It’s been a while since I last caught(y) someone doing “a McNaughty”, so for the benefit of those just joining us, hi, I’m Amber and I’m the most-imitated woman on the Internet! You can find a full list of all the people who have impersonated or ripped me off here: read it and weep, folks! (God knows, I sometimes do.)
Anyway, as I was saying, it’s been a long time since I last wrote about my copycats, so you’ve probably been thinking, “Gosh, people must have finally given up on relentlessly copying Amber: that’s nice!” Or, I mean, you probably HAVEN’T been thinking that at all, but if you had, you’d be wrong: people have, indeed, been continuing to steal my images and text (mostly on eBay), it’s just that it happens so often that it’s not really worth mentioning most of the time. Until now, that is.
Sunday night, as you probably all know, was Oscars night, a.k.a The Worst Night of Amber’s Year. Because I have a website about fashion, I am obliged to write about the Oscars red carpet, and because I’m not a filthy rotten image thief, I buy all of the images I require to do this from an image agency. With money. Money that I work for, and which I can’t spend on shoes and green dresses once I’ve spent it on image licences for my website. Boo hoo, woe is me!
On Oscar night, however, my image agency messed up. I sat up late, waiting for the images to come in, and, when they didn’t, I set my alarm and got up early the next morning. And the images still weren’t available. So I freaked out, and then Gemma told me I could get (legal) images from the PR Section of the Academy Awards website, so I did that, then my own agency coughed up the goods too, and I spent basically the entire day editing photos and writing text to accompany them.
Then I got up the next morning and discovered that some other website had just stolen all the posts and republished them, so all of those hours of work, all of those images, and all of the money I had spent purchasing them, had not, as I had imagined, been done to benefit my own business and website, but had been done to benefit someone ELSE’S.
Which was… yeah.
It’s OK, though: I mean, they didn’t actually COPY me. Oh no. I mean, compare this, from my site:
With this, from the plagiarist, I mean “person who just happened to write exactly the same thing, but in Pidgin English, because that totally makes it OK”:
Occasional actress. My Few Days With Marilyn. Your woman. The night-time.
Let’s just admit it: this is funnier than what I wrote, isn’t it? Only I don’t think that was the intention somehow.
Oh yah, totally: thus boom about trend! I SO know what you mean! Except, not really. I don’t think ANYONE would know what this meant, if it weren’t for my helpful translation above, which has obviously been run through some kind of software designed to replace certain words with other ones.
(In other news, I think my next tagline will be “One ruffle lacking any seventies bedspread.” Catchy, no? Orange can make it!)
There’s even more, too: this company has copied lots of my posts – I actually don’t know the full extent of it yet, because I had to stop counting in order to come here and take the crap out of them – and posts from other bloggers, too. My guess is that they think the fact that they’re re-writing the text makes it OK, so here is a newsflash for them, and for anyone else thinking, “You know what: I’d like to make money from blogging, but I can’t be assed doing any work or investing any money in it, so I think what I’ll do is, I’ll let AMBER do the work and spend the money, and then I’ll just steal it!”:
NEWSFLASH: RE-WRITING MY CONTENT IN THE MANNER OF AN (ADMITTEDLY HILARIOUS) NON-ENGLISH SPEAKER DOES NOT MAKE IT OK TO COPY ME. Or anyone else, for that matter.
This is plagiarism, pure and simple. I’ve done the work, now this company is profiting from it. (And I found the copycat site because I was Googling for info on Oscars fashion, and it came up in the search results before mine. So this site is stealing my work AND my traffic, just in case you were thinking this kind of thing doesn’t matter, or that it’s an essentially victimless crime.)
I’m not really concerned about the images on this particular post, because they’re ones I got from the Oscars’ press section, and anyone who is registered there would have access to them. They’ve also stolen images which I paid my agency for, though, and that REALLY rankles with me – as it does when any blogger takes images I’ve paid for – because images aren’t cheap, and I hate feeling like I’m paying for something just so other bloggers can use it for free. I’m willing to pay for my OWN images, but I don’t see why I should pay for yours too.
(Incidentally, this is another reason why it’s not nice to steal images. Someone had to pay for them. They didn’t pay for them FOR YOU. And some photographer DIDN’T get paid for your use of them. Not cool.)
We will probably be able to get Google to remove our content from this site (we always have before), once we’ve worked out exactly how much of it they’ve used. I’m not going to link to them because I don’t want to send them the traffic, but if you’re thinking it might be called “Fashion Trends for 2012”, then you are thinking right: please don’t reward it with clicks! And if you wrote any coverage of The Oscars this week, or celebrity fashion in general, there’s a good chance your re-written content is on it too.
I leave you with one of my favourite automatic re-writes of my text:
I said I liked Flower Byrne’s “bob”. They said they liked her “frank”. And I said her dress was black, but what was I thinking? That dress is AFRICAN AMERICAN, people. I hang my head in shame.
(Is it wrong that I want to ask them which program they’re using to do this? I’m thinking my blog would be MUCH funnier if I ran my posts through it too…)