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Blogging // A Cautionary Tale

sharing

Today’s installment of Blogging is a little different. It’s honesty week around here (apparently), so I decided to share a little something that happened to me recently, in an effort to incite change in this wild world of the internet.

I recently created a tutorial and shared it here with you lovely people. I created the idea, the project, the copy, the instructions, and the photos. The post went live and it was pretty popular; it got pinned and shared and I was happy because people loved it. A few weeks after my post went live, another blogger recreated the tutorial. The instructions were exactly the same (some of it copied word for word), the photos were the same, and the styling was the same — down to the color of nail polish I was wearing. She shared it to her relatively large readership without any sourcing or credit naming me as the original creator of the content. Rough.

So it’s not so much that I’m a glory hog and I need everybody to know which projects I think of first. And I know that lots of people come up with the same ideas in this world, and tutorials are made to be shared and recreated anyway. But to blatantly swipe an idea and even inform your readers that you “saw the idea on Pinterest” but not credit any source is just kind of uncool. Especially when we are all striving for originality, creativity, and at the same time, trying to drive traffic to our own blogs with our original and awesome ideas. To put it mildly, I was heartbroken that another blogger would do this.

I’m not usually this transparent when it comes to stuff like this on my blog. I’ve been miscredited (or not credited) as much as the next blogger — and I could tell you stories all day long about my friends who have intellectual property stolen left and right. But I got to thinking — if nobody ever says anything, what’s gonna change? Did I call the girl out who repeated my tutorial? No. But I’m here talking to you about it, in the hopes that if you’re a newer blogger, you might learn that this is just not the way to go about sharing. Shoot, I would have even been happy with a simple, “I saw this idea on Lovely Indeed!” But I’m thinking that this blogger knows better and went ahead and did it anyway. Not cool, friends. Maybe if she knew how much it hurt, she wouldn’t have?

I kind of expect a little backlash from this post, and that’s okay. There are so many differing opinions on this whole intellectual property topic. But to me, the bottom line is that there needs to be a level of respect for intellectual property that just doesn’t exist yet on the internet. If you’re into learning a little more about it, the Link with Love project is an awesome place to start.

And in the meantime, I’m continuing to push myself to come up with the next great thing, so that I don’t have to worry about what’s in the past at all. Thanks for listening, guys. I’d love to hear your thoughts or stories. xoxo

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26 thoughts on “Blogging // A Cautionary Tale

  1. The problem with creative industries is that while it allows many people to be creative (often about similar topics), it doesn’t protect original work very well. Artists, choreographers, and designers deal with a similar lack of copyright, which can end up being very damaging to their intellectual property. You’re handling this very politely, but you shouldn’t ever feel bad for wanting credit for your work.

  2. Hi Marisol,
    Thanks so much for your comment. I believe that you’re referring to the work I did recently for HGTV.com. While that project was pushed live within a few weeks of another similar project, I can assure you that it was an idea I conceived independently, and produced entirely on my own. My husband and I sat down and figured out the simplest way to do it, we went to multiple printers looking for the best option, I took the photo that we reproduced, I wrote the copy independently, and I styled the photo in my home with my materials in a manner that best fit the scope of the project. This was an idea I had been working on for weeks, based on the photo wallpaper I saw in this post:
    http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/round-up-cool-i-106231

    Sometimes timing just doesn’t line up and it’s a bummer for everyone. Again, thank you for your comment and for holding me accountable. If anything, experiences like these just make us all better bloggers. I’ll be striving in the future to set stellar examples of good blogging etiquette.

  3. I hate that so much, and I am so glad you brought this topic up. What’s so wrong about crediting the original source? Ugh. Not that difficult!

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