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Thursday, February 9, 2012

Copyright Thief Caught

Life is always interesting here at Mimi-Toria's Designs.  A while back a friend of mine, notified me that my blog content appeared to of been lifted and put on a UK website and that I might want to check it out.  Hers was also stolen, and while dealing with hers, she had noticed and notified the other victims as well.  Mine being one of the four or five that had been stolen from, I readily was contacted and she shared what she had learned in order to get her information removed.
I wasn't sure what I should do, so initially I posted a facebook status and asked others opinions on what they thought I should do, and/or if I was over reacting, etc.  Lots of great feedback ensued and in particular one facebook friend that took the time to comment referred me to her website.  Deb's site "Deco Diva Debi" has an entire area on her blog page that is devoted to how to deal with this type of thing.  After viewing her information offered you can read about how I went about handling it via her blog post below.  It is a great article and since I've been house bound and somewhat bed ridden for two weeks with back issues and am standing at my counter to type this post, I will not babble any more, but will let Deb's post do the talking.  Take from it what you can, learn from it and pass on the information to anyone you may know that has experienced any of this type of thing.
It truly is frustrating to see 1000's of you working hours casually lifted aka/stolen, and than have it show up half way around the world on some strangers site, so that they can make $$$$ off of your hard work and labors?  Some people have no shame...
A little side note:  This was not a stolen design idea, which can be disheartening enough, but this was 2 years of my life shared through my jewelry designs, photographing them, editing them, sharing and writing about them, photographs of my daughter, my Dad, my family, etc., and it was all lifted complete with photos, titles and all content, with no links back to the owner at all.  And for what purpose?  To sell "AD SENSE" ads, so that they could make money off of the readerships clicks on the ads.  Tacky, I say.
See the article below that Deb wrote and shared with her readership on her blog.  I'd love to hear if this has ever happened to you, or what you think you'd do if it were your personal situation.



  1. Oh My! :( I would not know where to start if something like that happened to me - not that I have anything on my blog worth lifting. I am reading on the run this morning, but will be back to check out her article. Has blogger been contacted since ad sense is involved?
    Hope your back is getting better.

  2. Gretchen, I am so sorry that
    this happened to you! Also,
    that you have been laid up
    with back problems ~ ouch.

    I just caught up with all of
    your posts for 2012 and,
    despite this severe back issue,
    I still believe that YOU CAN....
    and YOU WILL!!

    Thank you for sharing your
    knowledge, your kindness
    and your heart with your

    xx Suzanne

  3. how terrible! oh my..i can't IMAGINE! SO sorry to hear this! i read deb's post about ii and was MUCH informed! thank yuo! I am glad that you were able to resolve this issue!

  4. Gretchen, It's so hard to know just WHAT to do in these situations - we are just shocked that anyone would DO such a thing! I am so glad that all the garbage I dealt with over content theft has turned into something that has been helpful to people like you... that's why I posted all those resources on my blog. Thank you for sharing my post with your readers!

    Deb Kennedy

  5. Hi Gretchen

    I hope you are feeling better soon - sorry to hear about your back! I am so sorry to hear about the theft - it is always shocking, and such a violation! Yes, I have had it done to me more than once, and I can only imagine how many times I don't even know about.

    Not long ago, I came across something completely by accident...I found a photo of mine, lifted from my blog, a statue of bird sitting on books and the blogger was claiming that "these French books are for sale!" on her blog!! Basically she was claiming the photo as hers, as well as the inventory!! She also had two other photos of mine on her site and the wording around the photos led one to believe that the were "after" photos of her office. You would have to really decipher her writing to actually figure out if that is what she meant or not, but she had a big "before" written on one photo and a big "after" written after my photo...

    Well, I took "screen shots" of her blog with the date showing and then "screen shots" of my blog. This is where you can shoot your entire computer screen if you want to and then I sent her copies of these screen shots and told her to take this down. She actually had nerve to argue and defend herself and I then emailed her back and told her that if my photos are not taken down, I will be posting my screen shots along side screen shots of her blog with my photos on it, claiming my inventory is her inventory and write about it on my blog, as well as her theft within 24 hours and do a post on theft and bloggers with no integrity. My screen shot of my post that had the bird and books dated back to 2006, hers dated only months ago.

    She claimed to be a "fan of mine" and so on. I told her that while I am giving and caring, I don't tolerate theft. I also said I wanted nothing to do with her site. She was into moon dust, fairies, and charging people with talking to the dead and so on. I had never heard of her nor ever had received a comment from her. She was just a nutty thief. She took down all my photos and I check on her now and again to see if she took anything else. I did alert another business friend of mine that she mentioned a few times (as if they were friends) in her blog because I know my friend would not want to be associated with that kind of blog.

    I also had a commercial business (a BIG business) actually use an "article" that I supposedly wrote and put my name at the bottom as a testimonial for their products without my consent. They took an article I wrote from one magazine, and copy and pasted the cover of another magazine over it, to make it look like the article came from a different magazine and rewrote the article! And this is a huge company. I wrote them and told them how much my styling fee is for an article and my writing fee and told them I am sending them an invoice for my services and to take it down immediately. They took it down. I still invoiced them for using my name. I haven't received payment.

    So, yes, it SO violating. That is why I am now starting to put my watermarks on my photos, which I HATE doing. I hate messing up my photos, it is so time consuming, and now I feel like I have to go back and watermark OLD photos from my site. A waste of time, but I guess I need to. I am not good at this, as I really don't know how to do it quickly.

    I will read the article you mentioned. This issue is becoming a large issue and I am not sure how it can be fixed. I am afraid that more and more people will start putting up less photos due to it. I have thought about that. I don't even put up some of my better photos because of that reason.

    thanks for letting me vent! :-)

    Big hug to you
    Elizabeth :-)

  6. Dear Gretchen

    So very sorry to hear about your health issues and then this theft. That is heart breaking to know others would do such things to good hard working people. My prayers are for comfort and healing for you emotionally and physically. Lots of love

  7. Thanks for posting this Gretchen. I will pass it on to my daughter, she does a lot of blogging with her photos.

    I hope you are feeling better.

  8. I like your post and there is very interesting, i really enjoyed this blog.Jewelers in Minnesota

  9. Thank you everyone for your support through comments on this post. As you may of noticed after this happened I really took some time off from blogging to reevaluate and am hopefully now back and ready to roll again.
    Thank you Elizabeth for your heartfelt sharing and others for your advice as well as support.

  10. This is a very sad news to every jewelry designers out there who put time and effort in there designs. How can someone do such things as like this. Everyone must be aware to this. I am so grateful to know that someone shares information like this.

    Diamonds Loose


I am so thankful you took the time to let me know what you think about what I write and for taking the time to share your thoughts. Thanks for stopping by and visiting my blog. :)

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