Name and blog concept copied

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  • #383893

    brenda2008
    Member

    My blog is with WordPress.com but I own the domain name “innerprints.org”. The name of my blog is “Inner Prints”. Last night I got home from work and for the heck of it decided to ‘Google’ “Inner Prints”. What I found almost blew me away. Someone in Australia has not only stolen the name of my blog by adding the word “blog” to Inner prints but they stole the entire concept, explaining my version of “Inner Prints” using different words. The offending site that I am referring to is the “Inner Prints Blog” at http://innerprints.wordpress.com/. I have written to the DMCA and also sent a message to the person at “Inner Prints Blog” but have not heard back from either party.

    I use my blog professionally,with the address on my business cards. Now if someone ‘Google’s’ “Inner Prints” they have to be concerned with “hmmm, do I want “Inner Prints” or “Inner Prints Blog”? It is especially difficult when the concept of the blog is exactly the same. I have steam coming from my ears! Any assistance or advice that you could offer would be greatly appreciated.

    The blog I need help with is innerprints.org.

    #384100

    It take time for staff and their legal people to review these things. When you say you wrote to the DMCA, do you mean you sent a DMCA violation notice to wordpress/automattic? How long ago did you send it in?

    #384108

    raincoaster
    Member

    Was the name trademarked?

    #384120

    brenda2008
    Member

    Thank you for responding. I sent the DMCA the information that the WordPress support people indicated that I needed to send. I have since heard from someone and I think they are investigating. Raincoaster, do I need a trademark? I was under the impression that if a name is already in use it can not be used again and that it is protected in some way. Am I wrong about that?

    #384122

    raincoaster
    Member

    Yes, you are wrong about that.

    If the other site is a deceptive one, one that tries to lead people into believing it’s the site for your particular business (not just one with the same name) then you may even have a criminal matter here; that’s considered a violation of stalking law in many countries. But no, titles cannot be copyrighted, and particularly internationally the only way to assert unique ownership of a name is to trademark it.

    Hell, there are three other raincoasters I know of. One’s a porn actor! But i have no legal standing to go after him, since he doesn’t pretend to be raincoaster the social media coach and blogger.

    #384127

    brenda2008
    Member

    Hmmm, wow, how disconcerting. The whole copyright/trademark thing is tricky. One would think that in a circumstance such as mine that it would be obvious what is “reasonable” and that the reasonable and ethical thing would win out. For goodness sakes, a person that simply adds
    “Blog” to a title already held by someone else, uses the same concept and has only been in existence for 2 months, it would seem like a no brainer. Really what is the difference between “Inner Prints” and “Inner Prints Blog”. There both blogs but one just simply states the obvious. Whatever the law says, ethically, to me, it is devious, sneaky and stands to cause me alot of misery because I will need to re-establish a whole new blog and concept after having spent many hours of work developing it. Not to mention the money associated with having incoporated the whole theme as part of my art. I will not be able to use it anymore because when people they Google “Inner Prints” and they will come across “Inner Prints Blog” with the same concept they will think that they are at the right place, only my paintings will be unable to be found. This is also very confusing because I have many images already estasblished in Google images with “Inner Prints”. This really stinks! I am holding out lots of faith in the DMCA. I am sure that they want to do what’s reasonable to. Sometimes common sense does win out. Let us pray…….

    #384130

    raincoaster
    Member

    Why don’t you just concentrate on out-googling the other blog?

    #384131

    mark
    Staff

    The DMCA does not come into this, not at all.

    I think raincoaster’s suggestion is the better one but I see you have replied to the support you sent in. Asking here in the forum will never change the answer we would send.

    “it is devious, sneaky “

    That is VERY unfair. You have no evidence they found your blog, copied your idea or anything of the sort.

    #384143

    brenda2008
    Member

    Mark, I do appreciate your help. I probably should not have said “devious, sneaky” on a public forum. I should have kept that one to myself. I appologize for that. This is all unfamiliar territory to me and by coming to the forum, I was attempting to find out how frequently this happens and I wanted to get more general information about the situation. I was not trying to go around the DMCA. I suppose I was also looking a bit for a place to vent. Sorry if I made anyone mad.

    #384169

    tellyworth
    Staff
    #384170

    johnlvs2run
    Member

    The ip blog looks entirely different than yours, at least to me. Is any of the content identical?

    I was going to start a blog with the title of “John’s blog”, did a google search and was surprised to see there are already quite a few of them with that name.

    #384179

    raincoaster
    Member

    There are over 75 million blogs.

    #384182

    brenda2008
    Member

    When I started my blog, I did a “Google” search and there were no “Inner Prints”. John, you must not have read the about page and the inital post on my page because I would find it very hard to believe that you could not see the similarities. It is not like we are talking about semi-conductors vs art. The blogs are exactly identical in what they are communincating in the creative arts world. To have a blog that is called “Inner Prints” and one that is called “Inner Prints Blog” is to me essentially the same title, especially when they both are about the same thing. Not only do I feel that my idea has been duplicated (as it has been pointed out, I have no proof) but I feel that the policy as it relates to duplication of titles maybe needs to be looked at a little more closely. When a person has a one word title, especially one that is not just a title but also a concept, I think that it should be looked at in terms of whether it is appropriate or ethical to simply add the word “Blog” which essentially gives it the same title and is especially troublesome if the blogs deal with the same exact subject matter. I am sure that this is not the first time that this has happened or the last. Whatever happens in this case, I do think that this is a valid issue for WordPress to consider. Obviously this all lies in the powers that be and I have nothing more to do with any of it. I have stated my feelings about the matter and will wait to find out what is decided.

    #384184

    raincoaster
    Member

    The legal precedent is book titles, and book titles have NEVER been protected, not in all the centuries since they were invented.

    If you are in a creative field, I honestly don’t understand what you’re worried about, since they will not be able to do what you can do. Differentiate yourself through your work, and dominate them by out-googling them (which you can do by blogging daily and using tags and categories wisely). That way, both artistically and in terms of reach, you will dominate them.

    #384190

    johnlvs2run
    Member

    There are 567,000 links to “John’s blog” on google. :(

    Brenda, I looked at the about pages of both blogs and they look entirely different to me. The other blog is talking about finding “our own places of genius”, and I don’t see that mentioned on yours.

    I agree with focusing on your blog and not being concerned with what anyone else is doing. Someone stole my nickname on yahoo five years ago, including my buddy list and photo, and to this day sends messages to people on my old buddy list, pretending to be me. Whoever it is says he doesn’t run any more, was in a car accident (perhaps poetic justice) and has moved to Michigan. I wrote to yahoo a number of times about it, and even though they have my original information on file, they did nothing.

    #384194

    I’ve found this new site that lifts everything from my site including the social network buttons at the footer of every post! But the blog has no ads and they do link back and say my name. Because they also added the social network buttons means the site is a news aggregator. I sometimes do get hits from them. So I let it go.

    #384195

    brenda2008
    Member

    Well, I don’t know. Maybe I am too close to the situation and am only able to see at this time what I am able to see. A couple of you don’t see what I do so I guess I need to step back and just take a breath. They say things happen for a reason. Whatever this reason, I am learning a heck of alot. Art is a second career for me with my primary being nursing. I think I have alot to learn about the creative arts/blogging industry in general. I suppose I am not really up for “out-Googling” another site that essentially has the same title and concept as mine because I am just too darn busy trying to keep it together with 2 careers and being a single mother. I am not trying to pull the single mother card, just telling it like it is. I don’t have the energy to try to outsmart someone on something that I started and have put my heart and soul into but can only do so as time provides which is so limited. I didn’t get into this to have to compete. I know there are alot of blogs out there, Raincoaster, but there are not alot of blogs out there called “Inner Prints”.

    #384196

    tellyworth
    Staff

    I’ve found this new site that lifts everything from my site including the social network buttons at the footer of every post! But the blog has no ads and they do link back and say my name. Because they also added the social network buttons means the site is a news aggregator.

    There are many fake news aggregators around. This is probably one of them. They do nothing but copy your stuff to make money – if they had no ads they were probably using cloaked banner or affiliate links or simply hadn’t added their ads yet. You’re within your rights to file a DMCA notice against them if they are copying your text or images.

    Re the original question: names and concepts can’t be copyrighted, so the DMCA doesn’t apply. If you believe there is a trademark or other legal issue you should seek legal advice from a professional.

    #384197

    raincoaster
    Member

    I just googled the term, and you’re #1 on Google. I can’t even FIND this other blog you’re in a tizzy about. I really would not worry about it. And if you are really worried about it, you need to put more effort into picking a name that is unusual. I know a business called Jet Set Parties that threatens to sue anyone who makes airline references; no judge, however, will take their cases, because those are all perfectly normal words and they have no trademark.

    #384200

    johnlvs2run
    Member

    [quote]A couple of you don’t see what I do so I guess I need to step back and just take a breath.[/quote]

    The same thing happened to me yesterday. It helps.

    [quote]something that I started and have put my heart and soul into but can only do so as time provides which is so limited. I didn’t get into this to have to compete.[/quote]

    That’s the key, to do what you do for your own reasons. I have come up with a lot of ideas through my life, that were later mimicked and/or developed by others. Who knows if those ideas were just floating out there, or they somehow got them from me, or my thoughts? Where did my thoughts come from though? I saw an interesting saying yesterday, “what someone else thinks of you, is none of your business.” I had to think of that for a bit but agree. Everyone of us is free to think as we wish, and we are free to live as they wish, as long as we don’t impinge on the similar rights of anyone else.

    I used to work at keeping my ideas a secret and not telling anyone, then went through a gradual transition where it just doesn’t matter to me any more. The ideas, and helping people, are more important than whether they came from me or from somebody else. I would relish that every person would spread the ideas and the ideals that I cherish.

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