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Jacksonville Senior Photographer // Scarlett Lillian Seniors: Flattery that isn't flattering.
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Jan 16, 2008

Flattery that isn't flattering.

Right now, I'm trying to embrace the saying that copying is the most sincerest form of flattery. But right now I'm annoyed.

I'm not one to point fingers, but tonight I ran across another photographer's blog who recreated an exact replica of mine, stripes and everything, just different colors and photos in the header. Had I had used a generic template that was open to the public to use, or used a similar designer, that would be one thing. But the fact that I personally spent hours upon hours custom designing my blog myself, going through all the headaches of HTML to get it all to click right and look pretty... discovering this person's blog really really offended me. It especially amazes me that in an industry where photographers are so protective of their images and copyright issues, that they would be so quick to steal another person's blog design and branding.

You know who you are out there, and I ask that you do the right thing to change your blog design and create your own branding. I know HTML is tricky, but if you can't figure out how to create something unique on your own, try using a professional service like Flosites.com who can create a custom look and blog for you.

I trust you will choose to take the higher road, my friend.

1/17/08 EDIT: Flosites.com contacted me this morning, and as a thank you for me plugging them yesterday, they want to offer my blog readers a special discount on their services. Give them the code "FLOSCARLETT" and you can get a custom blog for $750, usually $1,000, or a $100 off a blogger or wordpress blog design. I hope this helps you all!

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21 Comments:

Anonymous Jessica Peachtree Photography said...

Ooo sorry I have had a similar experience with another photographer and I know how insulting it is.....

January 16, 2008 at 7:45 PM  
Blogger Shyla said...

Hey sweet girl... I know this can be frustrating when it happens, but there is only one you and YOU are your brand more than your stripes or fantastic blog. Someone may try to copy your style but they cannot copy you ;)

take heart. dont think about it. and just keep on being AWESOME ;)

January 16, 2008 at 9:08 PM  
Anonymous photoTristan said...

Why not post their URL? The 'net is the great democratizer. Once they are 'outed' I'm sure they will change their design in no time.

January 16, 2008 at 9:52 PM  
Blogger Susan Justice said...

I totally understand being frustrated at how insensative one can be... seriously, if someone wantd to broadcast another's idea... especially for a professional purpose, it is common courtesy to ask for permission. Then credit the creator of the design/idea.

January 16, 2008 at 10:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jack Paar once said, "Immigration is the sincerest form of flattery." Good quote to ponder amidst all the chatter about immigration on the campaign trail.

Regarding the stripe theft, is it remotely possible that you and the other photographer created blogs with similar design unbeknownst to one another? You know, the old "great minds think alike" thing?

Stealing the work of others is despicable--especially if it enhances one "creative" reputation and diminishes another. Here's an interesting link to information about how bloggers can prevent content theft and copyright infringement:

http://tips-for-new-bloggers.blogspot.com/2007/07/content-theft-and-copyright.html

And I hope I'm not doing anything wrong by sharing it.

January 16, 2008 at 11:31 PM  
Blogger ashley & jeremy parsons said...

I don't blame you for being bothered about this, it would have me sick as well. good job on at least calling them out on it, though - if they truly did copy you hopefully this will inspire them very quickly to change. obviously you know who they are so you can see if they indeed do. So sorry about this, scarlett - your creativity and style is so unique to you, so it's laughable someone would try and make it their own.
-all the best!-

January 17, 2008 at 12:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Scarlett - They can imitate - but they can never replicate! Your brand is all you! We participate in bridal shows and we had someone copy our ideas for our outfits we wear. I have to think the person copying must be so embarrassed! Everyone knows who is the original/authenticate brand and who is the knock-off! It is just like a true Louis Vuitton purse - the strap is made of genuine leather, the pattern is lined up and matches exactly, the zipper always works correctly and the brand stands behind their quality. Have you ever seen the knock-offs in New York? They look cheap and they fall apart. Maybe it resembles a true Luis but it can never actually be one!

January 17, 2008 at 8:19 AM  
Blogger Shores Photography said...

whoever anonymous is above me, couldn't have said it better. YOU are the Louis!

January 17, 2008 at 8:50 AM  
Anonymous RCS said...

To the other "anonymous" above - "great minds think alike" is for times when people say the same thing or think the same thing. No one else would have thought of this design and being that they ALSO are from the photography world, we all know it came from them seeing Scarlett's site. We all know that Scarlett's design is her own and a copycat won't impact her business, but it is extremely unfair, especially in the world of small businesses and self employment. Corporations have laws to protect them from this sort of thing...Scarlett, if they do not change it I encourage you to seek out the laws that protect small business from this too! RCS

January 17, 2008 at 9:00 AM  
Blogger Jess Cumbie said...

My heart just bleeds when I hear things like this. Scar you have inspired much of my work and talking you and learning from you have been such a great help and I'm so happy to be able to call you my friend. I know someone like this and it just makes me so angry to know that there isn't anything that can be done about shady and unethical people. You are distinctively YOU! and you are amazing. It should be flattering cause of that silly saying about imitation is the greatest flattery but when it's underhanded it just makes you ill. Believe me I understand what you are talking about, just last night at that lighting seminar I told you about I was faced with a situation of seeing someone that is unethical in their business and someone that I've known for a long time and just the prospect of seeing her made me ill all day long. Scarlet you are AMAZING!!! No matter if someone else uses pink stripes or dresses in a white dress with a pink sash, YOU are AMAZING and Anonymous was right they can never replicate!

January 17, 2008 at 9:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

rcs, I agree with everything you said except this: "No one else would have thought of this design and being that they ALSO are from the photography world, we all know it came from them seeing Scarlett's site."

Isn't it possible in a world which is filled to capacity with books, blogs, photographs, artwork, ideas, brands, images--information through self-expression, if you will--that two individuals might come up with something similar or even near-identical? There really is "nothing new under the sun."

These types of situations are not cut and dried in the courts. Our technology has outpaced our laws governing copyright and continues to outpace the rate at which policymakers can keep up.

The only way to know for sure if this is a case of intentional copyright infringement or a misunderstanding of "fair use" is to document and prosecute (which is why I offered the information at the above link. And which, it appears, Scarlett is doing through this appeal to the one who is attempting to use the same blog design and branding.)

But, in no way was my comment intended to disparage Scarlett's creative work--which is some of the best I've seen--or to insinuate that this type of idea theft is not important. I'm just saying it's not a simple of matter of "You took my idea. Give it back."

--the other anonymous

January 17, 2008 at 11:07 AM  
Anonymous kim said...

Can it be that we have a Scarlett wannabe?
Might be but they can't be. There is only one Scarlett.
We believe in you!!

January 17, 2008 at 11:15 AM  
Blogger Scarlett Lillian said...

Wow, you guys are amazing. I love all the Louis Vuitton analogies! Crack me up!!

Thanks for all your supportive words and links to check our further. You all are the best!

January 17, 2008 at 12:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

aaah...no one can really completely copy one's work, I always figure if they don't live in my area and don't have my brain then just let it go...it is definitely not something worthy of the comment "it makes my heart bleed." No offense to that commenter but in a world of real problems there are far worse things to cause us that kind of pain. You being very annoyed I completely understand though! I do wonder, if the colors are different that maybe the design was their own. It's hard to determine because we are not seeing the actual site as you have. I also wondered if in their mind they were just inspired by your blog and ran with it for their own, using some of your ideas...as photographers we all do that. We see a shot or a photographer we admire and it influences us, our art or makes us want to try something similar in a photo shoot. This is a BIG reason we even read blog by other photographers.

January 17, 2008 at 4:29 PM  
Blogger Scarlett Lillian said...

I am certainly one to look at other photographer's blogs too, and I totally believe in "Great minds think a like", but there is a BIG difference between being inspired by someone else, a coincidence, and outright stealing something from someone. And this person did the latter by outright copying and pasting my HTML verbatim with certain parts of my site embedded in their code now, so whenever their blog gets a hit, it sends me a hit too.

If someone stole a Picasso painting, but added a few paint strokes here and there to change the colors, that doesn't make it their original painting.

That's all I'm trying to say.

No hearts bleeding.

There are more important things in life.

January 17, 2008 at 4:56 PM  
Anonymous Jimmia said...

"I do wonder, if the colors are different that maybe the design was their own."

That would be understandable if Scarlett's layout wasn't painstakingly customized, and/or was a free layout for the public to download. Based on what Scarlett explained, the person basically copied the format's code, changed a few numbers in the hexadecimal color codes, and substituted her image file names to "make it their own". In my book, that is called stealing.

I loved the Louis Vuitton analogy, and I totally agree with the other posters about it being difficult to duplicate the quality of your work!

"May integrity and honesty protect me, for I put my hope in you." - Psalm 25:21

January 17, 2008 at 6:41 PM  
Blogger Scarlett Lillian said...

Amen to that!

January 17, 2008 at 9:36 PM  
Anonymous RCS said...

To "the other anonymous," from "RCS", if you read this posting again: It's not about the laws as much as it is about the fairness of branding. Those who see this person's site will complement him or her and say "wow, what a cool site" - he/she may even be featured on other web sites for his/her creativity (as Scarlett was last year) all the while knowing his design was actually someone else's. Copying words from a book and making them your own should be the equivalent of copying HTML and making it your own. While the laws may not have "kept up with" technology, it is usually through a new case that new laws are made. "Legally Blonde Ideals" REALLY DO GO TO WASHINGTON WITH BILLS AND FIGHT THESE CASES! Scarlett just sent a request to this person to please change their site. Scarlett, see me for legal assistance. Best of luck! LOVE! RCS

January 18, 2008 at 10:44 AM  
Blogger Scarlett Lillian said...

I do love Legally Blonde!

January 18, 2008 at 11:28 AM  
Blogger Corinna Hoffman Photography said...

Eeek!! That does suck :-( Hopefully, the other photog corrected his/her blog template! You are truly a Louis Vutton (ooh, I hope that spelled that right--can't you tell that I don't own one?!).

:)

January 19, 2008 at 9:43 PM  
Blogger Scarlett Lillian said...

Thanks Cory!! :-) If only LV made pink purses. I'm not into the puke brown and olive.

January 21, 2008 at 6:36 PM  

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The images on this blog are the property of Scarlett & Stephen Photography. Images may not be reprinted without the permission of Scarlett Lillian.
However, you are welcome to use them for personal web sites such as MySpace, Facebook, etc with the link back to this blog, and keeping the logo on the photo. If you would like to use the images for any other purpose, please contact Scarlett Lillian at scarlett@scarlettlovesstephen.com. Thanks!

Jacksonville Senior Portrait Photographer also serving Ponte Vedra, St. Augustine, Amelia Island, Orange Park, Fernandina, Nocatee.
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