Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Cheater Cheater Pumpkin Eater!



Fair warning. This is one of those Southern Style Hissy Fits I've told y'all about. I haven't had one in awhile.

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Sigh. I ran across another one.

Those "pretend food bloggers." The ones that steal material from places like general recipe sites, or newspaper recipe blogs, or even other food bloggers, and copy recipes just about verbatim (or with very minor changes) onto their blog and then go out and snatch a photograph off of Google images (or Flickr, or Webshots, or Picasa, or whatev), stick that stolen image onto that stolen recipe, and create a post, making their readers believe it was a creation that they made in their own kitchen.

I won't call this guy out, though Lord knows I sure want to.

I will say that it is a food blogger who not very long ago started following me, so I went to check his blog out.  I was excited when I found that he was another food blogger who lives right here along the Gulf Coast, in another state, but very close by. It was cool to see a neighbor posting recipes similar to the kind I post, and he also very often attaches a piece of history about the food to his posts, which made his posts fun and interesting. I liked him, and I was impressed with the variety and wide range of amazing and delicious recipes he was posting, so I started following him back. Why, he even had his own cookbook he was selling on his blog.

But, as I begin to see such a wide variety of dishes being posted daily, and pictures that did not appear to be his, I began to grow suspicious of this food blog.  A recent post of a Creole recipe, a delicious beef roast cooked in a tomato based sauce and served over spaghetti noodles, just did not sit right with me for some reason. I sensed it being very familiar. By the way, that recipe is on my list to post, but is one of the ones that I have just not gotten to yet (but will).

So, out of curiosity, I did a search of that recipe and lo and behold, there it was, posted at the New Orleans Times Picayune newspaper nola.com website back in 2007 by a Miss Judy Walker, and copied - ingredients list and instructions - verbatim!  Another quick image search revealed the photograph he was using belonged to someone named Trinkets/BecR and was posted at RecipeZaar back in September.

Of course, there were no credits or linkbacks to that original person's recipe, or to that other person's photograph. This food blogger posted both the recipe and the photograph as if they were his own. "His" recipe, cooked in "his" kitchen, and photographed by "him." His readers were impressed with "his" yummy dish, as they have been with all of "his" other recipes. Now. I am not saying he does this with all of his recipes. Maybe feeling pressured to do daily posts he thought a time or three would be okay. Don't know. Don't care. Because to me, once is enough to put you on the list of Foodie Fakes.

Why does this deception bother me so much? Why does this kind of stuff eat at me? Why did I have to write this blog post about it? I mean, I'm not the food blog police or anything.

Most of my readers here know that I have another blog called Deep South Dish where I post southern recipes. And those who have followed me awhile know I've had two instances of finding other people had lifted my recipes and my photographs and used them to start a blog of their own, and while this time that hasn't been the case (but I think we know now at least one reason why he was following me now don't we?), it still disturbs me when someone tries to run a food blog off of the backs of others, yet pull it off as if it is their own work.

It's theft. And it's pure DECEPTION. And for the life of me, I don't know why this kind of deception disturbs me so much, but it does.

Oh heck yeah, I do so know. I know exactly why.

Because I actually do cook and photograph everything that I post, that's one reason. And it really is a lot of work between recipe development, shopping for the ingredients, cooking the meal and then taking dozens of photographs to get the right one. Then there's the post input and editing and photography uploading - it really is a great deal of work. I love it or I wouldn't do it, but I resent other people trying to pull off a food blog without actually doing the same work I do. There. I said it.

And you want to know why else?

Please forgive me here - but because I actually do the work behind my blog, all of it, well, my ASS can clearly attest to that fact.

I have determined that you cannot be a legitimate food blogger without putting on a few pounds and you certainly cannot be a legitimate southern food blogger without encountering a nice wide spread on the rear end. Sorry, folks. It's just impossible.

Now don't get me wrong. We who do blog food, get our inspiration from magazines, cookbooks and even other bloggers. Most food bloggers like me, actually own hundreds of cookbooks and we subscribe to numerous magazines.

But the same way that the Rachael Rays and Paula Deens of the cooking world do, we take that inspiration and create our own recipes from those inspirations. We do not copy them verbatim, we do not steal other people's photographs and then try to call those recipes our own. That is theft. Period.

And, yes, even when it's not my material that has been stolen, it still turns my stomach, because deception hurts all of us. It makes us readers look like fools and it takes away the legitimacy of food bloggers and steals our credibility.

Wouldn't you rather see a food blogger who is authentic and sharing their love of cooking by posting their own recipes and photos a couple times a week, rather than one who posts recipes and photographs lifted from here and there across the net, just so that they can put up a daily post? I know I would.

11 comments:

  1. Mary, This is something that disturbs me too! As you know, I do have a foodie blog and have had my foodie blog for the past 3 years. During that time, I have caught 6 people ripping off my recipes and photo's and using them on their web sites and/or blogs. It totally pisses me off to no end!

    A lot of hard work goes into posting those recipes and getting photographs...not to mention buying the ingredients to make the recipe.

    After I won the POM from you, I went to the POM web site and got the POM Roasted Chicken Recipe and made it for my family. I took a pic of the chicken and made a blog post. I did a link back to the POM site and didn't post the recipe on my blog but told readers where they could go find the recipe. That is how it should be done!

    I am also a ghost writer...I write articles, web site content and blog posts for other people and I get tired of content stealers ripping off my content and articles (removing my author's resource box) and putting their name to my written work.

    I have had to get my attorney involved a few times now because stealing content is a copyright infringement and is against the law. This law does indeed cover stealing recipes!

    Kudos to you for speaking up!

    Shelly

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  2. Hi Mary, I am sorry you are having this issue yet again..What about the copyright you carry..? Do you have recourss? It boils down to personal responsibility. Obviously this guy doesn't have any, and you shoue CALL HIM OUT........for the fraud that he is...

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  3. Thanks ladies for your comments - as you can see I was venting a bit.

    Faith, fortunately this time it wasn't an issue with my work, but just me happening upon somebody being deceitful again using somebody else's work as their own. I guess that stirred up some feeling in me didn't it LOL?

    Shelly, that would infuriate me too! It's insane, but I'm afraid it falls back to moral values, which seem to be waning these days. Obviously some folks believe that there is nothing wrong with claiming other folks work because it is up on the internet. I know that people take recipes and tweak them to make them their own but even when I do that I also give a credit back to the source.

    Thanks for reading my rant y'all and taking the time to leave a comment!

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  4. Here here mary! I'm one who tried recipes from all over the place, but I do my darnest to say where I got it from! and I sure do cook it myself! (and take the photos, and upload and edit. . .y'know, the boring part lol!)

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  5. This is just so pitiful! I saw that 2nd woman who stole a lot of your and other recipes & pics and claimed them as her own work. I had even emailed her and asked why she was doing this and contacted some of the sites/people she had stolen from.

    Can't believe some people are in such need of plaudits that they'd lower themselves to thievery.

    Pitiful!

    Too bad people like this may never achieve that satisfaction that comes only when you yourself actually achieve something!

    You said it right--they are fakers! Under achievers, hangers-on, wannabes, losers!

    Deal with this one Mary, then just put him out of your mind because you've got a following that no faker could ever achieve!

    You have a lot to be proud of!

    :)

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  6. Oh, I should have read more carefully-he stole someone else's work. Well, that still brings up bad memories of the previous instances of thievery of your work and still outrages, doesn't it?

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  7. It sure does Linda .. as you could see from my fired up little hissy fit lol!! Thanks for your support - you're a sweetheart!

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  8. A pox upon these fakes!!!

    I think they are after the almighty dollar in some cases, and after undeserved praise and attention in others...none of that is right...hope he gets a nice piece of COAL in his stocking...

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  9. Hey Mary, Someone lifting your work is a "complementary" wrong that will be made right... Bad karma, not a part of my faith base, however, I believe it to be true.

    It is quite obvious that you do work behind your blogs!! That is why I think they are fabulous! If my blog was one third as well written and interesting as yours I'd be mighty pissed too!

    What integrity you show by not exposing the thief! I hope you expressed your displeasure directly to this person via a blog comment on the stolen post, something I feel would be an appropriate response.

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  10. Unfortunately, Mary, it isn't just fake foodies their is fakeness all over the net. It drives me insane. What happened to the fear of plagiarizing? I know when we were in school we were warned of copying anyones thoughts, ideas and words. I was so scared that it has carried through in my adult life. It is just a big NO NO and down right rude.

    When I was selling on ebay, the stealing of photos, descriptions and practices were and are still rampant. There are just no consequences for these thieves. Less work for them and they benefit from us GENIUSES.

    I visit many, many blog a day and I can't tell you how many times I have to recheck if I am still on another blog. It is ridiculous. When I find one, I email both parties, just incase one doesn't know they are being copied.

    What has become of our respect in this society. I do not know. If I ever find out someone copying you, I will definitely let you know.

    Now some encouragement! Keep your head up and keep your works of art coming. You have a gift and I am thankful that you are willing to share it with all of us, despite the slackers.

    ReplyDelete

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