Curious Incidents of Copyright Infringement

Have you heard about the site socialmention? You can search for mentions of your name on various social media, and see if someone mentioned you on their blog or twitter, etc without your awareness. While some may use it for self-aggrandizement, I used it out of curiosity today to see how it worked.

What I found was a little surprising. Along with my own blog and twitter posts, and blogs where I knew I'd had a shout out, I found several recent posts on suspicious looking "travel" blogs, where they used my picture of one of my travel journals that they must have lifted off flickr. I know when you post pictures online, there is the risk that they will be used without your permission, and in this case that is not really the part that bothers me. I just don't understand what these sites are about. Two of them are the exact same article, poor English and all. Are they phishing? How does my photo help their post? Has anyone else had something like this happen, and what did you do? Your thoughts would be most appreciated.

I was also wondering how the photo remained linked to PrairiePeasant somehow, that it showed up in my search in the first place. That got my dh thinking that if the link was removed, the photo would disappear, so I deleted the photo off flickr and low and behold it became unavailable on these posts! I'm not sure yet if these links will disappear off the socialmention search as well (it hadn't a few minutes later).

Addendum: The next morning after this was posted here on my blog, Google Alerts notified me of another mention. My blog was linked on another very suspicious looking blog with the title of Infringement.That site had an relentless pop-up window for a gambling site.


  1. The blogs that are using your photo are probably not meant for human consumption. You may notice that the blogs have certain keywords or phrases that then link to another site. It's an SEO thing. A blog or website that has one-way links to it is regarded higher by search engines so the website/blog owners write these garbage posts for 'fake' websites to link keywords to their site. I'm not sure why a picture is required but it may be another way of hiding the fact that it's not a real site as in search engines are the intended audience not people...just a way to get better page ranks.

  2. Thanks for your response jake + cleo. The thing about the links, is that there didn't seem to be any in this article. Maybe they hide them somehow?

  3. funny you mention this.. i decided to google 'dog cowl' last week to see if my products showed up. lucky for me, it showed up first, but alot of the links didn't link to my blog, site, or anything. One place was called trend hunter or something, and someone had added dog cowls to their list of 'hot' trends. There was pictures of my cowls and my dog, with no link or mention of my site!!

    So I emailed the site and asked it to be removed. They claimed the article did link to it (but i couldn't find it).

    I find this really irritating and am especially glad it wasn't a picture of ME or someone else who was modeling (although I do feel bad for my dog!)

    Anyway, I decided to put a copyright sentence on my actual etsy listing, not that it will actually prevent anything in future, but atleast I can ask to have my images removed if need be.

    I will have to check the site you mentioned, though I'm not sure I want to!!

  4. Whoa. That's really weird. I tried searching 'moneycantbuytaste' with and without spaces, but since it's a commonly used phrase (I guess) I didn't see too much even about my blog. What did you search for? Sorry that happened to you, Laura. It's icky.

  5. Interesting! Ashley and Erin, I didn't think of searching for my products, I just searched for PrairiePeasant. And Ashley if that happened to both of us, I imagine it's quite a common occurrence. And you don't know if you want to find out who is using your images....


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