Friday, September 12, 2008

I'm Not Sure If I Should Be Flattered or Just Really, Really Annoyed

Pin It ACK. Someone ripped off one of my posts (Life Cycle of a Blog) and I happened to find it today. They added to it and changed it a little, but a lot of the words and phrases and, well as Holly said, "Sueisms" - were completely mine.

I originally put a link to her blog here, so that EVERYONE COULD SEE HER CRIME, but... I don't know. It was making me feel a little sick inside. Not classy. Not kind.

YES, she clearly ripped me off. But do I want to totally shame and humiliate her? No. So I'm taking the links down and deleting my comments from her post.

I'm going to email her and hopefully she'll take it down and apologize. If not - well, those are the breaks. Hopefully she won't steal from other bloggers in the future.

UPDATE: Apparently she's not the only one borrowing my content. Some folks are just slapping it up, word-for-word. AWESOME.

P.S. I'm closing comments. You've all been completely awesome and wonderful, but I'm just - kind of done talking about the whole thing. :>

90 comments:

  1. Are you serious? I would be really, really annoyed, but that's just me. I loved your comment on "her" post.

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  2. She totally ripped you off. Not cool.
    That means you're famous enough to have stuff stolen. You have SO arrived as a blogger :)

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  3. Wow... I don't know what to say... it's not an exact replica. But it IS a copy of the idea... don't know what all a copyrigth covers as far as ideas go. but i would be annoyed.

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  4. That is just wierd.

    I am impressed that you called her out on it!

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  5. Weird! You've totally been plaigerized (I know I'm not spelling that right)
    Is there spell check in comments?
    I think I am still in the obessiving/compulsively checking for comments stage.

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  6. Well, it's not exactly the same. And according to my boss, who asks us to basically copy copywrited workbooks, but change a few words here and there, because that clearly means it's not breaking copywrite laws, this is perfectly fine.

    How did you find this?

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  7. Because she linked to a different post of mine from within the post.

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  8. She changed it and added to it, but a lot of those words are mine. A lot of them.

    I don't care if it's legally copyright infringement or not (although I think your boss is WAY off base in his understanding of copyright law), it's not like I'm going to sue her. But to take someone else's post, change it up a little and gather awards for it? I don't know, I think that's kind of wrong. I don't know. Maybe I'm overreacting.

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  9. I understand that lots of people get similar ideas at the same point in time; but that's a little too similar.

    Plus I thought that really only happened with things that were for the betterment of mankind, like electricity and cereal.

    Of course, your blog could also fall under that heading.

    I'm annoyed for you.

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  10. I'm glad you called her on it. How on earth did you even find out?

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  11. How did you find this? Who cares that is not EXACT, people?! It is a rip off of Sue's post! So, the thief changed a few words, what a genius. I think it is much more than copying an idea. It is crazy how much she DIDNT change it! I would have at least tweeked it to not have your Sue-isms and not sound like your voice so much. She has a lot to learn as a plagiarizer.

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  12. Anonymous1:56 PM

    What a rip off. I don't get why people don't just not post if they can't think of anything to say. Or they could link to posts they like. Why steal? It's so dumb.

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  13. I'd be really reall annoyed also! I'm going to go and read your comments on her posts...didn't realize you commented!

    It's hard to come up with something original...I get it, but she could have deviated a little from what you did...I mean that's what I would've done! :)

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  14. I found it because she linked to my blog - just to a DIFFERENT post about blogging - the insecure one.

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  15. Iam very impressed that you called her on it. I would be way more passive agressive.

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  16. Sorry, I was being fecetious. My boss is obviously wrong, and we've tried to tell her that we aren't comfortable with doing that. It IS copywrite infringement to just change a few words here and there.

    She clearly copied your idea. I would never ever do something like this for the very fear of being caught and humiliated.

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  17. Yes, I think it means that you've made it. Maybe you should check her blog to see if firemen interrupted her wedding night activities when steam from the jacuzzi set the fire alarm off too.

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  18. Totally rude. Looking at the rest of her sight makes me think that you are most likely not the only one that she's stolen work from (a lot of those photos have me highly suspicious).

    And how dumb is she to link to THE SIGHT SHE STOLE FROM within the post.

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  20. Sorry Kristina, my fecetiousness meter is apparently on the blink - I didn't catch it. :>

    ACK. I feel all dirty for even posting this. I don't want her to be all embarrassed and humiliated. I think I'm going to take this down and just email her about it. Maybe. I don't know. I'm torn between mercy and justice. It's not pretty.

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  21. I think it means you've made it. I mean, I know who you are and I practically live under a rock.

    (Not that I really know you. Because I don't. But I read your blog every day. Not that I stalk. Because I'm totally not a stalker.)

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  22. Anonymous2:19 PM

    I just blog for fun so I don't really understand all the awards and linking and anything technical really. But I would be pissed (not just annoyed). Definatly call her on it and then... BLOG ABOUT IT and let us know how it went! :)

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  23. OK, I feel better now.

    I emailed her instead. I just - as a reformed liar, I have a certain amount of sympathy for her, you know?

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  24. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  25. Just an FYI - I saw the link before you deleted - she has other entries in which she has apparently been called out before. She's edited them to have a line that says "apologies to so-and-so".

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  26. You were robbed! Copying is plagiarism! Wikipedia defines plagiarism:

    "Plagiarism is the unauthorized use or close imitation of the language and thoughts of another author and the representation of them as one's own original work."

    If she had said at the beginning of her post: "I saw this over at Navel Gazing", and then linked it or even copied your post word for word, but sited the source, then she would be giving you the credit. Then if she would have expound it on it, (after giving you credit and written it later in the post completely separate from your words) adding her own idea's, that would be a totally different thing and you should feel flattered.

    This however is not copyright infringement it is plagiarism. Wikipedia further states:

    "Plagiarism is not copyright infringement. While both terms may apply to a particular act, they are different transgressions. Copyright infringement is a violation of the rights of a copyright holder, when material protected by copyright is used without consent. On the other hand, plagiarism is concerned with the unearned increment to the plagiarizing author's reputation that is achieved through false claims of authorship."

    Sorry for the long comment but the teacher comes out in me and this makes me so MAD! You have been treated unfairly. You have every right to be ANNOYED!

    I am annoyed for you! I would hope that we would ALL have a little more INTEGRITY and use our blogs for the purpose intended. As a place to express our own voice not copy the voice of someone else.

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  27. Well CRAP. It's been stolen by multiple people then. Holy frickin powder cake muffin dammit.

    I guess I have a lot of emailing to do. Shall we form a committee?

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  28. Hi. I've been a lurker from some time now, and thought I'd come out in the open. And it's not even de-lurker day!

    SO... I wanted to tell you that I actually came across another blog that had the exact same post too. So you've definitely made it Sue. Congrats! (I think...) And I'm sure you are dying to know what blog it was, but I don't remember at all...no clue. Sorry! I was surfin and didn't trace my steps so I haven't come across it since. Maybe you could do a search for "life cycle of a blog" or something like that.

    That post was hilarious though! I think that was one of the first posts I read of yours. So funny!!

    OKay, so now I'm no longer a lurker! Yea!

    Well I'm actually doubting myself here... do I push publish or delete. AHH!! I'm so afraid of rejection! Ek! (I think that's why I love reading your blog so much - you remind me of, well, ME!) Okay.... here I go. I'm gonna do it. I'm gonna do it.

    Give me a sec.

    OKay I'm ready.

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  29. Just to clarify though the first person I listed attributed it to the 2nd person...I'm sure you saw but the first person is my friend so I didn't want her called out for reposting something she thought belonged to someone else...did I just make any sense??

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  30. Alida - yes, I totally get it. The first person was just linking to a post she liked. The second person you linked to just cut and paste posted it and said it was hers. Worse than the person I originally posted about.

    Thanks for letting me know.

    I can't believe this.

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  31. Sue, not a problem. I realized that my post didn't quite come off as sarcastic as I meant it. I wish we had emoticons for comments!

    I think this is a tough situation. I would be annoyed too, but she should have at least attributed the idea to you.

    I think an email is a good way to go.

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  32. Sue... you have a serious problem! I went to those blogs Alida referenced and that's not where I saw it! There's another one out there too!!

    (Second comment is SOO much easier to do. I could get used to this.)

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  33. How mad will you be if I steal "holy frickin powder cake muffin dammit"?

    'Cause I really want that.

    P.S. Did you delete your comment, or did she? I sort of wish I knew what you said.

    P.S.S. You have TOTALLY made it.

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  34. CRAP CRAP CRAP

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  35. I write web content for extra money, and this "blogger" definitely stole your content from you. Definitely on purpose. And I'd bet that most, if not all of the other posts are stolen too.

    A lot of the time, web content writers work for internet marketers, webmasters, site designers, small business owners, etc. These people need new content constantly in order for search engines to find the sites that they use to make money.

    Rather than pay for completely new and original articles every time they need them, they buy articles that are referred to as PLR (private label rights). There are PLR writers who specifically do this. The PLR writer writes a package of original articles, on home organization for example. Then the PLR writer sells a certain number of licenses to the articles. The license gives the buyer the right to use the articles on their sites. In order to get the most bang for their buck, the buyer will usually rewrite or "spin" the article. In fact, many PLR writers require that the buyer spin the articles before they post them. This keeps the articles from being tagged as duplicate content, which makes it obvious to people looking for information that the content is canned and not the original thoughts or knowledge of the website's owners. Which never sits quite right with people.

    What you're probably dealing with here is a person who vaguely familiar with the concept of spinning an article, but hasn't done such a good job at it. And clearly hasn't run it through anything like Copyscape.com.

    I usually run validly purchased PLR articles that I'm spinning through copyscape. Because if one person is trying to spin a pack of PLR, there are probably 10 others doing the same thing with the same PLR pack.

    I haven't signed up for it myself, but I know copyscape has a service called copysentry that monitors the web for plagiarism (or however you spell that) for you. They also have a warning banner that you can put on your site.

    I know this is probably more than you wanted to know, but I think it's good information to have.

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  36. When I read that you took down her link I about cried but then I went to my google reader and there it was YIPEE!
    Yours was shorter which made it much much funnier.

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  37. Thanks Nancy.

    FREAKIN' A.

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  38. Delurking to throw a little love your way. It sure seems to be a pretty blatant copy by the other blogger, which is just sad and I'm embarrassed for her. It's one thing to take the idea of a list and incorporate it with her own thoughts/ideas but to basically copy most of YOURS and then link to one of your other posts? I wonder how many other people she's ripping off?

    I completely agree that taking the high road is wise and the best move here, even though being on the low road is pretty dang fun sometimes. ;) Don't feel bad for posting & deleting. You're human and you were wronged. 99% of us would have done the exact same thing.

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  39. Well, Reader foils the delete once again. She added a couple things, but that was definitely your post. But I'm proud of you for being the better person about it. I personally would be ridiculously annoyed. I think you've handled it quite well. And I do suppose you can be flattered that so many people are copying you...but still, couldn't they give a little credit or even ask your permission to repost it? Seriously, plagiarism is not cool. Did they miss those lessons in school? Clearly they need to go to detention. ;)

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  40. This has me totally freaked out, because seriously, with all the thousands of mommy bloggers out there, can each of us REALLY think of something totally new and previously unthunk before?? I've actually become kinda hesitant to read other blogs for fear of happening across a post about something that I have been meaning to write about. And don't we all strive to be like the greats? Jesus? Mother Theresa? Carrie Underwood? and Sue of Navel Gazing?

    Now that i've aired my concerns, I'm totally gonna go check out that plagiarizing poo-head and get on board the angry and annoyed train.

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  41. ah, yes, but when its all said and done whose post (your original vs. her unoriginal)

    generated more comments?!

    that's right. that's what its all about..

    Although I do think it would be funny to go through and copy all your comments from that day and put them on hers. You know, kind of a snotty "while you were stealing, you might as well help yourself to the whole thing."

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  42. Joolee, I think the difference is that she actually used my words. Similar idea? Fine, no problem. A FEW similar words? No problem. Same idea, same format, same words plus a few of her own, same phrases, same ending? PROBLEM.

    Really though, it appears she's tame compared to the people who just completely stole it word-for-word and posted it as their own.

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  43. I wanna know who it is!
    Just so I can put her name on the prayer roll. Really.

    Maybe.

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  44. yours is way funnier. way funnier.

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  45. Sue, you're awesome. That's all there is to it. I think you should make a blog button for all of us to stick on our own pittiful, bland little blogs that says, "I want to be like SUE!".

    As rotten as it is, don't let it ruin your day. Love ya!

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  46. oh, man, I wish I had checked in on you earlier. I really am curious about what post you're talking about. Oh well, I suppose it's none of my business. But the nerve!

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  47. I want to be chair of the holy frickin powder cake muffin dammitt committee. that is the slogan to my life, after all.

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  48. Oh Sue! I can't say I feel your pain, since I'm pretty sure no one has ever stolen one of my posts, aside from those retarded troll-bots, but sheesh, that girl has no shame. That is really low.

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  49. Thanks for removing my comment...I was just about to and I saw you did it already...didn't want anybody to go searching and stir the shi-poopy! Just wanted to make sure you knew :)

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  50. If she's ripping off other people as well, perhaps you should email the Blogger people. They might have a little problem with someone committing multiple copyright violations on their platform.

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  51. darn I missed the link too...well..since I can't read it for myself, I will totally believe and say...WHAT JERKS.

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  52. First, I can't believe people actually do this.

    Second, I'm now pretty paranoid that people actually do this.

    Third, I'm pretty paranoid people might have actually done this to me.

    {mentally throws out arms, scoops them together to gather up her "stuff", glares accusingly at passersby, picks it all up and lugs it all home. vows to never play in public again . . . }

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  53. somebody stole my colostomy post. she stole the entire thing and made it HER story. I tried to track her down, found her myspace page.....she took it down.
    It made me really mad!

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  54. Dammit! This is what I get for being a responsible person today and cleaning my house! I even went to Google reader to check and Foiled!

    I have found several blogs that have ripped me off. I know! Me? Ripped off? Seriously? I only found out because they were linking to me as well, and my little spy ware was telling on them!

    I told my attorney husband that I wanted to put his brain to good use and he laughed at me! Can you believe it?

    I am outraged for you! Wanna go throw eggs at their blogs?

    (do the copyscape thing! I did!)

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  55. I think I might at first be a bit flattered to find I was worth robbing, and then I would so so want also to post a link and really embarrass her and then I would feel bad and so on and so forth...
    Sorry you were copied!

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  56. Wow, I can't believe you're famous enough to be plagarized. I feel special just reading those other people's versions of your posts.

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  57. Seriously? Why HAVE a blog if you don't want to write your own material?

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  58. JooLee - Don't let worrying about duplicating someone else's content keep you from posting. When you write from information that's coming out of your head, it will come out as original content no matter how many times the concept has been done before.

    Just think about how many articles on how to organize your closet you've read in women's magazines like Family Circle and Better Homes and Gardens. It's all pretty much the same information in every article. But they're all different articles, written by different people. So they are completely original.

    Don't feel sorry for her. To be honest, this person who has the blog that stole from you (and others it sounds like) probably has a dozen other blogs, all set up to make money in a different niche. That's her (or his) mommy blog. In fact, she may be being paid to do it. Like web content writers, there are legitimate paid bloggers too. Not sure how exactly that works because I've never done it, but I believe it's mostly companies who want to have a way to communicate with their clients without doing a newsletter or sending out emails.

    Since some people never read the archives of a blog, or never read the comments after the post has been up for a while, people probably aren't going to realize they're reading stolen content.

    I wonder who else she's stolen content from? Might be interesting...

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  59. Oh, and I was just about to submit your Ghetto Pinata post for the Blog Book as my own, but I thought that would be taking the joke just a tad too far. And prove what a heartless nerd I really am. You're welcome.

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  60. Oh my gosh I have spent 10 minutes trying to figure out who ripped you off, I am done, I have no clue who it was and I'm sure I don't need to know, but if you want to protect your readers from the thief maybe you will give us a hint...

    Better yet maybe not!

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  61. I read your original post and it was right on. I can see why someone would want to steal it, especially if they are having a hard time being witty on their own blog. That being said, I would be really annoyed if it happened to me. Too bad you removed the post. I wanted to compare!

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  62. Waaah, missed out on the link. I give you props for taking the high road on this...that would be really, really hard.

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  63. Could this possibly become a Nie Nie auction? I'm not crafty enough make anything anybody would want to bid on, but maybe I could put the address up for bid ;-)

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  64. Shoot, I leave for the afternoon, and I missed the whole thing!!
    I think you should be really annoyed. In fact, I'm really annoyed for you!!

    I'm going through a very similar thing right now with my business, someone is copying my stuff and selling it as their own.

    I think you're super classy to have taken down the links, (however, I feel really bad that I missed them while they were up)

    Hey Nevadanista, how much are you going to start the bidding at?

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  65. Oh, should I like, not copy and paste your stuff into my blog then call it mine? Oops.





    I'm kidding. Probably not my most tasteful joke.

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  66. Ahhh!! That's not so nice. I love your posts and find I wish I was just as funny. I hope she takes it down.

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  67. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  68. okay, the update really threw me just now. There are more? What the...
    Okay, I am totally not reading all seventy of these comments, so I'm sure someone has said this, but I've noticed on other blogs the whole copyright thing. Yeah, that would be good now. So then you could sue, Sue. Or not. But at least you'd have some legal whatever. I don't know what I'm talking about, but it sounds very smart.

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  69. Guys, I love you to death, but no bidding, please.

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  70. I would be really, really annoyed. I'm really, really annoyed on your behalf. I'm sorry...

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  71. My 13 yr old son thinks you need to add a couple of things to The Life Cycle...
    *Become desparate because your blog is crap
    *Find the best blog in the world, Navel Gazing
    *Do a couple quick copy and pastes
    *Bingo! You hit the jackpot and everyone thinks you are a hilarious chick and puts you on their fav. list
    (as posted by my kid who loves ya Sue!)

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  72. Your son is BRILLIANT. :>

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  73. Somebody stole one of mine from the Blogger's Annex site last week. But at least she admitted she stole it. I figure the least she could have done was linked back to me, and to the site she nabbed it from. Sounds like you were the victim of a far more sinister crime. So maddening!

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  74. What? There's more? I want links. I could go post a comment like, "That was even funnier when I read it the first time on Sue's blog back in '07."

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  75. Wow! I gotta say, it shows how popular you are though! No one ever tries to copy my posts. Just one more place where your sensational writing skills trump my own, you brillant lady you!
    I like you taking the link down, I agree, much more classy.

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  76. Anonymous7:33 PM

    well, you're address IS "borrowed light"... Apparently people take that as an invitation to Borrow Your Light!


    Maybe that's not as clever as I thought it was, but I totally cracked myself up :)

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  77. That totally sucks. It was brilliant. I just stumbled the original...yes, the one by YOU! Hope you get good karma traffic.

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  78. I won't say I haven't been tempted...
    You're hilarious.

    Hey since I didn't get here in time to get the url, will you let us know if you get the apology?
    I would have LOVED to see it.

    Someone once stole my comment policy. I left a comment on her blog about it, and then I went back and changed mine. I just couldn't stand it that it was out there twice word for word.

    I can't even imagine stealing a whole post. ESPECIALLY from someone as widely read as you.

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  79. How do you know? Like, should I be searching on key phrases or ...what? I mean, on the off-chance that someone reads something I wrote and wants to steal it.

    Right. I'm over my delusional self.

    But how did you find out?

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  80. I got a little lost in the sea of comments, so sorry if you already answered this...But, the curious cat in me wants to know, you emailed her? What did she have to say for herself? (Hopefully it was 'Sorry')

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  81. Well, neither of the two I just talked about have emailed me back or admitted it yet, but I did get an email apology from someone ELSE who used my post and a few other things from the blog. So there's that.

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  82. Seriously. I would send my ninja warriors after these people if you give the word.

    That is SO WRONG. Say again: SO WRONG!

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  83. First of all it is wrong. In fact when I first came upon you I copied your "leave a comment" thing up in my blog but made sure I put you as the author with a link back to you. because I thought (and still do) you have the best humor.

    Sue you inspire people to write more open, look at the funnier way of thinking about things, and have great wit. So no wonder someone tries to copy you. They shouldn't change your words, and then put it as their own. Hopefully they'll come and apologize to you.

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  84. Imitation (or possibly plagiarism) is the sincerest form of flattery.

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  85. Anonymous12:21 PM

    Wow, I am the person you were writing about about though before my personal blog was pasted all over the internet, I would share my side, This came to me as an email, Had I had any idea it was from your personal blog I would have given credit where due. I have seen it all over the place so consider it a compliment.

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  86. Anon/Megan - you aren't the person the original blog post was referring to. That person took the post, modified it just a bit, then said she wrote it, let people give her awards for it, etc. It was a different thing. Your mistake was an innocent one.

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  87. P.S. Megan - your blog address was never posted on the blog - it was temporarily posted in the comments, but was deleted a few minutes later. It was a busy, busy traffic day.

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