Imitation Without Representation

You guys, I hate to end the year on a negative note, and far be it from me to be a bully or a meanie when I am generally so full of cheer and whimsy, but something was brought to my attention yesterday that bears mentioning. I promise this is one of the only times you’ll hear be whine and moan. This type of behavior is so incongruous with my previous thesis on George Michael’s eyebrows, I know.

The internet is a wild place. There are moments when I am staggered at the sheer volume of content out there on the web (do you know how many random google searches I conduct to find a song I heard in a tv commercial, or when I’m blanking on the name of a movie I saw a few years ago, odds are, there is someone out there with the answer) and grateful our generation has become such a plugged-in, hyper-connected one. It’s awesome, and has created a global community of people who otherwise would never have met; I’m thankful everyday for the amazing, talented bloggers (you guys) I’ve come into contact with one way or another. I love it, and I don’t know why I didn’t start blogging sooner. It wouldn’t be possible without the free-for-all that is the internet.

But the obvious downside is that blogging exists in a world without any limitations or boundaries; we basically rely on the moral un-shadiness of everyone else on the internet to be stand-up, self-policing members of the blogging community. For the most part, everyone plays by the same rules. But every time you post a picture or post a story, you’re releasing it into this wide, unregulated world and hoping no one takes your work and claims it as their own.

I’ve been blogging since February. So far, I have had something like this happen to me twice. Exhibit A: a picture of mine from my first trip to Ladurée showed up on Pinterest (which I found because thankfully I am total lame-o and was looking for more pictures of macarons) without any attribution or credit as to where it was found:

I mean, not only is that not okay, it goes against the basic premise of Pinterest altogether. What’s the point of having a virtual mood-board if you’re not going to source the images? So I left a comment on the pin with a link to the original post and asked nicely for the girl to give credit where it’s due. I even left an “xo” at the end to prove I’m not a total hard-ass. It’s the internet, I get it, I don’t mind if you use my pictures just make sure you credit me. It’s been 2 months, and she hasn’t changed it yet.

Then there is the incident that was brought to my attention yesterday. Remember this post on Pantone’s color of the year, Tangerine Tango? I posted it on the 15th. This was the collection of items I found and assembled for the post:

Imagine my reaction when I found this, on a website called StyleBust, in a post from a few days ago:


I’m not going to link to either the site or her specific post, because I don’t think she deserves any traffic from this, but if you google her site, this post appears on the first page of her blog. I’m not crazy, right? Those two are eerily similar, except for the fact that like, nothing she including happens to be Tangerine but whatever. The lines, the long section for one item, the shoe in the upper left corner. I tried to leave a comment on the post, but it appears her comments don’t work. I tweeted her with a link back to my original post, and have heard nothing. I know that there can be overlaps in content when you’re a blogger who writes about fashion and design, but come on. Either make it different enough that it doesn’t send off red, sorry, Tangerine, flags or give proper attribution. It’s really that simple.

I’m not going to pretend like this sort of stuff doesn’t really bum out, but I’m also not going to dwell or let it deter me from continuing to blog. Obviously I can’t control the flow of information on the internet, and I accepted these sort of things from the start. The good that has come from blogging totally outweighs and overshadows little instances like these anyway. And besides, haters gonna hate.

by Omar Noory

 Anyway. Enough of that Debby Downer/Negative Nancy nonsense. Tomorrow is my last post of 2011, and I have a year in review Friday Five planned. Can I just give you guys a special thank you for being so awesome now? Thank you. For being so awesome. I mean it, I promise.

17 thoughts on “Imitation Without Representation

  1. When a celebrity wears a similar or even the same outfit caught by Fashion Police, it appears in the segment called….Bitch Stole My Look. Just sayin’

  2. Ugh, no words. Ok, I’ve got some. I’m sorry this happened to you, and that you discovered it! You may need to start adding a watermark/your name to your layouts and pictures. Maybe just something small in the lower, right hand corner:

    Like this:
    Or this:

    I’m sorry I don’t know how to create links within comments. :(
    I know this doesn’t help with stolen layout ideas/lookalikes, but it could help with misuse of your photos and full posts being copied/stolen in the future. Such a pain, I know…

    Keep on keeping on, my friend.

      1. Tough Lauren? I think I like that. I’m totally telling my kid that because he would completely say that TL comes out fairly regularly…and not just at him. One day Neel was complaining about one of his med. students and I jokingly asked if he wanted me to talk to him. Callum said, “Oh yeah, Momma will, you know.”

        And I love our clique!

        Happy 2012! Hooray!!

  3. Okay, when I went to post that last comment, I got a message that said, “You are posting comments too quickly. Slow down.” WTH? ;)

  4. Bitch stole my look? Brilliant!

    Well, I think we’re all a bit guilty of pinching photos occasionally but to not reply when someone asks you nicely to credit them is really out of order! And I know who it is cos I saw your tweet to her! Her website isn’t very good, it’s very blah. As Lauren says yours is way better. You must be so cross though, feel a bit violated. Boo :(

    But yes 99.9% of us are awesome, as are you sweetie xx

    1. I pinch photos all the time, but I always make sure to link back to either the original owner or the place I got it from, which is usually both. And if anyone commented saying that, even with credit, they didn’t want their photo featured I’d take it down immediately! It’s called manners. :)

      You’re sweet with your compliments, but yes, I do feel a bit violated. I’m just glad I’ve got an awesome little clique (we are quite the little clique, don’t you think? without you, I wouldn’t have found Lauren or Theresa) to back me up on this! xoxo

  5. I feel your pain. A few years ago, a photo I took and posted on an Asian record company’s official forum reappeared on a fan forum I frequented, with my watermark removed. I replied the guy who posted it to say it’s my photo, and he denied it, saying it’s a photo which “happened to be taken from the same angle”. For a while after that I restricted my photo posts so he couldn’t read them.

    1. Ugh, I’m so sorry that happened to you! It’s the worst feeling. I guess that’s the risk we take putting things on the internet, right? I think the story that stands out most is from a few years ago, I think it was Virgin Mobile in Australia used a girl’s Myspace profile picture in an ad campaign without ever asking her. Crazy!

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