Stealing is Naughty


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.

Yours sincerely
Mark Slattery

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……..)


  1. ayenbe says:

    O. M. G.
    I thoroughly hope he was bombarded with “you idiot” emails. I wonder if he has ANY idea how many fans you have, and how puny his “several thousand” fans seems in comparison. Moron.

  2. lizzie says:

    Does it never END? 😥 Mr. Slattery should be ashamed of himself, so glad someone found it! They just cannot write as well as you so they have to steal. What is the world coming too! :pirate:

  3. beforethedawn says:

    Ah yes, instead of coming clean, let’s place the blame on someone else (a pretend someone else I am sure.) Whatever happened to being responsible for your actions?

    Nothing is more irritating than an apology with snarky comments thrown in. That right there shows he’s guilty!

  4. Blessings says:

    It’s 3:11 AM EST and I clicked the link and YOUR stolen post is still there! NO Apology!
    This arrogant @%#$@ needs slapped with a bill!

  5. Amerayl says:

    Yup, your stolen post was back on that site and the apology is no where to be seen. I guess he is dumb enough to think that your fans wouldn’t be checking up on him.

  6. Liz Pike says:

    Ugh Suzanne, sooo sorry. As of 5am, the photo is still there.

    Seems this guy isn’t even aware of intellectual property laws. I’d go ahead and send an invoice for the same amount you asked of Countryside, along with the penalty fee, and tell him you’ll be turning this over to your attorney. And include his webmaster in the info (from reading his responses on facebook he’s flipping you off, too).

    Just gripes my butt to see your hardwork so casually stolen, re-used, and then everyone complaining flipped off! But they haven’t heard the last of your groupies :hug:

  7. Liz Pike says:

    OMG, no wonder he lifted you, his sites are horribly designed!!!! They scream FRONT PAGE!! And tables!!! Acckkkkk!!!! Hello edesignusa!! The 90’s called, they want their webpage back!!!

    /end web design rant/

    He’s using the photo on multiple pages:

  8. Liz Pike says:

    Ok, so the guy has 2 sites, the hanging basket site, and Here’s the registration for his domain (& before anyone gets upset that I’m posting personal info on this guy, this info is already out there! It’s readily available about anyone who registers a domain!):


    Mark Slattery
    2108 NE 25TH STREET
    WILTON MANORS, FL 33305-1530
    Phone: +1.4406687028
    Email: [email protected]

    Registrar Name….:
    Registrar Whois…:
    Registrar Homepage:

    Domain Name:
    Created on…………..: 2009-04-05
    Expires on…………..: 2012-04-05

    Administrative Contact:

    Mark Slattery
    2108 NE 25TH STREET
    WILTON MANORS, FL 33305-1530
    Phone: +1.4406687028
    Email: [email protected]

    Technical Contact:
    Domain Registrar
    575 8th Avenue
    New York, NY 10018
    Phone: +1.9027492701
    Email: [email protected]

    DNS Servers:

    And here’s the info from his gardensquirrel domain:

    Domain Name……….
    Creation Date…….. 2009-05-06
    Registration Date…. 2009-05-06
    Expiry Date………. 2015-05-06
    Organisation Name…. Serenity
    Organisation Address. Private Bag 611
    Organisation Address.
    Organisation Address. GREYMOUTH
    Organisation Address. n/a
    Organisation Address. GREYMOUTH
    Organisation Address. NEW ZEALAND

    Admin Name……….. Serenity .
    Admin Address…….. Private Bag 611
    Admin Address……..
    Admin Address…….. GREYMOUTH
    Admin Address…….. n/a
    Admin Address…….. GREYMOUTH
    Admin Address…….. NEW ZEALAND
    Admin Email………. [email protected]
    Admin Phone………. 1.4406687028
    Admin Fax…………

    Tech Name………… David Clark
    Tech Address……… 6278 N. Federal Hwy
    Tech Address………
    Tech Address……… Fort Lauderdale, Florida
    Tech Address……… n/a
    Tech Address……… Fort Lauderdale, Florida
    Tech Address……… NEW ZEALAND
    Tech Email……….. [email protected]
    Tech Phone……….. 11.9544958898
    Tech Fax………….
    Name Server……….
    Name Server……….

    The takeaway is that he’s either hosting at or, which redirects to
    So if he won’t respond to our complaints, we can go over him to his webhosting.

  9. Granny Trace says:

    That is just so crazy!!!!

  10. judydee says:

    As of 5:52 am Central time, when I click on the link there is a picture of the chicken in the hanging basket. Guess he finally realized it was the best picture. I too have sent him an e-mail, letting him know that I will support you in your efforts to recieve compensation from him. I second the suggestion that an invoice be sent!

  11. Anita says:

    Liz is right – You’ve GOT to send ED and MARK an invoice for a year of publication rights. Especially since he’s bothered to CHANGE the post after hearing from you. Apparently he didn’t learn ANYTHING from the Cook’s Source fiasco on Facebook.

  12. BuckeyeGirl says:

    e-mail sent, how annoying!

  13. Miss Judy says:

    Still not down at 6:40 am central time! I would guess he is just too lazy to use his own talent for his site…no, no, What am I thinking… there is not a creative bone in his body!
    Suzanne…go get him!

  14. pensiero says:

    Unbelievable! I sent an email!

  15. BuckeyeGirl says:

    HA! I’m thinking leave the language! Or possibly put in just a few of the &#$@ to replace some of the letters.

  16. Liz Pike says:

    Your web designer/master can easily do this, Suzanne. Too bad it can’t be done with the text, too. Only downside is that it can’t automatically detect scrapping, the sites penalized have to be hand-coded into the htaccess file (which is NOT part of the wordpress installation), but, at least it’s one tool.

    Another tool is when you write a post, before publishing (I know it’s a pita, but what’s the alternative), set up a Google Alert ( )for certain key phrases used in the post. Then you’ll be notified if anyone else is using them, sooner rather than later.

  17. Liz Pike says:

    Haaa!!! Just went to that other site to find Roni’s stuff, and that scrapper actually said, “I’m not going to muck up my pictorial post with lots of words.” So look at what his “pictures” say (caution: offensive language ahead): I dare say the guy pictured is not even him.

    Suzanne, you’re a talented writer! I’m sure you’ll scare the pants off of him. Funny that he think his thousands of readers would matter more to you than Countryside’s millions!!! And look what you made them do!!!

  18. langela says:

    I emailed and received a repsonse rather quickly. It was just a forward of all the back and forth emails between the two of you. This was his way of “proving” he was man enough to take personal responsibility for his own actions and not blaming them on someone else.

  19. mschrief says:

    The problem here is some folks think the internet and anything posted on it is easy pickins. Bloggers, fans, readers steal. People rip off movies, tv shows, music. Stealing has become a part of “internet society” … no, it is not right or ethical, but seems like our American society is really deteriorating. We invade countries, steal resources, etc.

    What can you expect of an increasingly immoral country?

  20. Flowerpower says:

    Get em Suzanne! :hissyfit:

  21. judydee says:

    No Suzanne, the picture of the rooster in the basket is still showing on the gardensquirrel site under the post on birds in hanging baskets.

  22. holstein woman says:

    It seems to me that he NEEDS to pay you. You work too hard to give (even unknowingly) away your work. Go get him Suzanne! :hissyfit:

  23. judydee says:

    Sorry, it is the My Hanging Baskets page. The site says gardensquirrel at the bottom.

  24. Zusiqu says:

    An ‘un-named’ person sent him the photos and text? I don’t believe that at all.

  25. CasieD says:

    When I first looks at the page again this morning, after reading this post, it was still the same as yesterday with the lifted blog post. Be sure to hit refresh so the page reloads and it’s not being pulled from your computer’s cache.

    I’m glad to see he atleast replied and acted quickly, even as lame as it was.

  26. BuckeyeGirl says:

    Kim Komando posted some software that will scour the web for you and find copies of your pictures. It just finds and notifies you of any copies out there, but it could be worth a look see. Going to go find that again.

  27. Liz Pike says:

    But if his site is a charitable trust, doesn’t he need “board” approval to give away anything 😉 haahaaa!

  28. MousE says:

    Well as you say, he seems more regretful about getting caught than in the plagiarism. But still. It’s a toehold. Altho his response seems just a bit…. patronizing.

    Maybe that’s just my perception….

    good to see a community of on-liners come together for something like this!

  29. leann says:

    I’m not sure if I believe this guy will make good on sending the baskets to your winners…time will tell.

  30. leneskate says:

    WOW I agree a goodwill statement after being caught! wink wink

  31. Connie in FL says:

    He has been using your photos since last year and this is the best he can do? He needs to cough up some real compensation. Seriously Suzanne, you need to start suing.

  32. Lisa P says:

    I’d like to enter the giveaway. I’m glad he’s making the nice gesture, but it doesn’t excuse what happened.

  33. justdeborah2002 says:

    Just to let you know, I came across this site while I was Stumbling, and thought you should know. Recognized Annabelle right away.
    Didn’t see a credit to you, so thought it was more of the same old thievery. When will the world ever learn not to take what is not theirs?

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