C Tann-Starr's Outside Blog


Minion Painting 102: Drawing Can Be Fun So Go Create Something New And Original. Stop Stealing...

Carolyn Tann-Starr 2009

Minion Painting 102: Drawing Can Be Fun So Go Create Something New And Original... Stop Stealing...

You do not have to do what I do but you do have to do something original with your blog posts. It doesn't take much to splash a little color on a small board. You can finger paint. You can pixelate. You can even fling paint like a monkey. You can grab a bunch of kids and draw stick figures, flowers and butterflies under a rainbow together. Use crayon if you have to... Do what ever it takes (like buy commercial use clip-art and stock photographs, giving them their notice props) but stop swiping other people's stuff.

Stop acting as if you can collect what you want without written permission.

How hard is it to send an e-mail and ask? Don't casually ask over the phone, people. Get it in writing. People may not remember you 6 months down the road. People may die and estates may come after you for some money because there is no paper trail that the original owner said "yes."

Be original. Be yourself. Do it your way. Draw, paint, splash color, photograph, sing, make music, make noise... I make lots of noise (LOL). If all you got is chatting on audio, then talk into your microphone. Don't be shy... Have that virtual, audio conversation. I love hearing from people. It's a pleasure to hear bloggers speak. Your audio can be your art. You can be poetic and lyrical if you develop an audio blog to go along with your written work. Original creative art is always interesting to check out because it says something unique about you. What do my drawings say? That I am sometimes a very anal retentive with detail personality (LOL). 

Original blog posts with your original audio, photography and other forms of art is the way to go. I've been noticing people cutting and pasting other people's work because they somehow believe a re-blog means the writer is doing some sort of creative commons license.... Some people disassemble and take what they want thinking this is not plagiarism or stealing. Got news for you: NO we are NOT giving away freebies because we post to the public and yes you are stealing when you take something without permission that does not belong to you...

Know what I think of your e-mail arguments when you get caught after I and other Rainers simply say stop: What a bunch of crap. I will not play nice in the electronic sandbox if you steal my work.  That's exactly what I am thinking and i mean what I say about stealing from other bloggers is wrong and has consequences. Most people new to blogging don't know a lot, so I have a lot of patience explaining the copyright rules to them. Then there are the ones who get caught over and over and over and over... Those people flip my b*tch switch.

The Internet is not a creative-commons-automatically-in-the-public-domain so I can use it place. The Internet is simply an electronic platform facilitating the transfer of files. It's a tool like your telephone.

RSS feeds are tools as well. They do not confer rights from the owner to you. An RSS feed is just for links back to the original work because you're asking for updates on your fave spots. RSS feeds are not creative commons licenses so do not for one minute think that if you piss a writer off you can hide behind argumentative dribble like, "the Internet is public domain" or "I subscribe to your blog through RSS feeds so I can publish your work without your permission because the feed grants me access and permission..."

Oh really? Have you Googled the fines on copyright violations? You need to do your research on that one. It will not stand in court if you get caught and you will eventually piss the wrong person off and get caught big time if you do not stop.

If you blog do yourself a huge favor and protect other's people's copyrights the same way you would protect your own intellectual property. It may keep you out of a heap of trouble. For example: My kids are cute. I use them all the time. They are popping up everywhere because some people think they are models for stock photography companies. Yes, I've been lied to and told they purchased my photographs from a stock photography site (LMAO). When I explain that I am their Mother and they are real people who work for M&Ms and only for me, the conversation usually gets very interesting after that (ROTFL). Have I sued anyone? No. Will I sue someone? Maybe... Depends upon their intent and how stupid they get when I ask them to take my kids down from their websites.

My children live in ActiveRain, Facebook and YouTube. My original art is also considered to be my virtual children by me. If  you take them (my brick and mortar bloodline kids and virtual children) somewhere I did not intend for them to go I shall politely ask you to send my babies back home by removing them from your unauthorized areas. I will only ask one time because my creativity, like my kids, belong to me. If you do not receive me, then you can receive something more official to prove how serious I am about protecting my work and the reputation of the wee people.

If something that I do can help you and others I have no problem considering giving you my blessing but you have to ask me. I am very open about Autism and PDD-NOS issues. I tell a lot about my quirky life. You don't get to put that in a book without my permission. You don't turn them into a brochure. If you are not one of my blogging buddies that I routinely tell to use whatever they find useful (e.g. Big Mike, Margaret Rome, Elizabeth Weintraub, Lizette Fitzpatrick, TLW, Paddy Pizappi, Melodious, etc... ) don't pretend that joining Club Chaos automatically makes you one of my bay-bays. I know who the bay-bays are because they are my friends. They are the family I get to pick for myself. I know them. They know me. We know how far to go. We apologize when we go to far. First we tried, then we trusted each other. We have contact in ways you have no idea of. Friendship is a beautiful thing and I absolutely love my friends. Don't abuse your virtual friends and your social media platforms. You can be kicked out of virtual places if you are not careful and there could be liability issues that hypothetically may wipe out your savings if you lose in a court of law.  

Faking friendships with other writers to steal their stuff is a no-no. You will be found out. Friends talk among themselves. Stealing the work of your competition because you want their Google juice is a no-no. You will be found out. Thinking that Rainers will not sue other Rainers for blatant copyright violations is a lie from the pit of Hell. Being in the same group as another member does not a friend make. Leaving a comment on a post that you are going to use the post, then cut and paste from it like you created the work is a no-no. When Wordy C writes a long comment on your post, you can not one week later cut and paste it into a blog post with a bit of clip art for 200 points. That's a no-no. Matter of fact, that is seriously bad blogging (LMAO). Cut your own comments into a friggin' post, not other Rainers. That comment on your blog post belongs to me. I am having a conversation in cyberspace, not supplying you with new material to steal as your own post later on. Those comments are part of your record concerning who responded and how, HOWEVER, they are not your intellectual property.  It's no different than a YouTube video being embedded in the comments section. You certainly didn't gain any new rights from someone like Pink or a band like U2 for it being there now did you? What the hell makes you think you can steal rights from other Rainers? Because we're nice??? Did I mention I have a b*tch switch? (LOL)

Do you see where this conversation is going? Don't take me seriously because I routinely don't take me seriously? That's fine (or may be a no-no if the B-switch is activated). However, even my silly bouts of misbehaving on-line belong exclusively to me. When Wordy C reads her e-mail and answers back you can't collect them and my Twitter tweets and compile them into a book. You need permission. Quoting me once or twice is not the same as devoting a chapter to my work. Twitter does not own our tweets nor does Twitter give you a third party license to collect them for a tweet-publication. Tweets are 140 character micro-blogs. Your Twitter landing page is the one comprising a collection of micro-blogs that belong to your profile. Imagine miniature outside blog if the thought escapes you (LOL). So what if we are chatting openly among friends and the general public at large on a blogging platform. Lack of privacy in a written conversation does not constitute lack of intellectual property rights by a blogger tweeting thoughts and linking back to ActiveRain or another website so you can read the whole story. It also doesn't give a person rights to music because they Blip.fm a song into the Twitter stream and it friend-feeds that into Facebook. Yes, I have had the argument and am still having it with people who should know better but don't  (LMAO). 

You can't embed the YouTube of a song in ActiveRain because someone else did it or it's in your friend feed. How many times do I have to say watch your copyrights? Yes, it is a lot of fun, but did you fax or  e-mail and ask permission? Was permission granted? Did you use a sight like Blip.fm that has contractual arrangements with Twitter, iTunes, Amazon, the record labels, etc. Do you know who has or doesn't have arrangements with Facebook? Stop pointing to other platforms and saying it's okay to continue it over here because it is not. Read the community rules (and stop driving Harlen crazy...) I have 820 people to worry about. Imagine the handful of people at ActiveRain having 158K plus members to worry about. Can we give these people a friggin' break? I certainly need a break. I have been e-mailing my behind off about copyright concerns. I am a wee bit tired playing Chaotic Mama to a handful of recalcitrant cyber-children. I love you dearly, thus the gentle spanking.

Pay attention to your platform's terms of service. You, as a writer creating intellectual property for publication, should always monitor your work and create as much original content as you can. Quoting is cool. Fair use is cool. Get creative with sticking with the rules. Your creativity can open so many doors if you take the leap of faith and color your virtual world with yourself... Need music? Buy a license or get your permission in writing. Cover your a$$. People tend to forget where they left their car keys. Do you think a band is going to remember they said it was okay three years from now when the record label attorney drags you into a hypothetical class action lawsuit against YouTube-Users as a hypothetical user who violated the ActiveRain and YouTube terms of service agreement? They are tracking down grandmas and 12 year olds right now regarding copyright violations people. Don't believe me? Google it...

Respect the re-blog, the RSS feeds, your writing neighbors and all copyrights. The blog and bank accounts you save may be your own... Just sayin...  :-)

Disclaimer: Any comments and contributions provided on ActiveRain.com (or other electronic or print media) does not establish an agency relationship with any third party. Blog posts are intended to be informational only. Please be advised that real estate practices vary in regions and from state to state and market to market. The information contained herein does not constitute legal advice. All parties in need of legal, accounting, tax, or real estate guidance are directed to consult with the licensed professional of their choice. Please seek specific guidance from a retained professional in the specific field(s) required to service your interests. I and/or team blog writers make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to this web site and its associated sites inclusive of but not limited to CarolynTannStarr.com MySpace/TannStarr 46486 NY Working Moms Examiner ActiveRain Group Club Chaos ClubChaosAgents.com CyberMinions.net CTannStarr Outside Blog CTannStarr Localism Blog TannStarr.net UberMental.com

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Comment balloon 21 commentsC Tann-Starr • September 13 2009 11:06PM


Good post -- I hate seeing all of the photos and such on line that one just knows have to be "lifted" -- there is serious doubt that the posters have permission.

Posted by Bob & Carolin Benjamin, East Phoenix Arizona Homes (Benjamin Realty LLC) about 11 years ago

My photos are mine.  Pure and simple and they are copyrighted.  I did find a couple of them that had been cropped a little to disguise the format, but in the end ... they had to be taken down.  I'm flattered that someone thought they were nice enough to want to steal, but I sell those photos in a gallery and I'm not going to have people stealing from me. 

BTW - love the drawing of the Blur Minion.  I had no idea you were so talented!


Posted by Carol Smith (Casmi Photography) about 11 years ago


Flinging paint like a monkey would be an improvement to my artistic skills! That said, I'm still not going to steal the work of those whose gifts are different than mine.

Posted by Irene Kennedy Realtor® in Northwestern NJ (Weichert) about 11 years ago

Only a fraction of the people out here have your talent but you are right, it's no reason to steal...ANYTHING!

BTW, I love this your quote: "Don't take me seriously because I routinely don't take me seriously?"

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (Realty Austin, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 11 years ago

Morning lovelies. :-)

Bob and Carlin, the scary part is you can ask for permission from someone and have permission granted, only to discover later that they stole it from someone else and their permission isn't valid. That's why you want to get it in writing. That one line e-mail blurb can save you two months down the road...

Carol, I hope you show us one of your gallery shows one day soon. Very cool. :-)

Irene, I have discovered that if people only tried they might be pleasantly surprised in what they can create. Self expression shouldn't be knocked. It should be enjoyed. One doesn't have to like everything to appreciate the effort. We can encourage people for trying. :-)

Russell, thank you for the kind words. That quote was such a Dr. Seuss moment for me. I cracked up as soon as I wrote it. I am sooooo easily amused (LOL). ;-)


Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) about 11 years ago

"C" --- you are indeed very talented --- love your sketch -- you make a very good point in your post. I find it hard to believe that people use other people without permission.

                  Mama Liz

Posted by Liz Loadholt, Realtor--Broker-in-charge - Trainer--Relocation Director Covering SC (Liz Loadholt- AgentOwned Realty- Covering SC) about 11 years ago

Liz, they do it all the time. They even swipe each others Facebook pictures without asking, another no-no. You have to ask people.

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) about 11 years ago

C -- I could never come even close to your talent. In fact, among the options you gave, I guess flinging paint like a monkey would more aptly describe my abilities.

I think the thing is people tend to underestimate themselves, which is why they steal other people's work. They believe their own isn't good enough, won't stand up to scrutiny or that they have nothing to say, so it's easier to let somebody else's words say it for them. Not that stealing content or photos is right nor justified, but it does explain a little bit why they do it.

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Posted by Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%, Put 40 years of experience to work for you (RE/MAX Gold) about 11 years ago

I have never been good at sketching or painting, I have to leave that to my wife. I don't mind writing, can't say it's any good, but most the time it's surly original. I have always admired seeing creative people take hold of a craft.

Posted by JL Boney, III, Columbia, SC Real Estate (Coldwell Banker) about 11 years ago

I learn so much from your rich posts . . . and then to have such a sweet portrait!  WOW!!

Posted by Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED (RETIRED / State License is Inactive) about 11 years ago

C. You could give up your day job and be a full time artist! Gorgeous!!! I recently came across a photo that was used in my local Pelican Bay publication by the publishers.  I also had an ad in their mag using the same photo and called them on using MY photo.  Well, it was of a sundcastle on the beach my friend and I had photograhed early one morning.  There had been a wedding the night before and was done by a professional sand castle maker.  The publisher called me back and said, no, it was their photo.  They had purchased it from a service.  So now we have two photos so similar but luckily, the camera info is imbedded in the photo so I could prove I took it.  I will put signatures on my photos, in future. Good post!  :)

Posted by Marcia Hawken, Naples Luxury Specialist (WILLIAM RAVEIS ) about 11 years ago

Oh WayWard Child of Mine...

How's this for an original? :)

Property of TLW and Roar Productions.


Posted by "The Lovely Wife" (Broker Bryantnulls Wife) The One And Only TLW. (President-Tutas Towne Realty, Inc.) about 11 years ago

Morning lovelies.

Elizabeth, they can buy stock photographs, ask other people to take the photographs for them, hire a professional, get their kids and relatives to do it for them. There are so many other options than to swipe it. I am hoping as I work on the tutorials I can get more people to do their own thing. It's safer that way...

JL, we all have to start somewhere. I started with stick figures and worked my way up. I kept at it because I am anal retentive and it gave my ADD something to focus on (LOL). ;-) Be an impressionist instead of a realist. Play in paint. Swirl it around. You would be surprised just how creative you can be. Trust me. I've got a whole bunch of people doing water colors right now who never touched a brush. They love painting. Splashing color can be fun if we don't compare each other and just do what we feel. :-)

Thank you, Carla. They are fun to do and I am scribbling in my sketchbook all the time. Drives the hubby crazy. When me and the kids get going there is parchment paper everywhere (LOL). ;-)

Thank you, Marcia. I show in a gallery in Soho. I've been with them since 1998 (LOL). I am torturing my friends and relatives to model for me. So far the portraits have been interesting. Will post more out of my sketchbook later. Michelle Viggiano and I have to finish our S&M conversations (LOL). Harmless teasing but mad fun... ;-)

Haaaaaa! Love it Mama! TLW, you are too cool. ;-)



Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) about 11 years ago

Nothing confusing about this blog! thanks for sharing..

Posted by Greg Nino, Houston, Texas (RE/MAX Compass, formerly RE/MAX WHP) about 11 years ago

LOL @ Greg, you are very welcome. I am parked under a new tree typing away in Forest Hills still answering e-mail. ;-)

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) about 11 years ago

Ya know C, I have to wonder about someone's grey matter who steals from another right here on AR or anywhere for that matter! What the heck are they thinking?

You captured your little one so well, just lovely:)

Posted by Cynthia Bartch about 11 years ago

Cynthia, I think with so many members people think it wont be noticed. I also think that some people really don't understand if a couple of people leave a response that is a couple of paragraphs long that they can't cut and past three people together to create a blog post from their answers because they decide it would make a good post (LOL).

I have left answers in the comments section where my friends have specifically requested on their blogs that I turn it into a separate post because they want to continue that conversation and go off topic from their original article and/or they believe it will get lost with the skimmers and they think it needs to be a post. Maybe that planted a seed.. I don't know. I don't want to assume to understand why someone would do it. I just don't want them doing it with me.

What if I decide to make it a post three days later and flesh it out only to be told I stole my own words from someone else who posted before me because they cut and pasted me from Richard Weisser's or any other Rainer's post? That not only whomps, that that would piss me the hell off. I have encouraged a number of people to write about what they have commented on because I thought there was something there that was brewing into a great conversation.

People should be able to flesh out their thoughts in the comment sections without having their running conversations converted into a post without their permission and passed off like an original thought when it is the collective work of others. Quoting us is not the same as stealing from us.


Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) about 11 years ago

Honestly C, I would have never thought that someone would take another member's or say 3 member's comments and composed it into a post for their blog. My mind just doesn't work that way. It's incredulous to say the least. It certainly speaks volumes for their character doesn't it? Don't they think it's stealing by using someone's written word? I would rather write my own stuff so readers know the real me.

That must suck big time when you see snippets of your words used on another blog without your permission!!! How do you handle that one?

On another note it was to hear your lovely voice last week, even with the bad connection and all :) Thanks for the call.

Posted by Cynthia Bartch about 11 years ago

Cynthia, it was nice playing phone tag with you and we will do it again. I've noticed some interesting things and people are quick to send me a link when I don't say anything demanding that I say something (LMAO). I love my bay-bays. They have an expectation. Can't blame them. So do I. (LOL) ;-)

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) about 11 years ago

C, I was happy I actually took a photo that turned out kinda neat and was wondering if this was the kinda thing I could post to your group, so thanks!

I want more members posting to the fun group you started and hopefully they saw the ActiveRain Cartoon Network and thought "Hey I  gotta check this out" ;)

By the way I'm sure you've heard this before but you have voice made for radio! It's very soothing, it must come in handy in your line of work to calm down the anxious client.

Posted by Cynthia Bartch about 11 years ago

ROTFL because I can be very low or mad shrill. Seriously (LMAO). Cynthia, I think it depends upon who I am talking to and whether I am calm, excited or angry. Never really paid it much attention. Now I find myself going hmm... soothing, eh? I shall have to tape something later on and have a bit of fun with it. BTW, feel free to post what ever you want in there. I have a lot of material that I need to post over there regarding the video blog. I've been swamped with work (we're animating stuff)  and trying to figure out my buyers (LOL). I have a $50 per day gas habit I need to do something about (LOL). Will be working Queens County during the day and Kings County during the evening. I have ten minutes left before I start my insanity schedule (LMAO). ;-)

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) about 11 years ago

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