Tag Archives: rants

plagiarism

gah… i’ve been sicker than i have been in a long time over the past few days, which has left me in a fouler mood than normal, and it hasn’t been being helped at all by the person i mentioned in my last post. i’m on the uphill swing, at this point, but i’m still pretty sick, which is going to be interesting, since i have to take a five-mile walk to pick up Ganesha The Car from the shop this morning, and later on i have a fremont philharmonic rehearsal, which is probably not going to end up happening, because i’m so sick.

i was reviewing my web statistics a few days ago, and discovered that the person, a nandita prabhu who has several other blogs as well as the one linked in my previous post (which no longer exists), posted a new entry in one of her blogs called Plagiarism, where she outlines the process by which she gets artwork to post in her various blogs. she says things like:

People allow me to use these copyright images (I take their permission)

and

I think it is “Ok” for my readers to “borrow” the content of my blog but please ask me before you decide to do so.

and

To sum up, You want to borrow something that’s fine all you have to do is “ASK”.

not only that, but all of her blogs are released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License, but the images that she hotlinked from me, and the images from other sources that i checked on his “The Broken Tusk” blog (which is now deleted) all had very clear watermarks or other indications that they were actually copyright to other places, and there’s no indication, not only that she has permission to relicence the images, but that she has permission to use the images at all.

strangely, when i received email from her on friday, she said

i had no idea of this at all. Infact I have been doing this from so long and i had no idea its wrong. Is it a problem even if i say that the pic is from this website ( like source) ?

and other things that, if i hadn’t actually read her blogs – all of them – would make me believe that she has any idea that this is the wrong way to approach “borrowing” other peoples’ artwork.

normally i don’t give much credibility to any laws governing “intellectual property”, but in this case, she’s coming across to me as one thing, and she’s posting on her blogs something entirely the opposite, which makes me very suspicious indeed. it seems to me like she is trying to come across in her email as a clueless newbie, and in her blog as a person who has her shit together, which is not a way to gain my confidence in the least.

i commented on her blog, and have received several emails from her. i guess i’m going to have to wait to see how this all works out, but at this point, i don’t hold out much hope. i’m certainly not going to prosecute myself, but considering how many other web sites she “borrowed” artwork from (several of which replace the hotlinked graphics with ones that say things like “this image stolen from…” – i’d be willing to bet that someone else will, unless she gets her shit together.

brain injury, paypal, credit card accepting, spam and frustration – in that order

so, now that the moisture festival is over with for another year, i decided to get to work on the “accepting credit cards using some other service than paypal” part of my web site. they have been sending me two or three messages a day concerning different aspects of getting my site set up. i had told the guy initially when i signed up that i wasn’t actually going to be able even to look at email about the web site until after the moisture festival was over, so i was somewhat surprised when i got a statement in the email this morning, saying that my checking account had been billed $33. i called them up, and the customer service lady said that she couldn’t help me, and transferred my call to a sales representative, who, after some convincing, admitted that he had the email where i said that i wasn’t going to be able to start until april, but said he couldn’t help me, and transferred me back to customer service.

this is after i got an email, last week, in my “spam” folder (in other words, it was downloaded directly from the server into my “deleted items” mailbox, which gets deleted when i shut down the computer). the email contained a “From:” address at CheckCare.com – which i seem to recall them saying something about when i signed up with the credit card accepting place – but nothing else that indicated where it was from or who i should contact if i had any questions – which was the primary reason it ended up in the spam box. the email also contained a “Merchant” identification which was “SPAY60102”, which i considered rather odd, and a list of fees, most of which were $0, except for the last one, a “Gateway fee” for $11.85. i called the credit card accepting place and went through a couple of hours of being connected to people who reputedly were going to be able to help me, but finding out that they couldn’t help me and putting me on hold while they transferred me to someone who could. at one point i ended up being put on hold, which was answered by someone who not only doesn’t work for either of the companies in question, but works for one of their competitors. needless to say, i hung up and called in again. as it is, the whole process of getting set up to accept credit cards is way more irritating than a person with a brain injury – such as myself – can handle, and i certainly don’t want to be the focus of two competing companies attempts to get me to give their company money i don’t have to begin with. eventually, after two hours and calling the main number 3 times, a guy answered who, before i had the chance to regail him with the entire sordid story, said that he “was aware of the situation” that had caused me to have to call back three times, and he would figure it out and get back to me… and i’m still waiting to find out whether or not it was spam or an actual bill.

you would think that a company which presumably does hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of business each day would be a little more lax about a $33 dollar refund, but no, the customer service rep that i was connected to said that i would have to talk with a manager if i wanted to complain about the sales representative’s misunderstanding. i said that if it was not resolved to my satisfaction, that i would gladly take my business to a service provider that cares about its customers, so she emailed me a (.doc file!!!) “Merchant Request to Cancel” – which has to be faxed or scanned and emailed back to them, but i don’t have either a fax machine or a working scanner.

they make it as difficult as possible – something which i don’t completely disagree with – to get an account in the first place, but once you have the account they start spamming you just like that was their business, and they make it even more difficult to cancel your account… it makes me wonder how any of these companies stay in business at all, especially with the economy the way it is these days.