Edit: Carlo has taken down his site. I’ve put up a cached version. Thanks to everyone for the support — goes to show that a voice can count for something on the internet.
Carlo, who lives somewhere in Metro Manila and sometimes, not most of the time, in Pangasinan, Philippines, has stolen from me. There are others who steal my work, but this is usually the pictures I take, which they use as backgrounds for their own sites (most commonly the starry sky at Bancroft). I try not to take offence to this; the file sizes are commonly small, so it doesn’t make much of a dent in my monthly bandwidth. There are also people like Sophia, who has made her presence known to me, and uses my words every so often in her own writing as a flattering gesture.
Carlo is different.
Word for word.
This entry, which I struggled days to write, into which I poured my heart, was posted on his blog a day after mine. He did change the title, although I think this hardly ameliorates his actions. He also used my Petal Game picture (perhaps without noticing my watermark in the lower right-hand corner), as well as a line from my post inspired by Eternal Sunshine, for a different entry.
It saddens me to think not of how easily someone can steal things on the internet, but how willing they are to do it. I can only wonder how many other people have stolen from me. Lorelle, who offers some great points on what to do if someone steals your content, suggests open communication, in combination with as a letter of cease and decist. And while I’m in complete agreement with this, I felt that for the first time I should write about it instead, to make it public, so that others may be aware of their own works. There are people who will quote without referencing. There are people who will take without returning.
Because what’s the point of blogging, when one’s words aren’t one’s own?