Five Million Dollar Dave


Late yesterday, I received a phone call from Dave Belanger. He finally admitted this was my photo and apologized to me for stealing the photo and publishing it in the print and online edition of the November/December 2010 Dairy Goat Journal. (He also apologized for hanging up on me yesterday morning.) He agreed to print a correction and credit in the next edition of Dairy Goat Journal. He also agreed to reinstate the photo in the online edition with my credit and link as the only connection to the printed edition, which can never include my credit as it is already in circulation. (I believe he had actually done that before he called me.) He asked me for my price for the photo.

I explained to him that my price was $350 per use (print and internet), tripled for the unauthorized and uncredited use. That is a total of $2100. (As outlined in my Open Letter to Dave Belanger.)

He offered me $500, which he said was generous because it was only worth $100.

I explained to him that I was actually asking for a rather average base fee, but there were additional charges for the unauthorized and uncredited use. Countryside Publications stole my right to place a value on my work before distributing it. They also stole my right to determine whether or not Countryside Publications could even distribute it at all. If I choose to not sell my work, THAT IS MY CHOICE. And the fact is, I DO NOT SELL MY WORK. I publish it here, on my website. THAT IS MY CHOICE. They published it without my permission and without my credit.

Ten years from now, people will still be picking up stacks of old Dairy Goat Journals in thrift stores, opening that article, seeing that picture, and not knowing who took it. The lack of credit in the printed November/December 2010 Dairy Goat Journal can never be corrected.

Countryside Publications is a five million dollar company. He accused me of being opportunistic by asking for an increased fee for the unauthorized and uncredited use.

This is not about money. I may never see the $2100. If I do, it will be a long time from now. If I wanted to make a quick buck, I’d take the $500. (I could use it.) But if I let him not only steal the photo but pay no penalty for it, there’s no reason for him to not steal again. After all, what did it cost him? He can steal photos all he wants and only pay for them (at a price he sets) if he’s caught. Just who is opportunistic? He published my photo without authorization or credit then says, here, take $500 or NOTHING.

I’m going to take Countryside Publications to court. Let a judge decide how much a magazine should pay for a stolen photo, not Dave Belanger. I don’t care about the $500 or the $2100. (If I ever see a penny for that photo, I’ll be amazed.) I care about the arrogance. I’m going to take them to court because I’m tired of people stealing my stuff. I’m going to take them to court because I want them to have a consequence, even if all it will be is the inconvenience of sitting in a courtroom. As writers and photographers, we have to start taking these people to court. They think we won’t. And they won’t stop until they know we will. If I have to go to Wisconsin to sue them, I’ll go to Wisconsin to sue them. (Will have to find someone to milk my cow.) I want them to know that if they do this again, someone WILL SHOW UP.

P.S. He mentioned receiving phone calls and emails from my readers and said he was not concerned about it. He admitted there had also been some subscription cancellations, but that people cancelled subscriptions and started subscriptions every day and that he had no reason to believe any subscription cancellations were related to his treatment of my work. (He also said that sometimes people felt sorry for them and sent them donations. You know, because it is a 5 million dollar operation.) He said, “What’s the name of your website again? Chickens in the yard?” Perhaps it is true that he is NOT reading my blog because if he did, he would know that I report every single thing he says.

P.P.S. By the way, he said the theft occurred while the editor, Jennifer Stultz, was browsing the internet looking for a cover photo. (Man. That is scary. She was cruising the internet looking for a cover photo. Anybody missing a photo of their Nubians? Because she picked one up somewhere.) Along the way, she lifted my photo. (The part between she stole it and they used it was a little fuzzy, but he identified Dairy Goat Journal editor Jennifer Stultz as the one who actually lifted it.)

P.P.P.S. I will update as the situation progresses.

Note: I’m not sure where emails to [email protected] end up. If they end up with Jennifer Stultz, you can bet she’s not passing them all on to Dave. I have never received a response from that email address.

You can call Countryside Publications toll-free at (800) 551-5691 and leave a message for Dave Belanger. I know from experience that this phone number goes to his office, not Jennifer’s. Jennifer Stultz is actually in Kansas.

Question: Does anyone know if I have to have a lawyer in Wisconsin? Do I have to sue him in Wisconsin? Any tips on how to get started would be appreciated.



  1. ScreamingSardine says:

    I’m so sorry this is happening to you, Suzanne. I know how it feels – having had some of my stories used without my permission.

    Perhaps your attorney can check in to the “per use” language. As I recall, every time a page is refreshed or loaded on the internet, that is considered a separate publication. $2100 x who knows how many times the page with your picture was seen on the internet…and oh boy!

    And you’re right, he’s quite arrogant, but unfortunately that’s how unethical people are.

  2. CindyS says:

    Suzanne–Good for you!!! Woohoo! Opportunistic?? To be fairly compensated for your creative efforts IS NOT opportunistic! To steal your photo sure is, though!

  3. mschrief says:

    This guy is just unbelievable. Is he some sort of idiot? Maybe he isn’t living in the real world of litigation and penalty.

    You steal, you get caught, you get penalized.

    I think you should put a PayPal thing on your site and I would be happy to make the first contribution to the legal fund to fry this moron.

    He just isn’t living in the real world, and his “editor” Jennifer must be some sort of freak to think she can cruise the internet and steal the work product of known and loved bloggers without recourse.


  4. Karen says:

    You go Suzanne!!! Never give up!

  5. Bev in CA says:

    Dear Suzanne, well…Mr. Belanger (I use Mr.)lightly) takes the word “Class” to a whole new level. Both Belanger and Stultz are incompetents. How do you run a company without basic knowledge and education. The truth is they have been doing this for a long time. Evreytime Belanger opens his mouth he inserts his foot. Integrity should be the key to running a sucessful business. What happened to treating a person with courtesy? They didn’t care and they got caught. We all care and wish that tomorrow will be a less stressful day for you. Proud of you.

  6. Ulrike says:

    Thanks for the update, Suzanne. You go girl!

  7. Blessings says:

    The site did mention he bought the business with his daughter, maybe his daughter is Jennifer. Just Sayin…Two Peas in a Pod!
    Thieves who got caught! I agree with commenter (mschrief) place a Pay Pal on your sidebar and we can all donate.

  8. The Retired One says:

    Keep at them Susanne! At least you got him to admit it, that is the first step. I am soooo proud of you for pursuing this on behalf of all the photographers and bloggers out there that work so hard to take original photos. I applaud you.

  9. Woodwife says:

    What a classy, professional guy.

    Instead of manning up, taking full responsibility and saying he will take care of the problem internally, he quibbles over a relatively minute sum of money and plays the blame game with an employee.

    I’m glad he’s not my boss.

    On the other hand now we know it’s likely not an isolated incident.

  10. lizzie says:

    Suzanne, so sorry about all of this! Maybe this situation happened for a reason, and now its time to teach Mr. Belanger a lesson in ethics, and morals, it is apparent that he has NONE! 500.00 dollars is insulting, saying you are opportunistic is so irrational on his part, HE STOLE THE PHOTO! I don’t care if it was his employee, what a very small man indeed. Take him to the CLEANERS!!!!! :heart:

  11. Debbie in Memphis says:

    I’m one of the readers who sent an email. I’ll be happy and proud to continue sending emails and calling them until Dave Belanger learns his lesson. Way to go, Suzanne!! Please let us know how we can continue to support you on this!!

  12. Melinda says:

    One of the important lessons he should have learned in bible school………thou shalt not steal!
    It’s a matter of principle, not finance. I understand.
    I wish we could get a list of their subscribers and inform them of the twisted way they do business. I imagine then their subscription rate would go down considerably!
    I hope you sue them and I hope the judge awards you triple what you asked to teach them a lesson!

  13. bonita says:

    Well, doesn’t he just take the cake! Comments here have mentioned his tirade against the world not coming to an end in 2000, Perhaps (?) he’s mentally unbalanced. Elaine Belanger and Anne-marie Belanger Ida are listed as principals in Countryside Publishing. Maybe there’s an in there. I’m guessing he’s received only a fraction of the emails and faxes destined for Countryside. He may find, in the next few days, that settling accounts with you would be best. I sure hope so. If not—yes, place a paypal button so we can help underwrite your fight against internet thievery. If you need to take this to court and have to visit the heart of Wisconsin, I’m sure some of us WI and northern IL CITR sisters will be glad to stand with you in court. Only one caveat: There are some damn cute dairy cows in WI, you may have to drive with curtains on the windows!

  14. judydee says:

    Yes, keep us informed.
    Yes, I will gladly contribute to a legal fund.
    Yes, I will continue to e-mail Countryside.
    Yes, we (the people) must take a stand.


  15. Shannon says:

    what an arrogant ass…….nough said, where is the donation bucket?

  16. carla says:

    Are you recording these phone conversations? Please do!! Hang in there!! Your website is the first thing I go to in the mornings. It certianly starts my day off with a great outlook. Please don’t change a thing!

  17. Wendy says:

    Contacting his advertisers and informing them of these events is certain to get his attention.

  18. Joann says:

    “CRUISING THE INTERNET LOOKING FOR A COVER SHOT?” Unbelievable! You’ve got support, Suzanne. I’ll donate, too. Grrrrr….

  19. judydee says:

    I started compiling a list of advertisers just from the on-line site. One of the most recognizable to me is Purina. If you will allow, starting this weekend, I would like to start e-mailing them with a copy to Countryside’s advertising department. WE should let the advertisers know about their unethical business associations. Please let me know if this will be okay.

  20. Kelly says:

    JudyDee is right! They way to get this jerks attention is to hit his advertisers. They are the ones who can put pressure on him. And keep it up Suzanne. It’s unfair when art is stolen. As an artist I always ask before I use a photo to paint from, as I did with you and your beautiful animals. And I always offer to pay even if it is with a painting, again, as I did with you. Keep standing up for all of us.

    • Suzanne McMinn says:

      Kelly, it’s extremely rare for me to say no when someone asks to use my photos. I love your paintings. I can’t even think offhand of a time I’ve told someone no when they asked to use my photos. Too bad Countryside Publications didn’t “think” to ask, they could have had the photo for free in exchange for a link. I’ve had people many times ask to buy my photos, but I’ve never sold one. I’m not interested in selling photos. It’s my right to choose where to share them, though, and that’s why I’m so upset with Countryside Publications. They’ve forced me into a position of having to “sell” them a photo because they’ve already printed it. But I don’t even get to name the price! Or decline to sell it!

  21. Kelly Myers says:

    I think Judyee’s idea of emailing advertisers is a good one!

  22. Lori Skoog says:

    Let’s see what happens. Dave knows what he did was wrong…so does Miss S. I’ll bet they are more careful in the future. I wonder how many emails and calls (that he did not care about) he received.

  23. stellans says:

    It’s a shame it took this theft of work for me to discover your blog, but I count that discovery as at least one positive outcome.

    Good for you, Suzanne, for taking this man and his company to court. These people (Countrywide and Cooks [sic] Source owers/publishers/editors) know doggone well about copyright, whether internet-published or print published. What they count on is ego (I’m published!) and poverty (I can’t afford to sue them!) to get away with outright theft.

    I would be honored to donate to a legal cost bucket.

  24. Sheila Z says:

    Hell hath no fury like a woman…. insulted. What a set of brass ones this guy has to try and low ball you on the value of your work after he has stolen it. Belanger has no idea what a fool he has been. A simple apology and asking, what can I do to make this right, and then doing it, would have solved his problem.

    Go get him Susanne we are all cheering you on.

  25. Anita says:

    He reminds me of a used car salesman. Of COURSE he’s going to counter with a much lower figure, and with a condesending attitude. He’s BLUFFING. SUE SUE SUE!!!

  26. joycee says:

    Chickens in the yard…that makes my blood boil! Arrogance is so ugly and he is so sure you are NOT serious about suing he’s poking a stick at you. Nice of him to give you another name to add to the lawsuit though…

  27. Mary Ann says:

    I don’t have a subscription, but I do buy it off the shelf each month, religiously. Or I should say “did”. Long-time reader, no more. What a pity that people behave this way and flaunt it. That is NOT what being part of the rural community is about.

  28. TufaGirl says:

    $500 or 2100, no way! Have you seen those record companies going after kids for downloading music? You need to go all the way and make a statement for us in the blogging world.

  29. Connie says:

    What an arrogant little prick. My subscription is just ending, I will not be renewing.

  30. Pete says:

    LOVE the idea of us contacting Purina!! They are in a position to DO something about this mess.

    Indeed, suing is the thing to do, but I see no reason that anyone should have to go to WI to do it. You injury occurred HERE, so sue them where your injury occurred, and let HIM travel here to answer the charges!

    After all…

  31. Marjorie says:

    “As writers and photographers, we have to start taking these people to court. They think we won’t. And they won’t stop until they know we will.”

    Thank you Suzanne, and good luck with your case. Stick it to ’em.

  32. Martha in KS says:

    Now Suzanne, repeat after me – OHMMM, OHMMM, OHMMM. You need to calm down – as you sue the pants off these thieves.

    I live in Kansas – maybe I’ll hunt down this Jennifer and give her a piece of my mind. (Actually that’s probably not a good idea – I seem to be losing gray matter as I’m aging.) But if I ever run into her at the grocery store I’m going to give her the evil eye! :devil2:

  33. CasieD says:

    I’m so glad you are continuing to pursue this. There is no excuse for out right theft on the internet anymore. It is happening far too often and it just keeps getting worse.

    Oh, and if you need a place to stay when you come to Wisconsin, I’m not too far from Medford where their website says they are located : )

  34. hershiesgirl says:

    Um, thanks Dave….Now your legal action should also name Jennifer…his comment makes it seem even more blatant and intentional. hmmmm.

    I’m glad you are standing your ground. And I don’t imagine you will have any trouble at all finding someone to come milk your cow for you if you have to travel for this. 🙂

  35. prayingpup says:

    I with contacting their advertisers! Let’s get a little more “umph” behind you – you make me very proud to be a CITR regular reader. I will be glad to help, any way I can!

    • Suzanne McMinn says:

      I don’t have a copy of the magazine so I don’t actually know who their advertisers are. They have a banner for Purina on their website, but that may be an affiliate link, which means Purina isn’t actually advertising directly with them.

  36. Will says:

    At church we buy clip art subscriptions and that allows us to cash in our points for whatever pieces we find. On their sites the photos/examples are layered with their logo…kind of like a watermark. I wonder how difficult or, for that matter, necessary it would be to watermark your photos. Now that I think of it it’s probably not a good idea. How about disabling right click? this explains it pretty well. That might save you some hassle.

    I’m really sorry for all of this. PayPal in the sidebar is awesome, we’ll support you. Let’s get the “old goat”!

  37. patrice says:

    This has been very interesting! Hang in there, Suzanne. I have a feeling these people have no clue how strong a readership “Chicken in the YARD” has!

    BTW- It makes it very nice for a court case that he not only admitted to stealing it, but offered to pay when he knew he was in hot water. It is also quite kind of him to share that name of the actual culprit, so she can be named on the law suit. Hey, Dave. Got an address for Jennifer, so Suzanne’s lawyer can make sure she has a summons? This is too sweet. My cases in court were seldom this easy!

    If you weren’t already a household name, you may very well be known as someone who furthered the cause of people who have rights on the internet. Perhaps it will no longer be a free for all of taking the intellectual/artistic property of the true owners.

  38. Rachel says:

    you’ve practically already won the case for yourself between the various screen shots of their website and the emails/phone calls to Dave. Especially since he has admitted that it’s your photo and it was stolen by someone in his company. Go get ’em!

    Another commenter mentioned recording phone calls – it would be so helpful to have a recording, but unfortunately, unless the caller gives consent to being recorded, which I doubt Dave would, it would be illegal.

  39. Elaine says:

    Good luck, Suzanne. With regard to the suggestion to be sure you record phone conversations, be very careful with that. I think you have to notify the person that the call is being recorded for it to be legal. I’m not sure, but check first before you do anything. And I, too, would be happy to donate toward legal costs. At the least you might get a one hour consultation with someone who specializes in intellectual property law. You will get advice on how to go forward.

  40. Karen B says:

    Anyone check with their local library to see if they have his magazines/journals? I would imagine they would be outraged and likely to cancel subscriptions.

  41. Pete says:

    Rachel, that depends upon what state you are in when recording – some allow recording with the consent of one of the parties, which presumably the one making the recording would have consented to self to do it…

  42. Flower says:

    I emailed the organization yesterday and told them I would never buy their magazine again, and that they lack a basic understanding of journalistic ethics. I don’t expect to hear back, and I’m sure that email address is overloaded. I used to work for a “back to land” magazine (not DGJ) and that sort of email went to an editorial assistant–I imagine this is the same scenario. The fact that Dave threw his editor under the train basically shows how much integrity he lacks.

  43. momma-leigh says:

    I have to agree with Elaine in recording the phone conversations, You have to let them know that they are being recorded, now that being said there is nothing against someone else listening in on it…hint hint 😉 , also there is nothing wrong with you taking notes. (Time, date, conversation, and whom you were speaking with). I can ask around about weather you have to go to Wisconsin to sue. I know in the building industry if you wanted to sue a contractor you had to go to the county where the work took place, BUT this is different. One thing that you can do is call a local lawyer and either request to sit and talk (they will charge for this) or find a school that you can talk to a professor and get information, (normally free). Either way, keep your faith about the situation!

  44. Tanya Miller says:

    WOW! You think they would not have to steal pictures….being a magizine about goats…. you’d think they would have their own pictures and whole bunch of them!!! He’s just a mean person… you keep your guns up girl!!!! I’ve got your back, this is just so wrong!!And then to get the name wrong- insult after insult!! We should all band together, get our meanest rooster, and mail them all to him, at his office address. Let 5 million mean roosters show up at his office…. and see if he still gets your web site wrong… Chickens in the Yard….geezzz…. I bet he’d get it right after that!!! :chicken: :chicken: :chicken: :chicken:

  45. Susanne says:

    The gall of the man and his company!

    Put up a PayPal button Suzanne. I’m happy to donate to the legal costs. Don’t be shy about asking for help. Where does this type of behaviour stop?

    I can’t begin to tell you how much joy your blog and guests give me.


  46. jackie c. says:

    Well, son of a gun :hissyfit: Yesterday I was mildly torqued off at the situation. Today, it goes way beyond that, way. When I first read this I thought she needs to start a Pay Pal account. We can get you to Wisconsin and help with the attorney. I believe that in small claims court you can’t have an attorney, but I don’t know for certain. Not an attorney and in California, swell help I am. But I know how to fund a Pay Pal account. As a neophyte writer, I want to help, you need to allow us help with this. Please. He is an arrogant person. Also, his ignorance is no excuse before the law. Self,take a deep breath. :dancingmonster:

  47. BuckeyeGirl says:

    @ Will, the problem with disabling the right click is, it inconveniences the average guy who wants to use Suzanne’s wonderful photo’s for a screensaver or wallpaper of just to be able to print and show their kids or elderly parent or put on a recipe sheet or whatever, but it really doesn’t stop a really computer savvy person.

    Watermarks mar her great shots, though there are ways to do them so they’re a little less intrusive… still ugly though and Suzanne’s pics are all about beauty or fun or demonstrating her crafts and art. It makes me very sad that people like Mr Belanger and his employees are threatening to ruin the enjoyment of so many people with his dirty tactics.

    Also, I’d like to say that the for the most part politeness of the people here even in the middle of such goings on makes me proud. Yes, we’re all upset, but still maintaining decent behaviour. Ok, a few expletives have slipped out, but many of us work in barns a lot. (as opposed to being born in them)

    Decorum does NOT interfere with determination after all, as Mr. Belanger is about to learn. We’re with you Suzanne!

  48. northcountrygirl says:


    My son has a Facebook site and he regularly would post his poetry for all to read. He later found some of his poems posted on other internet sites. So you see, it’s happening all over. He needs to be made an example of. My son is going to post a link to your above article on Twitter. I think Mr. Belanger has made a huge mistake as I have a feeling this is really going to start a fire storm on the internet. You may have lots of backers who were victims too to this internet theft outrage!

  49. Jen in ID says:


    Is anyone here a member at There are people there who have all sorts of farm animals, in fact that is where I initially heard of (and subsequently subscribed to) the Countryside publication “Backyard Poultry” a few years ago. In the spirit of “Tell a friend about Dairy Goat Journal”, it would be nice if someone shared with them. 😆 (I don’t post there myself, but have seen CITR mentioned before)

  50. Cheryl LeMay says:

    I hope you run, not walk, to your lawyer. I wouldn’t wait 7 days for your ultimatum to get legal counsel. A lawyer can tell you exactly what you’re entitled to and your best course of action.I’m not sure but I don’t think you’d have to go to Wisconsin to sue him. I think your lawyer will file in your county and he and his lawyers will have to go there. The guy is also full of B.S. He knows exactly what he’s doing. As I said yesterday he’s just jerking you around.I’m sure he is also well aware of your website and its name.You need to call him out.

  51. texwisgirl says:

    I know all of this is serious business, but Bonita’s comment about you driving with curtains on your windows as to not see the “damn cute cows” in Wisconsin made me LOL! Thanks, Bonita!

    Good luck with this sad magazine crew…

  52. Rebecca says:

    Just thinking out loud. I do totally support you, and we are all angry. But objectively speaking he has apologized, published with credit, and acknowledged it was your picture.
    Now its about the sum. You researched the amount, believe you have come up with the fair market price. He apparently took that as a negotiating number and when you wouldn’t negotiate conversations ended again.
    He probably has a ceiling of how much the magazine will pay, and because its a negotiation can’t be forthright and say something like “while your picture is worth $2100 or more. we’ve never had this issue before and the operating budget only allows for a $1300 payment”. Or counsel is warning them they may end up paying for other misappropriated photos, so they are setting the fee at $XXX. What they pay you will be a precedent. Is $2100 really you’re only amount? He needs to tell his leadership that. And his ego. You won’t let us down by negotiating though because that you got him to accede and apologize is HUGE…
    You go girl!

    • Suzanne McMinn says:

      Rebecca, the steps Belanger has taken were all free to him. If I allow him to set the price after stealing the photo, what is to stop him from stealing more photos? He only has to pay–a price he sets–if he’s caught. If he pays no penalty for the unauthorized and uncredited use, then he’s gotten away with it. He would have had to pay at least a standard price for the photo to begin with, and that’s all he wants to pay now, a standard price. The price of a photo is wide-ranging, of course. An average photo could run anywhere from a couple hundred to several hundred dollars. Some photos by some photographers run in the thousands of dollars. Photography is an art, and the price of art is set by the artist. If he didn’t want to pay my price, he could have declined to buy the photo. However, he didn’t ask, which also took away my right to decline his publication. He not only stole the photo, now he wants to steal my right to set my price, and pay no penalty himself while I am left with the permanent penalty of no credit in the printed November/December edition of Dairy Goat Journal. Believe me, it was tempting to just say, okay, you apologized, I’ll take the $500. But the apology is empty when he’s unwilling to reimburse me for the damages of printing the photo without credit (which cannot ever be corrected in the printed edition). It doesn’t send a message to him that he can’t do it again.

  53. Rhonda says:

    Thank you for taking your stand and sticking to it. I realize this is frustrating and stressful for you but look at all the people behind you…how awesome is that.

  54. skippymom says:

    I don’t know what the law is in WV or WI but in VA I taped my conversations with my ex husband all the time and didn’t have to tell him. As long as one party in VA knows a recording is happening – you can do it. Ours were in state tho’.

    I won a lot of court cases with him that way let me just say.

    I will see if I can find the laws for the states you are in to check further.

    I would like to know the advertisers in their print addition tho’ I won’t buy their magazine. I certainly wouldn’t purchase anything from companies that do business with this type of person. I do understand tho’ that the advertising content on the web site could be content generated so Purina would not be at fault for having a banner on there.

    Good luck Suzanne. I would check with your lawyer – I seriously doubt that you would have to travel to WI – but it would probably be worth it.

  55. Phyllis says:

    I have a PayPal account. Let me know where to send your attorney money. At $5 or $10 each you could bury him in legal paper.

  56. Hens and Herbs says:

    I was once a used car salesman, and even I find this to be underhanded and seedy. I’m actually surprised that they don’t just have a file full of stock photos to use and that they have to cruise the internet for images. Definitely take Dave to court. No one has the right to steal property, be it physical, intellectual, or digital.

  57. Larissa says:


    Good for you Suzanne. Since you are going to sue him, we as a group need to make sure we go from “helpful followers” to “internet flash mob mentality”. It is easy to jump on the bandwagon via an anonymous forum like the internet. (I only make mention of this because as with the recent “Griggsing” episode, some over-zealous supporters were *quite litterally* harassing the small business owners that advertized in Cook’s Source.

    If Suzanne was seen as promoting harassment, her lawsuit (no matter how small) would go poorly.

    So if we– as the CiTR “Angry Hens” and occasional “Roo”– wanted to start a letter writing campaign to DB’s advertizers, we should probably organize. Perhaps create a boilerplate letter? One that is still professionally acceptable?


  58. Teresa in KY says:

    I did start a Facebook campaign with a link to your blog post from yesterday. I’ll repost a reminder today with a link to this post. I believe that what you are prepared to do is the RIGHT thing. I’m sure, that with the concern of bloggers everywhere over their rights this case will get NATIONAL attention when it hits the media.
    Best wishes to you.

  59. Melissa says:

    The only one who was being opportunistic is him. Looks like he thought he was going to get a free photo. Guess he didn’t know with whom he was dealing. Bottom line, he should have known better.

  60. Miss Becky says:

    Oh my, this is a predicament here. Suzanne I commend you for your courage and backbone through this. I live in the state of Wisconsin but I’m not familiar with out-of-state lawsuit requirements.
    I emailed Mr. Bolanger yesterday. My letter was polite but I stongly encouraged him to do right by you. Make no mistake, he is feeling some heat from this. The question is, how much heat is it going to take for him to want out of the kitchen?
    Let me know if there is any way I can aid you in this. Hang in there, and above all, know that WE HAVE YOUR BACK. :yes: :hug:

  61. skippymom says:

    Only 12 states require both parties to be informed of a call being recorded – WV and WI are not in the list. You are free to record any phone calls without notifying him.

    You can find the attachment for you phone at Radio Shack. [I know way too much about this don’t I]

    Although now D. B. will probably think that you are taping him.

  62. Heidi says:

    Suzanne- I agree with others, give us a PayPal button to donate to your legal fund.

  63. auntbear says:

    yeah’ I emailed and I’m ready to donate toward the cause.Have at the arrogant sob :chicken:

  64. Sandra Daniels says:

    I hope you can contact a lawyer immediately to find out what steps to take. This guy will of course, have tons of legal advice available and knows exactly what will go down as he has surely done this before. It’s obvious by his behavior that it is probably a usual course of business. No integrity whatsoever! I am infuriated that grown professionals act like arrogant, uneducated thieves. He is acting like a schoolyard bully except that he is raking in big money in the process. Cruising the internet for photographs? How lazy does that sound? Get to work and earn an honest living.

  65. mrkittysmom says:

    Just fired off an email to this insolent man – it may go into the twilight zone – but are probably being read and ignored.

    I say, everyone email then – they will have to acknowledge sooner or later.

    I know you will be successful – sue his pants off!

  66. Zusiqu says:

    Suzanne, wouldn’t be a lot cheaper to file against him in small claims court? Then there would be no lawyer to pay. You’d have to sue him in his state. The small claims limit in WI is $5,000.00.

  67. Crystal Epley says:

    Thanks for taking a stand!

  68. Pony! says:


    Does Countryside Publications have a fax machine?

    Would be interesting to start faxing Friday afternoon and keep going all weekend.

    Just sayin’. :happyflower:

  69. Terri says:

    This is a federal jurisdiction case. The stealing of Intellectual Property. Your attorney would probably file the case in your local federal court and their attorneys would ask (probably) for a Change of Venue for the case to be heard locally for them. It is up to the judge whether or not to keep it local for you, or for the publication. Something like this, if you have a good attorney familiar with these type cases, or at least appearing in that federal court, would lean a bit towards your favor in keeping it local for you.

    I’ve actaully been in federal court for this same type of thing. Federal court is VERY different and there are a lot more rules and you have to make certain everything is in order. And of course, it is very expensive. Which is why these big companies (and not so big) do this. It’s difficult to enforce, expensive to go after them and the wait is susbstantial. By the time you get your day in court, it’s been quite awhile. The bombardment of emails and phone calls by your supporters is usually more effective. However, I completely agree with you. It’s the principle and you have to send the message that this will not be tolerated.

    Feel free to email me if you would like to know more about the actual court case I was in. Good luck!!

  70. Denise says:

    My favorite bit is where he throws his editor under the bus. Sure, she did it, but as the publisher he needs to take responsibility for what his staff does.

  71. Kim says:

    It is my understanding that you should file the lawsuit where you live. Travel will have to be arranged by them if they decide to fight it. Then they have to decided whether it is worth it to go to court, like they stand a chance at winning! I’m no lawyer but we did have a supposed patent infringment in our small company. It was filed in another state and we couldn’t afford the travel and attorney fees to fight it even though it was a bogus claim. We had to pull the product. It wasn’t a big deal to us just maddening.
    Anyway, go get them. They have a lot of nerve!

  72. Kelleh says:

    What a very lazy editor, and how nice of ol’ Dave to pass the buck to someone else, regardless.

    But now I’m WILDLY curious as to what their magazine looks like in print, especially since they are ripping off pictures right and left from the internet. Because most images from the internet are generally not fit for commercial printing purposes at all, due to the resolution of the image is too low so you end up with it being too pixelated, blurry, etc.

    That’s something that I a commercial printer SHOULD know.

  73. andrea pierce says:

    It’s such a shame that you have to have an ugly fight over a beautiful picture. It amazes me that people who depend on the public for their livelyhoods are willing to steal from and belittle their benefactors. Without us, they would have no one to sell their product to. Certainly I wouldn’t have anything to do with them at this point. More importantly, has he not read the rule about happy customers and unhappy customers? A happy customer might tell a friend or two about your company, but an unhappy one….well, we’ll tell anyone and everyone who will listen! Shame……..

  74. Michael Corbin says:

    Right on, Suzanne!

    Important info here for all creators of original content: be sure to register your work. It makes the case very easy to win if you do wind up in court, and it makes available statutory damages along with attorney’s fees and court costs, which is where the REAL money is. Furthermore, if you register no more than 90 days after first publication, you can register EVERY photo you’ve created in the last 90 days for one $35 fee.

  75. SuzzyQ says:

    He’s got a lot of nerve and you’ve got a lot of talent and devoted fans. Raspberries to him! I hope you
    get every cent. You deserve it!

  76. Christine says:

    Well, he can certainly count my subscription cancellation as one that was influenced by this incident!

  77. Ramona says:

    He should be glad you only want the $2100. Sounds like it could cost him a lot more if he doesn’t pay up.

  78. Jen says:

    I just thought it was funny in this article Jennifer made sure and gave herself credit for her photo but I did not see any credit given for the other photos in the article. It makes me wonder if they are stock photos or if they were stolen while she cruised the internet looking for pictures. If she owns/breeds dairy goats I am sure she has a farm website. I wonder how she would feel if someone “cruising the internet” used a picture off of HER website without asking?

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