I haven’t blogged much lately because I’ve been thinking a lot about how easy it is for others to steal your content and repost it as their own without giving credit back to the original creator. My blog is not very big or well known so when it happens to someone like me, it’s very easy for the thief to get away with it because not that many people saw my original post to begin with.
Why am I being so vague right? Well, it all starts with the fact that I’ve known for a long time that most people who read my blog respond best to any posts that have to do with my jewelry design or any of my creative posts about DIY or making things. I know that is where my most influential skill-set lies and that it would be in my best interest to follow that path because honestly, it’s what I enjoy most. I’ve entertained the idea of turning this into a DIY blog for quite a long time, probably over 2 years now. Last year, I decided to dip my toes into the DIY market by creating a bracelet DIY tutorial just to see if it would increase traffic to my blog and basically to see how well people responded to it. I chose to do a project that I had not already seen done anywhere and made sure that it was original and not just another re-hash of the same 50 DIY jewelry projects that have already been done to death. So I created my DIY ribbon wrapped bangles tutorial and posted it.
Of course I pinned it to my pinterest board to help it get some initial traffic and it did get re-pinned quite a few times. Within a few weeks of my tutorial I began seeing DIY tutorials with the same name as mine with projects that were definitely inspired by mine, but that’s expected in this niche and it happens all of the time so I figured that meant my project was a good one. Unfortunately a couple of months after my original post was made another blog (StylishEve) with a much larger following and reach decided to steal all of my images to that post and re-post it to their site as if it was their own. They actually worded the post to make it sound as though they came up with the idea and took all of the pictures and made the tutorial themselves. No credit or link back to my blog was given whatsoever. You can see it in action here. Their version of my post got shared on Facebook 510 times and 699 other shares across the web with no link back to my blog on any of them because the content thief took all of the credit. I left them a comment below their post explaining that they did not have permission to repost my content in full and that I would like the post taken down. No response was ever given. Almost a year later and the post is still up.
For a small blog like mine the exposure that post could have given me (if proper credit was given) could have made a huge difference.
Anyway the whole experience has left me feeling very discouraged. I want to create more DIY posts but what will keep others from stealing my content and pretending it’s their own? I’ve already got a prominently displayed copyright notice on the left sidebar. What does a small fish like me do when this happens? Do I get a lawyer? Send the other blogger messages laced with lawyer lingo? What is the proper etiquette in this situation? Please leave your thoughts and/or advice in the comments.
EDIT ON 4/5/13 TO ADD: I decided to e-mail stylisheve once more asking them to remove my photos and instructions from their blog. I told them it would be okay to keep the main image up with a link to my blog post for readers to view the full tutorial. Their response was to ignore my request to take down the step by step instructions and to simply add a link at the end of the first paragraph that states “images from Design Thrift”. Therefore they are still trying to somehow take credit for the tutorial by only acknowledging that the images came from me.