How to respond when you fuck up…

by Natalie P.

February 1, 2007 | Filed Under The Heartless Bitch Way, Uncategorized | No Comments

In addition to the MySpace Moron who was ripping HBI content and posting it as her own, I also found a similarly challenged individual doing much the same thing over at Yahoo 360…. She, however, had her blog open to comments. I both commented in the blog and sent her a message to Cease And Desist or I would call in the Yahoo Copyright Overlords and have her account yanked… 

Unlike Miss MySpace DramaQueen, this one made no excuses, sent an apology in email and removed the offending content. 

It doesn’t excuse the fact that she ought to know better, but at least she stepped up to the plate when whacked, and did the right thing. Because of that, I did not lodge a formal complaint with Yahoo.

I have found that, on the whole, these blog sites take copyright infringement VERY seriously, and DO respond if you fill out their formal complaint form and provide them with the requisite information.  I have had other accounts removed for similar infringements in the past and will not hesitate to do it again.

As our MySpace missy discovered, if you have fucked up and I point it out, the worst thing you can do is make excuses and get lippy with me.  It reminds me of something I used to tell my kids whenever they were in trouble – it’s part of what is often called “Cowboy Philosophy”: “When ya find yerself in a hole, the first thang ya gotta do is stop diggin’.”

When the boys would start backpedalling or making excuses, all I had to say was “Stop digging.” and they knew they were on dangerous ground and had better suck it up and face the consequences.

It should be very clear at this point that I take copyright violations very seriously and don’t tolerate unauthorized reposting of HBI articles/content.  For those of you still unclear on the concept, note that there are people out there who make their living off their writing. Our original writing on this site keeps the traffic flowing, which in turn pays for the site.  I have a vested interest in making sure our content is not being used elsewhere for personal or professional gain. 

This doesn’t mean you can’t quote out snippets of articles to comment on them in your own blogs or journals – provided you link back to the original article at HBI. In fact, I encourage that – with that aforementiond proviso.  But be reasonable about how much you include – one or two lines, or a small paragraph (at most) is ok, but wholesale copying of an article (even if you give attribution to HBI) is strictly verboten without my express written permission.

Remember too, when your fingers are hovering over that control key, that  the absence of the copyright symbol does not mean that the work is not covered by copyright. The work once created from originality through ‘mental labor’ is instantaneously considered copyrighted to that person.
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