Plagiarism in the Ranks

Posted in Blog | 5 comments



This weekend I received an email letting me know that some pictures of mine, featuring my kids, had been ripped off and someone was passing them off …the photo, the kids, the work in the photo…. as her own.

I am not surprised. It isn’t the first time another blogger has stolen a photo without giving proper credit. Maybe it was a “mistake” …they were just “borrowing” a photo they found online. Whatever. I’ve had people request to use that photo before and my very public answer is “I’m sorry, all of my photos are under copyright and cannot be used by others” (insert: unless you pay me lots of money and I find your site/product acceptable).

Lucky for me I wasn’t the only one this anonymous new friend of mine contacted; before I even got around to reading the email the offender had removed the photo from her site thanks to prompting from this reader.


I did a little more searching around after that exchange and found many, many instances of people selling “Seat Belt Pillows” using the pattern that I posted this spring.

Bully for them… I wasn’t going to sit around and make pillows all summer…. but it still feels like a little piece of my work was stolen. Now, the woman who is SELLING MY PATTERN for her profit….she and I are about to go to war…. another story for another day.

What I really wanted to get across is that I am tired of seeing people stealing each others work.

Everyday People. Who I can still assume maybe don’t know better….or are too uneducated to realize that what they are doing is a felony.

Then I get online and come face to face with BRANDS…. really BIG BRANDS…. who are all about FAMILIES and KIDS and PARENTS…. brands like NICKMOM and NBC ripping off friends of mine left and right. Stealing their creative work…their blood, sweat and tears…their BUSINESS IDEAS.

My friend Amy (@ResourcefulMom) has written a great post about how Charlie and Andy at (side note: go to their site now when you are done here. Seriously…they are hysterical!) had their content ideas stolen by this guy who was hired by NickMom (a subsidiary of VIACOM) to create original artwork for their site.

But wait…there’s more…..

Several weeks ago Kelby Carr, the woman behind the curtain at Type A Parent, creator of Type A Parent Conference (Previously Type A Mom Conference) and known on Twitter to all as the one and only @TypeAMom …. had her brand ID ripped off for another one of NICKMOM’s “funny” ideas. It wasn’t funny. Read Amy’s piece…the details are in there, too…. like how when Amy questioned them they erased her comment.

Back to Charlie and Andy…. not only are they fighting the plagiarism of one Josh Wysaski … they recently went to battle with NBC for posting a stolen (very hysterical) original of theirs on the Guys with Kids Facebook Page.

It’s happening EVERYWHERE and I’m SICK.OF.IT.

So, in conclusion…. go read Amy’s post….its got lots of pictures (without links so the scum don’t get page views) and all of the details…and quotes from Andy and Charlie. I mean…. VIACOM has already been there to read… shouldn’t you??

And don’t steal stuff. It’s mean.


  1. We’ve had this happen locally, which is terribly sad to see. All summer a farmer’s market vendor has been adding items to her table of random stuff each week. These items mirror our’s in the store across the street from farmer’s market. We add something, they add something similar. The real slap in the face is that farmer’s market is handled by the business association, which we are a member of. I find it extremely disrespectful and can’t understand why people do this. I am proud of my unique ideas, so why aren’t others?

  2. That is HORRIBLE. I’m so fed up with these types of things. I would take a picture of your item with dated newspaper or something…then take a picture of theirs…make a display to show to your business association. Or simply walk up and ask them where they got the idea…then show them the picture “Isn’t it odd that we had the SAME idea a week ago??”….when there are lots of people around.

    I’m seriously at a loss of how to protect our ideas and our hard word.

  3. Technically speaking, photos are covered by copyright, not trademark. Of course, since they are covered by copyright, infringement brings a fine of $750 to $250,000 per infringement. If they stole 3 photos from you and 4 blog posts, they’re looking at a minimum $5,250 fine (maximum $1.75 million). You can send a DMCA takedown notice to the site if they are hosting the material and, if they don’t take it down, they are opening themselves up to a big lawsuit. We’ve had to send a few of these. Mostly to sites that rip entire posts/photos to host on their sites hoping to boost their Google ranking or something.

    The sad thing is that it isn’t hard to find content (especially photos) to license. There are plenty of stock photo sites where you can buy photos to use one your site. They don’t cost that much. Alternatively, you can go to to get free drawings. I use that frequently (and always credit the artist/link back to them). I also take my own photos. It’s not that hard. Go for a walk around the block and take some photos of the sky, flowers, trees, cars, etc. Before long, you might have your own repository of “stock photos” to use.

    Stealing photos and content is lazy and highly illegal.

  4. You are correct re: copyright vs trademark and I made the change. I’ve got trademark on the brain today…as you can imagine it is the topic of many conversations today!

    We all have to continue to fight and call out those who are thieving our work!


    Found this on a local (to me) “for sale” site on Facebook

    It’s really a shame that people can’t think for themselves.


  1. Remembering September 11 Edition of the Talk of the Parent Blogosphere | Type-A Parent - [...] content at NickMoms recently. Jenn from Super Jenn Blogs follows up by pointing out that plagiarism, especially from within …

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