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.