Read the full story here.
Luckily the laws of the land, laws that brave Canadians have fought for over several great Wars, have evolved to protect us in the age of computers and while stealing content, pictures, words, stories and ideas from websites might be as easy as a Control-C that doesn't make it right. It is, actually, against the law just as any theft of intellectual property or material goods is.
Now the BromeLakeBlog has learned that posting content from another website without permission is pretty much considered theft and their web hosting company has had the offending material stripped from their servers in accordance with the laws. Bravo!
Just because we're a small little town doesn't make this the wild west! Laws are laws and no-one can walk into your house and walk off with the TV set can they...but maybe some people think that if those bagels at Flannigans are a little stale then putting them in their pocket and walking out without paying is ok?
Trademarks and copyrights exist to prevent ideas from being stolen, now, BromeLakeBlog.com has come face to face with the reality of blogging on the internet by having material from their blog removed by their hosting company because of the DMCA legal notice of copyright infringement filed by us.
Yep, the judge has rendered a fair and sound judgement and BLB has been PWNED! This is all thanks to the digital laws that protect the Internet. DMCA stands for Digital Millennium Copyright Act and basically what it does is allow content creators an efficient means of ensuring that their original content is not used re-produced or diseminated without permission.
In this case BromeLakeBlog.com posted a 697 word article that had been written for and by DestinationKnowlton.com without consent. When our website asked for the article to be removed we were told that it wouldn't be removed. It wasn't until we went through the effort of filing legal papers with the web host that article was removed from their blog. Incredible that in a such a small town their could be such disrespect...and right in public for all to see! We felt as if it was like having to call the police on the neighbour who "borrowed" the lawn mower and then refuses to give it back!
The offending web site literally laughed in our face at our requests for a return of the stolen goods! The nerve! The laughing quickly turned to indignation as the hosting company followed up on the DMCA investigation we initiated and forced the removal of our content. The blog owner, Morris Croghan, called us communists comparing us to China and acting bewildered that we could claim copyright because of a minor speeling mistake! Denial...not a river in Egypt folks!!
Another victory for intellectual property owners! Just like any sort of property theft, online theft of content is illegal, but some people seem to think that just because it's on the Internet you can just take it. Thankfully the DMCA has proven a useful law to protect us from robbery by these sorts of people who would steal the bread off our family's plates!
"It wasn't the fact that they borrowed our article" said "Darling Dave", head creative writer at Destination Knowlton, "It was the fact that they weaseled around our polite requests at removal! They didn't leave a proper attribution and instead of using a summary and a link back to our article which may have rendered their usage "fair use" they chose a juvenile rebuttle of name-calling colored with ignorance and a self-righteous mocking of the rules. Rules that keep our society from entering chaos!"
"We've had our pictures and some of our articles re-printed, summarized and used in print and online as well as done interviews with CBC discussing items that have appeared on our blog. To have it stolen by a local noob blogger who has done nothing but smear our website along with other townsfolk really hurt, we're a small community and to see such viceral disregard and personal attacks is troubling. Property theft was the last straw. But now, seeing we've won our claim against this activity, we feel redeemed!"
Luckily for creative people in the townships, you are protected from digital thieves, you just need to stand up for your rights! Use the DMCA if you need to. Good always triumphs over evil, well, according to Batman at least!
But now...as the legal dust settles...let's hope now that thsee two parties who have agreed to disagree will continue to work on their blogs, serving their different audiences as best they can, with at least a spoonfull of respect and and not have things turn into something that the entire Eastern Townships is ashamed of...let's face it: isn't the future of our town, our province and our country bigger than any blog or the ego of any one person?