Monday, June 25, 2012

Dear Jodie Koo,

Fun Fact: My sister’s a lawyer. No seriously, she’s a registered lawyer in the state of California and I’d invite you to look her up on the California Bar Association, but honestly, you’re a stalker and it’s weird and I’d rather you not stalk the rest of my family in addition to the stalking that you already do to me. 

I learned some interesting things about Copyright Law in the United States today. 

Copyright, a form of intellectual property law, protects original works of authorship including literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic works, such as poetry, novels, movies, songs, computer software, and architecture (source). “Literary works” include nonfiction prose and poetry (source), or in other words, shit that I write on my blog

I thought I had to register my entire blog in order to have legal grounds to file a copyright infringement lawsuit against you, but because the US signed the Berne Convention in 1989, the use of a copyright notice is no longer required under U.S. law (source), and according to the United States Copyright Office, all of my 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" (source), so basically, immediately. Which means you’ve already infringed upon my rights as author and sole owner of my copyrighted work. 

But fine, you know, maybe you didn’t realize that my blog was copyright protected. Which is why I’ve added a copyright notice to the description in my blog:

As well as a Creative Commons license that enumerates exactly what rights you have in terms of sharing content from my blog, in the event that you continue to disregard the “ALL Rights Reserved” portion of my copyright notice. 

Here, I’ll even lay out the terms of my Creative Commons license all nice and easy for you: 

So basically, you’re allowed to share my writing (ugh, I guess) if and ONLY if you: 

  1. Attribute the work to me, or in layman’s terms (not sure how smart you are since you clearly exhibit poor decision making on the reg), give credit to me on your blog. 
  2. Stop altering/transforming/building upon/butchering my writing. 

More from the US Copyright Office: “Furthermore, in the event that a work is infringed, if a proper notice of copyright appears on the published copy or copies to which a defendant in a copyright infringement suit had access, then no weight shall be given to such a defendant’s interposi­tion of a defense based on innocent infringement in mitigation of actual or statutory damages” (source). In other words, now that I have given you proper notice of copyright all over my blog, if you continue to steal my writing and I catch you, you’ll have no defense in court to claim that you “didn’t know” my blogs were copyrighted material. 

Jodie. I’m fucking serious. I will literally sue your ass if you continue to copy and paste my writing on your blog without giving me proper credit. You’re a pain in my ass, and I will do whatever it takes to stop you from continuing to plagiarize my personal writing. You’re like a fly that keeps buzzing around my head and gets mad at me whenever I swat at it, yet continues to fucking buzz around my goddamn head. I don’t know how much more clear I can be about this - Stop. Stealing. My Fucking. Writing. 

I mean shit dude, this wouldn’t even be a problem if you just credited me on your posts where you’re clearly appropriating my writing. It’s really that simple, just stop being a crazy person and give credit where credit’s due.