Of all the posts somebody would steal, I would never think someone would lift my post about my very dead hanging baskets, which was posted in May of last year. (The post is here.) But they did! And thanks to the sharp eye of reader Patricia, who stumbled across the site, they were found out. She emailed me with the link. Frustrated and annoyed, I posted the link, along with the original post link, on Facebook, really just wanting to vent. You guys are AMAZING. That guy’s server probably about crashed from the hits to the stolen post, and his email box filled up with outrage.
I have NO IDEA what will appear on that page by the time this post publishes, but as of 5 p.m. Eastern time last night, it said this (with my post removed):
To Chickens in The Road & Author Suzanne McMinn:
Some time ago (August 2010 to be exact) we received the photos and the article on re-using hanging baskets from a fan of our site.
I personally liked the article so much we included it on our site in its entirety. We were unaware that it was copyrighted material.
We receive a lot of hanging basket material from our fan base and we use our site to share information and tips on hanging baskets with our everyone who shares our passion for this hobby.
I apologize that we did not take the time to verify who the actual author was.
We will do this in future should the situation ever arise again.
While I appreciate the apology, there are numerous problems with this statement, including that it came from a fan of his site and he posted it WITHOUT crediting that supposed fan EITHER. And we’re to believe a “fan” sent him well over a dozen photos along with the entire text, and yet he posted it with no credit to that person? It’s a clearly personal post, mentioning my son’s name, flowers he gave me on Mother’s Day, my cow, and my puppy. All of that is why it felt pretty personal to me to see it posted without my permission or knowledge on another site without credit. It’s not a site I would have given permission to run my post. It looks like a scraper site that steals content so they can draw search engine traffic to their ads. (And REALLY? A “fan” sent him the ENTIRE word-for-word text of my post with over a dozen photos–photos that were inserted in the post EXACTLY as they appeared in my post? REALLY?)
If the apology post is still there, you can find it at this link.
I did eventually receive an email from Mark Slattery that said approximately the same thing as was posted on his site, blaming his nameless fan, along with some mildly amusing/insulting comments about the “few emails” he received and some pumping-himself-up remarks about his “several thousand” readers (really??). Some of my readers also forwarded me some very testy emails from an Ed Nicholas who appears to be the webmaster of the site. In one email, he complains about the protest over a post they published a year ago. Am I supposed to be LESS upset because they didn’t post it yesterday? Should I not be MORE upset that they’ve been using it for a YEAR? (I sense a certain lack of genuine regret all around, which is not surprising. It’s always more about the regret over being caught.)
Thank you all! That’s one for the good guys!
By the way–the above photo? With the rooster in the basket? That’s the BEST photo in that post and the ONLY photo from the post he didn’t lift. (Odd! Maybe he couldn’t figure out a way to explain the CHICKEN. He did not, however, bother to remove my son’s name……..)