Saturday 12 October 2013


Well, it seems like everyone's chosen a picture from my food blog and has not given proper attribution where it is due.  It is so prevalent that it's scary.  People have no issue with stealing a picture from the web and posting it next to their recipe or a different recipe.  

The original picture comes from my blog post for Coconut Vanilla Bean Rice Pudding Brûlée (which happens to be awesome).

I have been having a bad Thanksgiving weekend.  I was worrying about all the possible images that I've taken over the last decade on my food blog and other sites and social media that might have been hijacked and used on others' sites. 

I am afraid right now to actually look further into what other images have been stolen or misappropriated without proper attribution (what of my Castle Cake? my Chocolate Rose? my SmallBatchBaking Cookies? my Quinoa Chocolate Cupcakes? my Best Chocolate Cupcakes?)   I do not believe that wilful ignorance is much of an excuse.  Simply "googling" an image and snagging it for use on your site and misrepresenting the image to be yours or an image that reflects a recipe on your post is not only wrong, it's plagiarism.  

I think this is a teachable moment and yet I am not feeling pangs of regret for posting screenshots of offending sites nor commenting on potential untrustworthiness of their other posts.   Perhaps this will be tempered with time. Currently, I'm still seething and have a huge throbbing in my skull from the lack of sleep this has caused me.  Everyone makes mistakes; but it is my hope that foodies come together to better police our own community and remind one another of due diligence when taking images from "googling".  For Pete's sake, people should be creating their own content; both images and text content.  If you can't do it, don't post it.  If you post it, link back to the source.

How can I trust a blogger that doesn't properly attribute images by creating a link back to the original site and owner of a picture?  Can we say it's merely carelessness?  Or perhaps it's the fact that the images are so easily available, copied and pasted? I call it laziness.  Some people don't have the skills to take good pictures nor do they have the inclination.  So go and learn how to create a hyperlink dearies.  It takes 10 seconds to create a linkback to the originating post.

So, here I am deleting part of my previous rant on this post.  I accept Patti's apology.  My husband is saying not to be too harsh on people and to not waste my time following up; yet if I let it go completely I'm just allowing the behaviour to continue and I'm essentially saying that it's okay and it's not important.  We all make mistakes. This I know.  Heck, I tell my students that I make mistakes all the time.  The thing is when you're called on the floor to account for your errors, you have to suck it up and apologize and/or remedy the situation and this takes guts.  It's a helluva lot harder to have to do this publicly after the fact than it is to just take 10 seconds in the first place to follow through with finding the original source of an image, a recipe or a post that you want to use.  I am awaiting followup from KeyIngredient, Pinterest and other sites that I've contacted.  There are so many sites that have now misappropriated my one rice pudding image (which I don't think is even a very good picture...not my best work!)  It's mind-boggling.  

surely this newer image is better than the one circulating?
We food bloggers spend hours setting up for shots and we also care about our content and originality and we don't deserve to be disrespected like this.  It's highly offensive.  Our community frowns on such lazy, careless behaviour online.  There is proper etiquette.  There are laws, for gawdsake!

Some have ignored me or directly refused to delete my image.  I will delete the screenshots of their sites if they satisfy my request of deleting my image from their sites.  Until this happens, they will remain on my Wall of Shame.  A big thank you to people who are immediately deleting it from posts when I request it.  It makes me thankful that there are people out there who know Copyright laws.

GOOGLE IT! People who say they took it from social media are wrong to not follow up if they're going to use an image.  Google it and follow through to see where the originating source is.  If you're not going to take the time to take your own pics, at least follow through for the originating source.   Facebook and Pinterest are not considered originating sources people.  

KEY INGREDIENT.  This site is not easy.  It was the source of most of my stolen images.  They make it much more difficult with all this legal mumbo jumbo that you have to go through in order to actually remove the post whereas JustAPinch, Tastebook, MyDish just did it with me sending through email my link and the offending link.  Also, KeyIngredient had more than one post that had my image on it (from different members).  KeyIngredient has a support email that you can report to.  The problem is I have to scour their site for my images (that are wrongly attributed).  I want to ban Key Ingredient because it is painful and source of many of my woes.  On top of this, even after deleting the image after I have proven it is mine, Key Ingredient let me know that the Key Ingredient member can still contest this.  Wha? omg.  what a load of legal poppycock.  I continue to worry about the thousands of images I have on my blog and who on Key Ingredient has snatched it and put it on another recipe without a proper linkback to my site.

PINTEREST.  This is ongoing.  When I see there is no direct linkback to my site for my image, I report  with the "abuse" button.  So far, so good.  However, people still are continuously pinning the image so it'll be ongoing.  I wish Pinterest could just do this on their own without me having to check all the time.

Pinners everywhere do it.

And since when was Coconut Vanilla Bean Rice Pudding Brûlée an "Old Fashioned Rice Pudding"?  Aiya.  Get me a paper bag.  I'm hyperventilating.

I knew it was bad.  However, I didn't realize the extent of this snagging of pics and attributing it to different content.  This is really bad.  BAD folks.  Stop it.  

JustAPinch: took down my picture in good time.  They replied to my email pretty quickly.  You have to contact them through their copyright section.

So grandmothers do it, mothers do it, guys do it, and you never know who will do it in the future to your images because people are starting new blogs all the time and there's this steep learning curve initially where newbie bloggers want to prettify their posts with images yet don't yet know how to linkback/attribute to the original source.  Facebook and Pinterest continue to plague me with worry because I have no control over what people will do.

Devon/"thisisme": from the UK.  I have deleted the screenshot, but know full well that all your posts are now going to be scrutinized by other bloggers looking to see if their images are theirs as well.   I wish you well in your journey to learning how to properly attribute original sources and be a good Digital Citizen.

DEPLICQUE.NET.  Still waiting...

INDULGY.  I have found the tiny itty bitty "i" symbol in the top right corner has the information you need to report copyright infringement.  Still waiting...
here is the offending post!
click on the tiny "i" and you will need to then click on DMCA and fill in the form
WALLPOPER.  I hate this site.  It steals people's images and sells it as wallpaper.  All there is for contact is a Facebook page.  Go there and see.  It is pitiful.  
another photographer commented that her work was stolen too and the watermark cropped off.  

What to do? 
1.  Well, I emailed the sites if they had a "contact" email.   I will let you know what happens for all these sites.  I am hoping people had a momentary lapse that led to their ineptitude.

HERE IS WHAT YOU HAVE TO SAY IN YOUR EMAIL. This is straight from copyright policy that is in their terms of agreement that everyone doesn't read but clicks and agrees to anyway.

For Key Ingredient:
Key Ingredient does not knowingly violate or permit others to violate the copyrights of
others. It is our member’s responsibility to make sure that they do not post content that
violates the copyrights of others.
As outlined in the Safe Harbor clause of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), it
is required for you to submit any claims of copyright infringement to our registered agent
via email at You will find the copyright information on our
terms of service at
If you are the copyright owner, or are authorized to act on behalf of the copyright owner,
please notify our Copyright Agent immediately of any claim of copyright infringement.
As soon as we receive your notice of claimed infringement, in the form described below,
we will promptly remove or disable access to materials that are claimed to be infringing
(or the subject of infringing activity) within 3 business days of receiving the copyright
infringement notice. Your notice must be in writing and must include the following:
 • a description of the copyrighted work you believe has been infringed (or if you               
   believe multiple copyrighted works have been infringed, a representative list);
 • a description of the material you believe is infringing or the subject of infringing 
   activity, together with enough information to permit us to locate the material;
 • enough information to permit us to contact you such as your name, address, 
   telephone number and, if available, e-mail address;
 • a statement that you have a good faith belief that the allegedly infringing use of 
   the material was not authorized by the owner of the exclusive right that is     
   allegedly infringed (the "copyright owner"), an agent for the copyright owner, or 
   by law;
 • a statement that all of the information you have provided is accurate; and
 • a statement, made under penalty of perjury, that you are the copyright owner or 
   are authorized to act on behalf of the copyright owner.
Your notice must be signed (physically or electronically) and must be addressed via email
Even though I am an English teacher, the above boxed information really didn't help me.  However, after I sent a request to delete another image from a post, I got a response that required me to frame my request in legal mumbo jumbo.  What a pain.  Just do it.  Here is their form letter that you can just fill in:

To whom it may concern:
The following information is presented for the purposes of removing web
content that infringes on our copyright per the Digital Millennium
Copyright Act. We appreciate your enforcement of copyright law and support
of our rights in this matter
The URLs of the infringing content is as follows (with the URL for the
copyrighted original post below each infringing URL)
Link to infringing content here
Link to Copyrighted content here
Copyright owner contact information:
phone number
I have a good faith belief that use of the copyrighted materials described
above on the allegedly infringing web pages is not authorized by the
copyright owner, its agent, or the law.
I swear, under penalty of perjury, that the information in the notification
is accurate and that I am the copyright owner or am authorized to act on
behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed.
Signed on this day, Todays date
Your Name

For JustAPinch:
email:  or
All I had to do was copy and paste two hyperlinks.  The first one is my post with the original image; saying it was mine.  The other link is the one with the stolen image.  Then sign your name (typed is okay) and send it.
Here is an example of what I did:
Please look at this post and image on your site.
This is my image. Please delete from your site.

For Tastebook:  I emailed their support...
and did the same as above.  Also got a quick delete and reply from their end.

MyDish is UK.    They deleted the image straight away from the post but there is still a ghostly thumbnail with my image. I have no idea how to get rid of that.  Unfortunately, I had to become a member in order to access their support.
FOR ALL OTHER BLOGS/SITES you have to contact the blog administrator (owner) directly, in which case you will encounter all kinds of people.  Some don't respond. Some will feign ignorance.  Some will be nice bloggers and quickly apologize and delete.  It takes all kinds of people, folks.  

2.  I am sad to say that I may have to watermark my images in the future.  I was dreading doing this because it simply doesn't look good; however, I am starting to lose my faith in some foodies.  I thought we were better than this.  

3.  No Satisfaction?  People ignoring you or outright refusing? 
Post to the Wall of Shame, "PhotoStealers".  Or create your own.

5.  And/or follow up legally.  

So a call out to all foodies out there.  Thank you to the commenter (Mary, from on my site who told me about this rice pudding pic getting hijacked all around the 'net.  Now, we need to police ourselves and people who are ignorant about the proper way to attribute images/pics.  CREATE A LINKBACK TO THE ORIGINAL POST/SITE!  I will stop yelling now.  I am more than slightly perturbed.  Excuse me. All decorum is lost.   Foodies, when you see something improperly attributed (wrong post, wrong pic, wrong content) do something about it.   Take action; don't stand by and let this sort of thing happen.  It can happen to you too!

By the way,  if you google "Rice Pudding" and find my image and it doesn't link back to me, let them have it.  And you can leave a comment on this post with a hyperlink letting me know.   The more I dig, the more I find.  I will have to stop or it'll eat me up.  I am quite sad.

Mary, you rock!  thanks for trying to fix things.  
I am sad about watermarking. It sux.


Southhamsdarling said...

Hallo! I received your e-mail, where you have commented on a blog post that I wrote THREE YEARS ago! I'm sorry, but I get all my images from Pinterest.; Three years ago, I had only recently started blogging, and didn't realize about linking back to photos. I can assure you that I always (and have done as soon as I learnt about it) say in my posts that, if appropriate, "all images in this post are courtesy of Pinterest" and I put a link to their site. There is no way that I would have taken it from your blog, because I had never heard of it until I received the e-mail from you earlier today. I'm always more than willing to put my hand up if I have done something wrong, but, in this case, I certainly did not take anything off your blog. Any of my blogging friends will tell you that, even if I want to copy a verse from their blog, I always ask them if I may use it (even though it might be out there all over the internet anyway. To me, that is just common courtesy. All best wishes to you.

Cakebrain said...

regardless of whether you intended to do wrong initially, it would be courteous to delete the image from your site when asked by a fellow blogger once you realize that you were in the wrong. Whether or not you took it directly from my blog is not the issue. The image is still mine. I am the originating source. You can easily check online if you care to. Facebook and Pinterest is notorious for not attributing to original people's posts. So now that you are being pointed into the correct direction, just follow my advice and say "sorry. I'll delete it". Then do it. Please do due diligence with Pinterest and Facebook and other social media if you are going to repost other people's photos. So I disagree with you about doing wrong. It is illegal to do what you did. Now the right thing to do is just delete my image and be done with it. This is common courtesy. thank you.

t. said...

Dear Cakebrain,
I love your blog. Your pictures are lovely and are my go to for baking inspiration. I believe a watermark will help me identify a picture or website when pinning it. I especially like it when I can say "hey I know that blog". Do what you need to do to take care of yourself. Hopefully most of us just want inspiration not to profit. And I will say what thisisme failed to say I'm sorry this has happened.

t. said...

Dear Cakebrain,
I love your blog. Your pictures are lovely and are my go to for baking inspiration. I believe a watermark will help me identify a picture or website when pinning it. I especially like it when I can say "hey I know that blog". Do what you need to do to take care of yourself. Hopefully most of us just want inspiration not to profit. And I will say what thisisme failed to say I'm sorry this has happened.

Southhamsdarling said...

If you could tell me how to delete the image, I will do so., I went into the blog post, and right clicked, but it didn't give me the option of either cutting it or deleting it.

Southhamsdarling said...

I have now deleted the image, as requested. I wasn't going to bother to say any more, but in view of your reply to my quite reasonable comment above, I am going to. You're obviously in a right state about this. Do you know what, my daughter's best friend and my granddaughter's Godmother passed away a week ago, aged 42. She leaves behind a three year old daughter. Perhaps this will put things into perspective for you. Now THAT really is something to get in a state about.

Southhamsdarling said...

I see also, that you have seen fit to put MY photo on your blog. It would have been courteous if you could have asked MY permission before doing so. Please delete my photo from this post. Thank you.

Unknown said...

Thanks for letting me know the picture did not go with the recipe, I am going to delete that post and post the correct recipe with the picture, The picture is the main reason I posted this recipe, it looks delicious.

Cakebrain said...

Put this in perspective. If you had initially said "sorry. oops. I didn't know how" and asked me how to delete it and then just done it, I would have told you how to do it & had not had to post you on my Wall of Shame. It is my only recourse as a blogger. I had already asked you politely to delete it and you politely declined. Your initial response was not friendly but quite mean. You just ignored my request and asserted the fact that you thought you were right. I took it to mean that you were going to keep the image on your blog. The fact that the only reason you are deleting it is for the fact I have your image on my blog is funny. You realize of course that the screenshot is perfectly legal. It is a snapshot of what you have put out publicly. You really need to delete your image and name from your blog if you don't want others there. Go study Pinterest copyright laws and also Creative Commons Copyright law.
If you are having your own problems with the death of a family member that's one thing. I believe it is an excuse to redirect sympathy to you. I myself am going in for major surgery in two weeks and I have two young children myself. Your post has ruined my Thanksgiving weekend (we celebrate Thanksgiving in Canada today) and this interaction with you has left me feeling quite sad about some people's belief that the world revolves around them. This isn't a competition to gain sympathy. However, I have also encountered several people who are quite sorry and are willing to delete my image from their sites quickly and they are more than friendly in my interactions with them. If I were you, I'd now check all your blog posts to ensure that you haven't done this to other bloggers' work as they now know.

Cakebrain said...

Thank you for the kind words! I am so needing this reaffirmation that the foodie world has kind people in it right now. Yes, I noticed that thisisme didn't apologize in either her first contact with me and her following ones. Goes to show her blog, which I noticed had a recent post about "meanness" is ironic.

Cakebrain said...

Thank you Monica! You rock!

Southhamsdarling said...

I am very sorry thAt your picture appeared on my blog without your permission and I am even more sorry for the upset it has caused you. I hope you will accept this in the spirit in which it is being sent.

Cakebrain said...

I accept your apology in whatever spirit it was given. Sometimes what one person deems insignificant and petty is quite meaningful to another. In my case my intellectual property is very important to me. This is how I built my career.
It is Thanksgiving today. I had my family over for a fantastic turkey dinner with all the trimmings. It was the first time my children were really significantly able to help me in the preparation of the meal. I have much to be thankful for in my life. I am so proud of them they are finally growing old enough to start to bake and cook in the kitchen with me. This blog was initially started when I was on maternity leave in order to be a legacy of some sort; full of family stories and recipes that hopefully they could come back and read when I am gone. So though some people have blogs to make money or as a hobby, mine was actually created as a connection to my children and hopefully future grandchildren. Each post, all the words and all the images are there for my children. Though I love to share with the entire world, really it's for them. This is for them. I want it to represent the best of me.

Moirakris said...

Please accept my apology for using your photo, I have removed it as soon as I recieved your notice.

I feel stupid and will now go through and check all my past posts and do the same. I honestly did not mean any harm to you or others.

Cakebrain said...

Thank you for the apology and I forgive you! thank you for deleting it and rest assured I do lots of stupid things too!
Hoping you continue to enjoy sharing all the hard work through hyperlinking--I call it "link love". It really helps our foodie community. I don't want bloggers to stop sharing. We want to promote one another.

Moirakris said...

Cakebrain, I obtained it from a facebook timeline photo from a recipe group. When I asked them they said it was fine to post it to the blog. I thought it was their photo ): I can't check which group it was because I deactivated my fb acct. Again sorry for the confusion and stress

Cakebrain said...

This is a lot more pain than I initially thought. The picture is everywhere. Every time I go on line, I google it and find more. This is only one image too. I dare not look for others. I peeked at my chocolate rose and immediately saw tons of sites come up. It is sucking up all my time. I would rather spend time with my kids. I am thinking of deleting my blog of just making it private after all these years. I am very tired. FB is the hardest for me to reach. I believe it was one of the first places where it was stolen, along with Key Ingredient. Pinterest is a daily thing and I still find it being pinned to the stupid Mom's Old Fashioned Rice Pudding recipe. Let's face it, mom doesn't make rice pudding look like that! I am getting bitter. Thank you for following up. You are a good person.

momof8 said...

Hello! Thank you for bringing to my attention that the photo I copied from facebook with the recipe posted did not go together and the photo is actually yours. I NEVER claimed to own the recipes I post (or photos) as I get them from facebook, because so many good ones are posted and I lose track of them so easily. I truly am sorry that I posted it with ignorance, just assuming they go together. When I started the blog, I was not using any photos (you can go back and look at the beginning of the blog) but then I had readers tell me that photos would be appreciated with the recipes. Well, since they are not my recipes (and I am a mom of 7 children...our family of 9 living on one income) I cannot afford to go out and buy every ingredient to make every recipe just to take my own photos. So I copy the photo posted with the recipe. Also, being the mom of 7 children (6 schoolaged, 2 of which are homeschooled), I do not have the time to research every photo before posting. I do give credit where credit is due. Most photos have watermarks or links on them; I NEVER crop or mess with photos. I would like to ask your permission to keep your photo and just add your link to the recipe. I feel this can only help you out and give you more traffic. Thank you for your time and understanding. (((hugs)))

Cakebrain said...

People who post from FB are a pain because I cannot access the original person who stole or perpetuated the stolen image. Pinterest I check daily and find at least 7 or 8 pins from FB. It is taking me hours. I know I am losing the war, but on principle this is the war that I will fight until I die. It will be ongoing, this rice pudding picture. Like you, I am busy. I work full time and also care for my children. However, if I did not have time to do something properly, I would not do it at all. It would please bloggers around the world if everyone just not copy a photo or recipe without a link to the source or attribution. If you don't have time, which we all don't these days, then don't use it and err on the side of caution. Yes, you may use my photo but please link back to the original recipe. There is something about using photos with recipes that is so important...that it illustrates the recipe it accompanies. Otherwise it's just false advertising. Some mothers like you cannot afford to leave home to work and so earn a living by blogging and so it in a way is like taking money away from them and their hard work. It is an investment of time and money for many included. It behooves us to help these hard working bloggers who create original content and give credit where credit is due.
I personally would feel irritated if a delicious photo enticed me to make the accompanying recipe...and in the end it did not look anything like the picture.


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