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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar. 6, 2002
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    5,739

    Default I should be flattered...someone STOLE my bio!

    But I'm just irritated.

    An acquaintance of mine (bought a horse from her, no longer own the horse) has stolen my riding bio from my website - nearly word for word - and is using it on various facebook forums and groups as her own, trying to garner work for herself in the horse business. Now, how do I know? Well, my bio had some pretty unique phrases and wordage and they appear in her posts, right down to the reference to the inspiration for the name of my business at the end - a line from a Frost poem.

    Seriously? I know I have a gift for words, but I didn't realize I was so awesome that I should be impersonated.

    WWYD? I've contacted the admins for the various pages I saw it on, but there's nothing to prohibit her from using it elsewhere. I also left her a rather terse message. I worked quite hard crafting that bio and don't want people thinking that *I* stole the language from HER in the future.
    What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what
    lies with in us. - Emerson


    5 members found this post helpful.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct. 15, 2011
    Posts
    1,111

    Default

    Wow, that stinks. I don't know if you actually can really do anything more aside from what you did to try to rectify the situation.

    The quote referring to your farm name might be enough to differentiate between the real author and her...does it somehow apply to her business name as well? If it doesn't it's not going to make sense, so maybe that will clue people in she stole your bio.

    Also, I don't know if you are located near enough to each other to be competing for the same customers but if you are not, as annoying as it is I'd probably just let it go. Or maybe you can somehow put a disclaimer on your page it is an original bio written by you.
    *Wendy* 4.17.73 - 12.20.05



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar. 6, 2002
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    5,739

    Default

    She has no business name, she's just posting on various pages looking for work with horses. She's about an hour north of me and rides a different style/discipline, so not really "competing". She's now unfriended me on facebook and deleted the two postings I saw - so maybe she got the message. I did send her a message letting her know that I'd contacted the admins and had kept screenshots of her posts.

    I really didn't know I was so cool! I don't even know how she got the language, I have those pages on my website hidden for right now as I was doing an overhaul. Interesting.
    What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what
    lies with in us. - Emerson


    3 members found this post helpful.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug. 22, 2012
    Posts
    145

    Default

    I would be upset. Have you tried to talk to her? You could post a statement on your site referring to her copy.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov. 2, 2001
    Location
    Packing my bags
    Posts
    31,443

    Default

    Is she on COTH?
    Can you out her?

    (ok, red thumb crew, I am KIDDING)
    Quote Originally Posted by Mozart View Post
    Personally, I think the moderate use of shock collars in training humans should be allowed.


    14 members found this post helpful.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr. 19, 2011
    Location
    Madison, GA
    Posts
    2,784

    Default

    I would definitely be upset. Ten years ago when I was a teenager someone took pics I had posted of myself on an online forum and used them on another forum claiming that my pictures were actually them. It's been awhile, but I think I had to contact the moderators to get them to pull them off.
    Southern Cross Guest Ranch
    An All Inclusive Guest Ranch Vacation - Georgia
    www.southcross.com
    RIP Bocephus March 2008 - April 2013


    1 members found this post helpful.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar. 6, 2002
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    5,739

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Alagirl View Post
    Is she on COTH?
    Can you out her?

    (ok, red thumb crew, I am KIDDING)
    Don't worry, my OP got a thumbs down for whatever reason. And yes, she is (was) on COTH - I doubt she actually registered as a user, but she did lurk and read all of my posts about the horse I bought from her (which she later referenced in a scathing email to me, after threatening to sue me for breach of a contract that I had not, in fact, breached).
    What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what
    lies with in us. - Emerson


    1 members found this post helpful.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb. 28, 2006
    Location
    The rocky part of KY
    Posts
    9,301

    Default

    If you hid the pages she may have thought you'd abandoned them and that the verbage was fair game - still totally wrong. I have no idea how to protect your rights without trademarking or copyright.

    As an aside my face was photoshopped into a gag picture on one of my DD's friend's facebook pages - it felt pretty creepy and the kid had no idea I wasn't some random stranger at the airport - it scares me that anything that gets put out there is so easily claimed by someone else. Hope you are able to get this resolved without coughing up for a lawyer.
    Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
    Incredible Invisible



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar. 6, 2002
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    5,739

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ReSomething View Post
    Hope you are able to get this resolved without coughing up for a lawyer.
    Oh, it won't come to that. Any cash that I might have is better spent on new fencing, new stalls, paddock footing, laminate floors for our house.... you get the idea. I'll keep an eye out for future postings, but apparently my chosen method has worked quite well this time. She deleted her own posts.
    What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what
    lies with in us. - Emerson


    2 members found this post helpful.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug. 9, 2007
    Posts
    9,052

    Default

    If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then stealing your identity/bio must mean......that you are very successful. And that she is a total fraud.

    You should take her to small claims court. Not expensive and you don't need a lawyer. A judgment against her will show up anytime someone checks her out, even if you don't collect. But you can levy on anything she owns, after you win in court.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar. 6, 2002
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    5,739

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by cloudyandcallie View Post
    If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then stealing your identity/bio must mean......that you are very successful. And that she is a total fraud.
    Oh, I wish.
    What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what
    lies with in us. - Emerson



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec. 28, 2007
    Location
    Ontario
    Posts
    87

    Default

    Ugh I know the feeling. A lady I know copied my rates list from my page and pasted it, word for word, on hers. If you're going to copy something at least change it a little bit so it isn't so obvious.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun. 30, 2009
    Posts
    6,574

    Default

    Just copy protect your website & "copyright" your bio - when a search is done, both versions will come up & readers will assume ...

    (chances are she'll use it again)


    1 members found this post helpful.

  14. #14

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ReSomething View Post
    If you hid the pages she may have thought you'd abandoned them and that the verbage was fair game - still totally wrong. I have no idea how to protect your rights without trademarking or copyright.
    Upfront disclaimer: I'm not a lawyer. I'm just interested in copyright law. Interest /= expert.

    The bio is already copyrighted. It was copyrighted at the moment it was written, automatically.

    However, registering copyright gives you additional legal protections, including the right to sue for statutory damages. It may be too late to register the copyright in this case and get those protections, though. You could register it now and have it in place for future violations.

    I personally would (and have) done what the OP is doing: chase down sites where infringing material is posted and get it removed. Read the DMCA; understanding it is very helpful in these situations.

    I might also hire a lawyer to send a Cease and Desist letter, because it's relatively cheap and more effective than a personal letter.

    I'd double check my site to make sure it had a general copyright notice and a "no use without permission" type notice as well.

    I wouldn't mention something like this on a professional site. Reeks too much of drama, and I wouldn't want to send curious rubberneckers her way. I'd just give the bare facts if anyone actually asked me about it.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  15. #15

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by cloudyandcallie View Post
    You should take her to small claims court. Not expensive and you don't need a lawyer. A judgment against her will show up anytime someone checks her out, even if you don't collect. But you can levy on anything she owns, after you win in court.
    When did they start allowing copyright claims in anything other than federal court?



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Aug. 9, 2007
    Posts
    9,052

    Default

    OP can sue for damages to her reputation in small claims court.

    And yes, I was a federal law clerk once. (Clerked for Chief USDistrict Judge for the SD of GA. The author of "A Federal Judge's Prayer" was "my" judge, Alec Lawrence, it's a funny rendition of what he had to handle as a federal judge) And a lawyer for over, hmm total of 33 yrs, 28 yrs as trial lawyer. Small claims is for any damages. You don't have to allege copyright infringement to get damages. You just have a monetary limit.



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jul. 25, 2003
    Location
    Boston Area
    Posts
    8,347

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ReSomething View Post
    I have no idea how to protect your rights without trademarking or copyright.
    Your original work IS protected by copyright law. You do not need to mark it as such. Any creative work is protected from the minute you create it.

    If she doesn't remove it, let her know that you will have your attorney contact her. Most of the time that does the trick. Many people don't understand that ALL work is protected by copyright law now, not just work with a copyright statement. And some people just assume they won't get caught.
    Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
    EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Mar. 6, 2002
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    5,739

    Default

    I just want to reiterate that I won't be suing anyone, for the record.

    What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what
    lies with in us. - Emerson


    2 members found this post helpful.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jul. 25, 2003
    Location
    Boston Area
    Posts
    8,347

    Default

    Not suggesting that you do -- but the threat of a lawyer contacting someone is often enough to make the problem go away.

    I found someone trying to sell an image that I created -- stupid me, I forgotten that had a high res version of it on the Internet. A little discussion about copyright law was all it took for them to remove it.
    Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
    EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Aug. 9, 2007
    Posts
    9,052

    Default

    Bogie is right.

    I once had a personal injury lawyer that I was dating give a call to someone to pay up for hitting my car. Charlie had just one the first million dollar verdict in my state (it was a long time ago!) and all of a sudden, my car's repair bills got paid.



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