Wednesday, October 31, 2007

A Request for Blog Courtesy Regarding Use of My Original Poems

Sometimes it pays to Google your own name. A few days ago I did…and what did I find? Well, I found one of my original poems posted at another blog. The blogger did acknowledge me as the author of the poem—BUT changed a word in the first line and the ending of my poem. She admitted to having changed the ending so the poem would “go with” the picture she posted. I copied and pasted (in green print) the blogger’s specific post without the picture. Here’s a link to the actual post at sweetladybug.

LETTER FROM THE QUEEN OF BEASTS
by Elaine Magliaro

Dear Chettah

I’m tired of doing the hunting, the preying
While your only job is to watch the cubs playing.
I’m tired of stalking the zebras and gnus
While you lie around on the grassland and snooze.
I’m tired of running, and pouncing, and killing.
I want a career that is much more fulfilling.
I’m tired, so tired. I’m spent to the core.
While I’m hard at work, you just eat, sleep, and snore.
I fetch all the food. You grow stronger…I thinner.
For the next seven days you can catch your own dinner!
I’m going away for a well-needed rest.
I’ll be seeing you soon.

All my love,
La Chetta

this is actually written from a lioness to a lion...but what the heck, had to go with picture... Sounds like things work the same no matter which specie is involved..:) xxoo

Now, here is my poem with its correct ending. Do you think there’s a difference?

LETTER FROM THE QUEEN OF BEASTS
by Elaine Magliaro

Dear Lion,

I’m tired of doing the hunting, the preying
While your only job is to watch the cubs playing.
I’m tired of stalking the zebras and gnus
While you lie around on the grassland and snooze.
I’m tired of running, and pouncing, and killing.
I want a career that is much more fulfilling.
I’m tired, so tired. I’m spent to the core.
While I’m hard at work, you just eat, sleep, and snore.
I fetch all the food. You grow stronger…I thinner.
For the next seven days you can catch your own dinner!
I’m going away for a well-needed rest.
I’ll be seeing you soon.

All my love,
Lioness

Sure, I should have known that people might copy and paste one of my original poems that I had posted at my blog…but I had hoped, being raised as I was, that people would be more courteous and request permission to use one of my poems before posting it elsewhere. My email is available to anyone who reads my blog. The least a blogger should do is to include a link to the post at my blog where he/she found my poem.

I think what really bothers me is that this blogger changed my poem. SHE may think the poem still works—but I don’t think it does! Her change ruins the rhythm at the end—and the near-rhyme is lost.

REQUEST FROM WILD ROSE READER:
REGARDING THE USE OF MY ORIGINAL POEMS

If you would like to post one of my poems at your blog, please do the following:

  • Request my permission to use a specific poem via email.
  • Send me a link to the blog post in which you included my poem.
  • In your post, include a link to the post at Wild Rose Reader or Blue Rose Girls where you found my poem.
  • DO NOT change the words of my original poems.

Is that asking too much? Let me know what you think.

17 comments:

Bkbuds said...

Elaine:

You need a Creative Commons license asap! It's free, and it offers you copyright protection on both your posts and your poetry:

http://creativecommons.org/

It'll spell out under what circumstances people may copy or republish your work.

They're VERY EASY to set up and add as a button to your blog.

The world isn't a fair place, and you need to protect yourself. Would-be plagiarists and thieves would now be on notice.

Just think of all the people stealing your work who aren't crediting you and can't be found through regular googling.

Don't be nice! This is your original work, and it's worth protecting.

Sorry to be so adamant, but I love your poetry and want to see it flourish. I want to see it on my children's bookshelf someday and have a chance to highlight it at Book Buds as a featured book. I want to see you win a Cybils!

So, don't get discouraged or angry. Get a Creative Commons license and go after the b*stards.

/rant. Sorry.

Elaine Magliaro said...

Anne,

Thanks! I've seen other bloggers with Creative Commons licenses. I should have known better--but I'm sometimes slow to act. That's why it cost me $3,000 to retrieve all my files when my computer crashed last summer. I had planned to get a backup system...tomorrow.

I doubt that I'll post a poem-a-day next April as I did this past April.

I appreciate your kinds words about my poetry.
By the way, you'll be able to read one of my poems in a children's poetry anthology that will be published next spring.

Tricia said...

I second Anne's comments. I also think you should comment at the offenders blog and link her to this post. I would even go so far as to ask her to remove the changed poem.
Good luck with this. I too love your work and don't want to see it abused.

Elaine Magliaro said...

Tricia,

I tried to leave a comment at the blog--but it only accepts comments from members. I decided I didn't want to be a member.

Tricia said...

I don't blame you. I will tell you that your post prompted me to run out and get a creative commons license, something I've been meaning to do since Anne spoke at the conference. It took all of 5 minutes. I hope you do this too!

Susan said...

Elaine, ask that blogger to remove the post, and get a Creative Commons license ASAP, as Anne and Tricia are saying.

Handle the removal request by email, make it succinct and polite, and then follow up in a day or two. There's no need for apology; it's your work.

Cheryl said...

No, I don't think you're asking too much! It's shocking to me that someone would change the words of your original poem! And putting it all up without asking you.... wow.

Charlotte said...

And I think "la cheetah" sounds silly, and makes the rant of the lioness much weaker as a result! And "Love, Lioness" has a much nicer sound.

Kelly said...

Yuck, Elaine. How disturbing. Follow Anne's directions. I know I'm going to.

Still, yuck, yuck, yuck.

Cloudscome said...

I am always wondering about this too. I imagine students who have been assigned haiku in class googling it and using one of mine to hand in as theirs. It bothers me but not enough to make me stop posting. I guess I want to put them out there even if they get abused. I am going to get a creative commons license right now.

Funny though, I always thought everything we write is already copyrighted to us, just be virtue of being published under our name, without our needing to register for any license. Isn't it?

Elaine Magliaro said...

Cloudscome,

I just checked with the US government copyright office website. Yes, we have a copyright once we have written something down. That doesn't mean people won't pass off what we have written as their own work.

I am not too technically adept and haven't figured out how to cut and paste the Creative Commons license to my blog yet. I decided that I'd include the copyright symbol at the top of my blog. I hope that will deter some people from posting or using my words and creative works in other places with my permission.

Bkbuds said...

Hey Elaine:

I'm sorry you're having trouble. It's worth fiddling with it or maybe asking someone to help you add it to your blog.

I'm glad that I prompted a few others to check it out, at least.

And I can't wait to see the anthology! Hooray!

Anastasia Suen said...

Set up a Google Alert for your name. You can do this quite easily in your Google Account. Then every time your name comes up in a blog or on someone's website, Google Alerts will email you a link so you can visit the site yourself.

Joyce Sidman said...

Oooo . . . this makes my blood boil . . . and she spelled "cheetah" wrong, too!

Your poem's ending is so lovely, with the "L" sounds and the near-rhyme. I hate the thought of anyone willfully changing someone else's poem . . .

I guess you should be flattered, but also protect yourself, as others have suggested.

Elaine Magliaro said...

Everyone,

I appreciate all your comments and suggestions. I guess I share some of Cloudscome's feelings. I put my poetry out there for the world to see. It's fine with me if teachers share it with students --as long as I receive attribution.

I'm upset that someone took it upon herself to change my poem. I wouldn't want another individual to copy and paste that blogger's version of my poem and post it elsewhere--without mention that my poem had been changed.

Cloudscome said...

I read a little more about Creative Commons licenses, and I think it actually is giving permission for others to use your work. There are different versions, giving different permissions to reprint with attribution (your name) but no changes, or to allow changes/derivative works. Some people say having a Creative Commons license actually gives you fewer rights than you already have under Copyright law.

I settled with just putting a notice high on by sidebar of my blogs saying "Content is copyrighted to Andromeda Jazmon, 2006 - 2007. Please do not copy, reprint or reproduce without written permission from me." I hope that covers me as much as can be expected.

I am glad to be part of this conversation. You've all had me thinking hard.

Cloudscome said...

I like the way you did it too Elaine.