It was brought to my attention that a blog hop/meme I have had since I created my blog is being used by someone else. They are using the same name, same concept, but instead of asking 1 question, they are asking multiple.
My blog, posts, and everything on it is copyrighted, so do I have a leg to stand on to ask this girl to stop using the same meme name?
We do have at least 1 overlap reader in common, so I wonder if she created this idea on her own w/o realizing I already have a meme w/that name OR if she saw it somewhere else and took my meme concept.
Tamara, I have been meaning to copyright my blog to hopefully prevent someone from copying my posts or other original info of mine as their own. However if someone takes a recipe and changes a couple of ingredients, it makes a new recipe. As in your case, she changed the details of the meme but is using your name, which may or may not be coincidence. I would contact her and ask that she change her name. Don't accuse, but let her know your blog is copyrighted and that she has the same meme name.
Margaret has some great points - all you can do is ask her to change it. It's not worth the time and expense to hire a lawyer to create a Take Down Notice. I've seen this happen before where one blogger accused another of copying her stuff - and did it publicly on Twitter. It just turned into an ugly flame war and made mom bloggers look catty.
Remember that imitation is the highest form of flattery. But until then, make sure you have copyright notices on your blog and that you put a Creative Commons badge in your sidebar and RSS feed, too.
There is not much you can do unless your blog is copyright registered with the Federal Copyright Office. I would definitely get the word out, though, that someone has stolen your material and your idea, because word of mouth is everything in the blogosphere. But do it in a respectful way to keep your good name. I have checked into the copyright issues pretty thoroughly, on several occasions, and while my blog is copyrighted when I publish, technically, it's not unless I have registered (which, of course, requires a fee). And there is little recourse when we are plagiarized. Asking nicely to have her change it is the best thing you can do. Always take the high road.
You can find out if your blog has been plagiarized by going to Copyscape. They also have cute buttons you can use on your site to "remind" readers that your blog is YOUR blog. Also, here is the link to the copyright office. Hope this helps!
It has always been my understanding that pretty much anything you put on the internet is unprotectable by copyright unless it has been formally registered with a legal body as a copyright. Yes, you can put a copyright notice on your website and that will give you some measure of protection, but unless you are Disney with the chops to back it up, you are mostly just scaring away the casual thieves.
I saw that someone suggested using Creative Commons licensing for your blog. I'm not sure that is the best route to take as Creative Commons doesn't really protect you with full copyright, in fact, even their strongest level says that people can reuse your content to some degree.
If you are planning to write a book with your content you should formally register your work with the U.S. Copyright Office. If you plan to make a tv show or movie out of your work you should register your work with the Writers Guild Of America. If you do plan to republish in one of those media I would personally recommend saving your best stuff for the big reveal later and using your blog as a practice place to work out your ideas rather than a place to give away your priceless content. If your blog is the end game for you, maximize your earnings from your traffic and try to take the stealing as a compliment and rest easy knowing that if it was your idea, it will always be better than the thief's version because the only person who can execute your ideas with your own unique flair is you.
I'm not sure how far I would take it with a Meme, I'd probably just nicely ask her about it, she might not realize it. I had to come in with some copyright information. As a digital scrapbook designer, it's something we deal with all the time.
When is my work protected?
Your work is under copyright protection the moment it is created and fixed in a tangible form that it is perceptible either directly or with the aid of a machine or device.
Meaning as soon as I design something, as soon as I take a picture, as soon as I write something down on my blog, I own the copyright to it. It doesn't have to be registered. On the other side if you want to bring a lawsuit against someone, it does need to be registered.
It's something those in my business fight every single day with people saying, it's not registered so there is no copyright, so technically I'm not pirating your work by claiming it as my own or by uploading it to sharing sites, etc. and that's not true. From conception to finish it's copyrighted, but to sue you for taking it from me, I need to go register it.
Just thought I'd help because for once, it's an area I have a little knowledge in. :)
Don't get me started on the correct interpretation of the Fair Use Act. LOL
I can say in my business, I don't make a huge deal out of it anymore, it creates too much drama, if my stuff has been stolen, I send a DMCA notice to the one who is using it incorrectly and to the site that is being used for file sharing - or to the store it is. A lot of times it's a case of just not knowing what the law is. As long as I have proof that the item is mine and is copyrighted by me, the site takes it down whether the person using it wants them to or not.