Friday, January 21, 2011

A case of content theft: cute_pauline

Sometimes wolves come in sheep's clothing. Young or old, age is not an excuse.

Very recently I became aware of posts from Pico Perfect and Picostyle that are being re-posted on cute_pauline's blog. Since credit has not been given to the original authors, cute_pauline is claiming the posts as her own - whether she realizes it or not. This is plagiarism.

In talking about the situation with sweet_mom, she asked that I write a post about intellectual property for those who read the Pico Perfect blog to make them aware of the issue (See: Ahoy, mateys. Beware of internet piracy.).

At this point I am posting my view of the situation because cute_pauline doesn't seem to take it seriously. I tried to talk to her in a civil way about it, so she would hopefully come to understand why it's not acceptable.

I was hoping she would change the posts she has re-published to include links to the original posts. cute_pauline chose to not listen. I even asked her to email us at picostylers@gmail.com so I could discuss it with her (her Pico profile did not allow me to send her a letter). cute_pauline said she would right away, but has chosen not to communicate (a week later ... I'm still waiting).

I have no patience for lies and theft since my bullsh*t tolerance level dropped, so, I'm calling her out on her theft of content from other blogs.

There's nothing "cute" about stealing other people's content.

As of last Friday I filed a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) against cute_pauline by clicking the Report Abuse button on the top bar of her Blogger.com blog. As part of the DMCA process, a copy of the DMCA claim was automatically forwarded to cute_pauline at the email address she registered her blog with. Since she probably chose to ignore it ... this is what happened:



This is what you'll see now if you visit her blog.

Posts that cute_pauline stole:
Better info menu and more Gachas
How-to: Report Abuse in Ameba Pico (click to see image of stolen post)
How-to: prevent your Pico from being hacked (click to see image of stolen post)
How-to: Make Elevator Stairs (click to see image of stolen post)

Conversation with cute_pauline:
On January 14, 2011, I left a room post in cute_pauline's room, since I am not able to send her a letter or contact her in any other way. Not long after, I received a notification that cute_pauline was in my room, so, I went there to talk to her. She seemed more concerned with getting my room guest (whose name hasbeen removed to protect anonymity) and I to follow her blog and drum up traffic.

--- You have moved to Catero | The C@ House
(19:05) cute_pauline: hi
(19:05) Catero: pauline
(19:05) Catero: hey
(19:05) Catero: we need to talk
(19:05) cute_pauline: plz follow my blo
(19:05) cute_pauline: blog*
(19:05) Catero: i do
(19:05) cute_pauline: w8
(19:05) cute_pauline: hayley's online
(19:05) Catero: ok
(19:06) Catero: hey [Another Pico (name removed)]
(19:06) Another Pico (name removed); : hey
(19:06) Catero: every time i see you, you look different
(19:06) cute_pauline: yes
(19:06) Another Pico (name removed); : i know
(19:06) Another Pico (name removed); : wait
(19:06) cute_pauline: 2 guys
(19:06) cute_pauline: plz follow my blog
(19:06) Catero: i do, pauline
(19:06) cute_pauline: k
(19:07) Catero: i need to talk to ou
(19:07) cute_pauline: [Another Pico (name removed)] follow my blog too
(19:07) Another Pico (name removed); : me too
(19:07) Catero: you
(19:07) Catero: about your blog
(19:07) Another Pico (name removed); : i did
(19:07) Catero: can you email picostylers@gmail.com, plz, pauline?
(19:07) Catero: can i can talk to you thru email
(19:08) cute_pauline: plz take a picture
(19:08) cute_pauline: and add my blog
(19:08) cute_pauline: to picostyle
(19:08) Catero: isn't it already added to picostyle?
(19:08) cute_pauline: take a pic
(19:09) Catero: do ... you say please often?
(19:09) cute_pauline: yes
(19:09) Catero: when you ask someone to do something you should say it with a please
(19:09) cute_pauline: u'll post the picture
(19:09) Catero: no
(19:09) cute_pauline: in the new post
(19:09) cute_pauline: [Another Pico (name removed)]?
(19:09) cute_pauline: gtg
(19:10) Another Pico (name removed); : huh
(19:10) cute_pauline: bye!
(19:10) Another Pico (name removed); : sorry afk
(19:10) Catero: pauline
(19:10) Catero: email us
(19:10) Catero: UGH

cute_pauline leaves my room.

(19:10) Another Pico (name removed); : why?
(19:10) Another Pico (name removed); : whats wrong?

Seconds later, cute_pauline comes back to my room, says for a couple of minutes, then leaves when I ask her about the posts on her blog.

(19:10) Catero: [Another Pico (name removed)], can you plz give me a minute
(19:10) Catero: to talk to pauline?
(19:10) Another Pico (name removed); : k
(19:10) Catero: thx
(19:10) Another Pico (name removed); : i'll be afk
(19:10) Catero: lol ok
(19:11) Catero: pauline, do you have a few minutes to talk?
(19:11) cute_pauline: yes
(19:11) Catero: i noticed that on your blog ...
(19:11) Catero: there are some posts that you have taken from other blogs
(19:11) cute_pauline: changed the name
(19:11) Catero: like picostyle
(19:11) Catero: yes?
(19:11) cute_pauline: w8
(19:11) cute_pauline: bye!
(19:12) cute_pauline: gtg
(19:12) Catero: i am reporting you

Poof! cute_pauline was gone again.


What some of Pico's bloggers are saying about content theft:
Pico has many bloggers and blog enthusiasts. Here are some thoughts from others on the subject.

[♥]Breezy[♥] of Pop Pico:
As bloggers, we try to make our content as original and unique as possible. We work very hard to make our blogs stand out and make an impression. So how do you think we feel when our hard work is copied to give someone else credit? Make your own material.

If you do, you'll be respected more, and you can be proud of yourself for your own originality.

Peggy Hill of Picostyle:
I'm always happy to see new bloggers out there getting inspired by my entries on Picostyle. I totally understand getting excited about something someone else has written and thinking you might want to write about that too! I do that as well but there's a difference between taking something and making it your own, giving it your own "spin"... versus someone who just takes someone else's work and posts it as their own.

If you want to repost something that was written by another blogger it's really important that you ask them if that's okay first and credit them.

I would be totally flattered if someone wanted to repost my own entries on their own blog but it makes me a little sad when someone just steals my work.

sweet_mom of Pico Perfect:
I thought she [cute_pauline] was my friend; she seemed so nice and sweet to me. I'm disappointed and saddened by her actions.

What do you think? Share your insights and opinions in comments.

What to do if someone has stolen your online content:*
Sometimes the person may have used your work, not realizing that they have done something that is illegal. Though what they have done may make you steaming mad, try to keep your cool.

If your work has been posted to someone's user account on an online service:
Sites that you sign up for a user account on - like Ameba Pico or Pigg, Blogger.com, deviantART, Facebook, Flickr, Photobucket, etc - have Terms of Service rules that you agree to follow when you sign up to use the service. These rules are also designed to protect you in situations where you are being harassed or your work has been stolen.

Check the web site service that the stolen content is on for a link or button that allows you to report stolen content that someone has uploaded to their account. Sometimes, you can click the Contact link to tell the people who run the site about your stolen work.

For example, when you view a blog hosted on Blogger.com, there's a bar at the top you can use to Report Abuse.


If your work has been posted to someone's personal web site:
When someone has their own web site (example: www.mypicolife.com) they have purchased their web space and address from a hosting service. You will have to find out who their hosting service is and contact them with your evidence (example: screen shots or links of your content creation/upload dates versus the "offender's").

You can find out any web site's hosting service/registrar, but looking up the site's domain using a WHO IS site, like who.is.

Remember! ... Either way, you will have to prove that you own the original work.

* Originally posted on Pico Perfect blog


Learn more about online content theft and protecting your work:
Creative Commons License web site
Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) c/o Wikipedia
IP Kids web site
Plagiarism Today
World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)

23 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. Catero, I was the other guy..Heheh

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  3. (BTW, in the post pictures, your email is showing.)

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  4. Wow... this is just, horrible. Good thing you reported her Cat! Plagiarizers are horrible. Don't do stuff like that!

    -Ora

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  5. i met cute_pauline twice. she was asking me to take a picture of her so i could post it on my blog and it was so irritating because she was really FORCING me. i hate those kind of people.
    -.-

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  6. @ Vince't, I was trying to keep you from being dragged into any drama, you dork.

    @ sαмαитнα~♥™, it's ok if my email is showing. :-)

    @ Ora Bora, plagiarizers are horrible.

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  7. .its a shame.shes from my country. XD.

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  8. She nagged me to advertise her blog on bibopico as well...

    It's a shame to see that she was stealing content, but I'm glad you dealt with the situation.

    A little odd at some point I did see a post on her blog that I thought sounded awfully familiar to something I'd read before... the content here is so unique that it can't be copied. ♥ Keep up the awesome work~~

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  9. @Cat, Haha, this doesn't make any relation to the point, but it's actually 'Ora18' :)

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  10. She was on my Pico Friends and Fans!
    I can't believe she was the one who did this! o.o

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  11. So glad you decided to post this, Cat. It's very important to let people know about situations like these. I'm so glad that our fans are sticking by us. We love you all!

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  12. Ohh No worries Catero Im able to handle the drama.

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  13. I'm jellycakes999 from Pico Palooza. I would like to say I enjoy your site, I use it for a source for my site.
    I would be crushed if someone is stealing my blog psots. I work hard on all my blogs and I update daily. For someone to just walk in and copy my hard work, and all they do is re-post it, I would flip out.
    I wish you guys the best on your site! Keep doing what you are doing!

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  14. I think this is the best thing for you :)

    http://zenplate.blogspot.com/2009/04/disable-highlight-text-on-blogger.html

    hope it helps ^^

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  15. @ aRfisama, thank you very much. :-)

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  16. @ Freakzoid101, try aRfisama's Blogger trick to protect your blog from posts being copied. Thanks. ;-)

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  17. Wow, I'm really sorry to hear this and I think by notifying everyone about her behavior is really smart.

    I Know how you feel, I had someone steal a project I worked hard on in College before; Very devastating! So I wish PicoStyle all the best because it's a one of a kind blog!

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  18. for those who are wondering, cute_pauline changed her name to Ⓟⓐⓤⓛⓘⓝⓔ ❤ or at least that is how it appears on my computer. she's left me a few messages on my messageboard, that's how i know.

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  19. Wow.
    This matter is extremely disturbing! As I said earlier, plagiarizers are horrible. Now, I see that this post has affected a lot of people. Now all we need is for cute_pauline to turn herself in. Or we (as in the picostyle community) can contact her for a meeting. I know it might be hopeless, but there's a chance she will listen.

    -Ora

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  20. Thanks Cat for also looking out for "OUR" (Pico Perfect) blog ;) You are absolutely the best <3
    and Vince't I love you but you are a silly dork...LOL :P

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