Featured List

Shame On You, Redbook Magazine

Sunday, December 30, 2012

UPDATE: Redbook has since responded, and you can read the e-mail their executive editor sent me here. (In short, they stepped up.) They have apologized, sent $500 to Give Kids The World at my request, and promised to add a correction notice in the next print issue. However, the damage is done: my feature in Good Housekeeping has been pulled as a result of Redbook's initial theft, so I won't be getting my first Epbot print credit after all. (Well, unless you count Redbook's correction.)

****

You guys know that one of my most popular creations here on Epbot are my flip-flop hangers. They've been re-pinned on Pinterest thousands of times, so naturally I've seen my share of websites re-posting my pics without credit - but that's kind of par for the course with the internet, and usually easily remedied with a polite e-mail.

However, today reader Beth pointed me to a whole new low in my experience: Redbook magazine not only took my idea and printed it without credit, they also hired an artist to draw a picture from my photos to get around the copyright issue. The artist made a few differences - perhaps enough to hold up in court, I suppose - but it's blatantly obvious that my photos were used as a direct reference. 

Here are the photos from Epbot that I believe Redbook used, originally posted back in April of 2011 on my flip-flop hanger tutorial:

 

  And this is on page 102 of Redbook's January 2013 issue, on shelves now:



Those are pretty clearly my flip-flops, complete with the little side buckles, and it's even the same hanger shape and silver bar from my photo. Though the flats pictured are different, that idea was also mine, as you can see in another photo from my original post:


Here's a side-by-side comparison of the flip-flops:


Even the shadows line up.
Again, I think it's pretty obvious where this drawing came from, even if the differences in the overall image may make it technically legal. (I honestly don't know, so if you do, feel free to weigh in in the comments.)

As bad as this is, it gets worse: Just last week I agreed to have my flip-flop hangers featured in Good Housekeeping for their Spring issue. (I was hoping to save it as a surprise, too. *sigh*) Now that they've been "scooped," as it were, it's possible that Good Housekeeping may pull the feature, depriving Epbot and myself of both proper credit and Epbot's first mention in print, which I've been ridiculously excited about. The added exposure would be huge for this blog. HUGE.

Oh, and remember how I mentioned how popular my hangers are on Pinterest? Well, when you look at the rest of page 102, it's pretty obvious that's where Redbook got all of their ideas:


Any regular pinner will recognize these as being some of the site's most popular pins - and I see no credit for any of them, either. To be fair, the pillow case storage and bracelet rack are easily copied, so there are lots of versions out there, but I'd be curious to know if those reference photos are also copied from bloggers' photos. (Please let me know in the comments if you recognize them, so I can link sources.) And just to be clear, I've yet to see anyone do a different variation on my flip-flop hangers, so there should be no question that I am the original source. (And an easily found source, I might add.)

So my question is this: Does Redbook just assume all of these ideas came from lowly bloggers who don't have the audience or clout to protest when their ideas are stolen? They can't think this content simply appeared out of thin air, so that's the only conclusion I can come to: that the Redbook staff think they're free to use our ideas and images just because they're bigger than us.

(This is also a good time to mention again how critically important it is to properly source your pins, although I doubt Redbook bothered looking for sources, anyway.)

And finally, this may seem petty, but dangit, I'm going to mention it anyway: Redbook was the only print source to ever publish a negative review of my book Cake Wrecks. It happened during the book release, and we all expected something positive, but instead they slammed me with a two sentence review, saying "You know the blog-to-book trend has gone too far when you find this title on shelves."

So, yeah, I'm starting to think someone over at Redbook doesn't like me. 

I don't expect anything much to come of this, guys, although I do hope my bit in Good Housekeeping isn't jeopardized. However, if any of you would like to contact Redbook to remind them that properly crediting sources is just good manners, you can do so via their Facebook page, Twitter, and/or e-mail at redbook@hearst.com 

Obviously nothing can be done about this current issue, but a correction in the next one, along with a source credit and link on their website now, would be a lovely amendment on their part. And in case anyone from Redbook ever reads this, let me just say that while drawing slightly different versions of popular images on Pinterest may get you around the law, it certainly won't win you any respect from your readers. It's far better to credit - and credit freely - so that others can see you as the good guy, instead of just another content thief. 


Step up, Redbook. Make this right.


[Note: I accidentally and incorrectly called Good Housekeeping "Better Homes & Gardens" in my original post. I feel like a complete idiot as a result, and I'm terribly sorry for the confusion. On the plus side: BH&G just got a whole bunch of nice messages from you guys that they will no doubt be utterly confused by.]

Posted by Jen at 6:22 PM Labels:

196 comments:

  1. What a bunch of villanous scum. We must harness the power of the internet to make this right! to start, I will be sharing this post on my FB and twitter and encourage others to do so and to write to Redbook.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oops, posted this on your original post accidentally, here's where that comment should go.

    Here's the comment I just messaged to Redbook via their facebook page:

    Jen Yates at EPBOT deserves to be credited for your obvious rip-off of her flip-flop hanger idea in your current issue. http://www.epbot.com/2011/04/hows-it-hangin-flop-tutorial.html Here's her original post in case your copy editors were stumped as how to find the original source.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I sent a fb message (because posting on their wall requires that I first "like" them.) So disappointing!!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Lazy, lazy, lazy "journalism"! This is akin to articles written based solely on quotes/exchanges from Twitter. I certainly hope they credit you and that this doesn't affect the BH&G article. Very best of luck and don't let the unimaginative/spiteful/idiotic get you down.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I will be sharing this on FB and contacting Redbook. As careful as you have been to credit others and protect their work, it's doubly insulting for this to happen to you.
    Sometimes people suck...but we expect better from journalists.

    ReplyDelete
  6. You should not only be credited, you should be PAID!! Just as pirating a song or movie is stealing, so is using editorial content without compensation.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I've always listed where I've found my Pinterest pins for this exact reason.
    Shame on Redbook.
    It's even the same shoe!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Let's hope the negative publicity they get from this outweighs the positive (and that their PR department doesn't believe that whole "There's no such thing as bad publicity" nonsense).

    That said, you may want to re-look at the Pinterest terms of service - it's entirely possible that when you sign up you agree to give up rights to anything you post on there. I don't know for sure (I don't use Pinterest) but it's a pretty common legal thing to have in there.

    ReplyDelete
  9. May the social media-verse descend upon them with great wrath. Not just for you Jen, but for all of the bloggers, artists, craftspeople and other creatives out there. Messaged and passed on to many blogger and print writer friends.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I also just sent an email telling them how disgusted I am that they did not credit you for this.
    Also, my cat, Marf is yowling at the screen right now and I can't think of a good reason why. Therefore, I can only assume that he is outraged as well.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I noticed this TOO! Made me super mad. I'll go shoot them a message. Butt-heads!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Wikipedia says Redbook has about 2.2 million subscribers - slightly less than double Jen's 1.2 million Twitter followers. I'd put money on the angry internet being more vocal than Redbook's otherwise happy clientele, though.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I sent them an e-mail, and encourage everyone to do the same.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Only contacted via email-I don't FB, Tweet, or Pin.

    Good luck! And if you'd like to get totally disgusted, check out You Thought We Wouldn't Notice. Sad how often this type of theft (yes, that is what I consider it) occurs.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Wow, very disappointed in Redbook :/

    I sent them a message on FB. There really isn't any excuse for this, since a quick Google search for flip-flop hangers as your Epbot post as the first result

    ReplyDelete
  16. That's terrible! I will share on my social networks, too. Good grief. They must be stopped.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Wait, they still publish Redbook? But yet they get rid of any mag relevant to our generation (RIP Ready Made). Hmpf. Anyway, it's blatantly obvious, especially with the pic and drawing side-by-side. Shame on them!

    ReplyDelete
  18. An insult made worse by the fact you are so careful to credit other people's work on your site. I am surprised they didn't just take a photo of Pinterest and be done with it - shoddy and lazy 'journalism'. Glad I have never wasted a penny on their magazine

    ReplyDelete
  19. It's at that time of year I renew subscriptions...this one isn't getting renewed. I won't pay thieves.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Oh Jen, that's horrible. Even my humble little blog has had its issues, but to put it in print like that truly disgusts me. I'm totally sorry to hear about your BH&G deal. I hope they still print it; BH&G is definitely better respected publication.

    Every time I see one of the "long" pins of your hangers, I report it to pinterest, since I know you didn't create it. At the very least, you can prove in court that the copyright date on your hangers dates well before this issue of Redbook. My advice: make a fuss. Get the word out. Redbook will have to retract if they want to come back from such a scandal.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I just posted this to my timeline. I've been lurking for a long time, and have become a big fan. Chin up girl, we'll get the word out!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Shared and emailed. I hope that your article isn't scrapped. Shame on them!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Dang, that is so not cool! I remember briefly seeing that in Redbook and I knew I'd seen it somewhere else, but I didn't connect the dots. How crappy of them, I hope they realize that blogging is an up and coming medium and they need to credit their sources. It makes me feel better about not renewing my Redbook subscription (but I did renew BHG, I hope to see a feature of your work in there).

    ReplyDelete
  24. Oh man that sucks. Set Lady Vadore on them.

    ReplyDelete
  25. 34Ugh, completely inexcusable! I forwarded this to Cosumerist.com too.

    ReplyDelete
  26. I found Cake Wrecks way back when it was only about two months old, and I've been a loyal follower of it ever since and an Epbot lurker since the beginning. I'm absolutely appalled that Redbook did this. I'm going to go raise the biggest fit I can and see if I can get my friends to join in.

    ReplyDelete
  27. That's awful. Stuff like that happens (and makes us artists paranoid about posting online because of it), but seriously? Stealing things is juvenile and insulting and not at all professional. Credit the work, even in an offhanded way, and/or make it yourself and take your own photos.
    Cue angry internet backlash.

    Good luck with your real article! Don't forget to get two extra copies... one to lend out and get dog-eared and one to frame/keep pristine!

    ReplyDelete
  28. Putting something on Pintrest doesn't put it in the public domain, and drawing a picture doesn't get around copywrite. You own the idea and you own the photos. You'd have the strongest case on the photos because their drawing is so similar. If you wanna know more about taking a photo and copying it in a different media just Google articles about Sheppard Fairey's "Change" poster of Obama.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Just gain some satisfaction from knowing that Redbook ceased being relevant to women readers somewhere around 1971. I didn't even know it was still being published. Not surprised their lazy edit staffers and artists would steal. Redbook hasn't had an original idea on its pages since the Nixon administration.

    ReplyDelete
  30. I commented on their Facebook page, shared this blog post to my Facebook "Timeline," and am off to share it elsewhere. You'd think that people that do this would have learned by now that the Internet WILL call them out and WILL hold them accountable. *smh*

    ReplyDelete
  31. They are no better than the Chinese sites that string all the pictures together from a tutorial, giving no credit, and that are repinned like crazy on Pinterest. How disgusting. I've never been a fan of Redbook, and this certainly isn't doing anything to help their image in my mind.

    Knowing your followers, though, this will be remedied in some way or another. We are not a quiet bunch.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Wow! I've sent Redbook a message on their FB page as well. How lazy can they be? If they can't come up with content on their own, the least they can do is credit those who are creative when using their ideas.

    ReplyDelete
  33. SERIOUSLY!?!?!?!? I don't even know what to say that is polite language!!!

    ReplyDelete
  34. I understand what you mean, but on a different (smaller) level. I have incredible page views, but not a high amount of readers. Why? Because some bloggers are visiting my blog via Pinterest and copying my ideas onto their own blogs. I know this because of my site tracker. I'm so sorry you're having to deal with this.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Well, at least this has saved me a few bucks in magazine subscriptions. I find this sort of behavior deplorable. I've sent Redbook a facebook message, as it seems several of your followers have as well. Good luck in getting credit where credit is due!

    ReplyDelete
  36. iUnfortunately this happens all too often these days. It is clear they are aware of the copyright issue , hence the illustration vs. photograph.
    This kind of thing happens so often in my biz I have just given up even pointing it out. When the majority of people feel that it's OK to appropriate other's ideas, it is a losing battle. Frankly I am surprised so many commenters here actually see that this is wrong , because on other blogs, etc...the scale tips strongly in the direction of "all is fair for copying if it is on the internets."
    I hope it doesn't impact your Better Homes.... article!

    ReplyDelete
  37. I was able to leave a message in their FB without "liking" them. :/ I think this is what Instagram meant with their change of service: use it, don't acknowledge it, or give the source, or even pay for someone else hard work. Let's hope the internet can help to stop this "trend".

    ReplyDelete
  38. What a horrible way for a magazine to conduct itself. I'm sorry Jen. If it's any consultation, your readers all know the truth and we will do our part to make them fix this, like, right now.
    Congrats on the BH&G though! Sorry the surprise was ruined by a bunch of jerks.
    We love you!

    ReplyDelete
  39. That's not cool, Redbook. Not cool. I am off to Facebook. I hope Redbook makes this right. If BH&G prints the article about your hangers, I will buy that magazine (and I never buy magazines)!

    Please keep us posted Jen.

    ReplyDelete
  40. I'm *very* disgusted with Redbook. I sent them a tweet, told them they suck. I'll go on FB and and do the same, but I definitely won't "like" them. I've been a loyal Cakewrecks fan from the beginning! I hope your many many many followers are able to knock them on their butts.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Well, I sent my e-mail to them, and I managed not to swear. However, I did tell them that this will effect my view on all Hearst publications. I hope they suffer for this.

    ReplyDelete
  42. wow, all they had to do was give credit to you...Did you try to take any action to get credit?

    ReplyDelete
  43. I sent an e-mail. What a ripoff. I hope it doesn't negatively affect your Better Homes and Gardens gig.

    ReplyDelete
  44. It makes me so pleased to be watching (and participating in) the smackdown of Redbook in real time. We're all behind you Jen. Hell hath no fury like a blogger scorned.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Also; made these hangers for my own closet...they are great! Thanks Jen!

    ReplyDelete
  46. Aww, Jen that totally sucks. I'm definitely going to leave them a comment and will share on Facebook.

    ReplyDelete
  47. Oh, I hate that! I hope they give you credit with all the emails they are sure to get - we all know that idea was a Jen/EPBOT original!

    I've had blog photos stolen and used in other online stores. Now I watermark EVERY photo I take to at least make it hard for others to claim workmanship. I've also seen an idea of mine in a magazine, but it was so simple that I can't be sure I was the only one to think of it (even though it was on my blog before I saw it published elsewhere).

    I hate lazy sourcing in journalism and blogging!

    ReplyDelete
  48. Well, Jen, you already have 65 comments on redbook's facebook page complaining about their treatment of you. Let's hope they do something about it. I'm sure there'll be many more comments by tomorrow morning, or whenever their staff gets to work this week. Wonder what they will do.

    ReplyDelete
  49. Emailed them, copied you on it.

    ReplyDelete
  50. You and all of the bloggers whose ideas were stolen deserve apologies and due credit. Writers ought to be held accountable for their actions, especially when they work for such a big name magazine. For Shame indeed.

    ReplyDelete
  51. You need to send Redbook an invoice for their use of your work. I think $1,000 is fair.

    ReplyDelete
  52. People can also send a letter to the editor at redbook@hearst.com.

    ReplyDelete
  53. So who isgoing to Pin it? I wrote on their fb page and its on my fb status

    ReplyDelete
  54. Shelley in So. IllinoisDecember 30, 2012 at 8:09 PM

    I sent an e-mail and a message on facebook. I may or may not have called them 'low-down dirty dogs.'

    ReplyDelete
  55. By the way, you can "unlike" them after you post a FB message. Just mouse over the Liked button and it gives you the option to Unlike.

    ReplyDelete
  56. From my limited intellectual property law knowledge, I'm pretty sure this absolutely constitutes copyright infringement. As you say, it's clear they got the idea from you, and the redrawing doesn't change the fact that it's the exact same core image. Also, they're clearly profiting off your idea, which is a component of copyright infringement (although profit-making is actually not necessary for you to be able to successfully sue them). I think you should consult a lawyer and sue them for damages. There's no excuse for what they did.

    Carla

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Copyright law doesn't protect ideas. You'd need a patent. And if you come up with an idea, publicize it, and don't patent it then legally it is fair game and open for anyone to use. There are no rights of attribution under American intellectual property law.

      Delete
  57. eso more like 13 years ago.. still...) I was a subscriber to Redbook and I got the best Thanksgiving turkey recipe from there. I really enjoyed the magazine. However, their practices in the last few years (including the obvious photoshopping of cover photos) and now this has put them on my dislike list. I will be writing to Redbook as a longtime but no longer fan and reader and letting them know just what I think about their lazy journalism and lack of creativity, not to mention their downright disregard for the work of others. Here's hoping Better Homes and Gardens will come to you for more of your DIY projects because personally, I love what what you do an now that I own my own home (as of 3 weeks ago! Yay!) I plan on utilizing as many of your tutorials as I can. :)

    ReplyDelete
  58. We've been seeing stuff like this happen more and more and I think it's just going to keep getting worse. You should send this to Regretsy. They have a very large audience and a history of shaming big websites and companies for stealing ideas from smaller sites.

    I know a blogger whose idea, published on her blog several months before (so this was not a magazine lead time issue where two people had the same idea at the same time) showed up in Martha Stewart Living with no credit. She got a correction in the next issue, I think, but not much else, not even an apology.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sent this to HKApril over at Regretsy. Words can't even describe what I'm feeling right now.

      Delete
  59. This is what I sent to them, via email(I used a bit of another person's post up-thread as it held the perfect starting point and was succinct!:


    To Whom it May Concern:

    Jen Yates at EPBOT deserves to be credited for your obvious rip-off of her flip-flop hanger idea in your current issue.
    http://www.epbot.com/2011/04/hows-it-hangin-flop-tutorial

    As an avid social media networking and marketing professional I am appalled at Redbook's lack of respect in regards to proper source credit. Indeed, as a frequent Pinterest 'Pinner' and content negotiator spanning several media networks I have never, ever seen another flip-flop tutorial that looks exactly like the photos (down to the flip flop shadows) of the pictures you clearly copied and illustrated in an attempt to get around giving credit where it is due.

    And what would citing Ms. Yates and her blog, Epbot, have given you anyway? Perhaps credibility and the respect of the original poster as well as her large and intelligent fan base, who will not (I am quite sure) ever be patronizing your magazine in the future.

    Shame on you.

    Amanda

    No worries Jen! We will unite for you!

    ReplyDelete
  60. LAME on you, Redbook!!
    So sorry this happened to you, Jen!
    We're behind YOU 100%

    :) Mags, Cincinnati, OH

    ReplyDelete
  61. Sent a very disapproving email to Redbook. I just hate it when this kind of thing happens. Here's hoping the BH&G thing follows through!

    ReplyDelete
  62. I emailed them and told them that they totally suck. Credit where it's due should be given. I think you should at least have a lawyer send a cease and desist letter.

    ReplyDelete
  63. I've just sent an email to Redbook - I can't believe how blatant they were about stealing your idea!

    ReplyDelete
  64. Naturally I have e mailed them. I refuse to "like" them on Facebook, no matter how good the cause.

    People deserve credit for hard work, effort and their creativity - period. Whether it be a link back to a source on line or a "mention in passing" when items are sold at a local faire.

    When it is a national magazine who is so blazé about the law it really boils my blood. It is blatant bad journalism and blatant bad manners.

    I hope Better Homes & Gardens do not pull your item on the basis of what is little better than a sneak thief's actions. As other's have mentioned, if a person such as yourself can, out of common courtesy and respect trace and acknowledge original sources when appropriate, it is beyond disgraceful that a national publication is not willing to do the same. As my Gramp's always reminded us kids "good manners cost nothing and hurt no one".

    I am not sure how useful or relevant this is to your situation, but I think it may be worth a look.

    Best wishes for the coming New Year and fingers crossed that BH&G are bigger than these charlatans and do not renegé on your article!

    ReplyDelete
  65. Just emailed them. Redbook's an ass.

    ReplyDelete
  66. Sorry Lim but that's not art theft that's inspiration. They weren't stealing someone else's image they were using it to create their own artwork. Unlike what Redbook have done where the point of the image is simply to convey the concept in the text, which they have stolen, artists like that are simply using the things they find around them to create something of their own. If that is 'art theft' then every artist in history is a forger. You know that the definition of forgery is not copying another artists work, but trying to pass it of AS the work of that artist, not your own?

    Those guys should take it as a compliment that someone with skill in a different field of art should be so inspired by their work to want to mimic the pose and shape and shadow. I expect most of the photographers couldn't have produced the drawings themselves. The artists probably couldn't have taken the pictures. It's a different medium, and each artist is adding something of themselves through their own medium of expertise.

    It's an entirely different issue to the problem here, where someone is taking off a practical, and easily patented, method.

    ReplyDelete
  67. Long-time lurker Helen here! So steamed that the only words that come to mind are utterly inappropriate for any public place. Fear not, lovely Jen. Your readers are on the case! I opened a shiny new Twitter account just to angrily bombard Redbook with ferocious tweets.

    ReplyDelete
  68. They may have used an artist to recreate your image to hopefully "get around" copyright issues, but that makes it a derivative work. From LegalZoom: "Only copyright owners have the exclusive right to produce derivative works based on their original, copyrighted works. Copyright on original works of authorship is automatic, and registration—while it does carry significant benefits, like the right to sue for infringement—is not required for a work to be protected; protection attaches immediately when the work is completed."

    Redbook needs to make this right by 1) acknowledging they stole your idea, 2) apologizing for stealing it, and 3) compensating you for it.

    ReplyDelete
  69. Redbook just came Blackbook. It's a silly magazine, but they should still try to be professional and ethical.

    ReplyDelete
  70. Boo! We are ALL on your side!

    ReplyDelete
  71. I'm really sorry this has happened to you! I lurk the internet a lot and have seen a lot of low blows in my time. This is truly distasteful. I really hope they at least give you credit in a future issue or a retraction or something. I shared this with my facebook realm and I hope it gets some more traffic for you.

    From one crafter to another, I know what it feels like to have this stress dropped on you! Take care and I hope the New Year starts off right for you and yours!

    ReplyDelete
  72. I tweet about it for you. This is terrible.

    ReplyDelete
  73. I was linking to this article on all the posts on their wall. Apparently they have now reported me for "spam" and I'm block from making public comments. Nice Redbook. Nice.

    ReplyDelete
  74. Found them on twitter, sent a tweet about it. Good to follow up on pintrest's user agreement though. I'm interested to know I've opened an unused account with them a while back.

    Hope they make it right!

    ReplyDelete
  75. I suggest you write them a letter demanding payment and attribution immediately. If they refuse or fail to respond, threaten them with legal action.

    ReplyDelete
  76. Right now I'm not at ALL a fan of the media. Between their invasion of Newtown/Sandy Hook Connecticut and now they're stealing ideas from Pinterest...it's just all really freakin SAD.

    Unfortunately, so many people neglect to watermark their photos and that really needs to be done. This way, source listed on Pinterest / Tumblr / whatever, or not, your copyright and site address is on there.

    ReplyDelete
  77. You might want to let BH&G know since they would have an interest in fighting Red Book over copyright issues for an article they have done the legal leg work for.

    ReplyDelete
  78. Geez, Redbook's behavior is completely inexcusable! This is how bereft of original ideas they are? Ugh.
    Definitely make a stink, Jen.

    ReplyDelete
  79. I consulted my dad, who as a musician knows about copy-write issues fairly well, and he said the fact that the magazine changed the medium does not make it legal. Not only did they use your image without permission but Red book also took your idea. My dad has a copy-write lawyer and he can give you his contact information if you want to get serious.

    ReplyDelete
  80. Do you have something in WRITING from BHaG? Even an e-mail? You could concievably get a bit of token compensation as well as proper credit if you do... And even though I think we as a society are often overly litigious, in this case they HAVE damaged you as it affects your actual livleyhood.

    ReplyDelete
  81. I sent Redbook an e-mail, Jen, as I do not use FB or Pintrest. I asked them when their DIY department became so uncreative and/or so terribly dishonest as to post projects without even crediting the very people who came up with the ideas in the first place. You and everyone else from whom they've stolen ideas deserve much better!

    ReplyDelete
  82. I cannot imagine that they have done this to you! SO awful. This is my post on FB.

    Poor Jen, over at Epbot. Redbook stole her flip-flop hanger idea and didn't credit her. Please go comment on their page so Jen can get proper credit! She's my favorite blogger!

    Also I will be posting on their fb page!

    ReplyDelete
  83. Sorry Jen, that is such a shame. I never was a Redbook reader. They are just jealous of your obvious talent and success. You should see if you can find an attorney willing to take this on, it is an increasing issue that needs to be addressed.

    ReplyDelete
  84. Added my voice to the outcry on Facebook. The worst part, in my opinion, is that they so painstakingly copied every detail in the drawing, it's just so incredibly deliberate! Sharing this everywhere.

    ReplyDelete
  85. Hi Jen, I've been a long time reader, and fell in love with steam punk because of you. My sister has a Wreck the Halls book signed by you with a HAND DRAWN EPBOT BOT on the inside cover ... so jealous. I just went onto Redbook's fb page and posted the link to this, as well as telling them off for taking your idea. Keep your chin up.

    ReplyDelete
  86. I emailed!Contemplating tweeting and tumbling, but I'm honestly unsure of which hashtags to uee!

    ReplyDelete
  87. I read Cake Wrecks but I rarely mosey over here (and I don't use pintrest at all). I did today because I saw your tweets. What Redbook did was underhanded and shady. I hope it doesn't mess things up with BH&G.

    Completely other random note, that plant holder thing for toys is an amazing idea!! Thank you, I was looking for a way to declutter my 3 yr old's bedroom..you just saved my life!

    ReplyDelete
  88. Tweeted to Redbook and our 30,000+ followers.

    ReplyDelete
  89. Redbook's FB page is absolutely blowing up with some friendly reminders. Let's keep it up EPBOT readers!

    ReplyDelete
  90. I'm very happy to see the Redbook fb page getting deluged with comments from Epbot fans! I added my 2 cents' worth as well. We'll see how long they stay up... ;)

    ReplyDelete
  91. It is probably legal for them to appropriate your unpatented (and I would hope unpatentable) idea, but the illustration was their big mistake. Artwork that is demonstrably a directly derivative work of your photograph is copyright infringement. To say they "changed it enough" is not a valid defense.

    ReplyDelete
  92. Hey maybe EPBOT can start a magazine called Magentabook and you can have someone draw and handwrite out all the stuff from Redbook magazine... Shame on you Redbook magazine...

    ReplyDelete
  93. I love seeing the vast Epbot army mobilized! Don't worry Jen, we're all behind you!

    ReplyDelete
  94. I'm trying to read all the comments, but will have to come back later to finish. I did, however, share your link on facebook and message them on facebook. I don't read the magazine and hope that any of my friends that do will stop.

    ReplyDelete
  95. "Hi everyone,

    We have read all of your comments and are looking into the matter immediately.

    Thank you,

    REDBOOK"

    ReplyDelete
  96. Redbook just put this up on their page in one of the comments where all of us have been letting them know how they screwed up. Too little, too late though.








    Redbook Magazine Hi everyone,

    We have read all of your comments and are looking into the matter immediately.

    Thank you,

    ReplyDelete
  97. Sent them a Facebook Message.This is what I said:

    Dear Redbook,

    I am appalled that you would blatantly rip off a persons work. http://www.epbot.com/2011/04/hows-it-hangin-flop-tutorial Jen Yates of Epbot deserves credit for her work. She posted this tutorial for free on her website, so that we all may hang our flip flops with beauty and pride and this is the thanks she gets!? (This is a rhetorical question Redbook)

    Oh, and redrawing her pictures exactly the same doesn't count. It's still copyright infringement.

    For shame Redbook. For shame.

    ReplyDelete
  98. I sent an email and will send a FB message - stealing is stealing! LOVE your blogs - both EPBOT and CakeWrecks!

    ReplyDelete
  99. I've never been a reader of Redbook and now I never will be. This behaviour makes them look dishonest and untrustworthy. I have told them this on Facebook and by email. I look forward to seeing them apologize. Good for you Jen for speaking out. You can't be the only person they have done this to, but hopefully you'll be the last.

    ReplyDelete
  100. As of 10 minutes ago, they say they have read the comments and are looking into the matter. Keep up the comments!

    ReplyDelete
  101. That is absolutely terrible. I am so sorry that they ruined your debut. Have you thought of starting a petition on Change.org? People have had a lot of success. You might just be able to get your retratction at the very least.

    ReplyDelete
  102. Hey! Redbook posted in their comment thread (which has been deluged with Jen Yates fans):


    Hi everyone,

    We have read all of your comments and are looking into the matter immediately.

    Thank you,

    REDBOOK

    ReplyDelete
  103. You should contact your state's bar association and ask to be referred to a copyright attorney. You hopefully can find someone to take your case pro bono. Redbook may only do the right thing if an attorney gets involved

    ReplyDelete
  104. Remember that editors assign and pay writers to write stories. An editor is not going to physically have the time to verify each and every idea. They will trust that the writer is going to act honestly.
    So, remember to also look at the writer. Is it the "Steil" person mentioned in the page that is in the story you posted? Redbook won't be thrilled if they paid someone to do a piece. That person took shortcuts that got them into hot water.
    If it makes you feel better, I have almost no time to look at Pins - and I have actually seen your flip flop hangers. :)

    ReplyDelete
  105. I also sent a message to Redbook FB as I couldn't stand to click like. It seems as if the people will be heard...

    ReplyDelete
  106. Posted on my FB, will also be emailing them.
    Total scum the Redbook magazine is. The only problem I can see is that they are "Hearst" and they don't care what they do wrong, they've screwed people for years. Let's hope this goes to the PTB and you get the credit you so deserve! I also hope this doesn't ruin the contract with BH&G, they are the bomb! Love you guys, thank you for continually keeping me entertained!

    ReplyDelete
  107. ahh.. we need to invoke the power of the FJL's of Regretsy!!!!
    This just sucks - and that BH&G could drop your article REALLY suckS!!

    ReplyDelete
  108. I'm as ardent an intellectual-property advocate as you'll find, and I agree with everyone that Redbook has flagrantly ripped you off, Jen. However, I don't quite get the charge that "[Redbook] also hired an artist to draw a picture from my photos to get around the copyright issue". Ascribing intent is tricky business.

    Had your hangers been featured alone, you might have a pretty strong point: Why draw a picture when a photo would do, except to skirt photo crediting requirements or something?

    But your hangers were included on a full-page, hodge-podge collection of craft ideas; while the ideas themselves may have been appropriated ... er ... *inappropriately*, one could very easily believe that Redbook "hired an artist" (although I imagine they have plenty on staff) to draw a picture from your photos very simply *to fit the graphic style of the page* so that all the illustrations would match.

    (It *may well be* that Redbook opted to illustrate the article with drawings in order "to get around the copyright issue", but you shouldn't ascribe to malice what can be explained by aesthetics.)

    You have a legitimate and self-proving complaint about the theft of your *idea*, Jen; don't clutter it with speculation about a peripheral issue.

    Just say this: "Hey, guys, Redbook stole my hanger idea! You know for-sure they got it from me because the illustration itself is clearly lifted directly from my photograph (you can tell by the buckles and shadows)!"

    Let the picture *prove your main point*, rather than making it the subject of a point you can't prove.

    ReplyDelete
  109. First of all: it's not personal. More likely, they saw a good idea and stole it, knowing that they could use legalities to cover their ass.

    Second: probably won't effect HG publishing - that issues has already been put to bed, and last minute changes are only merited by big deal stuff, like death and calamity. Column inches take precedence over being "scooped" by a hack like Redbook. Worst scenario is that they may try to weasel out of paying you, but if you have a contract it's easier to pay you than fight you.

    And third? I'm watching Star Wars. And you don't mess with a fan base while they are listening to the Imperial March.

    ReplyDelete
  110. If someone took Redbook's original content and recreated it without acknowledgement, Hearst lawyers would be on them like a swarm of locusts. Shame on you Redbook!

    Jen Yates deserves an apology, an acknowledgement, and compensation.

    ReplyDelete
  111. Just wrote an irate email to Redbook and mentioned that I'm an attorney. (Not that I'm an intellectual property attorney, but for some reason, mentioning I'm an attorney impresses people sometimes (like landlords who are trying to withhold my friends' security deposits).)

    I sure hope you get the credit you deserve ASAP!

    ReplyDelete
  112. Grrrr....shame on them! Thats just wrong. People bending copyrights make me sick -_- You should get credit, an apology letter and paid for this.

    ReplyDelete
  113. Just sent them this email...

    To Whom it May Concern,

    You need to credit Jen Yates of EPBOT for her flip-flop tutorial. Here's the last paragraph from her blog, EPBOT, and you'll note that I have properly credited it below. She deserves credit, compensation, and an apology for using her idea without permission or credit. I can guarantee that if you don't retract or apologize, you are going to lose readers, because we will post this all over the internet for everyone to see.

    "Obviously nothing can be done about this current issue, but a correction in the next one, along with a source credit and link on their website now, would be a lovely amendment on their part. And in case anyone from Redbook ever reads this, let me just say that while drawing slightly different versions of popular images on Pinterest may get you around the law, it certainly won't win you any respect from your readers. It's far better to credit - and credit freely - so that others can see you as the good guy, instead of just another content thief.

    Step up, Redbook. Make this right."

    http://www.epbot.com/2012/12/shame-on-you-redbook-magazine.html

    Sincerely,
    Elizabeth A.
    Devoted Cakewrecks and Epbot fan

    ReplyDelete
  114. I really hope that Redbook's editors do read the comments, have a discussion about this issue, and change their procedures. As a journalist, I am - sadly - not surprised by this. I work at a newspaper, and one of my biggest challenges as a younger, Internet-lovin' journo has been getting others to credit bloggers. They're happy to "repurpose" a good scoop they see online, but they are loathe to admit it was not an original idea, and they think giving credit where it's due is admitting failure. Also many still believe in the idea that "it's not news until WE say it's news." It's hard to get them to understand that crediting bloggers is not just the right thing to do, but it also makes them look good for being smart enough to follow and share other smart people's works. I think the editors at Better Homes and Gardens have been very good at using social media not just to promote themselves but to be part of the conversation with other smart people, and I hope that Redbook's feature does not change their mind about featuring you and your work.

    ReplyDelete
  115. As a magazine editor, I have a theory (no, I do NOT work for Redbook): Some editor approved content submitted by a freelance contributor and never thought to question the originality. Said contributor purloined the ideas, images, etc., and kept the sourcing to him/herself. I'll be curious to see how this plays out, now that the Epbot/CakeWrecks armies have been summoned. Redbook's a fine magazine overall; I think the blame lies with the person who brought the stolen ideas, whether an outside freelancer or a staff editor.

    ReplyDelete
  116. I knew I hated Redbook... but seriously, how hard would it have been to contact the original posters? Heck, they could have spent less money on paying the original posters over hiring and artist to draw them (while I love supporting artists, but not to rip off other artists and creative types)

    ReplyDelete
  117. Shared on FB and twitter. Keep us posted, and good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  118. I sent an e-mail, also. The dishonesty just staggers me. We've got your back, Jen!

    ReplyDelete
  119. "Francis, leave them alone. They are poo-poo heads!" - Heimlich, A Bug's Life.
    It was the best thing I could think of. Redbook is most certainly a big poo-poo head if they think they can just steal an idea like that. *hug* Us faithful EPBOT readers will fling our gears at them and make them walk the plank of TARDIS blue legos. (Have you ever stepped on one of those? YEEE-OUCH!) To Redbook; You Threw off the Empress's Groove. *Flings out window*

    ReplyDelete
  120. I really CANNOT understand why print media is so reticent to credit blogs. It's ridiculous, and it costs them NOTHING to give credit.

    ReplyDelete
  121. I left a comment, and then spent a minute to look and saw that you have many loyal friends and fans!! They'll get the hint. Happy New Year!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  122. Blogging is considered a form of publishing under current international copyright law [ no idea how it stacks up against US law ] and therefore you have a strong case in law for copyright infringement at the very least. If they have jeoperdised the BH&G deal then you can probably suue for lost earnings, etc.

    ReplyDelete
  123. I posted on BH&G's Facebook wall and e-mailed the customer service department saying I would be very excited to see that article in print, and would be purchasing a copy. The e-mail was a bit more involved and quoted their mission statement, but had the same gist. A different way to go, but hopefully it will have a positive impact.

    ReplyDelete
  124. Hi.

    Gosh what a stupid magazine! Not only do they steal your idea but they may be placing another properly sourced print reference in jeopardy.

    Well I am a librarian and a student (at the same time) and we always teach our undergraduated about plagiarism. And thats what this is to such an extent that you could win a case by suing them (or perhaps by asking a lawyer to send a strongly worded letter).

    The idea is what you had, they took your idea and made that their own! Thats the problem. Plagiarism involves taking an idea and passing it off as your own and for that your academic carreer (should also be professional) is over! A black mark you wont ever be able to wash off!

    Also ask the magazine to show evidence of how and how often they tried to contact you as the owner of the idea. Having the images redrawn has nothing to do with this. This is plagiarsm as bad as ive ever seen it!

    You can make their lives miserable with one letter to really mess up their new year...

    PS you would possibly find the compiler of those pages somewhere in the magazine... Someone had to copy and paste those pages and pictures... She/he probably a fan of your site or a facebook follower.

    Have a look...

    ReplyDelete
  125. shared your post on my blog and my Facebook.

    Doin my part to make this global.

    Hugs Jen!

    ReplyDelete
  126. Long time reader, first time commenter. You are WONDERFUL Jen and the very last person who deserves to have something like this done to them. As an aspiring author, I am extremely offended by such plagiarism and copyright infringement. I added my comment to their facebook page and I hope this is corrected speedily.

    In the mean time, keep doing all the awesome things you do and I'll keep reading (and not commenting very often).

    ReplyDelete
  127. I agree that you should contact BH&G to let them know what is up, if they don't already, and that they should include a little blurb in their feature stating, "This DIY project was also recently featured - but uncredited - in Redbook magazine." Now THAT would show them.

    I am a long-time reader and lover of both your blogs and hope that this debacle gains you the readership you so deserve on Epbot, Jen. Also, clearly no one over at Redbook has a decent sense of humor if they think you don't deserve to have a book of your work published.

    ReplyDelete
  128. I commented as well! I'm hoping that they do right by you. I am a HUGE fan of Epbot & Cake Wrecks and can't believe that someone would stoop as low as these fools.

    ReplyDelete
  129. Oh this is why I love the internet! And especially you all! My guess is that there is over 400 comments on their facebook page expressing dissapointment and most linking back to this post! Not to mention all the emails and tweets sent there way. As others have mentioned before me, Redbook has posted saying they are looking into it. Seeing how much everyone loves Jen and appreciates her and her hard work has really made my day!

    YAY!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  130. Aw, Jen, we all love you to bits! And we're not afraid to show it. Hang in there, and let's see what tomorrow brings. Love from Calgary, Alberta!

    ReplyDelete
  131. Just a thought...and I'm not condoning Redbook's actions by ANY means, but this is something that crossed my mind. Is BH&G owned by Redbook, or vice versa? The reason I ask is that maybe someone took your permission as meaning it can go in ANY BH&G related magazine?

    BUT, I don't really care if that's what the situation was--I don't agree with this at all. I would call Redbook you should definitely go after this matter and get them to write an apology in their next issue. Since Epbot and Cake Wrecks are business entities, you can go after them legally for "stealing" your published idea.

    ReplyDelete
  132. I hope that BHG not only runs the piece, but puts in a subtle little note about how popular and 'borrowed' your idea is....

    ReplyDelete
  133. Am I the only one who wants to call in the Oatmeal?!? I don't twitter, but someone needs to alert Gwynet P, who is in the Redbook FB cover photo, that she is a front for plagiarized content.

    ReplyDelete
  134. As a journalism major, what this magazine did sickens me. One of the major things they pounded into our thick skulls was "When in doubt, credit it! Better safe than sorry." Hopefully, this won't ruin your chances with BH&G. Good luck :)

    ReplyDelete
  135. Posted to FB & re-tweeted The Blogess. Hope something good comes from this.

    ReplyDelete
  136. I have emailed Redbook, and bcc'd you. I'm sorry this happened--it must be so disheartening.

    ReplyDelete
  137. Holy Crap Jen, EVERY post on Redbook's Facebook page has a reference to you and this situation. You've got our support!!

    ReplyDelete
  138. Emailed Redbook and posted on BG&G's FB page! We've got your back.

    ReplyDelete
  139. Emailed Redbook and posted on BG&G's FB page! We've got your back.

    ReplyDelete
  140. From what I know of copyright law, I'm pretty sure you have grounds for a suit.

    ReplyDelete
  141. How about Jen Yates deserves to be PAID for this idea and a mention of her blogs? Because this idea is something people paid for. An artist was paid. A writer was paid. People made money on this.

    Not cool

    ReplyDelete
  142. so upsetting!
    im not going to be buying THEM in the checkout line any time soon.

    ReplyDelete
  143. Sorry this has happened. Here's my email to Redbook....
    Dear customer service representative for Redbook,

    I would appreciate it if you took the time to forward my feedback to the appropriate person and or department at Redbook for further review and consideration. Upon opening my Facebook page today I was very disappointed to find out that you used an original idea from one of my favorite blogs and published it in your magazine without permission. Not only that, but you failed to give any credit to the original creator or website (epbot.com) and obviously had your artist do their drawing directly from their photographs. While you may not have technically broken the law, it certainly shows a disrespect for the creative works of others. It leads me to think that your staff is simply surfing websites to plagiarize ideas from others rather than coming up with anything original for themselves. Why would I or others like me bother to purchase your publication? As an artisan myself, I take theft of ideas and lack of proper credit very seriously. It's a shame that your publication does not! I encourage you to read through the post about this situation below and rectify this egregious mistake.

    http://www.epbot.com/2012/12/shame-on-you-redbook-magazine.html

    I found it very telling that Better Homes and Gardens had no issues locating the source for this idea and had properly sought permission, and yet this was something that Redbook obviously didn't do. Clearly they run their publication in a way that I can support as a customer.

    I have shared this situation with my Facebook friends and will encourage them to do the same. Should you see fit to rectify this with epbot.com I will likewise forward that information to my Facebook circle as well. I'm not trying to use this as a threat, but as a way of showing that when you steal from someone in this manner online, the rippling fallout can be quite large. You are not just risking the patronage of the person/website, but also of their fans, and the fans friends, and so on.

    Thank you for taking the time to look into this situation.

    ReplyDelete
  144. I love you ideas Jen and I love both your blogs so I wish for you that you get some credit for this!

    ReplyDelete
  145. Anonymous said...
    "Just gain some satisfaction from knowing that Redbook ceased being relevant to women readers somewhere around 1971. I didn't even know it was still being published. Not surprised their lazy edit staffers and artists would steal. Redbook hasn't had an original idea on its pages since the Nixon administration..."

    Damn, Anonymous, you read my mind just about word for word! Who knew they were still around?!

    As my drag queens would say: This is some straight-up shameful, shady, SCANdalous shit, right here. Everybody's got your back, girl, don't let it ruin your New Year, which I hope is super awesome!

    Your Pal,

    Storm

    ReplyDelete
  146. Well, that's awful, but, I had never been to your blog before this particular post surfaced on Facebook, so maybe a bright spot is that you are getting some new traffic? I'm definitely going to keep reading! :D I don't know any legal matters, but it totally looks like you could support your claim to me.

    ReplyDelete
  147. Just left my WTF??? comment on Redbook's FB page and saw that one of their staff posted "we're looking into it" 8 hours ago. I wonder if that could have been prompted by the fact that ALL their current (and not so current) postings are covered in comments about the hangers? ;-)

    Sometimes a George RR Martin quote is required, and here it is: "You don't want to wake the dragon, do you?" Oh, Redbook... we're all roaring now...

    ReplyDelete
  148. I sent them an email! Shame on them!

    ReplyDelete
  149. Jen,

    So, SO sorry that Redbook chose to act in such an underhanded manner. I have posted on their Facebook page, and will also be sending an email.

    I would encourage everyone in the Epbot Army to also post on the BH&G Facebook page to encourage them to run the upcoming article.

    ReplyDelete
  150. I realize this comment may be lost in the shuffle, but I'm certain I won't.be the first or last to say this:

    I'm proud of you, for standing up for your work and creative processes. They are worth fighting for.

    BHG is sure to.be watching this. Be as classy as always, and when you talk to them, know that maybe they won't feature your flip flop.holder (which would be a shame, and I hope they do) but they may choose to.highlight other projects. The response.from your readers.will show that you have an audience invested in your work. Anything of yours they choose to feature will have a built in marketof passionate readers, and BHG is a savvy publication. This may prove, ultimately, to lead to great things for you.

    Finally, a consideration..while it may have been a freelance.person who pitched your idea as their own, the idea AND the image were.stolen, and there are enough similarities that it would be easy to.prove the idea.was not only copied and presented as.their own,.but also done intentionally. The exact reproduction of the shoes themselves, and the shadows are proof.

    We have your back.

    ReplyDelete
  151. I just went to the Redbook FB page and was at first disappointed that I didn't see a chunk of comments about this issue. Then, as I scrolled through Redbook's posts, all of the comments on every one of their posts started to unfold. Your readers are awesome.

    ReplyDelete
  152. Wait, people still read Redbook??

    ReplyDelete
  153. Even if this is somehow legal, it's not ethical. Emailed to let them know that. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  154. Jen, Sometimes I think large companies do whatever they want because they have a team of full time lawyers that probably scare the "little guy", or lady in this case. :-) What Redbook failed to see is the millions of your followers who are not going to sit back and let them walk all over you! I sent an email, too. Chin up. we're there for you! and I just know Redbook won't and can't ignore this!!!

    Becky

    ReplyDelete
  155. It gets even better than this, ladies and gent. That planter-cum-toy-holder?

    Have a look at this blog, from 2010. Take a look at who their source is. http://www.centsationalgirl.com/2010/03/from-my-diy-inspiration-files/

    ReplyDelete
  156. This is sad. I love this blog, always waiting for a new post with baited breath (lol) and love love *love* your crafting ideas. The thought that someone would just outright steal the idea without crediting the original source is not right, and even if *legally* they did nothing wrong, it's ethically wrong.
    The really sad part is they likely got wind of your article in bh&g and wanted to get a jump on them.
    I can honestly say I will never read Redbook (I'm still in the Cosmo phase) but I'll make sure my mum & mum-in-law and etc won't read it again (if they even do; I think they prefer chatelaine). I'll send a disgusted email their way as well. Maybe send something to your local news? Things have a way of snowballing and the media loves an underdog...
    Good luck with this, Jen - I hope you prevail :)

    ReplyDelete
  157. (Sorry if this posts twice - computer hiccup)

    Sent this morning, an email to Redbook:

    Newsflash -- Epbot, bloggers, and other people online are NOT yours to rip off at will.

    I'm going to hope, and give you the benefit of the doubt, that the "writer" or artist for the "article" that copied Jen Yates' flip flop hangers (and others) was submitted by a freelancer and that you at Redbook are simply so out of touch with the modern world that you didn't recognize these very popular pins on Pinterest (including Jen's, which CLEARLY features her blog name -- allowing the attribution all creative work deserves.)

    Feature Pinterest pins, by all means (if you cannot come up with ideas of your own) but use the opportunity to feature the work and innovation and ingenuity of the women that originally came up with the ideas! It's not that hard. It just requires the tiniest bit of research and effort.

    Stealing is not the answer.

    ReplyDelete
  158. Sidenote: Talk Show giants like Ellen should do segments explaining what credit is, why it's important, and that the internet is a big ol' bucket o'ideas for a person doing a report/writing a column etc. to just dive into.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Is NOT omg...redfaced. typing on phone be tuffstuff o.o

      Delete
  159. I'm going to go ahead and add Redbook to my list of "boycotts" until they issue an apology. Will you let us know if you hear anything from them? That is absolutely disgusting!

    ReplyDelete
  160. Not that I ever did, but I will make sure to NEVER purchase a Redbook again. Not cool

    Redbook - a wretched hive of scum and villainy.

    When I get home, I'll make sure to post on their Facebook page.

    ReplyDelete
  161. Does anyone even read Redbook?

    ReplyDelete
  162. Don't worry, Jen! I've emailed them and given them a (polite) piece of my mind! We've got your back! I hope they take us seriously, because we will fight back!

    ReplyDelete
  163. Saw this on Facebook this morning, Hooray for the masses:

    Redbook Magazine Thank you, everyone, for bringing this to our attention. We did run a version of Jen Yates' idea in our story without crediting her — it was an unfortunate oversight on our part. We promise you that the mistake wasn't intentional, and we deeply regret it. We’ll make it right by crediting Jen online, as well as in a future issue, and compensating her, as we do all our contributors. We agree with all of you that it is essential to give credit where credit is due.

    ReplyDelete
  164. My email to Redbook:

    "Your recent publication of the Flip-Flop Hanger Tutorial is immoral and disgusting. I'm sure you've carefully dodged the legal bullet, but as far as I'm concerned, that absolves you of precisely nothing. In a way, it makes it worse. You know that it wasn't your original work, and you deliberately stole it. Did no one teach you the difference between right and wrong when you were a child? Morals don't go away just because the internet exists. You, as a decent human being, should be at least attempting to credit your sources. Please note I said "sources" as in "more than one," because recognizing that you've done this once, I'm absolutely certain you've done it before. I will not read or recommend your magazine until you resolve this issue and improve your business practices. In fact, I will be actively warning people away from you.

    Grow up."

    We've got your back, Jen. Epbot fans are known for making things happen, and that's what we're gonna do now.

    ReplyDelete
  165. I emailed Redbook! Shame on them, and thank you for alerting us to this situation! I am angry that this sort of thing can happen in the modern age but gosh dangit, us Epbot readers will try and make a difference!

    ReplyDelete
  166. This was just posted on The Consumerist. Thought you might like to see it. :)

    http://consumerist.com/2012/12/31/redbook-ticks-off-internet-after-allegedly-copying-bloggers-idea/

    ReplyDelete
  167. Message sent to their Facebook page. You and the other pinners deserve better.

    ReplyDelete
  168. So stinkin' disgusting. I love you and your ideas. I check back here quite often for new ideas. It's so sweet of you to share your creativity -- and same goes to all diy bloggers.

    Here is the message I am sending to Redbook, and will also be sharing this article on Facebook:


    Dear Redbook Magazine & its employers,

    It was very dispappointing yesterday to go check out the blog of one of my favorite DIYers, Jen of Epbot (http://www.epbot.com), only to see the heartwrenching post about your magazine not only having ripped off her flip-flop hanger idea, but also had an artist copy her picture almost exactly: the same sandals, the same shadows on the sandals, the same angles, everything. Her image was basically traced and claimed as your own. The article did not credit her idea or even her photograph in any way.

    As a fellow handmade artist, I find this quite appaling (hence my taking a stand and sticking up for her with this message). We put a lot of effort into creating one-of-a-kind pieces, things that are NOT factory made. Epbot was kind enough to share her creation, the least your magazine could have done was source the idea, especially since you copied her image.

    Please understand that the internet is not a free-source option for anyone, much less a "reputable" magazine. I truly hope you rectify this monumental mistake.

    ReplyDelete
  169. From Facebook: Now, let's get them to make it a separate post, not something buried in the comments.

    Redbook Magazine Thank you, everyone, for bringing this to our attention. We did run a version of Jen Yates' idea in our story without crediting her — it was an unfortunate oversight on our part. We promise you that the mistake wasn't intentional, and we deeply regret it. We’ll make it right by crediting Jen online, as well as in a future issue, and compensating her, as we do all our contributors. We agree with all of you that it is essential to give credit where credit is due.

    48 minutes ago · Like · 17

    ReplyDelete
  170. I didn't realize until now that Redbook was still around - my grandma used to read it when I was a kid, and I don't think I've ever seen anyone younger than her with a copy! I'm not sure how much good exposure there would do, since their average reader is probably several decades older than your target - but they sure suck for doing it anyway!

    ReplyDelete
  171. Redbook's finally caved in, it looks like. I won't fully believe it until I see proof, but it's a step in the right direction.

    ReplyDelete
  172. I love seeing the hundreds of angry comments on their FB page. I also love seeing their replies that you will now be credited and compensated, though I find their explanation that it was an unintentional mistake to be ridiculous.

    I hope you're feeling the power of the interwebs today, Jen. Not to mention your own power and influence & how adored you are. It's time for a little "Muahaha", I think...

    ReplyDelete
  173. Just scrolled through their FB page and they're being inundated. Since this is holiday time, when they finally get around to it, it's going to be a heck of a mess.

    Best of luck with BH&G. It's horrible for them to mess with your livelihood (at this point) like that. I did notice the same tutorial on Buzzfeed the other day, with full accreditation.

    ReplyDelete
  174. I haven't purchased redbook in many, many years and after this I'm glad that I don't. I hope you get the credit & apology you deserve!

    ReplyDelete
  175. I love what you say at the end of your post, "It's far better to credit - and credit freely - so that others can see you as the good guy, instead of just another content thief." That's how my entire blog came to be on Tumblr. I even credit where I found a tutorial, not just the original poster - because that is what is right to do. I've seen so many bloggers get ripped off and then am saddened when I read comments like, "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Get Over it." Because imitation (or really exact ripoffs) of the "little guy" is not the sincerest form of flattery at all. Giving prominent credit is (and not just a VIA LINK from bloggers), and in the case of major media money and promotion are the sincerest forms of flattery.

    ReplyDelete
  176. i see you have a shit load of comments- i hope every one points out that you can hope something comes form this- and that is that not one of us will be purchasing their magazine.

    ReplyDelete
  177. I just FB messaged my two cents to RB. You have my support Jen.

    ReplyDelete
  178. I think instead of just giving negative feedback to Redbook Magazine, we should also give positive feedback to Better Homes & Gardens, since they were doing the honorable thing by contacting Jen to get her permission to print her content and by planning to credit her. I'm going to their facebook page right now to "like" them and leave a comment asking them to still print the EPBOT content, and let them know that although I'm not a regular reader of their magazine, I will buy that issue to support their ethical practices and my favorite blogger. :D

    ReplyDelete
  179. Shared my piece. Sent them a message with a link to this post and also to their own wimpy comment buried in a thread 300 replies deep. They need to post a proper apology. I love reading your site, Jen, and I very rarely comment or take up arms for internet causes, but for you I will :)

    ReplyDelete
  180. I just saw your note, and my wife pointed out that Good Housekeeping is owned by the Hearst Corporation - the same company that owns Redbook. Maybe that's how they got the idea in the first place? (So is BH&G. It's just one big Hearst-y family.)
    Wiki source of my knowledge

    ReplyDelete
  181. How could they be so stupid??? Everyone knows if you are going o feature something in a magazine, you ALWAYS trace it back to the origional source.

    ReplyDelete
  182. Correction on my previous comment. Good Housekeeping is Hearst. BH&G is not. My bad. I should learn to fully read Wiki articles before I somewhat cite them...

    ReplyDelete
  183. Unless we properly credit the inventors who come up with amazing technological innovations like bent clothes hanger flip flop hangers, then out competitive edge as a nation will be diminished.

    ReplyDelete
  184. Just for the record, the "store your spare sheets in a pillow case" idea is something that's been kicking around my family for years... **long** before Pintrest. Pintrest, and the internet in general, is not the only place to get ideas on how to better do things.

    That being said, glad to see Redbook owning up.

    ReplyDelete
  185. Sad that they couldn't think of their own ideas. After scrolling through many people's comments I have the feeling that Redbook is going to wish they never decided to copy your epic idea. The dumbest thing is that they copied your Sandals. EPIC FAIL much.

    ReplyDelete
  186. Hi Jen,

    This reminds me of an article in Reader's Digest in September of 2011. The article was written by a University Ghost Writer. This is an actual profession, and the man runs a company that will write your University papers for you. You provide the subject and they do all the work, then you get the credit and get to graduate. Plagiarism has become so common place that I guess the journalist writing this article didn't think they'd get caught. I wouldn't doubt that if you went through all their projects in school you'd find a lot of plagiarized material.

    ReplyDelete
  187. Jen, I sincerely hope that karma bites Redbook in the bum. I'm afraid you're right, they think they can do what they want because they have the lawyers and the money.
    As an avid 'pinner', thank you for the reminder that Pinterest isn't a free-for-all. People like you are kind enough to share your ideas with us, the least we can do is give credit where credit is due.

    ReplyDelete
  188. Hi Jen, I'm sorry to be late to the party on this but I noticed that Redbook is biting off the sheet set idea from an Offbeat Home & Life article too: http://offbeathome.com/2012/10/keeping-sheets-and-pillowcases-together

    ReplyDelete

Please be respectful when commenting; dissenting opinions are great, but personal attacks or hateful remarks will be removed. Also, including a link? Then here's your html cheat sheet: <a href="LINK ADDRESS">YOUR TEXT</a>

Related Posts with Thumbnails