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Topic: Do NOT buy from Opelika Sewing!!!  (Read 1772 times)
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gidgett
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« on: February 06, 2010 03:54:26 PM »

I've had a blog for about a year and a half, and I recently posted an image of a sewing machine. I received a rude anonymous comment from someone claiming that the image, while they had taken it from Singer, was from OpelikaSewing.com and I had to remove it right away. Despite their rude tone, I complied and edited the entry.

For the past several days I have been getting anonymous comments about how they liked the Bill Murray picture. I didn't know what they were talking about, so I checked the entry of origin. Apparently the entry had not been properly saved with the changes, and I still had the Opelika image.

However, they had changed the link to an image of Bill Murray saying that "Look how lazy I am! I, *insert my real name here*, steals images from Opelika Sewing!!"

I was appalled. This is a juvenile tactic and it's blatant harassment. I have since removed the image (and verified that it was properly saved). However, I would never, ever trust that company with a purchase. Professional companies shouldn't stoop to cyber-bullying.
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Sew-Classic
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« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2010 04:11:57 PM »

..not condoning any sophomoric behavior here...

but I have to issue DCMA takedown notices with regularity.  My photographs and text are routinely stolen and used by others to sell their wares.  Since I dislike working for free, I persue the illegal use of my property to the fullest extent permitted by law.   

If you didn't take the photograph personally, you probably need permission to post it or use it elsewhere.
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Jenny
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gidgett
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« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2010 04:40:14 PM »

I had gone back and edited the post to remove the image, but Blogger reverted to the original post without my knowledge.

The other kicker was that the original comment demanding that I take the image down told me that the image was not theirs originally- they had taken it from Singer's website. It wasn't even theirs in the first place!

It has NEVER been my intention to steal someone else's material. But for a "professional" company to attack like that is completely inexcusable, especially since they had acknowledged that the image had originated at Singer's website.
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soorawn
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2010 05:23:39 PM »

I really hate it when they steal my images -images I have created myself.  Sometimes I find that they even copy the whole article I've written and let others believe they've written it themselves.  It's disgusting.
This case is quite pitiful.  It would be nice that Opelika got a Bill Murray for being so lazy they steal images from Singer.  Do they think Singer created them with a magic wand?
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Honeythief
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2010 07:14:17 PM »

It sounds like you were linking to an image hosted on their site - is that right? If that's the case then I'm not surprised they complained. External linking uses up their site's bandwidth, and if enough people do that it can really eat into their monthly allowance. It's bad form to use images hosted elsewhere without permission of the host. (I'm not saying I'm never guilty of doing the same thing myself, of course, but that doesn't make it right.)
« Last Edit: February 06, 2010 07:15:31 PM by Honeythief » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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Casey1201
« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2010 07:20:49 PM »

Even if you should have asked, there is a much more mature way of them handling it than what you have explained. It is not only rude but so unprofessional to stoop to such a juvenile level and post teasing/bullying comments on your blog. I am sorry you had to deal with that kind of harassment from them. Hopefully they will be more mature the next time something like that happens to them.
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gidgett
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« Reply #6 on: February 07, 2010 06:25:22 AM »

I sent the company a message, apologizing for my mistake but letting them know that I was unhappy at their behavior. They sent an extremely rude message back saying that linking an image from their website was illegal, and that I just need to grow up.

They have also left more comments on my blog demanding the Bill Murray picture back and calling me a "monkey woman."

What I did was hotlink an image, and while it's frowned upon, it is not illegal. Cyber harassment, however, is.

I just don't know what to do from here.
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soorawn
« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2010 06:44:01 AM »

If you hotlinked an image from somewhere else, that is more than frowned upon.  It is stealing bandwidth, something that costs money.  Always upload images you are going to use to your own site or image hosting account.  And I mean always.
That said, they are being incredibly rude.  Can't you block their IP so that they don't access your blog, or at least are not allowed to write in it?  If they keep on being so stupid, contact the customer service of wherever you host your blog and explain the situation.
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Kizzie421
« Reply #8 on: February 07, 2010 01:11:24 PM »

I think in this case 2 wrongs don't make a right.

There is a right way and a nasty way to handle things. It seems like the company must deal with this often and someone just had sand in their panties. It should have been handled in a more professional manner. A simple email to you asking you to remove the image/link would have been more than enough.

I have dealt with things working as an office manager, and getting nasty right off the bat never worked. I had to do collections, the first and second calls were always nice and a reminder, by the third call I turned up the heat. Sounds like this person went on full blast right out of the gate.
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claustrophilia
« Reply #9 on: February 08, 2010 04:34:07 AM »

I think there was a misunderstanding--from their perspective, it probably seemed like you were deliberately hotlinking and not doing anything about it. I know that I would get pretty angry if someone stole my bandwidth.

Whether Ophelika's reaction was justified or not is up for debate, but in either case, I don't think I'll ever buy from Ophelika. I live outside the US and with the added cost of int'l shopping + added risk of something going awry during the process, I can't afford to deal with a company that conducts itself so unprofessionally.

I used to work in a situation where I had to deal with frustrating clients from time to time. When I was justifiably angry or annoyed, everyone would support me--boss, coworkers, etc.--but if I had ever dealt with my anger through mocking the client, or some underhanded, anonymous way, I would have been fired. Not because I was wrong to get angry, but wrong to react in a way that would have made the company look like it was run by fifth graders.
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