and now we return to this episode of 'How the Blog Burns'....

To Recap:
For all of the people who have read the first and second posts in this blog soap opera and then neglected to read the third, may I ask that you please stop sending me comments until you catch up with where things stand now - including my public session of 'eating crow'? Scroll down a bit and read 'em ALL. In the meantime, Lemme’ ‘splain. No, it takes too long. Lemme’ sum up: (Thank you, Inigo Montoya*)

Andreas is listed on the offending site as ‘Designed by Andreas Viklund’, with a link to his site. It does not say ‘Template Designed by…’ therefore my impression was that the SITE was designed by him. I myself have designed blog sites and set them up for clients. I am responsible for how I set them up, and if I had set them up to pull RSS feeds and post them as content, then I would indeed be responsible for any claims of theft of content. So would the owner, but I would be implicated and morally responsible. This is what my impression of the situation was.

He was also the sole person with a working link on that site, with no other contact info available. This is why I suggested to Andreas that he have that notation amended to read ‘TEMPLATE Designed by Andreas Viklund’ - because, of his own admission and that of other designers on his site, this is a misconception that happens quite often. I’m not the first person to make the incorrect assumption that the ‘designer’ is involved with the site itself. And now that he knows that this site is a problem, he's likely to get at least one more victimized person who reacts as I did.

As a patient and professional creative person and businessman, Andreas took time out of his life to respond to me and to educate me about the situation. And while I read some sarcasm into his first response, I was wrong in doing so. He did not become rude nor did he admit wrongdoing. He simply explained why he was not involved in the situation. It took the poor man two lengthy emails to get that fact through to me in my highly agitated state. As soon as light dawned on my marble head, I thanked him, apologized both privately and publicly, let everyone know what was happening with the situation, and began directing my actions toward the web site owner.

If you are coming here via the conversation links from Andreas’ site or haven’t read that post, please catch up. If you are a tech designer God who wants to rip me a new one for my lack of knowledge of web protocol - save it. I’ve heard it from oh so many of your contemporaries in the past few days. And to counteract your comments: I’m not an idiot, I behaved like one. I’m not a moron. I’m feeling decidedly foolish right now, a bit embarrassed, and that’s not fun, but the name calling is not necessary and makes you look pretty ridiculous yourself. I’m not unprofessional, I acted unprofessionally. I have tried to the best of my ability to repair the damage my words may have done to Andreas – if I still look dumb, fine. People make MISTAKES.

As I said to Andreas, I’m pretty sure he (and perhaps many of you) view me as a knee-jerk reacting hotheaded creative (and add ‘woman’ in a derogative tone to that, for the many men who have sent me such undelightful comments) but then you are entitled to your opinion. I was hotheaded, I did react before researching, and I was aggressive. I don’t apologize for the aggressive part. Nor for being a woman. (Note please, all you tech Gods on high horses, that my original comments to Andreas attack him for his actions – I did not accuse him of being a horrible person and call him names. Let's talk professionalism now....) A reader on my Facebook page said ‘Your reaction was not out of line. The issue was a serious concern. As it played out we all learned something. I think that is a valuable lesson to all of us. There is nothing wrong in that what so ever. Thank you, Deb, for putting yourself out there. We are all the better for it.’ She was right in one definite sense – my reaction was not out of line, it was just mis-directed.

The comment means a lot to me and also makes me laugh. ‘Yep’, I responded, ‘that’s me – just puttin’ myself out here to take the lumps for the good of all concerned!’. I DID put myself out there by sharing all of this here. I did that to inform & educate – which are both elements of my mission statement and this blog – even tho it hasn’t exactly reflected well on me. I hope those of you reading this DID learn something from this situation. If you are faced with something similar (which I would only wish on my worst enemy) I hope you have an easier time of it because of what I’ve experienced & shared here.

All of the resources that I’ve discovered and that kind people like Andreas and Randy and Monica have shared with me are going to be compiled and posted about soon. I think I’ll even add them in a new sidebar box… that way, if you are ever the victim of online theft, you’ll know where to start. And that’s what got me in the first place – I am a victim of theft. So are the other photographers, artists, and writers that Hans Peter Jeschke (owner of the web site) is stealing content from. I rose up to protect myself, and others. And ‘aimed in the wrong direction’, as Andreas said (not sarcastically!).

I've not had any response from Hans Peter Jeschke, the owner/administrative & technical contact for the offending web site. Legal proceedings have begun from my end and I'll keep ya' posted. In the meantime, I'm on my soapbox posting here on my blog about this issue so that my posts will pop up on his site! And if they don't, well, then I"ll know that it's not an automated RSS feed doing this but a MANUAL choosing, copying, and posting of my content on his site. (Smart, eh?)

Thank you for following along. And now, if you'd like to send me your comments, please do.

*Inigo Montoya quote from 'The Princess Bride' film, Act III Communications, 1987. Info from IMDB

2 comments:

  1. Just one comment.. Have you checked the offending site today? It is no longer up. These days it is as simple as putting the url to your rss feed. They only way to prevent this is to make your blog or rss feed private. I am not trying to be rude, but I just think this has gone on long enough.

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  2. David, thank you for letting me know. I was working this weekend and was unable to check the site until this morning. I did, indeed, see that the entire offending web site is down. And yes, I knew that all Mr. Jeschke had to do was pull my RSS feed. I am not sure if HE took the site down or if his web host did after investigating my claim of theft.

    As for your suggestion 'making your blog or rss feed private is the only way to prevent theft' of my content, I disagree. For one, content could still be stolen by a subscriber. Secondly, I wonder how that helps retailers looking for the assistance and resources I offer them? Going private only makes it harder for them to find me. That certainly isn't good for my business!

    I'd rather bring to light the problems, face them head-on, and see resolution - and hopefully, in the process, offer something in the way of information, education, and a glimmer of hope to others who face the same thing. Hiding from internet theft won't make it stop. Fighting it will. We all have to step up.

    Your comments weren't rude but very helpful, David, and I appreciate you taking the time to send them. And you can certainly stop reading if the subject bores you, 'cause it hasn't gone on nearly long enough......there will be more to come in the future on this blog about protecting yourself from internet content theft.

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my take on retail visual design:

"The thing is, retail design is driven by psychology. It is by manipulating space, visuals, lighting, sound, smell, and mood that we influence customers to enter, stay, browse, buy, and return. It is an endless exercise in change, endurance, growth, education, and imagination that enables retailers to stay on top of their game and at the forefront of their customer's minds. Yes, what you sell IS important - but even the very best merchandise won't sell at full price if it's presented in torn boxes on dirty shelves in a store that is too crowded to turn around in. Visual impact is a huge part of business, and utilizing the principles that have been proven to work can help you build a better business." ~ DWK