♥ for your work, PensandLens header THE STORY

Last two days for you to win a Jeffrey Campbell shoes.  Put in your entries here.

And from PensandLens I would love to share this awesome images from today’s pre-Valentine’s date.  I have worn my heart charmed bracelet and my vintage heart lock necklace.  HAPPY VALENTINES everyone.

ring: Forever21, Elle Veztida collections

bracelet: NACREA Paris

necklace: heart lock from Chocolate Clothing Co. and paris necklace from chinatown

outfit posts soon to follow…

UPDATE:  This case is CLOSE, she already changed her header and tag lines.  I wish her all the best in life and fab luck for her future.  Let’s MOVE ON!!!

Here is a long but brief explanation about the reasons why I was so distracted, stressed out and tired last week (original letters and documents are saved.)  I was given permission to post this, even though some of my friends told me not to give this girl another space in my site.  I am not doing this to degrade her or something, this is to tell all bloggers, who have been victims of copyright infringement or any thing that might have stolen from their site, whether it is your concept, image, words and stories.

Their right ends when your right begins…

my original header looked like this (the image below with transparent blue circle)

Last Tuesday I was appalled by an information that was forwarded to me.  I had to speak in Thai so that the people who is following me would not know what the hell I am talking about, I wanted to scream and rant about it right away but I can’t, somehow the person who was involve in this issue was following me and I was also following her. I gave my friends a message and waited for their reply, I need someone to take a second glance about the header and the style the way the blog was designed.   I was frustrated, angry, hurt and I cannot think properly.  Finally I asked King if it really looks the same, you know he is a man of a few words and when he saw the design he told me to complain right away. I did not do it, I had to seek for legal advice from my family and ask a lawyer back in the Philippines to help me further understand what these kind of problems will give me in the future.

After I blogged about the incident I read the next morning in her tweets which is referring to someone who cannot GET OVER the incident and I have to blog about it. I was about to message her directly but my legal representatives said NO.  I was asked to protect my tweets and Facebook acount, how about my blog?  As long as I do not provide names then it will the most suitable thing to do.

I was about to let my lawyer give her a letter but Isabeau told me that I should give her a letter of complaint first but if nothing will happen then I would have to bring this matter to fight for my own rights.  I emailed her a copy of the letter, sent a copy to my friends and family.  After a few hours before I went to sleep, she replied, I do not know if I will be happy, pissed or saddened about her reply but it only sums up to one thing.  SHE DID NOT UNDERSTAND WHAT I WANTED HER TO DO. Apparently she deleted her site at WordPress but unfortunately she made a new one but it has the same design and header. You see I wouldn’t complain about this if she was just nice enough to say “sorry I didn’t realize we have the same design”.

Instead of doing that, she insisted that it was her idea and I shoud not mess with her idea nor access her site.   I have asked her nicely, all she needs to do is make a new design or change something in it. I would be glad to help her if she has problems with it but sad to say she wasn’t able to understand what I was complaining about.

I am not doing this to embarrassed her in public but she has pushed me to the point of calling her names in my social sites but I didn’t, I wouldn’t mind if you credit me as the designer or the person who inspired you but reasoning out that the internet is FREE and you can do whatever you can do is totally the most foolish thing to understand about the world wide web.

I wanted to tell all my beloved blogger friends that if you think someone has copied you in some manner there is always what we call fighting for our own rights. It may be a big hassle for some of us but if you start thinking about it, you are making these social squatters do whatever they want to do without learning anything. The issue here is that these people does not know what are the implications of copying and the consequences of some FREE stuff in the internet.  Yes it is FREE but there are specific rules and not all of us are aware of. I am thankful again for V\’s Copyright and Image Use post in her site because I had to do my own research about copyright infringement and what are the things you can do first without asking a lawyer to handle the issue especially if you live in other countries.  The exchange of my complaint letter and her response went like this;

(My complaint letter)

“Your content, published last February 08, 2011 with a header named as  “princess of her own story” is essentially similar to my work, even though it was not normally copied in some way but the colorable changes of the words used in royalties has asserted the significant similarity. “

“The usage of the crown even when placed in different areas of the works can notably confuse my readers….. “”The similar usages of words were copied and the usage of the punctuation marks between the branding words was objectively the same.  “

“….been a derivative work which came from an original source, then that would be an exclusive, of any ownership regarding the original work and has the successful right of acknowledge or being credit as the source. “
“Even if your references are open source software’s like WordPress, and you may assert that there will be some probability that the designs would be similar but a custom layout and sidebars will possibly be almost identical, but it would be professional to credit the rightful authors.”
Her reply;

“FIRST:My header with the crown was inspired with my old blogger site. You can check it here before claiming that I copied your so calledROYALTY. It’s just happen that we become friends on facebook/twitter. I did not remember since I did not update my blog because of my busy scheds. And it was neglected and no updates again”

“Does the content is really copied? I have the right to use the word PHOTOGRAPHY since I was studying 1 year from now in a photography class. I;ve been practicing photography since I did not knew you … So what’s the point if I use that word?”
“there is nothing to explain about that content….So what’s the reason of copying your blog content since I can have my own ideas.”
“You could say that I probably copied your blog contest/header/font/sidebarAnd no, don’t claim that we both have the same header since I use my pictures for the header located at the right side when viewing the blog. It’s a BIG DIFFERENCES!”
“But don’t force me to change my own ideas! Or whatever you may don’t like!Just don’t access mine!”

and my last reply to her before my legal representatives advice me not to send her anymore letters was;

“In regards with the crown, if you have disputed that you were able to use that signage even when you started blogging with your blogspot account then what were the necessary reasons that you have to change it? This is not a case of who owns first or what ideas were created, but you must be aware that in the World Wide Web, there are millions of websites that may have a slight resemblance but when those points would result into more than 5 similarities, I as a blogger and a site owner would be mostly concern about my brand name/image and my affiliates who are subscriber of my site. If you want to assert that the crown was your idea in the first place then so be it. “

I am referring to the similar usage of words and the punctuation marks between each branding words. As what you have mentioned that you have the right to use the word PHOTOGRAPHY which is actually right, anyone has the right to use it.  Even if you have not studied that course or it was an inborn talent, the word PHOTOGRAPHY is a word which belongs to the dictionary which neither of us can claim.”
“If this is your personal blog you might as well put a certain touch that people would remind that you are a unique author something that will keep them coming back in your site.  I recommend you make an extensive research just like blogs which has I live, I ride, I jeep taglines. Or the ones live.laugh.love, or to add these taglines such as live love laugh and plan or you can keep it like love photography i live my dream, these kind of ideas are unlimited, it just so absurd that 3 or more words are likely to be the same with the same use of punctuation and prepositional symbol. “

“There may not be a given proof about your stand but I am thankful that you have obliged to my request to answer this complaint, I would have asked a sincere apology from you but I think it would not be necessary since most of my points being emphasized were not given justifiable reasons by your explanation…”

But after a few minutes I saw a new site with the same header,  the crown now is being worn by her and there is a copyright symbol on the header. I wouldn’t argue with that but I would love to let her change the tagline with the same punctuation marks in it. If you have started with PensandLens, you would know that this blog has the old lines saying “anything & everything about love.life.photography.fashion.travel and SWEET” but I changed it into “fashion.photography.travel.love&life”

This is going to be my last post about this issue since all the details are being discussed by my legal representatives now, I have also registered my site at www.copyright.gov a $35 fee is not bad to protect your site from any infringement.  Just make sure your host is located in the United States.  You can also modify so that you can register for an international coverage for your copyright.  You can check their site and know more on how to file for your site to be protected.  Processing period may take 2 to 3 months but it’s worth it in the end.

I am not only standing up for my own blog but for all bloggers out there, I would like to tell you that there is no hassle in fighting for  your right.  You can always send a complaint letter and pray that the person is mature enough to understand what you want them to do.  And let these social squatters learn their lesson that intensive research is important, plus being up to date and looking for other materials to enhance their ability to become a great designer/blogger/photographer and not just settle for what is available.

Because I believe all bloggers are gifted and the frustration hurts like hell if someone has malign or stole something from us.  I know that we can make new designs and substantial work overnight because we don’t want the creative juices in our minds to go to waste.  Somehow we just work magically with great composure and above all, honesty to credit the rightful authors.  Again it is not hard to ask permission in the very first place, there really is nothing wrong with that.  There is a term called GIVE and TAKE.😀

20 comments

  1. very well said.. :] reasoning out is such a foolish excuse. maybe, she cant accept it. She don’t even understand your letter in the first place! haha lets ignore her na! :] Happy Hearts day ate!❤

  2. you have every reason to fight for your right if you know that you have been offended. the problem with some bloggers is they do not know the gravity of copyright infringement because a lot are doing it anyway. if i remember correctly, it can be filed as a criminal case. am i right? i just took up a course on copyright law and this is the topic of my term paper for that subject. i’m no expert. i had a couple of absences for that class. but i know what copyright is for. it was right for you to defend yourself because this person actually stole your property. and it will be ethical for everyone to just observe the law because copyright is for the common good anyway.

    http://nouveauskin.blogspot.com

  3. Ay, your headers are similar nga! Good thing you posted this here because I was about to e-mail you about this problem last weekend, kaya lang I was so busy so I wasn´t able to do it.

    I wonder why the person´s so defensive. Anyway, if it wasn´t the person´s intention to have the following design, she could have asked your opinion on what the two of you should do to resolve the problem. Oh well, end of story. I´m glad the problem´s fixed.

    On a lighter note, I covet your RING!

    Happy valentines Day, Sweet! Saan ba ang date with your darling?😉

  4. Love the rings!!!

    AND OMG!!! I can’t believe that happened!!! Ugh so annoying and frustrating I’m sure. Don’t worry about it. Keep your head up high.

    happy v-day.

    xoxo,
    melrod

  5. ahh yun pala yung sinasabi mo! shucks, there are similarities nga… and congrats for standing up for your own right. $35 is nothing if it will make your mind and heart at peace.🙂 Hope nothing like this will happen in the future, Sweet!

  6. I got to say that ur jewelries are so fabulous! and anyway, keep your chin up dear! sorry to hear that, but don’t let someone like that bring your great blogging life down❤

  7. That’s crazy! I really don’t like copy cats. I’ve had a friend offline and online friend of mine do that to me, and it was not fun. I should’ve confronted her about it, sadly, but I didn’t. I just let it go and ranted about it elsewhere…

    Anyway, good luck on the contest! You always win these things! haha🙂

  8. Amazing post. I was checking constantly this blog and I am quite impressed! Very useful information specifically the last part. I care for such info much. I was looking for this particular info for a very long time. Thank you and best of luck.

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