[about the author]
i actually like speaking in front of large crowds. freakish,
i work crossword puzzles in ink.
i am the american nigella lawson. or maybe the american eddie
izzard. can't decide, really.
i would be a really good mom, but i'm cool with being a really
i am sometimes more perceptive than i would like to be.
i am fiercely loyal. sometimes, stupidly so.
i never play dumb. never.
i am way too hard on myself.
i am a change agent.
i sometimes cross that fine line between assertive and aggressive.
i am not afraid to tell people that i love them.
i am militantly pro-choice.
i am pro-adoption.
i know a little bit about alot of things.
i typically enjoy the company of men more than women.
i am capable of being really mean and nasty, but i fight it.
i am a lifelong cubs fan. do not laugh.
i have been known to hold a grudge.
i have hips.
i am not my sister.
i am lousy at forgiving myself.
i am an indoor kind of gal.
i am a bargain shopper. to the point of obsession.
i am 32 flavors. and then some.
first up, as always, a huge thanks to everyone who has sent supportive emails and posted encouraging comments. some of you are famliar faces. others are new to me. but you all came through for me in a big way, and i'm very very grateful.
when i discovered that my writing was being plagiarized, i was stunned. the blogosphere has always seemed to me to be populated with people who celebrate the medium as a way to be heard. to express themselves. to discover and celebrate the talents of others. and, of course, to argue about politics.
as i explained yesterday, i sent an email to mr. lamb asking him to immediately remove the plagiarized material. when he didn't respond, either by reply or by removing the illegally reproduced material, i decided to see if i could catch more flies with vinegar than with honey.
as many of you are aware, it appears that neither honey nor vinegar nor threat of legal action will convince mr. lamb to remove the material which he has stolen from me -- and from others. [please note that i do not presume to speak on behalf of anyone else from whom mr. lamb has plagiarized. the incomparable greg howard is much more laid back than i. plus he's really good at speaking for himself should he choose to do so. because his writing is like whoa.]
however, the vinegar did accomplish one thing that the honey didn't: an email response from mr. lamb.
in his response, received last night, mr. lamb informed me that he has retained an attorney and is considering filing a civil action against me for "slander and defamation of character."
there are a number of things i'm tempted to say here. many of you who know me can probably well-imagine what some of the words are that i'm tempted to type. how i'm tempted to show you just who put the "mock" in mockingbird.
but, instead, i'm going to do something much harder than ridiculing the ridiculous.
i'm going to stand my ground.
it doesn't make sense financially. probably is going to be a logistical nightmare. but there is no way i am walking away from this. i can't do it. it is not in me to walk away from a fight in which i know, without question, without doubt, that i am right. and, at the risk of proving bryan lamb right in his allegation that i am pretentious, i'll tell you something else:
this isn't just about me and the writing on my pages. because if i don't stop him from stealing my writing [and greg's], he'll just steal yours too. and then someone will see that he gets away with it, and they'll start stealing for their site too. and then there's no stopping it. and then people who are creative and afraid of having their work stolen will stop blogging. because what's the point? if intellectual theft goes unchecked then the integrity of the creative process is gone. i no longer have control over my work. i no longer have pride in having created something.
as a writer, and i do claim to be one, nothing is more sacred to me than my words. they are my voice. my contribution -- even if only a very small way. as anyone who writes knows, those thoughts, those words -- they are part of you. sometimes they are born out of hours of anguish and struggle. other times they flow as easily as water downhill. but, regardless, they bear the indelible imprint of the soul who gave them life.
and no one is going to steal that from me.
i had hoped this would be resolved quickly. i'm sorry that it apparently will not be.
after reading blogger's terms of service documentation, i contacted blogger.com and notified them that mr. lamb's sites -- which are hosted on their servers -- are in violation of my copyright. i have asked them to remove the plagiarized materials from their servers. as i know many of you are blogger members, i am sure you are anxious to hear their response, so as soon as i hear from them i will inform you of their action.
furthermore, i have provided all documentation, including copies of my original work and mr. lamb's plagiarized materials, all email communications related to this matter as well as the site visit information regarding mr. lamb's visits to my site, to my attorney this morning. he is reviewing the materials and will advise me of how best to proceed in this matter once his review of those materials is complete.
i have no desire to be a torch-bearer for the blogging community. having said that, i would encourage you to follow the example of bill coughlan, tom mangan and several others who have taken this opportunity to shine a bright light on what has the potential to become an issue of intellectual theft on a massive scale. the more bloggers know, the more bloggers can educate themselves and ask for the protection their intellectual property deserves.
and so it begins. i'm only sorry that it has to.
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