The Price of an Education

February 6, 2015 Amaryllis 008

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The price of an education is experience.

Which means, I’ve earned a tremendous amount of useful information over the last day while dealing with the challenges presented by the plagiarism of my posts from Forest Garden.

First, the thank-yous:  I appreciate each and every person who has contacted me over the last day by phone, email, and comments to commiserate, offer support, and to make helpful suggestions.  One friend expressed, ” …”hell hath no fury” like a woman plagiarized. ”  More on that in a bit.

I also appreciate Christine at Bluelime Media in Vancouver, BC, who very calmly let me know that no, her company had nothing to do with the offending site; other than having produced the theme which farmersmiths.com pirated.  Her company develops themes for WordPress, and she helped re-direct my efforts towards finding those who needed to be found.

And I appreciate those involved with farmersmiths.com and related sites who voluntarily removed my content from their pages last night.

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February 6, 2015 Amaryllis 025

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I also appreciate the WordPress platform, because it provides help on just about any blogging related topic one can need.  Their article about content theft provided a list of actions to take, and the links I needed, to figure out how to handle this situation.

WordPress makes our everyday publishing so easy that we can produce endless content with a minimum of technical know-how.  To solve this conundrum yesterday, it was necessary to dig beneath the surface of things to hunt for clues.

But this has been far from an easy process.  In fact, it is a very frustrating, time intensive scavenger hunt of clues and dead-ends when one enters the shadier reaches of cyberspace in search of hard, actionable information.  That is where the ‘fury’ part comes in handy. 

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February 6, 2015 Amaryllis 026

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The first meaning of fury, in many dictionaries, has to do with a wild rage.  That is superbly unhelpful in a case such as this.

I prefer the more ancient meanings of fury, which is derived from those loveable Furies of Greek literature.  Do you recall them?  It is the energy of the anger, the fury, which is useful when once needs to get something done well, and done quickly.

So for the second time in a week, with apologies, I’ll share with you some bits of information which you might find useful.  It is very hard to stay out of the garden this long, but we bloggers must help one another from time to time.  Here are the highlights of what I’ve learned:

1.  Keep an eye on ‘your brand.’  A blogging friend tipped me off that she had found my content on another person’s website unattributed.  Had I searched in Google or Bing for my own blog post titles I could have discovered the miscreant myself.  But I didn’t think to do that.  Late last night I did search for several recent posts, and found the link to the miscreant site listed on the list of returns, above my own….

2.  Theft of published content is an international crime, with protections outlined in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.  It turns out those who stole my content are based in Australia.  One begins to request restitution with a DMCA notice directed to the domain and the domain host.

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February 6, 2015 Amaryllis 027

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3.  One begins with an inventory of exactly what has been stolen.  This includes taking screen shots of the offending website.  One may also copy and paste from their site into a word processing file.  The lovely thing about most word processing software protocols is that they reveal a great deal of information not visible on a ‘live’ website.  Since theft is very much a crime, even online, collecting this data first, before doing anything else, ensures you have the evidence you need on down the  line.

4.  One can also get the full details about any website through a Domain Search.  No, I hadn’t heard of it either, until last night.  Here is another useful resource to combat internet plagiarism, with the links you need to begin the search.

5. Explore every link on a questionable site.  By clicking one of the photographs on farmersmiths.com, I found a link to a related business, also selling gardening products.  That business had contact information, and there was even a gmail address for a person connected with that business.  A friendly email to that person, requesting their assistance in contacting ‘Farmer,’ who signed his name to my posts reprinted without permission on his site, was fruitful.  She managed to locate him and pass on the message.  I appreciate that.  My plagiarized posts came down within the hour.

6.  Finally, publish an ironclad disclaimer statement on your blog.  Hugh Roberts directed me to an excellent post on crafting your own personal disclaimerSerin’s post explains why this is essential for every blogger, and gives excellent links to additional resources on blog security.

7.  Maintain an attitude of gratitude.  I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to publish each day, and for those who join with me in this adventure.  It is life’s challenges and frustrations which force us to climb those steep learning curves in our daily lives.  Have you noticed? 

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First Forsythia of the season....

First Forsythia of the season….

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I’ve learned a good deal from this experience.  And I hope the miscreant who thought he or she would quietly get by with ‘lifting’ my work each day, through some as yet undiscovered pipeline through cyberspace, has learned a bit over the last 24 hours, as well.

And I hope that you, whether you write a blog yourself, or not; might have learned a useful trick or two through reading about my experiences.

Thank you for visiting Forest Garden today, for your wonderful comments, and for giving me a very good reason to spend time writing and taking photos each day.

Woodland Gnome 2015

 

 

 

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About woodlandgnome

Lifelong teacher and gardener.

28 responses to “The Price of an Education

  1. I hope you find th thief !!!I don’t know how you can find pride in copying other peoples work !

  2. WG, THANK you for sharing!! Had been wondering about this topic in relation to my blog (stories/poems/photos) and your experience hath provided much as a pathway through the underbrush of navigation should I have such an encounter 🙂 By the way, the transformation of rage into that lovely *fury* energy has me grinning this morning; sometimes there’s nothing like white hot to burn through a situation . … always gets me to wondering about ~anger management~, in the sense of does it need all that management and elimination simply because it’s building up unused/changed into energy? or is it something else? or both? i shall tend to bread while pondering 🙂 have a wonderfull day~~

    • Thank you for this beautiful comment, M. Our humanity brings with it so many different powerful emotions. We know that they are physical manifestations of our thoughts, and our attitudes about our thoughts. Our challenge is to find the balance in recognizing and using the energies these emotions bring with them, without allowing the energies to harm ourselves or our loved ones. And at some point in our evolution, every other being in existence becomes our beloved. I know you have a deep understanding of this. Wisdom lies in harnessing the energy to do something productive and valuable in our lives. Thus we dig in the dirt, kneed our bread, sing our songs, and write our blogs. Blessings to you, M. Please come see me when you visit next time. Giant hugs, WG

  3. Hi WG, really pleased to see you being able to get all this sorted out, although the time it must have taken you is probably an awful lot which I know you would have liked to have spent in the garden or writing.

    I’m very happy to have been of help and if you or any of your followers have any questions on widgets, watermarking, etc, then please let me know. I’m no expert abut I’m always very help to help out.

    Best wishes to you.

    • I forgot to add that I have tweeted your post on Twitter. I hope you don’t mind, as I’m sure a lot of people will find the information you have included very useful.

    • Thank you, Hugh. You are so generous with your expertise and so very kind to offer. Would you care to do a guest post for me? I know several of us would like to learn about watermarking photos, especially. But other topics you would have time to throw in, like widget wonders, would certainly help us all. Did you find my disclaimer? My signature at the bottom of the post is now a link to that page, in addition to the link in the menu. I still need to figure out how to place it in the sidebar. My email is at the bottom of the disclaimer. Thank you so much for all of your support, and especially for your help with this. I hope you have had great weather for your trip and a wonderful time! Giant hugs, WG

      • That is very kind of you to ask, WG. I’d be delighted but I should perhaps inform you that I use an Apple iMac so I only know how to Watermark photos using the Apple. It is all done by using ‘apps’ and although there are lots on the market, the one I use is very easy to use. I think I also got it free as it was on offer at the time.

        Let me know if you want me to go ahead and I put something together for you. I’m travelling today, but I’ll have a look at your disclaimer and come back to you on it. 🙂 Happy Sunday to you.

        • Dear Hugh, How nice of you to offer to help, even while on holiday 😉 Although the Apple apps are somewhat different from software run on pcs, the principal of editing a photo, and overwriting it, within a software program (or app) remains the same. I know that my readers will all pick up some helpful insights and useful tips if you write a guest post on protecting your work. I learned a great deal from visiting your sight and Serin’s. There is no rush, Hugh- whenever you feel moved to work on it 😉 Thank you, and best wishes on this beautiful Sunday. Safe travels! WG

  4. Whew, what an experience. So glad it got rectified, but it still leaves a very bad taste in your mouth. Thanks for the advice – I will see what changes I may need to make. For a while now I’ve been thinking I need to add a watermark to my photos, but I need to figure how – always learning curves!

  5. farseems

    Wow, and well done. You got it all sorted out good and proper! And your experience becomes such a great learning experience for others.
    Hope you are keeping warm in this cold cold weather.
    Love and hugs

  6. Thank you for sharing your experience (and education) with us. Now I am going to finish reading your links.

  7. Hi WG, so glad you’ve had some resolution to this situation. Where will you place your disclaimer or have you already done so and I just don’t see it? Thank you SO MUCH for putting all this valuable information together for us. Leave it to you to organize your thoughts, add some beautiful photos, and provide us with a benefit all while taking down that SLUG, as Eliza said. You ROCK!!

    • Giant hugs, Barbara. Thank you so much 😉 My signature at the bottom is now a hyperlink to disclaimer-land. There is also an “about” link in the T of C above the banner. I’m terrible at widgets, but will eventually figure out how to engineer one with the disclaimer, also. Not to get paranoid about these things…. As my Rock of Gibraltar says, “Mischief Managed.” 😉

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