I do not understand why anyone who calls oneself a professional can behave so recklessly with his or her professional reputation. In her case she had a guest blogger plagiarize someone else, but she uses Copyscape to make sure everything she posts on her blog is 100% genuine, and caught the issue right away. To quote myself from her Facebook page, "Original content isn't easy; that's what separates the pros from the kids selling their 'content' on fiver." However, I completely intend to bust through this industry's walls one day, with my own original content. So please don't make this any more difficult by libeling marketing students as a whole. Some truly suck at life and certainly theft does not warrant tolerance, but I, madam, am no thief. I'm just a 30 year old who's still in school trying to make something of myself one day, using bloggers such as yourself for motivation to keep going. You've "made it," and I will too, but I will earn that distinction rather than take what I have not earned. By all means, hang the thieving bastards out to dry, but do have some compassion for those who aren't thieves, and look up to you.

ExtremelyAvg
ExtremelyAvg

Keep fighting the good fight. Don't let those entitled, lazy, no talent bastards, wear you down. Sue them. Sue them twice! Take the money and hire someone to beat them in an alley, and then work hard to make more money to destroy the lives of their family, friends, and pets.

Now normally, you'd think I was being over the top and trying to get a chuckle, because that's how I write, but in this instance I was being literal. Stealing is wrong. It needs to be punished in such a way that those who think it is fine to cheat and steal think twice. So, would it seem extreme to take a baseball bat and cave in the thief's innocent child's head, yes, but I say do it anyway. These people shouldn't be allowed to reproduce.

Fuck them!

Latest blog post: A Better Cover

LoriEdgerton1
LoriEdgerton1

I learn quite a bit from you, as I have this morning.  I love reading your stuff and wish I was just like you.  So thank you for what you do.  I think you're great.  :)

AnnaCummins
AnnaCummins

Thank you for being the bad ass, integrity filled, straightforward human that you are, Erika. I see and hear so many people working to justify other peoples actions and their own, constantly. It kills me every time and quite frankly pisses me off. 

Why the grey area? I do NOT get it and never will. I have been told to lighten up, to let go, to look the other way, hell no!  I am not talking about children, I am talking about adult humans. Dancing, crawling and rolling in the grey areas of life just to get by. Well, this is why they just "Get by".  Those grey area people are in my eyes, what separates the GREAT from the MEDIOCRE. And you, Miss Napolitano, are Spectacularly GREAT! 

Keep on, keepin' on! 


CatAstrophied
CatAstrophied

To be fair, you quoted me here. Some years ago, someone ripped me off word for word...except they changed a few. :P That fellow was even less creative from when you're plagiarist was "editing it a bit." He blamed the "web designer." I got raging mad, I got him to remove it. Again, he was even less-creative than you're love-doctor plagiarist or whoever she was pretending to be. I've seen my whole site taken with my name taken out and changed by others. I've had article upon article stolen and credited to others. I had a woman sign her name to my work on her site after taking it out word for word. I'm a very very plagiarised author in my line of writing, which is not business-writing so admitttedly appeals to a smaller niche (and for that reason is easier to locate.) The first article of yours I ever read was on people ripping off the Oatmeal online, and I complimented it highly. I wasn't trying to make you upset, but if you get so combative to even the slightest suggestion something is "better" (I didn't say "perfect") than the last time I'd seen the page, and then take that out of context to piss yourself off with that, then the problem is more yours. Is that woman a plagiarist-shit? Yes she is, Erika. Am I condoning that? No. What I was trying to do was illustrate she did know she did wrong and was trying to fix it while I watched. Taken out of context, sure it makes me look like I was petting your head and giving you a cookie.

I'm sorry you got ripped off. Those people suck. They do. There should be some manner of recourse cheaper than a lawyer or a verbal bitch slap for these folks...even more than taking their sites offline. I've dealt with all the hoops, all the "it's not my fault/problems" of hosting services, domain owners, plagiarists, etc. If anything I sympathize(d) with you entirely. But I'm not attacking you, nor am I trying to excuse anyone's behavior. Rather I hoped the hint at improvement would calm rather than enrage. I'm a redhead too, so my mistake. The orange hair gives a temper too unweildy for any one ginger to hold in. Sorry I offended you enough to be criticized in an article.

Best of luck getting whatever it takes to get you satisfying justice in taking down your plagiarists. I really hope this doesn't post 3x. I think ghostery is messing with my ability to do so. ;)