This Little Thing Called Theft

This week  I discovered that someone had started a new blog using the same name as mine! Surely this is blatant theft and an infringement of copyright? Er, well no, actually it isn’t. Names are a tad difficult to copyright, unsurprisingly. So why would this bother me?

Firstly, I can’t understand why someone would choose to use a name that was already in use. I think that most people would want to avoid such a scenario. Regardless of the fact that the name bears a resemblance to well-known phrases, or at least has a feeling of familiarity, it wasn’t actually in use before I launched this site. I ran several Internet searches to check the suitability. There are a handful of sites with similar names, but nothing identical. So it was a variation on a theme, containing elements of well used expressions, and certainly espousing a common sentiment.

In a way I initially felt violated. I doubt that this was a deliberate case of theft, as there would be little point in doing so. But why would this person have been so inefficient in not running simple search to check for similar names, like I did? I was frustrated with her and also with myself for not covering all the angles. As I had bought the .com domain, I complacently overlooked the fact that the WordPress domain was still available for others to take.

What surprised me even more was the reaction of some of the WordPress community when I posted in the forum to ask for clarification of copyright. They acted like I was the court jester who had unforgivably failed to amuse the king. Off with his head! People really should know better than to mock me and insult my intelligence and then, when I attempt to fight my corner, tell me that I take things too seriously. They have obviously missed the satirical and often downright silly theme coursing through the veins and pumping the heart and soul of this site!

But anyway, the whole debate allowed me to collect my thoughts and underline my belief in my own work. It has underlined to me how much the original ThisLittleThingCalledLife.com means to me. It is my little baby that I continue to nurture whilst gaining satisfaction from the small steps forward that it takes – one more subscriber, another thousand page views – they validate my efforts, showing me that people do actually appreciate my thoughts on life and my hapless experiences. Sure, this baby may never achieve the greatness that it’s creator desires, and there will no doubt be a few little bumps along the way, but that won’t shatter the belief.

The other site is merely a personal journal of a college girl and ranks officially nowhere in Google searches at the moment. I still think that she should change her site’s name, but if she doesn’t, then good luck to her anyway, as she has probably grown attached to the name. She’s just a kid and I bear her no malice. There will just have to be two babies in the Internet nursery with the same name, but everyone will be able to tell the difference. Her baby will be playing contentedly in the corner, whereas mine will be the one licking the window and ‘racing’ snails. Strange child.

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30 thoughts on “This Little Thing Called Theft

  1. I wouldn’t be at all bothered if this happened. But I guess we’re all different .. and the other blog probably won’t be worthy of the same name as yours!!

  2. Your forum thread has had me thinking about this situation but jet-lag et al has prevented me from posting a cogent comment. I certainly understand your frustrations, what with having paid for the upgrade and having taken the time to research availability and suitability. It is said that imitation is a form of flattery. You don’t suspect, maybe, this college girl admires your quirky humour, intelligence and wit and is waiting for a . . . date? I haven’t bothered looking up her site.
    All best with your baby, may it prosper and grow!

    • You’re jetlagged, yet you manage to think of the word ‘cogent’! I’m impressed and I will look it up. I genuinely don’t think that she knew of my site. I think she is just using WordPress as a journal and she hasn’t thought of the wider internet. And I really don’t think she would want a date with a man in his 30s! I bet her page views have increased this week as a result of me! Your comment here was what I was hoping for on the forum, somewhat naively, so thanks for the empathy. 🙂

  3. Would irritate me too. The reaction to the wordpress clique, ooops sorry community doesn’t surprise me, I’d rather approach a load of vipers than that lot in the forums.

    Still debating on buying my .com too, not sure if it is worth my while. And I went back to doing the “view full article” thing on my blog 🙂

    Good post!

    • Funny, I find that the forum is quite stale at times, mainly as everyone usually agrees and are overly complimentary at times. Which is the polar opposite of other internet forums in which you encounter some of the worst people! Yet I keep going back, mainly when I’m at work. 🙂 I obviously came across the wrong way which provoked a somewhat negative reaction. Yes, the view full aticle link is the way forward!

      • Disagree on the full view thing. I find knowing what people have read extremely valuable, especially with a book in the pipeline. With full view you have no idea.

        • That’s what we were referring to – I always advise people to use the ‘read more’ links so that it registers an extra page view when someone reads it!

          • No, it isn’t an “extra” page view at all. Not in my view, although TT will tell us the purists disagree.

            In my view the hit on your home page says someone came to your site. That does not tell you they did anything. Like me going to the Qantas site and then clicking straight out. It is only if someone reads a post that you have a page view, in my opinion. I know some will disagree. If you have 6 full posts on your landing page and the visitor reads them all, how many views did you get? in my view, you got 6. But you’ll never know that, that one visit could have been a spam referrer or a bounce.

          • Well it counts as an extra one and they are likely to have read at least some of the homepage content. There is guarantee that someone who clicks through to a post will actually read all of the content anyway. We are agreeing that it is good to hide the full content on the homepage so that users have to click to read more! By the way, there is some great stuff on the Quantas website, you’re missing out 🙂

    • We aren’t so bad you know! LOL Although I’m too new to have graduated to viper yet. I’m also debating buying the .com – I almost did it yesterday, but I’m not sure what happens to all my current traffic and rankings on various things like alexa.com Have you researched that? I tried, but couldn’t find the detail I was looking for. I’m thinking I’d be better to do it now, rather than later, but I’m not sure. Any thoughts greatfully received! There is a contact page on my web site.

  4. When you first posted in the forum, I thought it was someone complaining about YOU! I think you figured that out!

    Stewie, if it were a more unusual phrase, you may have a point. I am sorry for you that your title was also used by another, but there are MILLIONS of people writing blogs and your title is a very common saying. It fits your style perfectly, I agree, but the chances of someone from somewhere else using the same title would be pretty high, I think. I’m surprised there aren’t more.

    Like mine, your blog is relatively young. Both of us can still make changes if we want (like me changing to a .com possibly). Although I like your title, it fits you and your blog.

    I wouldn’t worry – that young college student may only blog of 3 months – look how many come and go? LOTS!

    • I disagree that it is a common phrase. ‘That’s life!’ is a common phrase, but I’ve never heard anyone using ‘This little thing called life’ and neither has anyone I’ve asked! But there are several variations on the theme, so it is hardly surprising that other people can come up with the title, like you say.

      • Common enough to be a song http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/genevievemusic and there are heaps of Google results for “little thing called life” just the “this” is missing of the font in some cases.

        This is another example http://unashamedtoshowmyscars.tumblr.com/

        Honestly Stewie, I don’t know – all I do know is my immediate reaction was “common phrase”. I have a feeling we may have had a TV series here called that or something very similar, but I just can’t place it.

        I like your blog though!!

        • Exactly – it contains element of other phrases and is a common sentiment, but it’s not as though you hear it every day, unless you listen to that song daily!

  5. Cool. I’ve never been part of a clique before or been called a viper. 😎 Of course, I wasn’t one of those ridiculing you so maybe I’m quite stale and overly complimentary.

    I seriously wouldn’t worry about it, though, for all the reasons you stated. Your blog is unique, even if the name isn’t. I spent a lot of time coming up with my name and I think I would be miffed if there was another one, though I haven’t purchased the domain name yet. I think I might have to do that. Thanks for the heads up anyway.

    • Well, not everyone is like that on forums, but the ones who fit in to either category tend to be more noticable I guess. I’m not worrying about, at least it gave me inspiration for another post!

    • You too huh? I’ve clicked the “upgrade” button three rimes today, but am not happy that I have all the information yet about what happens with all the existing links and stuff. 😦

      • Nothing happens to the links, all traffic is diverted to the new domain and your site will show up in searches due to the content. Alexa only rates on one specific URL at a time, but does that really matter? You’re unlikeely to register highly on that anyway, going up against corporate websites.

          • I’m not sure of the technical side of it, but your content isn’t changing, only the URL.

          • It is the technical side I’m trying to find out about. For example, do we have to re-register with the webmasters on the Dashbord with the new URL? All that sort of thing I want to know BEFORE I did it.

            Sounds like you set your up at the time – I didn’t. I want to know the ins and outs of the “conversion”.

  6. I think if your blog name were a unique expression then you’d have a case, but chances are that anyone else using “little thing called life” is simply taking a generic concept and putting a name to it. How many hundreds of blogs out there are variations on the “adventures of a twenty-something drama queen” variety. It’s been done to death.

    • Exactly, it is a variation of a common sentiment. But at least I have the .com domain. 🙂

  7. Hi Stewie
    LOVE your blog and have laughed till I cried at some of the posts…
    I sympathise entirely with you regarding the blog name issue…I started my own blog about two years ago and titled it ” A decorators Notebook” when I recently searched for it on Google, someone else’s site came up : “decorators notebook” I know the name is not identical, but it still annoyed me, particularly as her blog comes up way ahead of mine on Google.
    I have not done anything, mostly because , as you discovered, there was not much to be done. I have the same attitude as you do..good luck to her. I write my blog for me and whoever feels the urge to read it-I don’t make any money from it and I don’t really care either way, but I was irritated that this girl had not (or perhaps she did) done a basic search. Its just good manners, don’t you think?

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