Wednesday, September 04, 2013

What Is Wrong With People? Pagans & Copyright

It's a theme I've wanted to tackle for a while.  Maybe not Copyright, per se, but the whole idea of "What is wrong with people?" which is a question that I ask at least on a weekly basis.  This may have be a recurring theme.  Today, for the first time in months, the kids are in school except for the youngest two, who are both napping, and the quiet in my house makes me want to do a happy dance. Or, you

So, now that the motivation to blog has hit, and I'm finding myself, yet again, asking the important question of "What is wrong with people?" I thought I'd address it.  Or at least the version of it that is on my mind today.

We all know that taking things that don't belong to us is wrong.  We don't wander through Target, putting things in our carts, and then walk out without paying for them.  Someone made that thing.  Someone deserves to be paid for their work.  It's not ours.

It's the same thing I explain to my kids when they have taken food from the pantry.  That food belongs to someone.  It is intended for someone.  And if you eat it, they can't.  The pantry is not self-filling.  I have to go out, and pay for that food.  I buy as much as we need to eat for the week.  And I can't make meals work, if I'm missing key ingredients.  It doesn't belong to them.  It's really simple.

Why should that be any different on the internet?  If I want to share something that someone else has written, I will quote it and provide a link to the primary source material.  I will give credit where credit is due.  This is common sense.  It hasn't always been easy to do with pictures.  But now, with Google image search, it should be much easier.  Still, I'm not here to judge honest mistakes which do get made from time to time.

But someone who creates nearly 100 blogs, and is blatantly ripping off other sites, passing their words and images off as his own?  That's not a learning curve issue or an honest mistake issue.  It's plagarism.

It does bother me, that two prominent Pagan bloggers were called out for this behavior, but what really got to me was their attitude about it.  If I do something wrong, I need to fix it.  I need to figure out where my error lies.  And if I've done something wrong unintentionally, I need to apologize for it.  What I read from one of the bloggers was that those who were trying to get her to stop plagarizing, were just "jealous bitches".  In fact, this kind of attitude seemed to be the way for both of them.  It was either "not a big deal" or really, the fault of other bloggers and writers who werecausing  trouble.  What kind of attitude is that?  I can think of no faith that would embrace that outlook.  But since Paganism is a faith that recognizes the divinity that moves through all of us, and connects us to the world around us, and each other, it should never be an us vs. them mentality.  We are all in this together.  I mean, seriously, "jealous bitches"?  What is wrong with people?

I love to see my friends succeed.  Both in real life, and online with blogs and websites.  A win for them, is a win for me, too.  As we Pagans become more visible, we become better understood.  So, when people read our websites and blogs, I want them to see people who operate with integrity, humility, and a great reverence for one another as human beings.

Of course, there is always a price to be paid by those who step up and call for action when talking about it has been unsuccessful.  Kallan Kennedy of The Secret Life of the American Working Witch has paid this time.  She has become the diversion.  The one to cast the blame on for insisting that something be done.  She calls herself a "nobody" in the blogging world.  But she is a must-read for me, and I'm proud of her for standing up for the writers who were being stolen from.  Give her a read.  She's totally worth it.  And she has a kick ass blog design.  Seriously, if I were to steal anything, it would totally be that.


  1. I have been standing with Kallan on calling out the plagiarists and I agree with what you said too. Thank you for posting this, Anne!

  2. Thank you, Anne.. this is such a great post (not because of your support, which I love so much!) but for the wonderful observations and wisdom contained within.

  3. I agree, and I'm terribly saddened by how certain people have decided to turn this around on Kallan. Great post!

  4. Excellent post and spot on. The amount of entitlement and vitriol over this makes me really appreciate the awesome folks in my life all the more (both on and offline). It also saddens me that so many support this wrong doing, loudly and proudly. It's shameful.

  5. Excellent post, Anne! You hit the nail on the head with this. It is disgusting to me the number of people who have rallied to the side of the plagiarists crying that those who expose them are "trolls" or "haters" who are simply jealous of some perceived success. They hitch their wagons to the plagiarists star in hopes that they, too, will become a "somebody" in the Pagan community.

    I have stood with Kallan on many issues and I will continue to do so because she is a woman whom I am honored to call my dear friend. She is bearing the brunt of this because she stands up for what is right even if it is not popular. That is the epitome of integrity and character.

    I have told her repeatedly that she is like a lighthouse in the sea of Paganism. Her light shines so that others can navigate these choppy waters and steer clear of the rocks that will certainly wreck their ships.

    Kallan has more character and integrity in her pinkie finger than those attacking her have in their entire bodies combined. I love her with all of my heart and will continue to follow her beacon because I know she would not steer me toward the rocks. She is a shining example of the kind of Witch I want to be: confident, strong, honest, loyal, intelligent, kind, and caring.

    Keep shining that light, dearest Kallan.

  6. It's very important to stand firm on this issue, especially since some believe that anything published online is up for grabs. They don't seem to understand that to "share" means you own, or get permission from the owner to pass on the work/art and that if you are not the owner, you give credit to the author/artist.

    The saddest part in all this (in my opinion) is that no one wants to even try to author/creat anything his/herself. Hanging a beautiful piece of artwork doesn't make one anything but an admirer. The real talent is still with the artist. Why not try to create something original?

  7. Great post & I totally agree. In the spirit of giving credit where credit is due... The photo you used to accompany your post "Just Your Typical Mom" of the woman with her toddler in the center of a pentacle is a piece of art my friend Shannon Hilson created. :)


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