Friday, April 03, 2009

Stealing is not cool

A long time ago, when the blog world was young, a girl had an idea for a blog.

The girl decided to sit down one Sunday afternoon and create this blog. She then sent out emails to her blog friends to say "Hey, get a load of this idea...". The blog friends seemed excited and supportive. The girl was pleased, for she enjoyed making others happy with her ideas.

As things like this tend to go, the internet decided that this idea had some kind of merit. That this blog seemed to touch some kind of general truth in the world. The girl was pleased. The girl was flattered. The girl was a bit overwhelmed.

Within four months, the blog had grown exponentially and the notice was growing too. People with important sounding titles called the girl and asked for her content. These people said they were fans of her blog and wanted to put it on a bigger, better known uber blog. The girl, while flattered and a little bit awed, held back. She didn't want to give away her baby and the person with the impressive title wanted her to give it away for free. When it became apparent that the girl and her blog weren't so impressed with the important name of the publication and title as to let someone else absorb her blog, the negotiations stopped and the offer was dropped. The girl saved all these emails detailing how the person was a fan of her blog.

The girl fell into one of her depressions and withdrew into herself. She fell out of touch with the bloggy world in many ways. The Blog(s) she created survived and thrived despite her own condition. She crawled out of her funk long enough to attend a party and meeting of other bloggers like her in the summer of her following year. She woke one morning to find that there was a door hanger on her hotel room. Promoting a Blog with a name very very similar - all but one word similar - to the name of her own blog. She was angry. She was confused and she was hurt.

She got onto the email and wrote a pointed email to the address listed on the door hanger. Within minutes there was a response. It was from the same person from the big name publication who had claimed to be such a fan merely eight months prior. Who further claimed in a print interview to thinking up the idea and name all on her own. Phone calls were made. Angry words exchanged. The girl asserted that her idea had clearly been stolen. The other person disagreed.
The girl hung up on her.

The girl then withdrew into the hotel room for the remainder of the meeting. She was very, very hurt. Old blog friends divided into camps - those who saw the girls point of view that her core idea had been lifted and duplicated and those who did not. The girl withdrew from the blog world even more.

The girl considered legal action. Considered it hard. But she lived in a different country ... and she just didn't have enough money to sustain it. She was back in school full time, after all.

The girl tried hard to keep her playgirl mouth shut. She tried very, very hard.And she did, for a long time. Her blog continued and grew. She continued to receive attention and kudos. She refused any further offers by any entity for any piece of her blog(s) - no matter who. She refused offers to turn her blog into television shows or movie scripts. She protected her blog(s).

She tried hard to forget about the other person and the patently derivative blog. Usually she succeeded. Until an old blog friend, one who had been at that party and seen the situation unfold, an old blog friend who had been unfailing in her support for the girl sent the girl an email announcing the launch of a book by the other person. The friend told the girl "I sent an email saying fuck you and the idea you stole and take me off of your fucking mailing list." Which made the girl smile. Because in any world, day to day or internet, a friend who does that on your behalf is priceless indeed.

And then the girl decided to write this all down as a cautionary tale for the internet. With a reminder that stealing is not cool. No matter how you try to pretend the idea is yours.

The girl still believes that the karma of the internet and larger world will sort this out. Naive perhaps, but the girl has to believe.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dawn, your idea rocks. And that Romi bitch can suck eggs.

Kim said...

I believe karma works, therefore I never specifically wish ill will on anyone, I only wish for them to get what they DESERVE. That being said, there are people in the world who deserve COLON CANCER. Or RABIES. Chin up Dawn, you rock and YOUR IDEA rocks. Winners never cheat and cheaters never win -- this'll all come out in the wash.

Funny, this didn't sound like such cliched nonsense in my head...hope it helps anyway.

Bethany said...

I usually read in Google Reader but I'm delurking to show you my support.

Anonymous said...

Keep the faith girlfriend!! You are here when I need to vent, I will be here for you. That's karma I beleive in!! Me

another Kim said...

Dawn, this really sucks. I am really sorry you had to experience this. It is really unethical (at the very least) and that person is a piece of crap.

I also believe in the karma (of the internet and beyond).

Anonymous said...

any chance of someone writing to the publishers and pointing out they are publishing a STOLEN concept? Most publishers have a problem with that even in some people in this world lack the fortitude to see it in themselves.

Nicole said...

I am sorry this happened to you. I don't know why people feel they can do something like this and not even blink. The internet being more anonymous makes it worse. :-(

Anonymous said...

Will not read 'that' site....period.
You rock!

Katiefucious said...

So much for Creative Commons, eh?

A friend sent me here one day, and I started sending in confessions of my own. Your site is wonderful, my dear. Keep up the good fight. We love you!

I'm Just Here said...

Your site is absolutely amazing! Even though I am single, and do not have anything to add to this blog, I still come back week after week to read what is new! That "girl" will find that karma comes back to bit you in the a@@. Smile! :-)