Friday, January 28, 2011

They Say Imitation is The Best Form of Flattery; I Say Eff That!

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I've been grappling with my decision to talk about something that's been bothering me for about a week now.  After my internal debate was done, I concluded: This is MY blog and I can talk about anything I damn well please!

So...I had an issue that I wanted to know if ya'll can help me with.  Usually comments are not that important to me because I can see people are reading according my stats, and that's what really matters to me (btw, thanks for reading).  On this particular post, I plead with you to weigh in, because I actually care what you all think AND I also want to know if I'M buggin!

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A few weeks ago I submitted a guest post to a popular blogger/writer. Her career is taking off and she'd been too busy to consistently update her own site.  She requested that writers send her pieces and if she saw fit she would put them on her blog. Of course, any beginner in their right mind would see this as an opportunity to reach a broader audience. Me being in my right mind (arguably of course), I submitted a few for her to take a look at.  She replied to me and said she would use both of the ones I'd sent her, and she would try to put them up before the new year.  The new year came and went and I hadn't seen either up on the site so I followed up.  She took a while to respond but when she did, she told me she'd changed her mind because neither would spark the dialogue she wanted for her blog. Of course, I respected that (although I thought an email saying as much wouldn't have hurt, but that's just me). I also agreed to some extent because the ones I'd sent her lacked depth and were pretty...cutesy.  She told me she did like my writing though and would be happy to take a look at some more. I sent her 2 more.  I should add that these posts that I'd submitted had already been published here, but again, the point was to reach a larger audience.  She never responded to my email.

A few days go by and it's the night of the Jets vs. Steelers game (sorry Jets nation for the loss). I get home and I see she's updated her status on one of the social sites to say she has a new post up. The title said a lot and I already had one eyebrow raised as it was eerily similar to the one I'd submitted to her. It was about the complexity of complexion (mine was about the lack of representation of dark skinned girls in the media, check it HERE).  Anywho, the similarities were uncanny - down to the Lil Wayne quotes in favor of light skinned girls and the oft used backhanded compliment of  "pretty for a dark skinned girl". I understand this is a topic all black women can relate to so it could've just been a coincidence, but 3 days after I sent it to her...I saw hers. I'd be lying if I said it didn't strike me as a little more than coincidental and if nothing else, a little strange. I've been following her for a while now so I didn't think it was in her character being that she's so talented herself (or so I thought), but again...it definitely raised an eyebrow. Also, it wouldn't be the first time I'd misjudged a person's character.

So what I did was...I posted a comment with a link to my article underneath hers so that people, and by people I mean her readers, could draw their own conclusions.

Please understand that I can't go into specifics for obvious reasons.  If someone is grimy enough to steal my work aka plagiarize, who's to say they aren't grimy enough to come at me for libel or defamation of character?  I mean I'm just sayin'.  I hate to be paranoid but I can't afford (literally) to have any one come at me that way.  Feel me? Feel free to do your own research though ;-).

I say all of this to say: based on the information that I've given you, what conclusion would you draw?

Have I been got???

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think you definitely got GOT......imitation is only a form of flattery if a person acknowledges the fact that they copied YOU because your "just that great". For example, my homegirl says she loves my bracelets and asks where I purchased them....2 days later she hits me via text and says "thanks for the info...I just couldn't help myself-had to cop them, they just looked too cute on you!...LOL". This would lead me to believe that she didn't "copy" but rather inquired about something that was on sale to the general public, all I did was motivate her with my sense of style...because-you know-I am a fashionista if I must say so myself-lol ;). When it comes to works of art (and as a writer you ARE an artist) it's totally different because your work is exclusive to you...it's not to be taken, altered, regurgitated, or flat out STOLEN without proper credit or acknowledgement. Better yet... it shouldn't be (insert any word from above here) without expressed permission. She definitely jacked your beat!...I'm crying foul and she will be crying "exposed" when the truth comes to the light...SMDH. Continue to fly above.....Much success-Dueces.

MISS WHITE said...

Well thanks! Appreciate your comment and your opinion! Very well said! Thanks for the well wishes also! As you said - Deuces! ;-)

sarina said...

Hello Miss White. You are very on point with this blog. Any good writer knows that they have to give credit to the original writer when composing a piece. To be nice I would write it off to the person being untrained, In the field of writing that is. My son is 8 and I have already explained what plagiarism is. What's more disturbing is had your original article/blog been included hers would've had more depth. *Plagiarism is the unauthorized use or close imitation of the language and thoughts of another author and the representation of them as one's own original work...please see bottom of comment for "cited work." However after reading many of your blogs, I could see why she would want to, you are a passionate writer. Seeing as many blogs are not always the forum for formalities when it comes to writing. Keep up the great work.

*Modern Language Association (MLA):
"plagiarism." Online Etymology Dictionary. Douglas Harper, Historian. 28 Jan. 2011. .

MISS WHITE said...

Thank you for taking the time to comment! I agree that any real writer knows to give credit where credit is due. Better yet...any person should know that. Appreciate you being "nice" but inexperience, on the part of the other blogger, was definitely not an issue here. Also, thanx for your compliment of my writing and as always...thanx for reading! ;-)

Pretty Ricky said...

I think you went too hard trying to get on. You should of took notice the first time you were rejected.

BK's Blessed Barbie said...

While I respect "Pretty Ricky's" comment...I think it should be noted, again, that the original submission was solicited by the other party and looked upon as an opportunity for advancement by Miss White, who is clearly a go getter. Many people take "initial" rejection hard, go ball up in a corner, and never try again. Others continue to go hard, chase their dreams, and make it all the way to the top. Anything worth having is worth fighting for sounds cliche but applies to almost every area of life. I believe Diddy was rejected several times before founding Bad Boy records and his own merit....last time I checked he has plenty of "dirty money" to show for his persistence. What would have happened had he given up.......food for thought PR. Just Saying. Xoxo

MISS WHITE said...

Thanx for your comment Pretty Ricky! I hear you. Though...the question still remains whether or not my work was copied. I can live with going too hard...what's that they say about go hard or go home? If she would not have used my work, that would not have been an issue nor would this blog even have existed. Also, I'll have you know she offered to take a look at something else, which is why I submitted it. I think any ambitious person would do so. Respect your opinion tho and thanx for taking the time to comment! ;-)

BK Blessed Barbie - those were my sentiments exactly! Jay had a few doors shut before starting Rocafella. A. Keys, Bey, and Lauryn Hill didn't get signed the first time around. Hell...the writer in question, didn't get her job the 1st time she tried. Persistence and the drive to go after what you want is one thing. Stealing is another.

Al Joseph said...

See....that's the shit I'm talkin bout...ppl try to be slick and utilize up n coming talent as a stepping stone...knowing that the up n coming talent doesn't have the resources that they do...be original!!!! Since when is stealing ideas gangsta ??? WTF ?? I find it funny how you had correspondence with her a few days before her actual post.now all of a sudden she has a topic almost identical to yours..she's not fooling me with the changing of the lil Wayne line...she stole that shit from you.. Matter of fact she stole that whole piece if u ask me.it's not w coincidence that she writes bout that subject 2 days after u send her that post..tell her I know what she doin...she stealin ppl shit...excuse my French...lol..yes I do think u been got...if I were you I'd track her ass down and tell her bout herself.....that's just me lol.. I'm a lil different tho

MISS WHITE said...

Lol! Ok...someone has their convictions! Appreciate your comment and support...but there will be no tracking down of anyone! Lol!

Miss B said...

She absolutey, positively, and knowingly took ur work. People tend to copy wht they can't produce on their own. Take it as a lost b/c the world of blogging is big enough for thr copycaters. I would be flattered at her attempts. Keep pushing mama u will be great anyhow let em copy. #nomindhavingoftheirown God bless their simple minded hearts.

NekuH said...

This is what the industry is all about, those who are talented do what they can to be recognized and heard. While those who aren't, steal what they can to be recognized. Don't know what to tell you for future ventures, but do what you can to always safe guard your sh... Cuz being fake, lying and stealing as not as frowned up as it used to be. Hopefully she leaves you link up there and you again so addition foot traffic.

MISS WHITE said...

@ Miss B - Thanx for taking the time to read and comment. Lol @ "God bless their simple minded hearts." That was pretty funny, but also very true. Sounded a bit like Phaedra from RHOA lol. Thanx for the support!

@Nekuh - Thanx for taking the time to comment and for your opinion. Idk what to do either because all it takes is a simple copy and paste and tada someone has something great but that something great isn't their own. I believe in karma tho so that gives me some sort of comfort. Thanx again!

Iesha said...

I gotta say this S**T is FUNNY as hell! HELLO.... U gave her ur info & next she writes the same stuff... OH COME ON!!!!!! How could any1 consider this flattery???? I'm sure U would of been had she used ur S**T N the 1st place & not use it as her own. It was ur work that became her next blogg so this proves ur work is good just no 1 can know it's ur work.... smdh! I'm SORRY but I don't like when ppl take something they KNOW isn't theirs & act as if they aren't stealing. Plz submit 1 more 2 her & title it (STOP COPYING ME CAT) LMAO & ROTF! Real talk B prepared 4 this 2 happen again cuz ur stuff is HOT! Keep up the good work & know that U R the ORIGINAL MISS WHITE no matter who tries 2 take ur work!

MeMe said...

I definitely agree w/ what Miss B said. BUT since we both know of this chick & how she can come across on not only her blog but just a smidget in person (she gives this air off, a little pompous too)

However, I just went over to her blog and although the posts in general are written differently, she definitely took your idea & ran w/ it EVEN taking exact quotes. I'm very dissapointed in a writer like her and the fact that a lot of aspiring writers look up to her & even read her blog on the daily and formspring her any chance they get. She's def who I thought she was though......

MISS WHITE said...

@ Iesha - Simply...lmao! I will say tho that I will do my best to keep this from happening again, but the funny thing is...the article in question had already been published here. It wasn't like she was the first to read it. But all in all, the was a lesson in sticking to what you know. I know that you can't put things past people and I did. I must be more conscious of that in the future. Thanx for the support and thanx for your comment.

@ Meme - 2 snaps! *wink wink* I feel the saaaaame way! People really look up to this girl, and I'm not ashamed to say as a writer, I was one of them. I will say though that I'm happy this happened sooner rather than later. I see you saw what it was from jump. Preciate you reading both also so you were better able to form an opinion. Thanx for your comment and support!