Does the photo look familiar? The writing should look familiar too.
That's because it's my Bo Luc Lac (Vietnamese Shaking Beef) photo and recipe. Reprinted without my permission.
Last week, Sis of The Cast Iron Kitchen made my recipe and in her search came across the stolen version. She quickly alerted me, unsure whether that was the right thing to do. Of course, it was! Thank you again so much for telling me.
So I followed user Robert's page and found a dozen of my recipes and/or photos that were stolen and reposted on Tastebook's site without any credit given. GRRR!!!
I promptly made copies of all the pages and emailed Tastebook support, feedback, and PR to remove the copyrighted material. All I got back was a generic auto-reply, and then once an email from support saying they're asking the user to delete the content. Not that they deleted the content immediately when it was obvious to anyone, comparing my blog post and what was submitted, that the content was stolen.
A week later, I checked and the previous links were gone. But, I found 10 more of my recipes and/or photos stolen by Serenity and Mimi. GRRR!!! I also found stolen content from several other blogs.
Why does this matter?
First and foremost, I spend a lot of time cooking, photographing, editing, and writing content for my blog. That another website allows users to steal my content is completely reprehensible. Since Tastebook is a user-submitted site, then it needs to police its content. Period.
Each of my recipes have had hundreds of pageviews on their website. In simplest terms, that means people are not looking at my website but theirs in order to get the recipe. In many cases, without attribution, people even think my recipes and photos are Tastebook's. In other cases, since the whole point of their website is for people to pay to collate the recipes into a book, then Tastebook is literally making money off my work.
This needs to stop now. It's not just Tastebook, other aggregate sites do the same thing and I'm sick and tired of it. They're all violating bloggers' copyrights and they all need to police their content.
You wanna know why I've lost energy to blog? This is why. Keep scrolling down. There's a damn lot of my recipes that were stolen.
You might not see my images on these pages, but word for word, my recipe and/or commentary have been stolen as well.
So to Tastebook and its users Robert from Huntington Beach, California; Serenity from Arlington, Texas; and Mimi from Los Angeles. Fuck you! And I mean it sincerely.
If you're a blogger, I urge you to check and make sure your content isn't stolen as well. And in case you feel like complaining and/or supporting me in asking for better policing of their user-submitted content, contact them at:
August 21, 2009 Update:
Thank you dear readers for your support and especially to those of you who wrote to Tastebook on my behalf. The recipe pages have been deleted, however, the links to those recipes, including thumbnails of my pictures, are still in place. Tastebook has unfortunately chosen to blame their users. The fact of the matter is that the "tools" they say they have in place do not prevent this from happening in the future.
Below is my reply in response to a reader's email to Tastebook on my behalf.
Thank you very much for writing to Tastebook and for your support as a loyal reader. Unfortunately, Kamran and Tastebook have yet to truly apologize to me for the outright theft of 22 of my recipes and photos. And that is only of the ones that I have found.
The fact that multiple users were able to cut and paste and post recipes that had my watermark on the photos and linked back to my blog means that Tastebook has nothing in place to prevent this from happening again. A moderator or editor would have easily spotted these inconsistencies and raised a red flag.
The fact of the matter is, TasteBook HAS posted stolen content. Not of just my blog, but the blogs of Sunday Nite Dinner and Oishii Eats as well. To top that off, after my post, Nosh and Tell found they had stolen content on Tastebook as well. So it is completely irresponsible, as well as an outright lie, to say that they don't post stolen content since Tastebook DID and CONTINUES to do so.
It is one thing to say they have a policy that doesn't permit it, and another thing entirely to actually have measures in place to prevent this from happening. That is my point. Tastebook as user-submitted site cannot blame the user for their error.
Also, Kamran keeps cutting and pasting the same canned reply. How do I know? Besides the fact that it is the exact same comment, he continues to misspell my website's name on second reference in his comment on my blog and in replies to readers. That shows a complete disregard for this whole matter. Also, Kamran, "it's" is "it is" if you're trying to say the possessive form, it's spelled "its." If you truly found this whole discussion "frustrating" then you would actually respond appropriately instead of blaming your users for your lack of security. I also find it very amusing that in your reply, you actually admitted that "TasteBook does post stolen content..."
1 year ago today, Ca Tim Nhan Cha Tom (Vietnamese Eggplant with Shrimp Paste).
2 years ago today, Bananas Frita (Cuban Fried Bananas).