Friday, July 25, 2014

This little rant has been a long time coming, but I hate confrontation and I kept convincing myself that it was just me, that no one else would see the similarities so I shouldn't bother saying anything at all. Until I asked April for her opinion. And she's not one to sugar-coat anything, even for me, so I'm pretty sure it's not just me.

This isn't going to be a post on plagiarism. We're all sick and tired of the subject, though it continues to run rampant. I'd never even really ever considered that I might one day become the victim of it. (Gawd, that sounds so cliché.) And maybe I'm still not...I don't know. My reviews are decent and well-worded, I guess, but never something I'd think someone else would want to copy. But reworking the paragraphs of my review and then using key phrases from it feels like I've had my review stolen from me. Two blatant attempts by the same person, someone I consider(ed) a friend...someone who's been friendly and asked for advice, someone I've freely given it to over the last couple of years. But who knows how many more reviews of mine she's perused while writing her own? I'm not one of those super-sleuths who's going to check all of this person's reviews against my own and call them out. That's not my style.

But neither is being walked on and not saying something. As I said, though, I'm not talking about plagiarism today. Because it's not just my reviews that have been newest and most favorite feature of ever has been copied with no credit given to me. So, no, this isn't just another post about plagiarism. No, this is more of a how could they post. I know this is wishful thinking, but I'm hoping that these people will see this post, realize that I know and knock it the fuck off.

I have a friend in a similar situation with her most beloved feature, and like me, she wants to avoid confrontation, so she's never said anything to the other blogger. But she knows this blogger knew of her feature prior to borrowing the idea for her own because that same blogger commented or tweeted about the awesomeness of the feature. But never did she ask if my friend minded if she borrow the idea but make it her own, still giving credit to my friend, which, of course, is the polite and proper way to go about this endeavor.

In my case, I can't prove that the blogger knew about my feature before starting hers, but I know she follows my blog and the wording of her intro leads me to believe that she did see mine first. I'm not saying my feature is wholly original -- the idea for it or the execution -- but I give due credit in my introduction to the post each and every time. And not only did this blogger basically copy my idea, she gave the feature the lamest title ever. And she's not even using it for its intended purpose half the time she posts it! What's even worse is that this blogger is a good friend of my friend whose feature was also copied. And I don't want drama, so I haven't said anything to either of them.

I know, I'm being intentionally vague, but like I said, no drama, no confrontation. Actually, I'm being very passive-aggressive with this post, but that is my style, unfortunately. I did ask April if I should say anything, and she thought this was the best approach, too. To vent but not create a feud with other bloggers.

I'm not vain enough to think that this is about me. I know better. But why, then? Why steal someone else's intellectual property and claim it as your own? Do you not have an original thought of your own? Seriously.

Okay, rant over. I'm turning it over to the voice of reason now. Er, I mean, April. Ha!

April's thoughts on the subject:

Well, I don't really know if I'm the voice of reason here but I do have a few things to say. It's obvious Jen is a little heated right now and she has every right to be. I've viewed the posts, and I've seen the feature. She is justified in feeling the way she does. Jen may be a close friend of mine, but if I thought she was overreacting, I would tell her. That's just how we roll. Honest all the way.

While you are all getting her rant at full blast, I've gotten tidbits of it over the past few months. It's been building up. It makes me so sad that she's going through all of this. One of the things that attracted me to Jen's blog in the first place was the way she writes. She may not see why anyone would want to copy her reviews, but I do. I wish I had thought of it first! J/k lol. She is way talented as a reviewer. It pains me to see her hard work ripped off.

I personally don't have as much experience with being stolen from. At least not my reviews. I have been copied on YouTube multiple times. There was an incident with my SIMS Trailer for Matched. A long time ago I had someone also make a trailer with the sims, and post it in my comments section to get views. I was more amused than upset because it was horribly made. And it had all of the same scenes, so it was obviously a rip off. And the person had the nerve to ask me in the comments to go check it out. Really?

Another instance, one that kinda made me mad, was my Fifty Shades of Grey Parody trailer. It was meant to be a joke, but it went viral. Shared on VH1's website even. As soon as it went viral, another animated parody showed up on YouTube with the same name. While it wasn't exactly the same, it was similar and it was purposely named the same so that it would show up next to mine and ride its popularity.

That is nothing compared having your words stolen from you, though. It's sad, but stuff like this happens every day. I don't understand either. Why do it? Just be original, and if not at least give credit where it's due. I don't have much else to say on the matter, other than it disgusts me. So I'll just leave you with some 311.


Jen here again. Promise I'm done ranting. I just wanted April to know that the theft of her ideas is no less awful than the theft of my words. She's right, though. It's disgusting. Riding someone else's coattails is just beyond obnoxious. So don't do it! And those of you who've already done it:

Thank you.


  1. Ugh, I feel sorry for you, guys. :| I've had little bit and pieces copied and once I saw a review that looked freakishly suspiciously like mine...buuut, maybe it was just coincidence?! I'm just hoping it's coincidence. -_- My peeve is when I do a discussion topic that hasn't been covered in a while and then someone who I know has read mine, does their own version. The audacity of asking you to read it though, UGH. I feel for ya there, April.
    I don't think you're overreacting, Jen! I FEEL THE SAME WAY.

  2. This is always such a hard topic, because being inspired and plagiarism is so hard to tackle. It's the same with features: there are a lot of people who have discussion posts, personal posts or DNF features, but how do you decide whether someone took that idea from you or if they come up with it on their own? It's not like such features are exclusive for your blog.. Or when someone post the same discussion topic: did they copy your idea or was that a post they've written a while back and posted accidentally on the same time?

    I think it's best if you just confront that blogger with an email. I would want an explanation for it :) But I hope this post hits it target and that they understand it's meant for them; and that it stops.

  3. I feel sorry for you, especially Jen. I know how I would feel if I was robbed of my hard work like that (and we all know how much bloggers put into their reviews). I mean, I've did a few variations of other bloggers' features, but I always give credit and link back after. There's no problem with being inspired by another blogger's ideas (that's why we blog, right?) but you should definitely credit the original writer.

  4. Icky, I was once plagiarized by this one girl who just wouldn't back off....and uggh. it was a pain in the but to deal with... She also asked me to check out her blog. I'm so sorry you're going through this.

  5. Oh so sorry to hear this happened to you. I've just recently gone through a discovery of someone paraphrasing a review of mine and in the past had a feature copied. It sucks. And when you know the blogger(s) it feels very personal. I'm so sorry to hear that you're going through this. It's the worst. And it makes you angry. And it should.

    I totally understand you not wanting to go public with it. Because then all of a sudden you're the bad guy, the bully and you have to defend yourself, when you're the victim.

    I hope this post has allowed you to get most of the angries out so that you can keep on blogging. And I hope they've pulled the review(s) and stopped copying the feature.

    It's been awhile since I last stopped by, and it's so sad that when I finally do the first thing I see is that you've been wronged.

  6. I'm sorry to see this Jen. A feature is something that should definitely get credit where credit is due. We don't have features on our blog, but I don't see why your name and blog couldn't be named?

    As far as plagiarism or copying, and from a "friend" is even more sad. I think you should definitely mention it. Maybe not call the person out in public as you're worried about doing, but maybe address it with them personally and privately? I know others have stated when they're reading reviews, thoughts all jumble together and maybe they didn't realize the words they were using were words they actually read on your blog?

    I cherish my bloggy friends so I makes me sad to think a blogger friend would steal your words and claim them as their without any explanation. :( Good luck!

  7. Jen, this is from one of my favorite comic artists, and sums up your situation (and so many others) unfortunately perfectly: The Internet, by Anthony Clark.

  8. That is very tough to deal with, because it is such a grey area. But you do have every right to feel upset and cheated. I've noticed a rise in idea snatching lately, and it makes me very sad.

    I do hope that this is settled and resolves, before you lose a friendship over it. :(

  9. I'm going to echo what Mel said here--"inspiration" and "plagiarism" are such tricky things, and I've definitely seen some recent incidents where bloggers got really upset over a supposed similarity by a big outlet that I wasn't sure was copying at all. This one sounds like there's a connecting line between what you did and then what later appeared, though, given that you were asked about it. I'm so sorry you are going through this. I've had many reviews plagiarized, and I've also had a lot of phrases, structure, etc echoed in other reviews too, and sometimes I accept that there's some latent influence that you can't control, but then there are instances in which it's so blatantly obvious that there's no denying it.

    I totally get why you don't want to confront this person---it took me over a year to fully confront the biggest incident in my case, partly because she was someone I thought was a friend and because we knew so many people in common. I felt just as angry and hurt and frustrated as you are, and honestly the only thing that relieved it was posting about it and seeing her take down her site and most social media outlets. (at least at the moment, who knows if she came back under a different name) If you ever find a way to talk to her about it, it might alleviate some of your feelings. I hope talking about it on your own blog has gone some way towards doing that, too.

    And you have my email--I'm absent from the blog and social media now and again, but I hope you'll always feel free to shoot me a note if there's anything I can do, or if you just need to vent or whatever. Poor Jen!

  10. Aw, Jen, I'm sorry this is happening. I'm going to guess you are talking about your Reviews in a GIFy feature which is such an amazing and original feature (so original, in fact, that I'm not sure you do need to credit inspiration--although I think it is awesome and very stand up-y to do so), so to hear that you have been copied makes me sad.

    As far as reviews go, that does get into a more slippery slope. I've certainly read reviews that are very similar to my own, but I've always just written it off. Like Wendy said, sometimes it may just be latent influence instead of intentional copying. It sucks that it is someone you consider your friend. I don't have a whole lot else to say about it but this:

    You are awesome. You are one of my most favorite blogging buddies. You are so friendly and easy to talk to. Your reviews are amazing and excellently worded. You always tell me exactly what I need to know about a book without giving anything away. You have a great sense of humor, are articulate, and never too long-winded. In sum: YOU'RE THE BEST!!


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