An open letter to the person who plagiarized, then bullied, me—and insulted my autism

In February 2016, I encountered a woman who copied my and my web designer’s source code. I reported her accordingly, much to her dismay. Recently, the incident has happened again. This time, however, I’ve been labelled a bully and stalker, and blamed for “harassing” her because I reported her again, which resulted in her host kicking her off.

I was then emailed by one of her friends about how I was in the wrong to report her. I explained how I wasn’t—quite professionally, actually—and that my right as an American citizen makes it okay for me to protect my intellectual property.

I decided to reply to one of her latest emails to me publicly, because this whole bullying thing needs to be addressed, as does the fact that the law is not situational and forever changing based on what one does or doesn’t have time for.

I want to start by saying thank you—thank you for providing such a challenging experience that had me laughing, rolling my eyes, groaning and flat-out crying. I am thanking you, because this experience restored my faith in the blog community. The way the blogosphere comes together when a fellow blogger has been harmed and is thus in need is amazing. At the end of the day, we’re all on the same team; there is simply a select few community members who think it’s okay to copy and steal and blog without integrity.

I shouldn’t despise it just because I’ve been stung by a few wasps.

I’ve decided to place text under headers, because perhaps then you can read it a little easier and will be able to understand my points better.

You’re on my radar

Ever since a few readers of my blog notified me of your website’s latest theme in February, you have been on my radar. Despite whether you wish to believe it, code may be copyrighted. Moreover, HTML and CSS together make up a creative work. There was a case in the Northern District of California with a US District court which found HTML and CSS to be protected by copyright.

Because you’re on my radar, I keep a close eye on your online activities for future (i.e. repeat) offenses. Additionally, I have Google Alerts set up, so I’m notified whenever someone links to me or mentions me/my blog name.

I’m not stalking you; I’m simply monitoring the content you post online for any defamatory or copied content regarding myself. My name is important to me. There have been people in the past who have posted cruel things in regards to my name, and I aim to protect myself and my blog, as well as anyone else whose content is stolen or name defamed (hence why I also notify others).

If you don’t want to be on my radar, you should stop linking to me, mentioning me, and stealing my content.

Protecting brand and blog integrity

A blog is one element of a brand. There are specific elements, such as patterns, people have come to identify me, as well as my blog, with—thus, altogether, my “brand”. The name of a blog does not necessarily correlate with the name of a website/brand. Sure, there are similar ways brands can stand out, but specific elements are what makes a brand. I spent much of 2015 researching everything I could find about branding, because it became a special interest.

I aim to protect mine, because the career I want and path I am on requires it.

I recommend investing in Regina’s brand identity workbook. It’s $7 and full of cool stuff.

The law does not change based on one’s opinion

I live in Texas. My Terms insist disputes will have to be dealt with in my home state (see “Governing law”). Just because you don’t want to doesn’t mean the Terms will change.

The law also doesn’t change just because you “don’t have time” to read up on and familiarize yourself with it.

My decision to protect my rights does not make me a bully. Enforcing my Terms does not make me a bully. Protecting my brand and name does not make me a bully.

Intellectual property

Intellectual property is commonly referred to as IP.

Many acronyms represent different words or phrases, even if/when sequenced together precisely the same.

“LOL”, for example, may be “Laugh Out Loud”, “Lots Of Love” or even “Land O’Lakes”.

Your jurisdiction’s explanation of what I’d need to do to get a protective/restraining order

Different jurisdictions have different processes. From what I’ve gathered, I can go to mine, which will then forward information on to yours.

However, for you to seriously email me all about how much harder it will be for me to get one—and to use this obstacle as a basis for your continuous insults and emails towards me after I have repeatedly told you to leave me alone—is utterly wrong. Why/How do you see nothing wrong with this?

For what it’s worth, I have a family who will protect me and do everything they can to help. I also have an entire community of bloggers at my disposal who are willing to help. Most importantly, I have a dad who is protective of me.

Anything is possible.

Grammar/punctuation lesson

There are many different styles of writing. I took AP English and have a journalistic background, thus I frequently refer to the AP Stylebook.

Before you give me a grammar/punctuation lesson—citing the college that is apparently teaching you it’s okay to plagiarize content, no less—you should learn proper sentence structure, grammar and punctuation, and how to make paragraphs instead of publishing great blocks of text.

Some resources:

“Wasting time”

Protecting my rights, brand and name is priceless.

I would rather go through the trouble now than have the future cost of this fiasco add up. This way, I can spend money on things I care about—like autism research, food allergy research, bills, food and my special interests.

Dealing with this now also helps me prevent it from

  1. happening again in the future (since you didn’t get the memo the first time that I don’t tolerate this) and
  2. happening to someone else.

Regarding assumptions that I am trolling you

I’m not. I don’t know who is. I’m not the first person you’ve plagiarized, though.

I’m actually typically a peaceful protestor. I don’t like calling people out. I really like just waiting until things blow over. But you started threatening me with how you were going to do this and that, so I figured I needed to stop lollygagging and put an end to this.

Regarding your name-calling and incessant insults

You are over thirty (30) years old, insulting a 25-year-old. Am I really the one who needs to grow up? Am I really the one who is all those mean things you’ve called me?

Even worse…

Regarding my “self” and my “autistic self”

I am autistic. My autism cannot be separated from me.

Myself and my autistic self are one and the same.

To insult my autism is to go really, really low. You never fail to remind me how I know nothing about you(r character). What about now? To try to use my autism against me—as an insult—says everything I need to know about your character.

If you could care less

Can you please? Can you please care less about my site and I, and leave me alone? Can you leave my friends alone? We’re really annoyed and tired of this, and every time we finally think you’ve forgotten about this, you drag us back in to your messes and your drama and your ridiculous viewpoint of the law.

Perhaps what you’re trying to say is how you couldn’t care less…ya know?

Comments are open, if only to provide a space in which readers may share their personal experiences and/or support. Comments attempting to personally identify abuser(s) will be deleted. Abusive, degrading comments will be deleted. Threats will be reported to law enforcement who, from what I’ve gathered, will notify law enforcement in the offender’s jurisdiction of the report.

I welcome constructive criticism, but have a zero bullying policy. The safety of myself, my website and the readers of my website is important to me, hence why I will take necessary measures to ensure such safety.

Sorry, but comments are closed on this post.

Comments on this post

Hiro’s gravatar

Just here to say we’re here with you. (^^)/

Michelle’s gravatar

You aren’t being honest with everything but that’s okay. You present only one side and that’s yours, but you have that very right because this is your blog, too.

You have every right to talk about it as it is your blog, and that’s fine. Just know that one side does not constitute everything of a situation. That’s the problem with blogging, really.

I wish you a good day.

Liz’s gravatar

Should I post all the emails and evidence of the copying? It’s not just me she’s copied, so I’d be doing my friends’ sites, too, of course.

The other side of the story, which I purposely left out, was how my words were constantly being twisted and manipulated into something else. A person who does this is called an intellectual bully. I left it out because it was so much BS I didn’t want to go into it. I didn’t address everything because I really couldn’t care less about the blocks of text. I didn’t want to explicitly name what she’d called me, because I try to keep such language off my blog. Because it’s about defining yourself—not letting others define you.

But that’s the problem with blogging, really. You decide to be the one who ends the cycle and is proactive, and you’re accused of trying to rule the blogosphere—which is such an odd idea, because the only thing I run is my website.

If you wish to have a mature conversation about this, feel free to email me. Otherwise, just keep swimming. ?

Kya’s gravatar

Yes. So much yes.

Georgie’s gravatar

It is such a low thing to do to insult someone based on their disability or illness. That would have been the last straw for me. You were right to report this person for stealing because copying source code that is not open source is just not OK. I find that there is a similar misconception with photography. People think it is OK to remove watermarks and not credit people for works they later edit. That is terrible. If you are using someone’s work as a base, you need to ask permission first because it could be against their terms of use and you could be breaking the law.

My friend actually sued Red Jumpsuit Apparatus (the band) for using one of his photos without credit, cropping out the watermark. And because of the band’s behaviour towards him when he politely asked them to credit – they said some rude, nasty stuff – this provided even more grounds for him to sue. It is not acceptable and it sounds like this person is continuing to play with fire beyond the initial incidents.

Bullying is not OK. It is really low that someone who treated you like this is trying to accuse you of being a bully. This person is a bully themselves. What you have outlined in this post is not bullying, and you certainly know what bullying behaviour is, having experienced it yourself. It is unlikely you would have behaved the same way towards this person especially when you are a victim.

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