Thursday, September 15, 2011

On History and Blog Pirates

Please excuse my absence; I've been really busy.

If you've been following for the past year, you may remember I participated in a local event called "If This House Could Talk."  Anyone who wants to participate writes a sign with an historical tidbit about their house and it creates a self-guided tour over the course of a weekend through our historical neighborhood.

This is what my house looked like back then.  It weird to see it this way.

I've done quite a bit of research using old maps, public records and to find out who the former owners such as Jennie T. Ray and residents of my home were.  As I researched these data, particularly the census records, I came across all the other residents of the street at various points in time.

When this year's event came around I suggested to the organizers that I wanted to do "A Snapshot in Time" and post signs in front of each house on my block with the 1880 census records showing the names, ages and occupations of the residents.  The idea of the event is to get each home's residents to do their own research but they later came back and told me they loved the idea.

  I wold still like to get everyone on the street to participate so I'm in the process of putting out flyers on every house asking they'll participate but if they "don't have time" could I have permission to place a sign in front of their home.  It's kind of big job but I'd love to see my street be "the" destination for the tour.

Actually I thought I would sell lemonade, hot chocolate and cookies and really clean up.  Maybe I could rent dealer booths in the garden.  I'm always thinking.  Gotta raise funds for a new kitchen.

At the same time, Nita from Mod Vintage Life sent me an e-mail early Sunday morning saying that she found a blog that had pirated ALL of our blog posts, as well as those of three other bloggers, and is using our material to generate traffic to make money on ads.  You can read her post here.

This is really unfuriating.  I spend a lot of time doing research, taking photos and crafting the story on each post.  Sometimes they don't work but, let's be real, many of them are genius!  And this lazy-ass person just steals the material to make money.

Getting them taken down isn't easy.  You have to file a complaint for every single post giving the URL for your post and the offending URL, the nature of the copyright infringement.  For me it's about 160 posts, for Nita it's about 400 posts and one of the other poor bloggers, the pirated posts go back to 2008!  I've responded to some of Blogger's boilerplate e-mails asking what we need to do to take this blog down.  I got a curt e-mailed saying "As we stated you must file the URL for the original and offending post...."

If anyone knows a better way to stop this, we'd be appreciative of your experience.

ADDENDUM 3:20 p.m. on 9/15/11: I'm happy to report the pirate blog has been taken down as of about five minutes ago. It took several days and probably well over 50 complaints between Nita and I alone, but it's gone....hopefully for good.



  1. Ah, I see my posts on sites like that too, I never really understood it. I've fought so many legal battles and lost even though I was in the right over the last few years that I think I'm too jaded to do anything about it.

    What wonderful idea to put a 'snapshot' of the house at the time of the census, I really love that. I would come on that tour and buy your muffins and drink your lemonade!

  2. Let's see if they have the brass neck to re-post THIS post!

    Love your snapshot idea - could I suggest it to our neighbourhood committee?

  3. i don't know what the answer is but i'm becoming more and more jaded as the day rolls on.

    love your neighborhood sign ideas. you really are a genius.

  4. Sign making genius! Hope the Globe does a story on it!

    Sorry about the pirate...I have found my blog on another overseas (asian) blog. I just shrugged. better things to do with my time (hope that isn't an open invitation to anyone...grrrr))

  5. Hi Steve,

    I'm so sorry this has happened to you and your friends. I don't have any suggestions about how to report this, but would it be possible to contact the advertisers and let them know what has happened? Maybe they would stop advertising and take away this thief's incentive to steal!

    Your home is beautiful and I love reading about your adventures!

    Best Regards,


  6. Is it possible to get someone to "jam" the pirate's site. Burning a stake on their front lawn would be good. If you give out the address I would be more than willing to write them a strongly worded letter and I'll bet your other readers would too.

    The house tour idea is great. Do it.

    I have found the bathtub of my dreams, Albion's Tubby Torry. Delivered from England $4075 which does not include import duties. Now I'm not a tub person I'm a shower person but that is like saying you would not be interested in a lover because he or she can't cook. So what I thought I would do is sell shares in the tub so when you came to visit you would have the privilege of taking a bath in this too-cute-to-be-believed tub. Then I thought it is too-cute to hide away in a bathroom, I'll put it in the living room. Then when I have a visitor it would go like this, "May I take your coat, would you like a bath?" As it turns out I don't have 400 friends willing to subscribe to the bathtub, I would be lucky to find 4 willing to sign up. What a pity. By the way, would you be interested? Ann

  7. Tricia Rose,
    Yes, feel free to do it your neighborhood!

    The pirate is using adsense so they're all big advertisers. I have a feeling they won't care that these people are bringing them business.

    What a great idea! Sign me up. Now I have to go look up this fancy tub. Thanks for the laugh!


  8. This may not be a sure thing but give a thought to
    I was a college student in California during the Free Speech phase and these folks clustered under Ananymous are the new edge of that movement. There might be some redress for the piracy available if you wanted to polk around.

    I have signed you up for the tub. No need to make reservations, you are the only subscriber. Ann

  9. Ann,

    Thanks for the suggestion.

    I just went to look at your tub and I think it's gorgeous. Does it have a seat in it? One might need a little stepstool too.

    But I'd put it in my living room too!

  10. A new kitchen...whats wrong with a burner and a microwave?????

  11. That's terrible. I had no idea this was going on. I'd be infuriated too.

  12. Wow lot of info in one post.

    What a great neighbor you would be...

    And I'm glad might and right have prevailed and you have your blog back.

    I took a look at it this morning and I thought how random it was.

    No wonder, a little you, a little Linda, a little who knows who.

    Blogger should take better care of it's true writers.

    You are a genius though:)

    xo Jane

  13. Oh great news Steve,m I see your note that the pirate has been sacked!! Yippee~for all of your hard work and Nitas. Sigh of relief around blogland now...

  14. That would make me mad as hell! Thats just like someone else comig into your home and getting your stuff. I freaked out when I found out that my blog had been linked with out my permission to another one that specialized in vintage stuff FOR SALE. but thankfully for you its been taken down. The nerve of some people...

  15. Love what you are doing in your neighborhood. It sounds like a great tour. I'm thinking maybe popcorn and apple cider would be good autumn sellers:)

    So sorry to hear about the "blog pirate" glad you were able to close them.

    Good luck!

  16. I love this home history tour idea. And should sell stuff at your house. Why not? That snapshot in time idea is brilliant. I know I'd love to know more about the people that lived in my house. I looked it up once through anything about it in the newspaper records and found that the first family that built it..only lived here a year. I have wondered...why they had to move. The second family were quite the socialites. Lots of parties and meetings happened here.

    The couple who lived here a very long time....the Dad worked with for years. I thought that so strange to learn that my father had actually known the woman who lived in my house. It felt like he'd led me here after his death.

    This woman was an artist and she is probably the one to blame for removing the fireplace.

    I love house history. I love the idea of this tour. Fascinating.

  17. Can't believe I never visited your blog before this. See your comments all the time at Small, but Charming.

    Love your house, and what little I have already seen of your renovation. It's a lot of work, but oh so worth it. We were lucky enough to live for 20 years in a Victoria that had been in my husband's family since construction - not so much renovation as holding on!

    Congrats on getting the thief. Sadly folks like that are like PacMan - likely to pop back up.

    I'll be back!

  18. It amazes me what kind of things dishonest people do. I feel badly that this has happened to you and they other bloggers, but relieved the problem was taken care of.

  19. Great news about the bad blogger being taken down! Right prevails, though the process seems to be pretty tedious! Kudos to you and Nita for fighting the good fight.


  20. I'm so confused. Who and why would someone pirate info from your blogs? This is distressing. How did you figure this out?

  21. Very, very cool, what you are doing for the history tour. It would be awesome to have the entire block participate. You never know...

    Have you seen this?

    I think you'd like Megan.


  22. I'm glad it's been taken down. It's sad, but I'm not surprised people are taken advantage of the great "free" blog content that is available. They'll need to be some rules/laws in place to make sure this doesn't happen again.

    When is the event? I definitely want to stop by and check it out! And I'd like to finally meet the ""Steve" behind 'An Urban Cottage!'

  23. I want to be your neighbor! How fun is that? Having a neighbor research your house and help you get involved. Nice thing to do, Steve. Piracy is so disheartening. Yet another sign of moral decline. Bummer. Glad you and Nita persisted.

  24. Congratulations on getting the pirate down. Hope it stays down. If it happens again, maybe you could give contact info on the major advertisers there. That might be the thing to put the nail in the pirate's coffin. Sorry that happened to you. Your creativity and hard work deserves better reward.

  25. wow Steve! what a big undertaking, but such a great idea. hope your neighbors are embracing the idea to do it.

    that is SO scary about the hacker. I had no idea that this was going on... so glad y'all got it down.

    enjoy this gorgeous weekend!

  26. Steve,

    I just want to say a big 'Thank you' to you and all of the honest bloggers out there who put in SO much time and effort into their blogs for all of us out here who read and enjoy them. I do not have a blog myself but can appreciate how much blood, sweat and tears each post can be for the blogger who creates and writes them. It does not go unnoticed, I assure you.

    I was really sorry to hear about your recent experience with blog piracy. Who knew such a thing existed? Hopefully, karma will get that bast@rd!

    Best wishes,
    Karla in CA

  27. Karla,
    Thank you for that really thoughtful comment. That was greatly appreciated.

  28. Glad its all sorted now Steve.. very cheeky of the person but they do have good taste :) ..and you are a genius x