I’m not cut out for the World Wide Web


***adult language and ego-trip rant warning ***  On Tuesday I got an unexpected surprise when I opened my browser.  My homepage is set to Reddit.com (the front-page of the Internet) because I enjoy keeping up with whatever depraved and wacky meme is popular that minute.  The second post on my front page was about the Elf on the Shelf.  I clicked.  Then my heart dropped as I saw my Dexter Morgan elf, an entry into the Inappropriate Elf contest on Baby Rabies from last year, in the picture gallery.  The title of the post was “My Friend is posting these pics of their “Elf on the Shelf.”  The only trouble is that I’m not that person’s friend and those other elves were also lifted from various websites.  I recognized another from this year’s contest.

My Dexter Elf made the front page of Reddit.  That’s a pretty huge deal considering Reddit can bestow upon a website more traffic in one day that most blogs see in a year.  I took it upon myself to call out the poster for being dishonest, and while a few people saw it (maybe 300 clicked over to my post here for verification) it largely went unnoticed.

I couldn’t sleep I was so mad.  I was mad at myself for not watermarking my image; I felt originally it would take away from the story of the images and part of me stupidly thought my little blog would never have images stolen and re-used without credit.  I was mad at someone who decided they wanted Internet points so they would use my image that I was very proud of.  Seriously- that is one of my favorite posts I have ever made and as a huge Dexter fan it was that much cooler to pull it off in such an awesome way.  I was just steaming mad.

After the world saw my picture for the 15 minutes it was front page several other huge Facebook fanpages decided to cash in and uploaded it to their pages.  It has been shared thousands of times without a single link to my blog, a tag to my Facebook page, or any credit to me whatsoever.  It’s so wrong and it just freaking sucks.  I’ve been in a pissy mood all day and as much as I tell myself that I’m pissed about a picture on the Internet (saying it out-loud kinda helps because it sounds so trivial) it didn’t help much.  It was MY picture.  MY idea.  MY IMAGINARY INTERNET POINTS (ok… I don’t care about that but I did re-submit my Dexter Elf in retribution to let it be known he was stolen and so far I have over 600 upvotes on Reddit.  Justice is mine).

But truly, what hurts the most is seeing so many people (thousands) commenting on the photo on how AWESOME it is.  And not one of those people knew it was me.  That just kills.  God I sound vain, but it is true.  I am very protective over my ideas (I’ve even ranted about this before) and it truly upsets me when an original idea of mine is taken from me on purpose.  Imagine if you painted an amazing picture and it was accepted into a gallery for an exhibition but the artist named wasn’t you, it was a guy called BeefAddict.  It would sting, wouldn’t it?


I’ve messaged the blogs who posted without permission and the pages I’ve seen who uploaded it too.  Not one has removed the image, given credit where it is due, or even responded.  Why are people such ass-hats?

 I’m trying to sound as least self-righteous as possible: I just don’t understand why someone would take a picture from the internet to score imaginary points and steal credit from others in the process?  How can someone think this is OK?  Wouldn’t it feel better to create your own share-worthy content?  Or to share it and tell others you think it is awesome while still giving credit where it is due?  Stealing content is stealing.  Saving a photo from the Internet for personal use- well that’s what it is.  Saving a photo and using on your blog as if it is your own, or even using it and not crediting the source is just wrong.  Do you know how websites get ranked? Incoming links are gold for bloggers and the more links they get the better search engines like their pages.

Sometimes people find images they think are cool and they share them on their personal pages.  But when someone who runs a Facebook page with 500k likes shares a photo they best be crediting someone.  They should know better.  And when someone posts to Reddit to earn imaginary Internet bonus points for work that isn’t their own because they are pathetic (for the record, posting to Reddit for imaginary points is cool but stealing the thunder that isn’t yours is not).  And blogs… tsk tsk.  Blogging is pretty complicated and there are spoken and unspoken rules.  A spoken rule is give credit.  LINK.  And sometimes you really just need to ask for permission to use an image, but not always.

Recently someone messaged me on my page and asked to use one of my Elf on the Shelf ideas in a post and she would of course give credit back with a link.  I said yes.  Later on she sent me the link.  You guys- she did it all right (well… mostly.  They watermarked my image with their logo which I’m not happy with but I haven’t asked them to remove it either…).  Major imaginary Internet points to you Monica Beyer of AllParenting.com.


I know many of my readers are bloggers.  Maybe you just blog for family and friends, for fun, or maybe you are hoping to make a more serious job of it.  If that is you, or even if it isn’t and you just like sharing images you like on Facebook or Pinterest, check for a source.  Kindly share the source with your readers and friends.  Oh and blogger friends, no matter how small your blog, it is always a good idea to watermark.  It takes more time but I wouldn’t be writing this today if I had just added a little marky-mark to my Dexter images.  I am much better about it now that Pinterest is so popular and often images get shared without being linked to the source.  At least with my website’s watermark it might get found.

Jill from Baby Rabies, who has fought this battle a million times, addressed this issue and more beautifully in her post “Think and Link Before You Share.

I’m not saying everyone who has shared something from the Internet without giving credit or a link was doing it to either claim the content as their own or the maliciously prevent the owner from getting credit.  Most people truly have no idea that this crazy World Wide Web has a secret code of ethics.

I’m so glad I’m flying on an underlying high of great feedback from a recent video I posted (Cloth Diapering in the 1950’s) because it has given me the faith in humanity to keep fighting.  This post is all kinds of bitter, bitchy, and venti (I had to spell vent-y like a coffee because, duh, it is yummy) but sometimes that is the benefit of having a blog.  You can pound out your frustrations in writing and the act of doing so magically makes you feel better.  And you know what?  I already do feel better.  Maybe I can survive the World Wide Web after-all, but only after a good rant.

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  • Dani Sue

    I’m pretty sure if you email those blogs back and threaten to sue them for copyright infringement that it’ll be taken down. I read about this happening to another blogger…I wish I could remember which blog…they got all legal on their ass and it was removed immediately. I don’t know about most hosting sites but blogger has a spot to report blogs…maybe threaten to report their blog. If I figure out the other blog…I’ll come back and let ya know.

    • I think you’re thinking of The Oatmeal vs funnyjunk.com. He raised all sorts of stink and then money for charity because of copyright infringement. And posted iron his blog/web comic.

  • Tiffany

    🙁 stealing intellectual content is not cool. Sorry you have had to deal with it. It truly sucks. I wish people that bought China cheapies realized that they are doing the same thing to cloth diaper companies as this jack wagon did to you on Reddit. Bet they would be all up in arms too if their idea was stolen and someone else took credit. So sorry DDL 🙁 not cool of this guy to steal your picture at all. tisk tisk

  • Babies in Bloom

    The same thing happened to us in September. Someone lifted a private photo of my son and father that was posted for friends only on Facebook. It hurt even more that a “friend” would do it. 1.4 million views later, and I am still mad. Imaginary internet points to you for your rant.

    • kimrosas

      Oh my gosh! Millions! And a personal photo to boot. 🙁

  • Wow! I’m so sorry Kim!! Watermarking is definitely a good idea – make sure it’s in a spot where it will make it hard for anyone wanting to remove it though cause there was a blogger that had their watermarks removed and the pics used in print advertising!

  • Who cares? This is the lamest rant I’ve ever heard about intellectual property use on the internet. Don’t want it ganked, don’t post it! Once upon a time, people lived without having to post every single thing on the internet, and they were okay.

    • Emily

      Don’t want it ganked, don’t post it? That’s like saying – don’t what your shit stolen from your house, don’t buy it. That’s ridiculous. This IS her property and this is her blog. No one is so special that they just get to steal from others.

  • One thing I try to do when I find something cool on pinterest is pin the original link instead of “repinning”. I hope that in that one small way it helps protect people’s intellectual property. I get frustrated when I go to the original link and can’t find the article or whatever for the pin!

    • kimrosas

      Very true, often pins of images aren’t linked to the source and the more those get pinned the farther the content gets removed from the creator. Thanks.

  • You totally have a right to be angry. They stole your property, as if stealing from your house. I do download pictures, but I don’t even post it on a blog without finding the original source to it. I cannot believe someone would do that, even after all those hits!

  • Meg

    That’s horrible! I’m so sorry this happened to you.

  • Report that shit and threaten! That’s ridic. And ask them to remove that watermark if you don’t like it. Although at least with the watermark, people will go to THAT site and then see the credit, so that’s a tough call.

    I’ve been seeing a lot of this happening with friends blogs lately. Sucks because I hate watermarked images too.

  • Laura, AllParenting editor

    Thank you so much for recognizing Monica’s ethical work. I wanted to let you know that i’m MORE than happy to switch out the image in the article on AllParenting with another that has your watermark on it. When we do these fun roundups (and we always have permission to use the images), we always leave the original watermarks on the images that have them. However, we do add ours when we receive images with no watermark to try to cut down on them being stolen. As you unfortunately know, when an image has absolutely no watermark, it’s very possible for it to be used in ways it was not intended to be used and we don’t want to be responsible for facilitating that. Please feel free to email a new image to Monica or me and we’ll take care of it. Thank you again!

    • kimrosas

      That was what I assumed. Thanks!

      Please excuse typos and brevity. Sent from my iPhone

      • Laura

        Of course, Kim! Thank you again for sharing your fun photo with us. And definitely send one over with your own watermark if you’d like us to swap it out – it’s no big deal!

  • I saw an elf dressed as Snookie too, I wonder if Copy right of intellectual property extends to characters. Say could the people who own Dexter sue you for using the Name Dexter in your elf display. I think it sucks that someone is taking credit for you coming up with this idea. I just wonder the other thing too.