Fort Collins, Colorado
I'm at war with business as usual. I help business owners bust through business ruts and build community by introducing fresh ideas and reviving storytelling.
"People will know who you are because you are consistent". Boom!
Love it. Agreed. Shared. Commented. Want a churro.
Actually, in all seriousness - great advice, great delivery - and while I tend to avoid tequila after the "summer of OMGWTFBBQ!" (aka: the Great Memory Gap of 2010) I totally dig what you've said. Spot on.
11 hours, 42 minutes ago on 5 Lessons Tequila Can Teach Us About Marketing (Guest Video)
@CShakespeare I would challenge your assertion that our society is desensitized to theft of intellectual property because "coming up with original concepts" is too hard.
Instead, I'd contend that a core part of the learning experience goes something like this:
1) Articulation - figuring something out, working it, moving it around, seeing what it's made of
2) Emulation - building a model of something, building a copy of something to know how it works
3) Adaptation - changing some aspect of the original emulated work
4) Modification - incorporating a new aspect into the original emulated work
5) Original Creation - combining new ideas based on what you learned in steps 1-4 to create something new
For instance, think of how you learned to write poetry. You probably had to copy a sonnet or two from Shakespeare to learn iambic pentameter. A few more sonnets and you could write your own. That process continued for just about everybody. Soon enough somebody had come up with, "There once was a man from Nantucket..." and then finally someday someone penned the most brilliant poem of all: "Ode To Spot".
It's not that the creation of original concepts or content is too hard, it's that most people think #4 is "enough" to constitute an original work (thanks in no small part to overworked, underpaid teachers and a system that rewards minor improvements on the status quo with millions of dollars of venture capital).
The way we learn to create new things is by learning how old things work and fit together - until we come up with some new combination of old things that is "truly" original (even though it's just a recombination of old ideas that has either never been tried, been forgotten from the past, or is novel enough to work at this point in time and not at the point in the past when it was discovered).
As copying is a necessary part of initial learning, we have to think critically on how we teach children and adolescents about the creative process, how we reward originality (at the moment: it's largely punished), and how we license our content and contributions to society.
1 day, 20 hours ago on On Stealing Shit
This is why I have mad respect for you. You took a one line explanation you gave to me (and a few others) in a comment and turned it into a whole-hog blog post.
Not only that, you addressed the concerns quite a few folks had about the "slut shaming". Well done. Comment high-five.
2 days, 3 hours ago on On Stealing Shit
@Erika Napoletano @SpartaJen You wouldn't trust me as much as you do if I wasn't totally honest with ya.
That said, I hear ya and I won't keep prodding.
3 days, 21 hours ago on If You’re Going to Rip Me Off, At Least Be Creative About It
@Erika Napoletano @SpartaJen Erika, right back at ya (mad respect).
You didn't call me an idiot, I was just using me as the perfect example of someone who could have been the exact target of this bitch slap because of my understanding of what constitutes plagiarism :-D - and if the line was blurred for me until you explained it wasn't the content but the execution, maybe it was blurred for this Savvy girl, too.
Chai woman? Yeah, that's totally fucked up. I'd have expected this blog post and resulting outrage for her.
Savvy? The obvious change in content (if not other bits of execution) and her quick removal stops me from being outraged; so the slamming of her character, gender, and age seems really out of line to me.
Granted, I don't know what the back-end communication looked like. Maybe Savvy told you to fuck off or was rude. Maybe it was an innocent mistake which is now fixed. Even so, the fact that you're indifferent to it going forward now is troubling to me. You can't control what other people say and do, but you do set the pace and tone of your own community.
You and I, and all content creators - we SHOULD care about educating ALL our readers on this - and not on the Sesame Street-level lesson of "why you shouldn't steal things" (fucking duh) but instead on the much more advanced "you might think this isn't theft because you made an effort to modify it, but it is still theft..." Semantics and intent in that sense are *everything*.
That's not licensing ignorance or fuckery, that's basic business survival to prevent fuckery from propagating.
3 days, 22 hours ago on If You’re Going to Rip Me Off, At Least Be Creative About It
@Erika Napoletano @SpartaJen Erika - it's your community, their behavior as a result of your call-outs is on you.
I haven't been watching Facebook, I've been watching here. It's not being shut down. Your reaction to an ad-hominem commenter (Jackie Dotson) was "She knew what she was doing." Your reaction to another, similar commenter, Carol Smith, who commented on Savvy's genital configuration, was silence. Schadenfreude is an ugly fashion accessory.
As an aside, I'm not attacking Jen's stance. She never said anything was OK. I'm challenging her that copyright infringement won't decrease even with call-outs like this - if anything, future infringers will be much more unlikely to do anything once they get caught and become more embedded in their belief they didn't do anything wrong (because they don't get it in the first place, they just think they're being thrashed by a bully). It'll turn a legitimate request to remove copied content into "bullying", when it's really not.
I'm saying if we don't turn these into teaching moments, as to the exact nature of WHY they think it's OK to steal content... it won't change for anybody and you'll have made a rather large wave signifying nothing.
Just look at the comments. You have four basic groups: The folks who agree outright because you're Redhead Writing, then the folks who agree because they have similar knowledge or understanding of the copyright line, then you have people who think if they change the copy, but leave the system, the concept, and the design the same, it's not plagiarism... and then the last group are wondering why you think you can "copyright" the idea of coffee consulting.
That's the problem - the lines aren't clear because education is lacking. I'm no idiot, and even I was having trouble understanding your call-out until you put it in a different context for me.
It's EXACTLY the reason why I'm troubled by the ad-hominem attacks, because while the *intent* doesn't lessen the crime, it certainly should meter the response.
4 days ago on If You’re Going to Rip Me Off, At Least Be Creative About It
@SpartaJen As a dissenter, I don't think it's OK that the plagiarism occurred. Erika's call-out was a necessary thing.
Did the public thrashing clear up the issue? Not for me and not until I questioned what the infringement was.
I am troubled by the fact that quite a few of the commenters railed against Savvy's age, gender, face, abilities, etc - just on the basis of Erika calling her out. I'm troubled by the fact that nobody else seems troubled by that (or at least, isn't troubled enough to comment on it) and even more troubled by the fact that other commenters applauded and encouraged those ad-hominem attacks...
At the end of the day, the infringers learned nothing of copyright besides "don't fuck with Erika", some trolls were allowed to spew ad-hominem venom towards the target of the day, all while the original plagiarism might have occurred precisely because the line isn't a clear one until the execution is described (look at how many commenters equate copy to the idea itself - when it's a combo of the system, the design, the copy, and the idea itself).
If the only education opportunities these types of things get are either "CUT OFF HER HANDS"-level public call-outs or private letters between lawyers, it's no wonder they keep happening.
4 days, 2 hours ago on If You’re Going to Rip Me Off, At Least Be Creative About It
@veryafraidtosay To be fair, it was a pretty blatant copy of the system, layout, and concept - if not the copy (which changed slightly).
The execution of the idea was the problem (that it had such similar concept, copy, systems, and layout which add up to execution).
What SavvySexySocial did here is look at a sofa, built an identical sofa, moved the cup-holder, and upholstered it in a slightly different color.
The "line" that was crossed was that there wasn't at least some attribution back to Erika for the concept, systems, or layout (internals) - which weren't changed, even though the copy (fabric) changed shade.
The merit of the idea is in the execution - most of which was copied in this case.
4 days, 6 hours ago on If You’re Going to Rip Me Off, At Least Be Creative About It
@CAELANHUNTRESS I do think SavvySexySocial made a mistake here; the mistake was that she stopped at the paint.
It's sort of like stripping the internals out of an iPad, copying it verbatim, and then redressing it as a myPad in green, orange, and red instead of black or white and selling it for half the price.
The "line" that was crossed was that there wasn't at least some attribution back to Erika for the concept, systems, or layout (internals) - which weren't changed here, even though the copy (paint) was.
@Erika Napoletano That's an excellent answer, and it clarifies a lot for me: when you said the *execution* was the thing being copied. It's not about the words, the format, or the layout, it's about the execution (which is a combination of all three of those things plus intent) - which I whole-heartedly agree with. It's pretty clear that WAS copied.
I've said it before: I'm not bothered by you defending your territory or standing up for yourself.
For what it's worth, before the "execution" clarification - when I look at the side-by-side comparison, I get the similarity in layout. But, to a semi-layperson without that "execution" explanation, the content change and slight layout changes were enough to raise questions for me but not outrage. I'm not exactly uneducated on the topic of copyright law, but I'm also no lawyer.
Someone with a similar perspective to my original position (questions but not outrage) might have a difficult time differentiating "theft" from "building on". It doesn't make the theft any less wrong, but to say they "knew better" probably isn't accurate because it becomes a question of intent.
The semantics aren't always black and white - which is why Apple vs Samsung went different ways in different courts. The theft is that the bones here haven't been grown or modified, just redecorated - as in your couch metaphor. To "know better" requires an understanding that the execution - and not the copy or layout - is the soul of the thing being stolen.
You're right to call her out, but the community outrage based on an assumption that she had malicious intent (that she "knew better" when that hasn't been established) ... is troubling.
@JackieDotson I'm honored you took the time to read my comment and quote portions of it (obviously, I had both of those quotes in my comment), but I'm afraid without attribution that's copyright infringement. ;-) I think people who quote me without attribution are lazy, throwing up comments to generate passive praise. I mean, just look at her, her name is Dotson, like she owns all the dots over all the i's and j's on the internet!
Look... joking aside, my point is this: I DON'T think Erika's response was uncalled for. She made the right call with the right amount of Redheaded fury.
I DO, however, object to high-and-mighty pitchfork and torch lighting and hating on a woman who we don't know by people in the audience.
Schadenfreude is a dangerous game when we only have half of the story. Did SavvySexySocial screw up? Sure. It was a doozy. But the intent MAY have been honest.
You can rail against young people, "social media experts", and those who don't want to pay their dues all you want, but it comes off sounding jaded and bitter, not witty. I'm only 27. I've had more jobs than most people I know before I started my own company. And I work a lot harder than most people I know. I also have been called a "social media expert" because I teach classes on social media for charity, have pithy sayings, corny videos about speaking Klingon, and prices that sometimes end in 7's. I also occasionally make a duck face, though if anyone has proof I've probably murdered them already and destroyed the evidence. Do I make your list of an internet scammer? Or is that a reserved title for when I make a mistake?
Ad-hominem attacks don't help teach folks that copyright infringement is wrong - or even where the line is. And that's the point of my asking the question: where is the line? She obviously took time to recraft the message and the offer (though not the format or the idea itself - the bones were identical). But when do the bones stop being the thing that is copyrightable?
Your answer to that question is at the heart of the issue. Because that's what makes the difference between blatant theft and rookie mistake. That's not naivety, that's keeping an open mind until we know the other half of the story.
4 days, 8 hours ago on If You’re Going to Rip Me Off, At Least Be Creative About It
Just to play devil's advocate against the pillaging hoard (not the Redhead, because I think you're right with your response)...
When someone ripped off my PSA (Are You Burnt Out?) that went viral on Reddit, they left everything else, just removed my logo. That version was then shared by a page with 50K likes... and shared another 500 times after that. Which then found one of my friends... I was pissed, hurt... and I wanted to give up on writing another PSA, ever.
In your case... I get why you're pissed. I'm on the fence as to SavvySexySocial's intentions, though.
I think honest intent is what's key: she probably thought she was too small fry to show up on your radar or affect your business (which isn't really true for anybody or anything anymore). She probably thought she really doesn't offer the same services. She probably thought she changed it enough that it wouldn't be a problem. She probably thought it was an idea worthy of trying and thought she'd done enough to make it original.
I can't claim to know what she was thinking, but I know the mindset because I've been there, too (15 years ago when I was 12 and knew nothing about copyright and wanted to share my love of Star Trek ships, maybe by borrowing content from StarTrek.com and adding my own twists to it, but I've been there).
It's the mindset of a rookie making a mistake, not a master criminal.
I know a lot of people look up to you, me included. Of course a few of 'em are going to try out your tactics. Hopefully, they'll have enough common sense to change it up more than what happened here. With original layout. Original copy. Original spirit of the idea... not just a revision.
It should go without saying that if Erika Napoletano asks you to take down a page with a bitchslap, you'd better believe someone's gonna haul ass to take it down as a sign of good faith until they can figure out if they screwed up. It'd be more telling if they left it up.
That doesn't mean she *knew* that what she was doing was blatant theft or was intentionally doing something duplicitous; she probably assumed it was unique enough.
Was it a bad assumption? Fuck yeah. Was it blatant, intentionally harmful, "suck it, Redhead"-level theft? Hmm...
And, echoing what Caelan said - when does a revision become an original work? Obviously, SavvySexySocial didn't go far enough yet. If I were to launch a "buy me lunch" program with a similar sound (in my voice, of course), cost, benefit, and structure (because, a virtual one-on-one product and recording it and providing a report are not exactly new ideas) and we're masticating over marketing rather than sipping over being stuck, should I expect a bitchslap, too?
Obviously - I know enough not to directly copy your stuff, structure, etc - and to give credit where credit is due. But like Caelan said - she obviously edited the copy to be in her voice, if not the intent of the idea or the overall layout or structure. At what point do changes in copy become a unique iteration of a common idea?
4 days, 11 hours ago on If You’re Going to Rip Me Off, At Least Be Creative About It
@Annie Sisk This rocks.
1 month, 2 weeks ago on How to Deal with Negativity, Assholes, and Discouragement
Zing! I love it... YOU are the cause of all your problems.
I love it and hate it when I have to tell clients that (usually not about jerks, but sometimes when it comes to social media mismanagement).
Hang around the kinds of people you want to share values with; I just told my cousin this morning: some people are worth being nice to. Some aren't. The trick is having enough energy to stay nice to everybody until you figure out who's wasting your energy :-)
Great post Alden!
@LauraPetrolino @WTFMarketing Yeah, definitely made me laugh out loud when I saw it!
1 month, 3 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://flyingpigconsulting.tumblr.com/post/46199966011/four-things-darth-vader-can-teach-us-about-marketing
I think I would add two things to this list:
5) Darth Vader was ruthlessly efficient. He knew how to get the results he wanted and how to play the field to make those things happen.
6) Darth Vader wasn't afraid to get his own hands dirty. When it came time to capture rebels, and where he was most successful, was when he was in the action and in the field himself. That's how he captured Han Solo, that's how he sliced off Luke's hand, that's how he killed the Emperor. In fact, if Darth had been able to just do everything himself instead of leave it to his incompetent staff of ingrates and dummies, he would have succeeded.
These are some great points, Laura! I really love the image at the top, too - haha.
FFS. Of course *I* would misspell SPOCK. Jeez.
2 months ago on Nobody Likes a Big Banana
@kastylephotography Thanks! I appreciate that! :-D
@kastylephotography Haha, thanks very much for stopping by! I don't own Spcok Ears, but I DO have a few combadges and rank pips.
@SandyMc It's one of my new favorites, too!