Friday, May 4, 2012

Help! How do I defeat Pirates?

The most absurd thing just happened me.  Someone forwarded an email to me - that I originally wrote!  The email was my post Upside-down Land, verbatim.  No changes, exactly word for word, but, more importantly, no author credit.  Then, out of curiosity, I googled Upside-down Land.

To say that I was stunned is to put it lightly.  Upside-down Land has traveled everywhere from peoples inboxes to blogs to radio talk shows!  A number of rather imposing looking blogs (, and posted the article and it was featured on a number of radio talk shows as well.  Not one of the sites I visited credit me or Paratus Familia Blog with the original content.

The problem I have with my posts be plastered all over the internet is that my material is subject to copywrite agreements.  I don't mind other people posting what I have written (in fact I take it as a compliment), as long as my name or blog location are included.  What I write is part of who I am and I take exception to my intellectual property being pirated.

So, do any of you have advice on protecting my articles in the future?  If you do, I would love to hear from you!


  1. Send them an email. Identify yourself as the original author and request that they give proper credit. If they fail, refuse, or get nasty about it then other things can be done.

  2. Enola:
    I'm sorry this happened to you. Your articles are personal and full of knowledge. Something very similar happened to us like this. When you end an article, put your name then "All Rights Reserved". EXAMPLE: Enola Gay/All Rights Reserved
    Hope this is helpful!

  3. One of my pet peeves. Another are blogs where mysteriously, everything they post has evidently been found on their own with never a credit given. Highly dishonest and I disassociate myself with such people. Fight back honey and give them the best shot you've got!:)

  4. Initially send them an e-mail, politely asking them to either credit you as the original idea or remove the content. After that, I do firmly believe that is unauthorized plagiarism/copyright infringement and legal action can be pursued. While I know you don't want to limit your voice because of (insert demeaning word here) persons, you may have to turn the cheek while you broadcast your message to your faithful readers. if all else fails, and you don't get credit, as long as your message isn't twisted, at least your message is getting out there to new audiences and opening their eyes.

  5. Hi Enola, I have an idea but I don't have the expertise to tell you how to implement it. Perhaps JWR would have some insight as to the how-to. Here is my idea: Sometimes I get emails from friends making outlandish claims about Obama which I can tell on it's face are not true. In order to save my friend the embarrassment of perpetuating the myth I go to or some other factoid type website for answers. In the past I have tried to copy and paste only the paragraph or line I need but Snopes has done something to their text that won't allow you to copy it. If memory serves I think it won't even let you highlight the text. SO... if you did that to your text and also included the "All rights reserved by the great and powerful Enola Gay of Patartus Familia Blog" within that text it would make it much harder to steal your property without also including the author. Hope you can get something out of this idea.

    1. Blocking copying and pasting would be horrible. Enola often post her wonderful recipes and photos, and some of them I copy and paste, including the photos and then print it out so that I can make it. As far as sending her blogs, I send links to the blog, not the entire blog.
      I really hate the websites that I cannot right click on and open parts in other tabs. Having to go back to the main page is very irritating and a waste of time. I have even run into this on websites where I was looking at products to buy and there was no way to look at all the different items except one page at a time. They lose my business as go go to a more user friendly website.
      As an aside, I feel that patents and copyrights are unethical and unbiblical. All knowledge belongs to God. That being said, when someone uses ideas, quotes or lifts entire texts, they should give credit to where the idea came from. that is just common courtesy which is about as common as common sense.

    As an example.

  7. Here's a thought - embed each article with a reference to your blog site, or your name, or something that clearly points back to you. Then if the whole article is lifted, your self reference will follow it... unless they are nasty enough to edit that part out, then its gloves off (whatever that means for you).

  8. Ma-am: I am about a computer litirate as a bowl of chili! With that in mind, seems to me if you get the word out as to the "Who" of it . . . I for one will simply dump that blog... I would also let it be known on the prepper chat sites. Ya can't stop a dishonorable poacher! Your site stands on it's own quite well as it is. Good luck... Thomas T. Tinker

  9. Enola,
    Contact the web master of each website listed above, be specific about the URL where the pirated content is at on their domain and explain to them that this is copyrighted content that was originally posted on your blog. You should be able to see publish dates on both your site and their site, so if you post the URL to your blog they have proof you were the original author. Most site admins will comply immediately without question, some you may have contact more than once.
    Hope this Helps

  10. LOL!! I'm not taking credit for spelling paratus as Patartus! I copied and pasted your property out of your "Help! How do I defeat Pirates?" letter. LOLOL.

  11. Ha! Now I'm all kinds of red in the face. Thanks - I changed my spelling.

  12. The Internet is empowering, even to thieves. I have an Internet related business and my intellectual property is stolen all the time. Many folks today have been raised with no clue as to concept of character, no less ‘intellectual property’.
    I made the decision that fighting these thieves is a waste of my limited resources and only prolongs the aggravation. Heck even Microsoft and Hollywood can’t stop theft of their intellectual property and they have the FBI in their bed. I am a fighter for what is right. However, like Dr. Laura frequently asks, “‘Is this the hill you’re willing to die on?”

    There! Can we now talk about the Kenyan in the White House?
    Montana Guy

  13. As you noted basically anything you write or dream up has basic copywrite protection. Contacting them and asking for your materials to be removed or properly credited would be a good first step. After that you are basically hosed. You could get a lawyer and sue them. They would almost surely be required to remove said material. As to damages I believe you would have to show that they profited from your works which is problematic in this situation. Also let's fact it a lot of people are effectively "judgement proof".

    Basically threatening to have a lawyer sue them until they are blue would probably work if they believe that you can afford the fees and are willing to do it.

  14. I'd like to take a moment to speculate how this happened....

    Suzie Q. who knows very little about computers really liked your post. She copied and pasted it to her mother, brother, friends, etc. who she also thought would enjoy it. This was innocent and well intentioned. Then those people forwarded that same message to others they thought would like it and it goes on and on. Other bloggers, talk radio shows, etc. eventually got the email and made it a topic or post on their own media.

    Most likely they are not trying to infringe on your copyright. They just don't know about it. I would encourage you to contact them and let them know you wrote the content they have republished. This is not ugly or unusual. Most likely they will be more than happy to credit you. In fact they may even be delighted for the chance to talk to and reference the source. Congrats on going viral and please oh please let the world know you are the source. Who knows you might just turn up on talk radio.


  15. I've been writing online for over 15 years and used to be bothered by the same thing for the same reasons. I finally got over it by understanding that if God is glorified and people are educated that is all I can ask. For me it was asking myself, "Why am I writing?"

    Thank you for all of your wonderful insights into your life and family.

    Russ Lawson, Messages From The Heart Blogspot:

  16. An intellectual property attorney would be your best source for advise. I've worked with some in the past. I'm not offering legal advise. But, if it were me I would end each posting w/ "Copyright 'year' 'name'. All rights reserved."

    Also, I believe it would be wise to not demonstrate a disregard for infringement of your copyrighted material as this may create a counter-productive precedent.


  17. Instead of a sue fest, requires a lawyer and $$$, try taking them to small claims court. You can represent your self and whether you can have the judgement enforced you can show a good faith effort to protect your property. I also agree with adding a line in the body of your text stating the fact that the work is copyrighted. All your fans will understand and it may give you some protection.

  18. I have been reading your blog for about a year and enjoy it a lot.
    Yes some people in fact do make sure your name is left off.
    I dragged and dropped Upside Down and sent it to friends overseas. After reading your article I had to check it to see if I had accidently left your name off. Happy to see that I did not, but I could have just as easily missed it with the cut and paste.
    If you put your name and your blog name after the title but before the post then it cannot be forgotten. And it will only be removed if they do it on purpose.
    Keep up the good pictures, food, and politics.

  19. Enola - I work for a news gathering organization in the midwest. Our story, photo and video content is regularly pirated without attribution. And yes, it drives up batty too. We've found that a simple phone call to the offending competitor will often result in the removal of the problem piece, or at least proper attribution.

    Of course, by the time we notice the problem, the offending party has already gained the benefit of our content. Unfortunately, correcting problems once your work gets out onto the interwebs can be a never ending task.

    While it may not be fair, it seems increasingly true that learning to "let it go" (except in the most extreme examples of content theft) is the only thing that will return your peace of mind. You can easily end up chasing bad actors for much of your work time. Ain't worth it, says me.

  20. Thank you everyone! I truly appreciate all of your suggestions. I'm not out for money. I just wanted to know how to stop this problem in the future. You have all been very instructive.


  21. How annoying to have your content go viral and not even know it! You know, contacting other blogs and radio, etc could be a good thing - they already know they like your writing and might want you to do regular features. Perhaps that would be a friendly angle to approach it - instead of "you have not attributed my content!" It could be more like, "I am so happy you like this article, as you can see from this link I originally wrote it in December of 2011. If you think my other articles may be helpful for your audience, I would be happy to talk to you about becoming a contributor. In the meantime, I would appreciate it if you could credit me for the original material as follows: [as you wish it to appear]"

  22. This may be just what you need....