If you’ve read my blog for any length of time (and if you have, thanks for sticking around!), you have probably picked up on the fact that I work at trying to mostly post positive things. I don’t love confrontations, I try not to point fingers – though I do vent, just like everyone else, I don’t post anyone’s name. I don’t feel the need to “sick” my readers or friends on anyone, though I do have loyal friends who have stuck up for me in the past when they thought it was needed (thanks to you as well!).
Recently, though, a situation has developed and grown to the point where I can no longer ignore it. I’ve been accused of things I have not done, been called names, been verbally attacked and denied the ability to even stand up for myself on the basis that I could actually prove my side. And it’s being dragged on and on and on and on. So, here I am, giving my side to the story. If you are aware of this situation, I hope that you will read through (it’s going to be long, just to warn you). If you aren’t, well, be glad, lol! You’re better off not being involved in something that’s gotten so nasty!
We’ll start our story, my friends, about a month or so ago. I was made aware that some of my writing was posted on a website. The posts were my work in it’s entirety (they had taken the whole articles and posted them on their site). Some had links back to this blog, some did not. Either way, when you post an entire work of a writer? Yeah, that’s copyright infringement. If it’s not credited so that people assume it’s the site’s work, it could also be considered plagiarism. Fair Use laws only allow for a few lines, maybe a paragraph of someone’s work to be posted on another website, along with a link back to the original work. It does NOT allow posting of an entire work. That, my friends, is totally illegal.
So I contact the site’s owner, ask that my work be taken down. I am told an elaborate story about hackers and this and that, but I’m informed that the works will be taken down (I have both copies of these emails and screen captures of my work on the website in question). I go happily about my business, as all I ask is that people don’t post my work.
Fast forward to this week. I get a private message on Facebook from someone who sends me a screen capture of a conversation from a moderator of the group in which she states (and I have this screen capture on file) that I have given permission to the site for them to post my work. I contact the moderator privately (because she is the one who made the statement) and inform her that I have not given the group (there is a website, a FB group and another group site) permission to post my work, and state that I can see that they do not currently have any of my work posted – I just wanted to confirm the fact that I don’t let my work off my own sites.
This person (I’m not going to give out names, but we’ll call her Robin Sprinkles) responds by basically calling me a liar, saying that I gave the head of the group permission to post my work, and that they did not, in the past, infringe on my copyright – and a whole bunch of other things that I will not repeat (and yes, I still have these messages). What she did NOT do is deny that she had the conversation that I was referring to. Not wanting to get berated by someone when another person is the actual site owner, I just blocked Robin Sprinkles and went right to the sites owner, we’ll call her Oak. She stated that she had been told that the screen capture I had been sent was faked and that the original conversation had not happened at all. I pointed out that Robin Sprinkles had not denied the conversation and I forwarded on the post that RS had written to me. Oak and I had a conversation and I thought we had cleared up any misinformation. She was nothing but polite in her messages to me.
Soooo, I was surprised, later in the week when I once again got a message that my name had been brought up in a conversation at their FB site by Robin Sprinkles. I went to the FB page and read about how I had accused Oak of this and that, lied about all sorts of things, and reported her to FB, which resulted in Oak deciding to take the FB group page down. Not only am I mentioned in this post by name, but also another author who had their copyright infringed upon in the original part of this story (I’ve got the screen caps!) and two friends who had stepped up to defend me. We were all bad mouthed. I was called a liar and a “fluffy bunny” and once again it was stated that I had given my permission for the sites to post my work. Okay, whatever. So I “liked” the page so I could comment to it. I denied having reported the page to facebook (which I didn’t) and once again stated that I never give my permission to post all my work, and that if someone does, it’s copyright infringement. I also comment on how I don’t appreciate my name being dragged publicly into this mess.
Well, Robin Sprinkles looses her nut (or in the words of the YaYa Sisterhood, she dropped her basket) and just starts ranting and raving. Oak stepped in and stated that she did not want names being brought into it, and as far as she was concerned that this subject was closed. I posted that I was good with that – once again, I believe the issue to be over. Nope. Robin Sprinkles can’t let it rest. She starts bashing me again. I start posting links to what the laws are. I start uploading photos of screen captures of their site with my and other people’s work on it. Suddenly I am banned from the site, my posts are taken down, and I can no longer read their page nor defend myself on it.
I’ve been informed that the bashing and bad mouthing goes on. Apparently many of their group have been deemed “spies” and have been mass deleted. Just for the record, though a few people have told me what’s going on, because they think I deserve to know what’s being said about me, I do not have “spies”, I am not out to “destroy” their site or group and I could not care less what they do on their own time – as long as my work stays off their sites – one of which still carries my blog button, like we are long lost friends.
So there you have it. My side of what’s been, for whatever reason, turned into some silly little witch war. I appreciate all the support I’ve received on this. People who know me know that I don’t have the time nor the give a crud to sit around and worry about what other people are doing, for the most part. I have books to write, kids to care for, animals to snuggle, friends to chat with and a heck of a hot, sexy husband to spend time with. But at some point, my dears, you do have to stand up to the bullies of the Pagan community and say, enough is enough. I won’t stand by silently and let you try to ruin my reputation and falsely accuse me. I won’t play any more of your silly, time wasting games. And I will inform people of how your “church”, which gets paid in both donations and in teaching for pay treats people when they don’t agree with you, comply with you, or calls you out on your own BS.
And I ask, though I will keep the comments open, that no one personally attacks these folks (because I’m cool like that), posts their real names, or links to their sites. If you are someone who is paying an online site for lessons and wants to make sure that you are not paying for lessons from someone who seems to have a lot to learn about being a leader of the Pagan community, message me privately, and I will discuss that with you.
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