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Monday, January 12, 2009

Boo Hoo, What to Do, When Another Blogger Copies You....

Ok. Lately this blog has been suffering an attack of the copycats. I have had to track down people who have stolen pics, entire posts, my subject matter, etc, and deal with them via emails, flagging them and complaining to Blogger, etc.

Now, a fellow fitness blogger who drops on me daily has just joined that group. You guys see that I've started doing video posts, and that's obviously a new thing I'm playing with. I'm always thinking and moving ahead...it's just what I do. So, today, I go and drop as usual, and see that this blogger not only has now put a video on her blog as her latest post, but on THE SAME SUBJECT as my video series. Oh, she named it "Stick to it Fitness Tips", but you guys who read me know where that started. This has actually got me pissed. I mean, I know that I don't own any subject, medium, or blogging style, but I'm really getting tired of seeing people who lack their own creativity and imagination piggy backing on ideas that I come up with.
As a blogger, I make it my business to be original and fresh, but what's the point if others just come behind you and copy it anyway?
A friend of mine said that I should take it as a compliment...after all, if my ideas and content were bad, no one would bother to imitate them. However, I must disagree. Why should someone else profit from my brainwork and vision? It really makes me mad.
As of today, I will stop dropping her blog, simply on principle. I know we're out here competing to a certain extent, but damn....
This is also one of the drawbacks of being in this forum where your blog is under the daily scrutiny of every other blogger in your niche. The right hand always gets to see what the left hand is doing.

What do you guys think about this? Is all fair in business and blogging? If you are a niche blogger who manages to come up with content that the other bloggers don't, doesn't it bother you when they copy it?

As I said, this is not the first time.... and it's also not the first time I've stopped dropping on another fitness blogger for the same reason. In fact, I hesitate to drop on others in my niche anymore (other than the ones I already do, and my regulars like Heidi, Paul, Laura, etc) because it seems that some (not all) won't hesitate to feed off your ideas when their own well runs dry.

I welcome any and all opinions on this, guys, because it really is an issue for me, and it also makes me consider pulling my blog from Entrecard.


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Anonymous said...

hmmm. i have a dozen blogs i check daily or every other day for inspiration at the end of the day...both mcdonalds,wendys and burger king sell burgers ...who does it better?


I think that blatant copying like you are discussing is wrong and I personally would be very, very upset but fortunately nobody copies me. It is frustrating to put so much thought and work into something only to have it taken away by less creative people. Keep in mind though that YOU have your own style and certain IT which is why people like myself keep coming back and that cannot be duplicated by anyone. Sorry that happened to you!

The Fitness Diva said...

Not the greatest comparison, "Anonymous", simply because you'll never hear Mickey D's talking about flame broiled burgers or the Whopper, or "The King" going on about his chili.

They each create their own products in their own way.

The Fitness Diva said...

Thanks, Heidi!

Matt said...

I haven't had anyone copy my stuff either (not that they would want some of the drivel I spit out), but you have every right to be very upset.

The only thing I would say (again, not having any experience with it myself) is that it is like trying to protect your prize automobile. If someone wants it bad enough they are going to find a way to get it. You protect your site the best you can and nail the @#$% when you catch them. Otherwise, don't let them beat be twice by letting them frustrate you. You are way better than them to begin with!!

I hope you don't leave EntreCard, it would be a big loss for u the rest of us.

BeadedTail said...

I've wondered about how prevalent copying is out there and don't have a clue on how to prevent it but I am pretty sure there isn't anyone on any video as entertaining, informative and adorable as you are. You are an original and I'm sorry that your idea was copied.

Mystery Man said...

well, i've "borrowed" content from other blogs in the past, but I usually give credit (and a link) to where it came from...if i can remember.

However, when it comes to blatant stealing, that just isn't right. Unfortunatley, there's not much you can do. When you post material on line, un;ess you kno how to make it uncopyable, it's fair game to be copied.

Now if you could find a way to sue them for plagiarism, then you could raise a ruckus!

As for me, when the rare occasion happens that someome borrows from me, I take it as a n honor that they think enough of my blog to copy it.

tahtimbo said...

Reading the comment from Anonymous has only made me want a hamburger. With that aside, you are doing all you can to help prevent this sort of thievery from happening. You are following-up and those blogs are hopefully being deleted. Yes, I can sit here and say that they are stealing your content because it is original, well-researched and well-written, but that does not make you feel any better. I am wondering if this could be the same person, but using different blogs? Anyway, I'll see if I can do some research and maybe find something that you can do to help prevent this from happening in the future.

Dori said...

I know that this is so frustrating for you. I would be annoyed too. Diva you are fabulous, so they are copying from the best. But still I know how hard you must work on what you do and it's just not cool for them to do that. I'm sorry that you've had to deal with all of this. Please don't leave Entrecard :)

iWalk said...

I met such things more badly,Diva.

I often find my Chinese travel posts are used here and there on internet. And I know there is a kind of software which can copy all the database of your site too!And I know many web master use this kind of software! That's a kind of infamous totally copy!

Yeah, I stopped update my chinese website because of this reason. Though I have worked so hard on it. :(

Chic Gal said...

Had to deal with this myself this week. Someone not only copied by content, but actually took the articles directly off my site. They used my trademarked logos and linked me thinking it was OK. I sent a cease and desist letter and it was removed. Why do people think this is appropriate?

bartolomo said...

I don't blame you for being upset; I would be too. You have a great site and I wish you continued success with it. Everyone gets ideas from other sites, but blatant copying is wrong. If I were you, I would email the person. If that doesn't work, contact Entrecard. Can't hurt. Good luck.

The Fitness Diva said...

Hey, thanks for all the replies and advice, everyone.
This latest person is just copying an idea, so, nothing I can do about that except not deal with her blog anymore.
However, the other one of late still has the post with the pic they stole from me up on their blog. Entrecard has already deleted their blog, so that does give me some satisfaction.
I will get hold of one of those cease and desist letters and send it to them to let them know it's still not over.

Their blog sucks anyway, and is probably just a splog set up to make Adsense revenue or something.

Sadie said...

I've gotten ideas from other blogs, but to copy content? That's terrible! When I get ideas, I still do my own real research and write my own content. I'm sorry that this has happened to you. While it is a compliment on some level, it's also a form of plagiarism, and it's wrong.

gLoR!e said...

there is actually some people who lack the capability to do their own creativeness and ideas because they want to boost themselves and others, she/he need to make things copy (handmade) from who she admire. I am sorry it happened to you!:(

miss tique said...

I agree up to an extent with your friend who told you that copying you is a form of acknowledgement. Just like imitation is a form of flattery.

Any blogger may and can be a muse for others - which is fine, but no blogger should be an ass and copy from others over and over again. There should be a common sense limit to this.

Jan from BetterSpines said...

Obviously we all have various sources for our inspirational posts or lack thereof, but there is absolutely no justification for blatant stealing.
Do they think people are so stupid that no-one will notice? Do whatever it takes to squash them very hard.

Doug Kueffler said...

Getting an "idea" or a "subject" from another blog posting is one thing, to duplicate the "subject matter" is totally wrong. Some copying is due to laziness but some individuals are truly prats. Sounds like you are dealing with it most effectively.

MySweetThree said...

I am so sorry that you are being copied. I have absolutely no clue who you are referring to, as your blog is the only fitness blog that I visit. This is the only time I have commented, but I just wanted to extend my sympathies...I hope they stop! =) Take Care!

Chronic Chick Talk said...

Hi Fd,

It is ashame that people are copying. I know it upsets me when I put my heart in a poem or article and someone steals them completely. Spamers are good at that. I know of another person whose entire post and picture were stolen. I write from my heart and put my heart into my writings and darn it they are mine. My heart goes out to you. Even if you leave entrecard they will still follow your lead. Don't give them the satistfaction. Keep Writting
I don't know if you have copyscape or not, but you may want to consider putting it on your blog.

Chronic Chick

Chronic Chick Talk

Suddenly slimmer said...

I'm sorry to hear that Diva...I hope I'm not in the copy cat's list.

attygnorris said...

I can see that you are really upset and I understand why. It is hard work to be creative and unique. This is why I hate to tell my friends where I shop. They ALWAYS go to the same store and buy EXACTLY what I've bought. I want to look nice and I want them to look nice BUT I also want to be different. So now someone has copied your video idea. That sucks, but yes--I agree with your friend. Take it as a compliment. That's what I had to start doing about this clothing/ style thing. Otherwise you're just going to waste energy you could be spending coming up with even more creative ideas. The thing is--since you're the trendsetter, people will ALWAYS be one step behind you. By the time the right hand finds out what the left hand is doing, the right hand would have moved on to something bigger and better.

As far as my own blog goes, I like it when people copy me, but even more when they give me the credit. The right thing for the copycat to do would have been to say she got the idea from you. It's not that hard to take that one extra step.


raidz said...

Your anger is totally justifiable but don't let it keep you from your regular posting. You could look at it as a compliment. If you write good posts and have loyal readers than no worries. You must have more creativity than the alleged thief so yours is most likely a better post anyway. Creativity is what keeps em coming back.

The Fitness Diva said...

Thanks for all your insight and opinions, everyone. Davida, I would be mad if someone was buying and wearing my same clothes, too! Get your own style, dammit! LOL

Anyway, I can't continue to worry about what I can't control, right? And you damn sure can't control the actions of other people.

Bartolomo, I understand to an extent getting "inspired" by what you see on other's blogs, but still don't think it's a good idea to jump on someone else's bandwagon just to have a post for your blog. IMO, if you don't have anything to say on your own, just don't say anything. Got no inspiration? Put your thinking cap on and make it happen.

If I post about dogs exercising on Monday, and come by your blog and see you've posted about dogs exercising on Tuesday, you still suck, okay? lol
'Cause you KNOW you wouldn't have thought it up yourself, and didn't think of it at all until you read me. ;)

The funny thing is, since I've posted this, I've seen that several blogs across various genres have all posted the same post....that one with the two faces; one looking scary and the other not.
I've seen it on about 6 different blogs now, and imagine that there must be a ton more with it. The last time that happened, it was of that lady spinning and you had to figure out which way she was going to determine if you are right or left brained. Those are different, though, because they're not personally created, but manufactured from some report or scientific source. When you write or create something yourself, it feels far more personal to have it stolen.

I guess that copying is a way of life on the internet. I'll just concentrate on dealing with the blatant ones.

Anyway, thanks again to all you guys! :)

Natural said...

i agree with doug, getting an idea is one thing, stealing is another. just when i think and gone and done something original i find out later it has been done before. but since this person is a regular dropper on you and she sees what you do all the time, it's hard to separate stealing from what's original when you JUST covered the same topic. if she's going to steal at least be quiet about it and not drop it in your face. pooh for her.

Daisy said...

Coming up with creative and interesting ideas for a blog post is hard! I would be mad too if somebody stole my ideas and/or photos.

The World As I See It said...

Hey Diva,
If it's any consolation, those of us who frequent your blog regularly know that you are the original "Fitness Diva". It's unfortunate that someone would copy you, but looking at it in a positive light, it's also a form of acknowledgment that you are doing something right.

I recent had someone ask if I mind that they use my blogging style (and I'm nowhere close to a blogging authority). I agreed that it was OK, but if I didn't, and they decided to any way, what could I do?

The style of better blogs will always be copied. What goes beyond the unwritten ethics of the blogging community is when someone also infringes on your content. In the blogging community, that's blasphemy!

Jenny DiDonato said...

I would totally be pissed if someone was going as far as copying the exact content as me every week! I've been doing health & fitness webcasts on my site for the past nine months now and I have not come across that problem -- or at least have not even noticed. There is so much content out there that these copycats will just fade off into the distance. The reason being is because they won't put in the time, learning, and patience to build their own identity and viewers (which is obvious because they're copying) so then they will not put forth any time, learning, and patience that it requires for it to grow and get bigger -- like you did! So, be thankful that you're doing it the RIGHT way and forget about those losers! : )
Keep up the good work, girl!

{girl}forallstatus) said...

well, that must have been frustrating for you. i was just talking to a blogger friend and she too had her content copied by another blogger from entrecard. and to make matters worse, she had to 'antedate' it to make it look like it was hers originally

boxing fitness equipment said...

Hey great post!

I recommend that you head over to copyscape.com and put a protected by copyscape button on your site - you will then get tracking like google analytics - each time someone steals your content a report will get mailed back to you...


Great blog though!

Manchild said...

Fitness Diva, I feel your pain and share your passion about copycats. That's one of the reasons why I wrote my book. It's a great way to protect your "intellectual property." Federal copyright laws will protect your copyrighted material from these unethical content thieves.

If mainstream celebrities can produce, market, and distribute their fitness ideas via CD's, DVD's, Audio books, and paperback books, who or what is stopping you from doing the same? Think about.

In 2008, I stopped publishing posts to my blog as frequently and finished writing my book. After doing so, protecting my intellectual property became much more effective and financially rewarding. Why not get paid for doing what you do so well? Think about it.

I believe in you. Brand yourself and go for it! You can do this.


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