Copyright infringement is the unauthorized or prohibited use of works under copyright, infringing the copyright holder’s exclusive rights, such as the right to reproduce or perform the copyrighted work, or to make derivative works.
-from Wikipedia

This is a very strange blog post for me to be writing.  If you know me even a little, you know that I am hardly ever negative about anything. I am also not a very controversial person. I don’t make it a habit of  “calling people to the carpet” nor do I believe in chastising publicly, but last night it was brought to my attention that someone was passing my work off as their own.  That really made me angry. I work hard, long hours and put a lot of thought and spirit into the things I create.   I hang my heart out there all the time. I am mostly a giver and only take when I know I will soon be giving back.
This person even stole my #CMchat tag line:  “Where Country Music Meets You”, which I thought long and hard about, it is also in my logo, they changed  “Country Music” to “Social Media Karma”.   SERIOUSLY…that blatant.

Well, rather than me trying to tell you all about it, I am just going show you, since it is my work after all, and yeah I do find it very ironic that they are calling themselves Social Media Karma. Here is a screen shot, note that she didn’t even bother to take cmchat off at the bottom (highlighted):


Now my page: or you can click on the logo to the right.

So when this happens to you what do you do?

Well, after the initial feeling of being violated or just plan aggravated? How do you take action? I immediately tweeted about it, lo and behold, a Copyright Infringement Lawyer ( Sara Hawkins of Phoenix) happened to be online at the time.  So after we talked and I calmed down *remember I am human* she walked me through filing the “paperwork.”

I am a writer, blogger and broadcasting professional. I use my words to make a living, and they mean a lot to me. I am not opposed to someone using my writing if credited back to me, NOTE how I credited Dabney Porte, Social Media Manners Hostess for recommendations, and I got her permission to do so, but to just take my work, like a shoplifter at a mall makes me feel victimized.

I don’t have much more to say, just that we CAN NOT and SHOULD NOT tolerate stealing from each other online. I have seen this done to others a few times, however this is the first time I am aware of it happening to me. It doesn’t feel so good. In fact it sucks, to quote Amber Avines, “it feels like someone stole my car and took it out for a joy ride!”

NOW, I just have to put this out there, but who steals someone else’s work when they are starting something called #SMkarma? Again, seriously? The irony and well, BAD KARMA! What do you think?

Sara Hawkins has a series about Blog Law, with great information any blogger (or stealer of blog posts) should read!