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8/8/12

MyFreeCopyright.com is a SCAM!

I registered with MyFreeCopyright.com last May at the suggestion of some other bloggers.  In July, I stopped getting my updates by emails.  I just finally had time to check out why the emails stopped coming and someone has registered my blog to another site!  In fact, one of them is named PIRATE -- um, that worries me a bit.

I cannot contact the company from their site nor have I been able to get help in any way from them.  I still have my initial emails from them and now I am worried a bit more.

Doing a google search, I came upon some scary stuff like THIS  or THIS oh and THIS -- even more scary is THIS  and the site just changed owners HERE  and reading through the notes, it says that you only get the free service for 3 months.  So it was almost  exactly 3 months when I stopped getting updates.  I also just came across this post HERE.

I am asking around about what is exactly legal and from what I can gather is that they cannot assign rights to anyone else for my blog.  I have a back up for my blog that is saved whenever I post to it.  I also started using the "send post to my email" function on blogger.  I don't think anyone can steal my work since I do have all the posts in one place.  I haven't been able to google any of my work as showing up on other sites.


I am now finding a lot of other bloggers that this is happening too. I think the whole thing is just a scam since the only way to really copyright anything is through the government.

UPDATE:

I just found this nicely done article HERE











15 comments:

  1. Mary,
    Sorry that this has happened to you. I didn't know you could copyright a blog! Is that what you were trying to do, copyright your blog or copyright your work? If you write books, you need to go to the U.S. official copyright office (http://www.copyright.gov/). They will register your book with the Library of Congress.

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  2. Wow that's pretty crazy.

    What exactly is your purpose for copyrighting your blog? I'm not an expert, but my understanding is that when you create something, it is automatically copyrighted to you. The only time copyrighting your work with the government comes in handy is if you plan on going to court over some sort of copyright theft. In simple cases like plagiarism (ie. someone posting your reviews on their blog and claiming ownership), just e-mailing the person, complaining to the web host, or raising awareness is enough. Having officially copyright won't help you in those situations unless you plan on suing the person.

    Now if you have actual written works or things you want to sell/distribute, official government copyright is extremely important. But if you're only worried about online book reviews, I wouldn't bother jumping through hoops to get government recognized copyright protection. I mean if someone stole my reviews or web content, I'd be pissed and contact them and get it taken down, but I wouldn't sue over it. If you don't plan on suing, then any form of official copyright isn't really worth the effort.

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  3. this is a very enlightening and informative post Mary and i'm sorry to hear about what happened.

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  4. Yvonne and Ashley - I signed up with them after someone stole my reviews and posted them as my own at the suggestion of some other bloggers. I had also signed up with CreativeCommons.org awhile ago. I thought "the more protection the better". I was just so disappointed that the site was sold and no longer transparent. I know a lot of other bloggers put their trust in this site and it looks like the UK is trying to put a stop to the site as well.

    The blogging community is pretty wonderful overall. I would have never known about someone taking my reviews until someone else brought it to my attention. A few readers recognized one of my weird reviews and let me know. I don't plan on writing a book and if I did, believe me, I would have that thing saved and protected.

    Thanks everyone! I was just so angry at how easy it was for me to trust something free when I should know better.

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  5. You know, I didn't even notice but I stopped getting the emails too. I'm going to go check out the articles to find out mord. Thanks for the heads up, I kind of forgot about it!

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  6. OMG, that's really awful. I've just tweeted about this an included a link to your post. I wouldn't of known about this had it not been for your post, and I know some UK bloggers who use the site.

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  7. Woman, you should have hollered. I know a couple of copyright attorneys who would have advised you in better directions. If you need them now, let me know.

    Copyrighting a blog is a bit tricky, as you supposedly have to register EVERY blog post. I suspect some really on-the-ball, top attorneys would know if that's being upheld in the courts or not. Should be an interesting investigation.

    Holler if you want to pursue it.

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  8. Enlightening is right. Hope you are able to navigate through whatever processes you need to!

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  9. I think it's difficult to copyright anything that's available online. I found some of my Chicken Soup stories posted on a site in an Eastern European country. Not sure if copyrighting in the U.S. protects you in other countries. I hope you have it all sorted out.
    Ann

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  10. Susan - hubs said that it would be way too expensive to copyright my hobby. It would be completely different if I earned money or I had plans to develop this into a book.

    He told me I should take it as a compliment that someone would want to copy my work LOL.

    I just want everyone to be aware of this site and NOT sign up with them since who knows what the future plans are for the site now. It was on the up and up when I first joined.

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  11. Where is the Send This Post to Email thing on Blogger?

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  12. I was signed up for them too. Do you know what can happen to us, the ones to signed up before the site was sold?

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  13. Cozy - -you are right BUT since you wrote it, you own it. Creative Commons has great information about what you own and when you publish it online, that becomes your copyright.

    Jennifer -- so far, I can't find anything else about the company. Other bloggers have told me to uninstall the widget to remove my feed to their site.
    The click to email is right at the end of the post and right above the pictures

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  14. Oh, Mary, I am so sorry to hear about this? Ashley is not necessarily correct, because too many have found out that doesn't hold up in court all the time.
    Companies like this play on our needs.
    Thank you for informing all of us.

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  15. I wondered about this when I stopped getting emails from them about my posts. I re-registered my main blog, but I'm going to go with someone else. And to think that I used them for almost three years...about as long as I've been blogging. Thanks for this, Mary!

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Thanks for leaving a note! I try to reply to all conversations!