Someone Copied My Design. Someone Stole My Image and Claimed That They Photographed It. Someone Stole My Blog Post and Reposted It Without Permission.
Get those tomatoes ready!! You will be hating me today ... hating me. In this day and age with all the social media and emailing and photoshopping and cat-fishing going on - nobody is safe from being copied. Nobody is safe from their work being stolen. Nobody is safe from people taking credit for work that isn't theirs.
I can't tell you how many times my blog posts were straight up STOLEN from Style Unveiled word for word, photo layout for photo layout, and reposted on another blog << with ZERO credit given to me - and more importantly: WITHOUT MY PERMISSION. The first 5 times I was LIVID ... I screamed, I yelled, I threatened legal action, I called the other blog and screamed and yelled ... but after the 5th time of feeling nothing was done except myself wasting an entire day - I realized that 'eyes forward' is the best thing to do. And here's why:
>> They Aren't You <<
I am the only one who can do what I do in the way that I do it. I am the only one who sits in the unique position I am sitting in and who has had MY experiences. I am the one who decided to start The Editor's Touch. I am the one who has the personality that I have. I am the one who has the connections that I have. I am the one who has the social media following that I have. I am the one who has the knowledge that I have. See where I'm going here??? If your product is 'stealable' << which IT IS because of something fabulous called THE INTERNET << then you will probably have an idea stolen. If you take kickass photos and you post them on THE INTERNET or across your SOCIAL MEDIA << then you will probably have a photo stolen. This will happen.
Here's another thought ... are they taking something more than a credit from you? For instance: if an Instagram feed with a lot of followers steals your image and doesn't credit you for it - and it got a million likes and a bagillion comments - did that take business from you personally?? I can see both sides of this argument. Maybe one of those people truly loved the artistic angle of the image and was hoping to hire a photographer just like that to photograph their wedding ... or, maybe it had nothing to do with the style of the photography but WHAT WAS IN THE IMAGE that they all loved ... and then I say: what happens to all of those credits? The flowers in the photo, the dress in the photo, the designer who styled it up?? None of those professionals were probably credited either.
Does it suck to have your work stolen? Does it suck to have your idea stolen? Does it suck to have your written words plagiarized?? YES!!!! YES a million times over!!! But I say put energy into something you CAN CONTROL - rather than waste an entire day being pissed at some lazy prick who is a no-talent asshole, I say put that energy into KICKING ASS at what you do best and make some updates to your own business to blow that asshole out of the water and make your stuff standout. This could mean a number of things:
- Tweaking your branding to be more current
- Making updates to your website to make it more appealing
- Posting on your blog about something you've achieved recently
- Attacking your social media with purpose and celebrating what you do well
- Networking with someone new and eager to kick ass WITH YOU
- Designing something unique and new that reaches your target market
- Submit some of your work to be featured in print or online
If you use that energy and turn it into something positive then that person who copied your design, stole your image and claimed that they photographed it, or reposted your blog post word for word without permission doesn't win ... and tomorrow something new will be posted to their IG feed and the world keeps on turning.
I will say this though: If there is someone out there who makes it their whole business to STEAL SH*T??? They need to be taken DOWN!! In this post I am talking about 1 time offenders who may not know etiquette when it comes to crediting properly ... but if there is someone out there who is fully stealing and posing as a photographer with work that is not theirs << they need to be stopped.