Plagiarism. I’ve spoken about it several times before. It’s a regular issue, because, apparently, I’m so damn awesome that people want to copy me.
I often find my writing, and occasionally my photos, in all sorts of places online: Dommes’ websites and ads (including, surprisingly, other Philly Dommes), escort ads, dating profiles (I’m an unwilling Cyrano de Bergerac), FetLife, Twitter, an interview with a well-known stripper, and even an entire catfish website that had stolen more than a dozen pages from my site (see a screenshot below).
This is an upsetting thing to deal with. My writing is a product of my unique voice. I put it out there for people to get to know me and to advance my craft and business. So when people steal it and use it to make themselves look better (than they clearly are) and make money from my labor it pisses me right the hell off. It’s also just such a dumb move, showing a lack of awareness that people may notice and it will make them look bad.
It’s most upsetting when other Dommes do it. Because aside from these being my colleagues, with whom you’d like to think there’s a certain level of respect, it’s ostensibly like they’re competing against me (and other women) with the shit I came up with. LOL!
To help manage my sanity, I vent. And now I think I’m going to document the times I find people who’ve stolen my work so you both can be alerted to the fakes and thieves, and understand how pervasive the issue is and how frustrating and time consuming it can be to deal with. I also hope it educates those who truly do not understand what plagiarism is.
But, Mistress, isn’t calling people out unprofessional? Rubbish. The people who are doing it are the unprofessional ones. I have privately and nicely asked people not to do it several times. I have given vague, non-identifiable public warnings. It still happens. As jerzeyguy40 said to me on FetLife, “It’s an inexcusable but inescapable hazard of writing well.” True…but that doesn’t mean I have to be polite about it.
So, here we are: The Plagiarism Wall of Shame. Stealing people’s work is intellectual property theft. This is violation of copyright law. This means you can be reported to your web host or advertiser, or even taken to court for it. Do it and you should expect to be put on notice. I would report all the copyright infringement I find but that would be a full time job. I do tend to report on behalf of other Dommes, especially when I see their videos pirated, as that has a very measurable effect on one’s revenue. (By the way, this is the primary reason I don’t offer clips for sale. I will have to deal with even more copyright infringement.)
OK, so what is plagiarism? The most common understanding is taking something and copying it word for word. I have most commonly experienced with this my FAQ page. (I guess people can’t come up with their own frequently asked questions?) One Domme, who was involved in the Order of Indomitus, stole several of them and put them on her site. When I confronted her, she admitted it had been there for TWO YEARS. That’s two years of misleading people about who you are. People read that and thought they were booking the person who wrote those.
Here one of my fellow Philadelphia colleagues, who ironically claims to be a “radical permissionist”, didn’t have my permission when she took this from my website:
When confronted she claimed that her mentor told her to do it (a mentor of whom I could find no mention) and that she also thought it was “common copy”. I didn’t buy the story and, for those that don’t know, “common copy” isn’t anything like what I’ve written above, it’s something like “you must be 21 years of age to enter”. It’s writing so generic that no one knows who originally wrote it.
There’s also what’s called “mosaic plagiarism”. This is probably the most common form, as it’s harder to find. As defined by MosaicVenetianParc.com: It’s when someone “steals sentences from a source without using quote marks, or finds synonyms for the author’s language but maintaining the same overall structure and meaning as the original“.
If you’re thinking, “Well, Mistress, that isn’t that original.” You’re missing the point. Yes, many people have created a sentence adjective noun, adjective noun, and adjective noun, but having another Domme use a sentence structured similarly to mine, at the same time I was using it, while kind of swapping some adjectives around is the issue. Would I take any action against this Domme? No. That would be ridiculous in this case. But aside from someone lazily taking ideas from me (or others), the lack of originality in doing something like this is both kind of pathetic and comical.
You can also plagiarize people’s ideas. If I have a unique idea, that’s my idea. If I say that I’m the Julia Child of CBT (whatever the fuck that means), you should not also say you’re the Julia Child of CBT. I thought this was obvious. I mean, I would never do such a silly thing, so it always surprises me when other’s step up on stage and do just that.
Back shortly after I went pro, I came up with a “fast food” and “McDonalds” analogy for how I don’t practice BDSM. I’ve found like 4 or 5 Dommes who have copied this analogy, using my terms and phrases “McDonald’s-style Domination”, “McDomination”, “McKink”, “Drive-Through/Fast Food Domination/Kink” and other permutations. This has included Dommes that have been around longer than I have and should have their own ideas and brand by now. One of them is very well-known and involved with the Order of Indomitus.
Another is something I call “backdoor plagiarism”. If someone else has a name for this I am not aware of it. So, if you know, please tell me. Backdoor plagiarism is more insidious way of copying someone. The person doing it will say things like, “I say that all the time,”, “I was thinking that just this morning,” “I have been doing that for years!” This is a way to attempt to claim “copyright” over something that someone has said or done so they can start saying or doing it and claiming they’ve been saying or doing it all along, knowing it can be difficult if not impossible to prove that someone did or did not do it. Of course people make statements like this and they are actually true, so in order to discern between someone telling the truth and it being backdoor plagiarism you have to figure out if it’s a habit for someone. Have you heard them repeat these kinds of things a lot? Have they produced evidence to support their claims? One Domme started saying things like this to me and I didn’t think much of it until she had done it several times. It got to the point where I knew there was no way she could be saying these things I say so often, especially when some of them were unique to my way of thinking. It just all seemed far too coincidental. I gently asked for evidence. She didn’t come up with any. So, this, combined with seeing a pattern of her recycling my (and possible others’) ideas on her Twitter feed, I began to believe she was a compulsive liar. I eventually caught her copying someone verbatim and confronted her, with the screenshot. I ended up blocked.
Last week I found my writing on the FetLife profile of “Philadelphia Airport Dungeon”. I privately, and civilly, asked them to remove it. It was met with antagonism. I was taunted with, “make us” and “WE ARE NOT YOUR BITCHES Sweetie!” I would copy and paste our private exchange but I don’t think I need to do that, do I? (I convinced them to remove it.)
Now, I just found this moments ago:
I just randomly selected a paragraph from my sessions page, put into Google, and found that this person has it in their ad. (They’re using it on another site as well.)
What’s crazy is that this was the first thing I tried searching for. When the very first paragraph I chose comes up with hits, I ask myself how many other people are out there attracting clients and making coin using my stolen shit?
If you have no interest in my discussing and venting about this not-very-sexy but very real aspect of being a (bad-ass) Dominatrix, then use this as a lesson to help you avoid being mislead or scammed. Before you contact someone to book them, take their writing, put quotes around it, paste it into Google, and see what you come up with. Then try it again without quotes. If you get parts of the paragraph, you may have the kind of plagiarist who is smart enough to mix up their stolen writing so it isn’t as easily found. Either way, you’ve got a thief on your hands. Is that the kind of person you want to put your trust into?
To those who choose to steal other people’s work: May you get what’s coming to you. Hopefully, a short career. Which is very likely if you’re so bad at this that can’t come up with your own content.