6.12.10

O LA, elle (bye bye madrid, ello london)



(Portrait of me, shown here, taken by my childhood friend Sheila Fein, at the OMM Hotel in Barcelona, Spring 2008).

Do you ever feel like the universe is having a laugh? At your expense?

This is so not the post I want to be doing. There's so much I'd rather be focusing on. And I can't bear to fight with anyone. But I'm going to ask all of you to please read this and please comment and tweet and just generally spread the word around. I'm doing it for me, but I'm also doing it for you, because when it happens to you, you're probably going to feel like I do now: a bit fragile, a bit violated.

Someone named Carmen B., who blogs for Spanish Elle, has nicked my photos. She didn't ask me - she could have asked! - and she didn't credit me. Here is her post. And if you go from the top left and work clockwise, my posts are of my dear friends Jen ('snoodie'), Estelle ('chain reaction'), dear sweet Roz ('courage'), and Hedvig ('blue jean baby'). I should add: none of the women have been contacted, either, for their permission to be used, even tho I linked each of their blogs and contact details in my posts.

But wait - it gets worse. Roz is 15 - legally under age. Her parents - who are friends - were with me when I took this shot, and of course they trusted me to post it responsibly. But Elle.es did not ask their permission. And since Roz has been travelling to London for her first appointment with the surgeon since her spine surgery, this is not the right time to drag them into this mess. (Note: Roz has since posted about it).



Two close friends independently discovered the post, which Carmen B. put up on Friday, 3rd December, on Saturday, and emailed me that night. So I woke Sunday and spent much of my Sunday morning composing the following cheerful message AS A COMMENT on the post (because I had no other way of reaching Elle on a Sunday).

This is what I wrote:
Hola desde Londres: Yo soy el fotógrafo de todas menos una de estas fotos – que fueron tomadas en mi blog: http://www.polkadot.tv
Me siento halagado por supuesto, pero como se puede ver en la mayoría de las marcas de agua, la URL de mi blog se identifica claramente. Por favor, actualice su puesto para hacer un enlace a mi blog y mi crédito como “lunares” Jill Carin Adams, también conocido como.
Muchas gracias – esto es un honor estar en español Elle. Esperamos poder visitar España de nuevo pronto, nos encanta.
PD Espero que esto funcione: Estoy usando Google Translate;)
x @ jill http://www.polkadot.tv

and then, as a second comment:
Hola de nuevo, se trata de Jill, el fotógrafo / blogger que tomó estas fotos (http://www.polkadot.tv).

And then I waited. But my comments were 'pending moderation'. I figured Carmen B. would come to work today, realise her mistake, post my comments, do the links... oh, non. When I saw a nice Spanish comment from today - the 6th - was allowed to publish, I realised she is actually withholding my comments!

Here's the cosmic joke of it all: I LOVE Spain! Oh Spain, I ask, what did I ever do to you, apart from love you from afar and await my return to your sunny land? I even did a post just last week, paying homage to your beautiful city, Barcelona!

I've now sent emails - in Spanish and English (God bless Google Translate!) to every email address I can find at Spanish Elle - AND left messages with the publisher of USA Elle Magazine, Kevin Martinez. I've also spoken with a lovely photo intern in the London office, but so far, no reply from London Elle either.

The irony is, for nearly two years I've spent so much time painstakingly putting my water marks on my photos - time I could have spent doing anything else - adjusting transparency degrees, choosing which side makes for the best composition.. I even have omitted it a few times thinking this would never happen to me. People ASK. They've asked me. But a brand as large as Elle? It just doesn't seem possible.

What's a girl to do? I ask you.

123 comments:

hidingplainsight said...

Wow. That's incredibly rude. On all fronts.

I know that you put a little circle watermark thingy on your images and even that doesn't stop folks from using them but what it DOES do is stop them presenting them as their own.

I'd put the circle watermark in a place where it isn't easy to photoshop it out and I'd make it a lot bigger if slightly more transparent so we can still see the clothes.

Your only protection here is to mark your photos. And if you're like me, you really have having been put in that position but you must do what you must do.

:-p
Cynthia

Jazzabelle said...

great post, sorry to hear what has happened to your photographs. i've been reading what's been happening so far over the last few days, it must be so awful! as of yet i haven't know it to happen to me. many of my pictures have been reblogged on tumblr but has always been linked back to me. actually, come to think of it i have seen a picture of mine on weheartit with no link to me! but ever so kindly another blogger posted it on her blog as inspiration, recognized it as me and linked me :)

actually, what am i on about? years before i had a blog, twitter, facebook, i was on a social networking site called bebo. it was open for everyone to see and i had loads of pictures, so in a way it was my fault... but many of my pictures were used and posted on 'pro-ana' webistes (websites encouraging people to have eating disorders and to be thin). i used to be a lot skinnier than i am now, and so people had been stealing my pictures to use as 'thispiration' as they liked to call it. how awful.

i hope everything gets sorted real soon, jill! see you next week. xx

hidingplainsight said...

er, you really HATE having ....

Veshoevius said...

Sorry to hear that Jill - lucky you watermarked them and people could alert you to the fact. I don't find it surprising that a big publication like Elle would do this as I've seen some stories of other online magazine sites brazenly nicking content of bloggers. At least though I think you have a good chance of getting through to that individual via the Elle machine and certainly if your comments were blocked I'd say you are right to start contacting the powers that be. (There are comments relating to your post in English so the author clearly doesn't speak English as she has allowed them so you could leave the comment in English and hope her boss sees it and is bilingual).
I'll be surprised if nobody answers eventually because it is very bad PR for them so stick at it and keep pestering them - they shouldn't be allowed to get away with it.
I had no such luck trying to get an entire post lifted off word for word from my blog about my mother and published on a spam blog - it was very very upsetting. Leaving comments didn't work and neither did emails to the site host - coincindently I did some research and found that the site host itself is associated with a lot of spam which means there is little control over what the sites on it do. So there goes any chance of me complaining to anyone who cares about copyright about my mum's story. At least I believe you have someone to fight with over this to resolve it.

LaraLainThatsMyName said...

That's so annoying but also a compliment if only she had credited you!
x

Sarah said...

Oh my god, I can't believe a HUGE company such as ELLE stole (pretty much) your photos without so much as an email, and I can't believe you're not getting a response/apology/credit!

Retweeted you, tempted to send to Lorraine Candy!


Burn the Blonde

Courtney said...

this is absolutely crazy. I hope you get it figured out! I haven't been working on my blog lately, but I'm going to watermark my photos from now on (something I haven't done in my 10 years of blogging). Large watermarks are bothersome, but you have to do what you have to do--no way around it!

Courtney said...

Also WTF--she didn't even crop out the watermarks! She deliberately lifted them. NOW that's lazy plagiarism. If it didn't get lazy enough!

Kit said...

That's plain rude, they should've contacted you for permission to use your images, have you tried contacting the picture department? I always watermarked mine or credited.

polka dot said...

I know!! I know!! (this is in reply to each of you). It's so insane it's making my head want to explode.

The sad part is, I can't tell you how many times people have used my photos without me even knowing but they've always credited and linked me (that's how I'd find out, often: I'd happen randomly to catch it coming thru on sitemeter or something) and the smallest, youngest, bloggers are the ones who would take the time to send such a sweet polite email asking if I would mind if the linked me.. I think that's the hardest part is to fathom why someone would be that blatant - did she not expect anyone would notice?

It's like a serial killer: it's almost as if she wanted to get caught.

THANK YOU: your feedback and support is amazing. Bless your 100% cotton socks.

Voni W said...

This is so sucky, I won't go on because my feelings are basically the same as everyone above but I will say this, my boyfriend studies IP law and says that you DEFINATELY have grounds to sue a big company like ELLE for doing this, particularly because they have your watermark on but not only that, you ahve a disclaimer down the side saying that all pictures are copyrighted to you. This is all you legally have to do to register a copyright, so basically yea you could sue their asses big time. Obviously it wouldn't be worth the effort & money of hiring a solicitor and going through with it all, but if you know your rights and make sure you tell Elle when you finally get through to them that its within your legal rights to sue etc then they will probably panic and issue some kind of big apology etc!
Also theres gotta be some huge issues in their surrounding the women in these photos not giving their permission to be in 'Carmen B's piece, especially since the lovely Roz is only 14 (although we always forget because she is so wonderfully wise beyond her years)!
Make sure you let it rip when you get through to someone sweety!!
All my love & support (I'm a blogging newbie and even i know how blatently WRONG this all is!)
VW x
colourless-colour-vw.blogspot.com

Style Odyssey said...

What a shame! So unethical.
Well, Jill, your comments to Elle may not get posted but I think I'll pop over there and add my own comment, see if that gets posted.
And I'll retweet this.
Did you consider finding the culprit on twitter and asking for (1) an apology and (2) credit you and (3) link to your blog, via a couple of tweets?
xoxo

Frances Joy said...

This is infuriating! I feel like these big companies do it because they figure they can get their legal department to deal with the fallout. I'd be willing to translate a scathing-yet-professional letter to Spanish Elle for you, if you're interested. Google translator can only go so far....

Style Odyssey said...

I went to the post and translated to English so I could read it...Not only did they not credit you, but the implication is that the author "Carmen B" spotted your friends and took their photos. She says she arrived in London and:
"I leave some examples of streetstyle british girls that caught my attention."
I'm composing a comment over there now...
xo

polka dot said...

I might just take you up on it Frances Joy: I'm having a lot of comedy today - whenever I Google Translate BACK into English, I sound like a total idiot.

S: I can't figure out her twitter address. Her name is CARMEN B and I can't even figure out Spanish Elle's twitter - does anyone know??

VONI: first big THANK YOU but also that's a really good point about Roz.

Still trying to reach the publisher @ Elle magazine in NY.. I can't believe that NO ONE is taking any of this seriously.. they think so little of us bloggers and yet - here's the sad part - they do seem to value our work.

I know what you mean, Lara, that it would be a compliment... if they'd credited me. DUH.

Will keep you all posted.

polka dot said...

NO WAY!! (to S's 2nd comment). That is unbelievable! That is actually... what is the legal word for liar liar pants on fire??

Anonymous said...

Jill,
this is the first time I comment to your blog, even though I've read it for quite some time now. It's incredible what a large magazine like ELLE does to you and your pictures. You really should stand your ground and try to reach them. As I know Spanish, I read the post of Carmen B. with disgust. It not only doesn't give credit to you, but also takes the pictures out of their context. If you need someone to write a decent letter or email to them (without google translate), you can always ask my emailadres and I would be glad to translate it for you.

I still want to add one thing, your blog inspires and amazes me every single day.

Love, Anne (from Belgium)

Anonymous said...

I have always wondered if it is wrong of me to save your pictures into a "Inspiration" folder on my computer? Without ever publishing them or anything... I can't figure out if that is violating someone's rights or not...

I do hope this gets sorted out! I'm so sorry something like this happened to you!

Anonymous said...

legalinternet@hachette.es, this is an emailadres I found on the website of elle.es which is in charge of legal businesses concerning ELLE.ES. Maybe you can try to reach them?
Greets, Anne from Belgium

Style Odyssey said...

Don't give up, Jill. You work hard for this blog- keep persisting, ok? They're probably just hoping you'll give up and go away. (I learned the power of persistence while living in the BVI! Another story...)
Do a google translate of Carmen's post, and you will see where I quoted her. The implication that she found the subjects and photo'g them is quite clear.
Sad but true what you said: "they think so little of us bloggers and yet - here's the sad part - they do seem to value our work."
xo

Pearl Westwood said...

This is really upsetting, so much so as it is from Elle who I know we all love. She is definately passing them off as her own photos which is very unfair. I suggest you hound both Spanish and British Elle until this is resolved, dont give up xx

Pearl Westwood said...

BTW I just added comment 16 in English lets see if it shows up!

polka dot said...

Thank you. Each of you. This is very helpful for me to have this 'forum' all in one place, so anyone reading this - please don't feel your voice isn't important or that what you would say has already been said.

I can't stress this enough: it's not just about me, or these pictures. This kind of thing is happening all the time but this is one very clear cut case where we can start a legal precedent. So the more of you who comment here - in ANY language - the more helpful this will be to all us bloggers.

Anonymous - the one who asked about the folder - of course that's not a problem! That is the most wonderful, supportive thing to do, truly I thank you with all my heart.

I want to stress: anyone who ever ever wants to use any of my photos - please just ask, let me know the link, just link and credit me - I will always say yes if you just ask nicely!! I'm not at all precious about my work in that regard.

But this - as we all know - is different.


Anne from Belgium, I've just sent the link to this post - no letter, just the link and my contact details - to the address you kindly gave. And please do send me your email address (jill.adams.uk@googlemail.com or jill@haybooks.com) as I could really use a good HUMAN translator.

Pearl: I've spoken with the publisher of Elle Magazine (briefly and politely) in NY. He's in a meeting, he said I can call him @ 5:30 NY time, so I'll be calling @ 10:30 tonight.

Please keep those messages coming! We might not have much of a voice individually but together, we sure as sugar do.

Ms. Scotch said...

Jill- their twitter is elle_es. There is a link to it on their main homepage.

What Elle has done is unethical, rude and completely out of line! Please don't let this stand- if they get away with taking your hard work and using it as their own it will only continue. Soon enough they won't have any of their own work in the whole damn thing! I'm sorry this happened to you! The glass-half-full part of me says this is a compliment (in the "you're so smart so I'm stealing your homework kind of way" admittedly) but that doesn't change the reality that they are ripping you off.

Raise hell, tag them in EVERYTHING, and do your best to develop some public outrage about this deplorable situation. If there is one thing big companies don't like, it is legitimate bad press!

And by the way, I love your blog : )

xoxo

Carrott said...

Jill, if you want me to translate something, please, let me know, from english to spanish or spanish to english, because if someone doesn't speak english, they may not understand what you've told them.

Yeah, as they've said in another comment she says "these are some british streetstyle examples that caught my attention". She says that she's planning on coming to London and she wants to be warm and look good. Then on Jen's picture she says something like "is it just me or does she look cold? her outfit is great but where's the coat? I hope the photographer is holding it". About Roz "Hey! This girl is wearing the item im crazy about! i want a cape in my closet but I don't see myself around London with this look (she also looks cold)". About Estelle "Going bare-legged is basic to every "trendy girl", I know, but in my suitcase I'll have the thickest tights I own" and finally about Hedvig "this may be the most appropriate of all, but shoes with no socks doesnt convince me for this weather"

My email is carrottpardo@gmail.com if you need something. xxx

polka dot said...

THANK you Ms. Scotch! Will tweet them now.

FYI Dotsters: my twitter name is @polkadot23 and anyone who tweets about this please let me know - I'm relatively new to twitter and can't figure out how to know when people re-tweet.

I know what you mean about it being a compliment but when she refused to publish my sweet polite comment - and published the other ones, including something my friend Annie has just translated as plain hurtful and rude about 14 year old Roz (whose parents were present when I took the shot - and who gave permission for me to post it on my blog but most certainly did not give permission for it to be posted on Spanish Elle for strangers to ridicule) - well in that case, my sweet virtual (and real) blog friends - the gloves, as they say, are off.

That's not half full. That's one totally empty glass. IMHO ; )

Ellie Jane said...

Some comments explaining the situation are appearing on the site, I've left my own ranting message! (Complete with awaful google translation ha!) I hope something good eventually comes of this! I feel for Roz as I am her age and would find it quite disturbing to suddenly have my picture on a major website without my permission, I hope they understand the massive mistake they've made!

Clazzerati said...

Oh Jill, this post makes me both sad and angry. It's such a personal violation and one that could so easily have been avoided. So easily in this day and age actually, just a simple e-mail. I really hope you resolve this issue soon. My opinion of Elle has already slipped. There is still time for them to make amends, but somehow I fear they will simply bury their head in the sand. Xx

annie said...

Shame on Spanish Elle - at least mention you but to just poach the photos... hmmm...

Not being a native Spanish speaker when I read her post it looks like she is just trying to be cute pointing out those crazy London girls without tights or proper covering in the winter, but really! The earlier part of her post is all about whether to buy a cute jacket or one that covers you in the cold. Capes apparently don't work out so well but she does like the look...

If the gloves are truly off at least she won't need to look for those. good luck Jill. a

E is for Eleanor said...

Wow. Just wow. I can only echo what everyone above has said already. Stand your ground. Do not give up. Reclaim your property Jill! I'll be watching expectantly to see how this turns out. Good luck my lovely, we're all behind you! x

Kate said...

Hi Jill, I'm a regular reader, but rarely comment, but I do want to add my voice to the others; you have to remember the love on the internets and try not to dwell on the fact that someone has frankly done something very bad, wrong and umfair. The sad thing about humans is we're capable of so much good, for example, a person ( say a person called Jill) putting 40 hours each week into her blog, putting all that effort and skill into publishing great photos and some lovely insightful writing FOR FREE, that's got to outweigh some lazy ass baby journo trying to get a piece published.
So without judging, which I know isn't easy, just remember that you do this for the love, and that we love you for it. Also hope you and Hedvig are still good?
Love Kate x

Inspiration partout said...

Using someone's personal photos without credit is a horrible thing to do.Protection of intellectual property is unfortunately something that should concern every blogger.Your story has made me feel somehow unprotected as I don't put a watermark on my pictures.I thought it would not happen but now I don't wanna risk it.I hope things turn out well and you get an apology from Elle.It's mainly Carmen B.'s fault but I find it impossible that all the employees in Spanish Elle have no clue about intellectual property rights...xxx

Adorngirl said...

this is exactly the kind of thing that I am paranoid about, and my husband always tells me where's the watermark or a bir Adorngirl Logo across the middle? and I stubbornly so no but only because it will ruin the look of the post, and no matter what you do there is always going to be someone unscrupous out there that will take the mick

keep doing what you're doing look at alexloves someone took every single picture from her chanel post, and re-posted it as if it were theirs and it was in Japan she got someone who could write in the language,and sent that email and it was promptly withdrawn.

Shopgirl said...

Jill, I really didn't think this happened. It seems incredible that she is passing them off as her own when they have your watermark on them!!??

I tried to leave a comment earlier - pointing out that they have infringed copyright laws - in English - but it hasn't been moderated. Others have but clearly they took offence to mine.

Good luck with the fight to get in touch.

xx

Ana Leitora, Ana Reader, Ana Lecteur said...

I think is so shame what happened dear Jill, first because the real value (the work you do, amazing photos...) second is totaly not professional (Elle). I remember something the same also happened to other great blogger I follow
http://www.styleandthecity.com
His name is Kamel Lahmadi from Paris. Maybe is nice you talk to someone who already had the same experience has you.
Be fine, kind regards from Madrid
Ana Leitora xxx

Annie said...

As annoying as this is, remember that imitation (okay in this case theft) is the sincerest form of flattery..." I'm with kate and agree completely that... You are a talent. We love your posts, your photos and your wit. You always give us something clever to think about that makes me (for one) feel less self indulgent for liking plain old cool clothes and style. You are smart and she (spanish Elle) just wasn't.

Anonymous said...

I have rewritten this damn post 3 times- for some reason it keeps getting rejected- is it personal?

Jill- this is a a flagrant violation of copyright law. Unfortunately, not much can be done about it. Lawyers always make out better- we've been there several times. If you can collect on your own- go do it!
It always amazes me when a large firm does this!
Hang Tough!
Mona

slowdownapproaching30 said...

I really hope that they offer you a full apology! It really upsets me that this can happen, you would hope a brand as big a Elle could have some morals... obviously not!

The internet world is too small a place for things like this to go unnoticed and I hope your voice brings about change for the good.

polka dot said...

Thanks MOna - I don't know why it's getting rejected! Unlike Spanish Elle, I don't have a 'wait til I read it and decide if I want to publish it' feature on. But who knows: maybe this blog is starting to have a mind - and a will - of its own.

re: lawyers, I happen to have a really lovely lovely one, who is totally supportive of the underdog. He HATES bullies and has already once done me a huge favour, practically pro bono. That was a case where a publishing company weren't paying for work I had done - and done well. They were so sure that having the 'best' (read, expensive) lawyers, they'd win. Bad luck for them: they paid in the end - including tons of hours of legal fees.

But hopefully it wont have to come to that. Let's see if anyone at Elle responds!

I shall keep you all posted. I am overwhelmed with gratitude at all your support and responses. This love - as I said on Friday - is so way compensating for the pain. I just want to be sure this never again happens to any one of you. This is my promise. Carmen B has chosen the wrong blogger to mess with!

Jazzabelle said...

totally forgot about the fact that roz is still classed as a minor and that is more of a reason why they should have asked your permission before posting. have you got through on the phone yet? goodness me, this is turning out to be quite a situation, when it could have easily been solved if they linked you in the first place. xxx

polka dot said...

Yes, I agree, Jazmine. That's something I just mentioned to the US publisher, who was quite helpful and understanding. He's talking with the digital department now. Hopefully someone there can speak Spanish better than I can and we can get this resolved soon.

Will keep you all posted but it's good to know we've got the Americans as Allies! ; )

Yasmin said...

Oh no, this is so bad, its just really poor form on Elle's part, its so simple to link you.. But there are now a number of comments in Spanish and English saying that they stole your pics :)
On one of her comments back to someone else she says the photos are from November, she also says she's not actually going t London anymore, so its obvious the pictures aren't hers... I really hope this is sorted quickly..
I love your blog Jill (it comes up as one of my top sites on my laptop :) ), don't let this discourage you, its not just your pictures that are great, its the lovely ramblings you have that are always so inspiring..
Much love,
x x

Anonymous said...

I hate to say there is a positive to this . . . that your photographs were GREAT enough to steal. I think you have so much talent. This must not be unusual. I am sure that all the talented people get ripped off. Continue as you usually do - thinking that if people steal from you it is a huge complement (especially if you cannot prevent it from happening)
xoxox
LWR

adrielleroyale said...

Oh what a huge drag! Here's hoping that you get the credit you deserve along with an apology!

Kazuko said...

rude and very, very embarrassing for elle. what a shame they don't even have the guts to answer your mails and messages.

the Citizen Rosebud said...

Nah, it's more than rude. It's theft. And just because they're a big corps of fashion doesn't mean they have the right. This makes my head steam. Because I do see you put your watermarks, other bloggers too, and I've thought, that's silly, we're a community. WHO WOULD knowingly STEAL ORIGINAL CONTENT?

Elle that's who.

Pity.

the Citizen Rosebud said...

I posted a comment over there just now, went up no problem. Well, I take that back. It was there, and now it's gone. But someone saying basically the same thing has a comment still up there.

Hang in there Jill. We're rooting for you, love!

polka dot said...

Thank you all, and please keep these comments coming on this post, as it's helpful for if and when Elle ever do get back to me (so far - bizarrely - no one has returned my communication, and I've now called and emailed London, NY, and of course, everyone who is listed on Spanish Elle).

I appreciate anyone who is going to the bother of leaving comments on Carmen B's post but - as Citizen Rosebud has discovered - she, and Elle, have the power to delete or not publish. So if you'd like, please copy and paste your comments here as well, as I promise all will be safe here.

Kate thank you - I can't reply as I don't see contact details for you but to answer your question re:Hedvig, well let's just say I feel friendships need some balance to survive. I've not just done all those photos and posts, I've also given her all my contacts, press invites, introduced her to my friends, and done her logo/masthead/branding - for free, of course. Now that her new career is launched, it's clear she doesn't need any more from me, but I wish her all the best.

I'll be out doing a fashion shoot this morning for My Wardrobe, which I'm very excited about, so I'm trying to keep my head clear - no negativity. But I'll be checking in later so once again: my debt to what you are all doing - the gift of YOUR time - won't be forgotten.

xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxooxoxox

polka dot said...

To Yasmin: Interesting point. As I know she was telling a porky pie about seeing these women on the street - I know she wasn't there when I took those photos - I see no reason to believe she ever took a trip to London at all. This post most probably was done from the warmth of her Madrid office. So I've saved Machette Filipacchi her travel costs as well.

Let's keep the momentum up so they don't try this trick again on someone else. I'm going to try to leave a comment on Elle UK - what the Elle right?!

Arietta said...

Unbelievable! And to think I've stopped watermarking my photos because I didn't see any watermarks on all the "popular" bloggers' sites. Maybe we should just put huge watermarks right in the middle of the photo to be safe. What annoys me the most in this is that it's a big popular magazine that did it. And that they're hiding now. If I were the editor of Elle, I would have fired this Carmen girl in a second and and publicly apologize for this!
God help us in this world of uninspired and uncreative people who rely on us to keep their paid jobs! I hope everything will be ok and that you will get an apology for this (to say the least). I'll try to re-tweet! xxx

Anonymous said...

Hi!

I've never commented on your blog before (even though I've followed it for months now) but having read what's happened, I've felt the need to say something.
I'm Spanish and live in Madrid. I can't believe that Spanish Elle could have permitted such a breach of copyright. It's bad enough that Carmen B stole your pictures, but the comments "she looks so cold" are really rude too. I think you're absolutely right in not letting this lie.
I've looked into the name of the blogger and she's called Carmen Bejerano. I'm pretty sure she's got a twitter account under that name (from what google tells me) if you want to contact her by twitter.
I'm a Spanish lawyer and familiar with the copyright laws here, so if you need any help, let me know and I'll give you my email address :)

Lucia x

Anonymous said...

I encourage you to get a lawyer, thanks to Lucia you now have her full name. The internet is an interesting machine which also goes with the mindset of those who use it. It is public and open and I do think, even though it is a sad fact, those who use it need to do whatever it takes to protect themselves and in your case protect your Brand.
Carmen has shown herself to be one of the laziest and ignorant bloggers. Spanish Elle must be embarrassed that this is the quality of person that they have working for them or along side them.
My guess is she is very young.

I really don't like to comment on a public forum but in this case I want to show my support Jill. I too think you are a great talent and it is great to see your progress in your art. Very inspirational on many levels.
Big hug to you. BTW was it a famous designer who said "you know you have made it when you are copied"
Love to you
Maria

KarinJR said...

Hi Jill! This is appalling behaviour on the part of Elle - and so uncalled for! If they had only asked, so much trouble could have been avoided but instead, it honestly looks like she's trying to pass off you work as her own. Reprehensible.

I've asked a colleague of mine who's a bit of digital guru to think if he can do anything to help you get an answer from Elle. He also speaks, Spanish so that might be helpful too. I'll keep you posted, but in the meantime let me know if there's anything else I can do to help!

XO,

Karin

Beautifully Invisible said...

Jill,
I read about this in the Friend Friday Google group. I am appalled this has happened to you, and feel for you.

I am glad you took the advice of others and wrote this post and submitted it to IFB's Links a la Mode. Hopefully it will get selected because this is such an important issue, and one that needs to be brought to light.

Elle, and their contributors, should know better. End of story.

Again, I am so sorry that this had to happen to you. I understand what it feels like to learn your creative work has been stolen - it hasn't happened on my blog, but some of my concert photography has been stolen and sold. You feel violated. You feel small. You feel powerless.

In this case, you are not powerless, and this will be fixed!

ByeByeSoccerMom said...

Jill, I just read this. So sorry about the whole deal. Wow! ELLE?!
What a shame!

San said...

I can't believe it, this is not only rude but totally against any rules and etiquette. This Carmen should be ashamed of herself, even if she works for elle she has to adhere the blog etiquette and state when the pictures are not hers.

And the thing about Roz, I'm speechless...

That's it, I'm stopping to buy elle altogether.

I'll do a post about it and link back to this post of yours.

San said...

Well, though it's late: I've posted about it: http://hatsmakemehappy.blogspot.com/2010/12/spanish-elle-crossing-line-to-rudeness.html

Kit said...

I left my 'pissed off' comment on Elle.es as K K it's in moderation.

Estelle Pigault said...

It's the third time! You remember when I was in the french magazine in July and in MArie Claire Turkey they didn't mentioned the credit!

Hope they will figure this out soon !

XX

Estelle

http://serendipity2307.blogspot.com

polka dot said...

Estelle: third time lucky! ; )

THANK YOU ALL, will respond to each of you but first just got in from a fashion shoot & have to get a deadline met, but LUCIA if you're reading this yes please please send your email address! Mine is:

jill.adams.uk@googlemail.com and/or jill@haybooks.com

Bless you all. xxx

Kate said...

Hi Jill, that's a real shame. You're such a generous person that really only good things should happen to you, but I know that's not the way the world works. Not sure how the contacts work; I'll go and have a tweak of my google profile! Love K x

polka dot said...

Thank you Kate. That is a lovely thing to say. And to a degree I do believe in karma, but I also believe - as my father taught me -that no one has an easy ride in life. Imagine how dull that life would be! These challenges - provided we learn from them - are what make us grow.

This is much more about setting an example because while I know it's happened before - and will again - I want to make sure that if and when it does happen again, I - the little fly buzzing in Elle's ear - will be a cautionary tale. When this happens to younger, less experienced bloggers, I want to be able to help them by my experience.

But especially - obviously - this is about protecting the rights of the people in the photos. That's the part that is not acceptable, as one is a minor and none are in the 'public domain'.

Kit said...

Hey Jill, Elle.es has a facebook page http://www.facebook.com/elle.es you can try contact them?!

polka dot said...

Ay caramba! I've just successfully posted a comment on my frenemy, Carmen B's blog! Under the name 'Marcella'. Check it out.

It's a small victory, but hey - it's the little things.

Still not a peep from Carmen B or any of her colleagues in Spain. But we had a lovely dinner out with friends. It's true: living well is the best revenge.

Kit said...

Bahhhhh Marcella is my boss's name.

polka dot said...

Ooh Kit I'm so sorry! I meant no offence. I just chose it on the spur of the moment just before I posted because I realised if she saw my name she wouldn't let me publish it. Marcella is one of my best friend Valeria's daughter's name, and she's a beautiful blond haired blue eyed young Italian girl - and Italy is near Spain - that's how I was thinking. It's a total compliment!

Beautifully Invisible said...

Jill, I sent you a tweet about this, but I think the reason your original comments may have been blocked on that blog is because you included links in them.

When I posted my initial comment today it also linked back to you, and that comment was never approved (it is still awaiting moderation). I then tried to post a second comment a few hours later and messed with the link a bit (I typed it as www. polkadot. tv (with extra spaces)) and it went through fine.

I know you just posted as "Marcella," but I think you can post under your real name and as long as you don't include a direct link, it gets published automatically. Just in case you want to post again :)

Winnie said...

How terrible for someone to steal your photos like that and claim them as their own!

Looks like your perseverance and everybody's comments worked though because that page seems to be down. Still shocked that it was such a big publication!

Anonymous said...

Jill Have you sent her a message via her facebook page?

Nathalie Bishop said...

I can't believe that something as big as Elle would let that happen, choosing to ignore the comments you sent over is so rude. I just checked and obviously the perseverance has worked and she has taken it down! I hope she is embarrassed about this and sends you a proper apology/explanation!!

Nathalie Bishop
www.no-no-coco.com

FashionJazz said...

Omg, I just saw this! I cant believe it!!! Stand your ground! Im shocked, but show her she cant just do this! xx

polka dot said...

Again, thank you each of you who have taken the time to read this, comment, support me (and by extension - all of us).

Today is a holiday in Spain and as the post is down (altho I still have the content - and some of the comments, the ones that weren't deleted) there's nothing further to do at the moment.

I want to repeat: this is not a vendetta against Carmen B, the author, as I have not yet heard from her, and I really do feel for what she might be feeling. I know how I'D feel if I'd made a mistake like this and there was any criticism aimed at me. I want to hear what she - and more importantly, her superiors at work - have to say first.

For anyone reading this: it has absolutely nothing to do with the way I feel about either Spain, (I LOVE that country!), the Spanish people (ditto), or Elle as a brand, which I have always liked and respected.

I am, by nature, a loyal person, and often continue to be, long after I should. When it is time to let go of any friendship or relationship it is with regret, and sadness. I don't feel any need right now to let go of my loyalty to Spain as a nation, or Elle as a brand.

The cornerstones of my belief are that forgiveness is the goal. It is always the goal. It helps if the other person says they are sorry - but the challenge is still to find a way to forgive, otherwise we can just be eaten up with that poison. And life's too short.

Grit and Glamour said...

OUT-FREAKIN-RAGEOUS!!!

This is insane. Shame on them. You keep fighting, doll. You know we're in your corner!

♥ V
http://www.gritandglamour.com
twitter: @gritandglamour

MJ said...

Hi Jill! As a member of the FBFF crew, this is INSANITY! And Spanish Elle probably thought they could just snatch your pictures and there wouldn't be any consequences. However, fashion bloggers are passionate people and we have a sense of community unlike any other. And to show how powerful we are - the link can no longer be found to that blog post. Imagine that!

Franca said...

I know there's fifty million comments here already but I just wanted to add my own as a message to Elle that this is not acceptable! I really can't believe the cheek!

Danni and Maria said...

Jill, I think I must have closed the window before my comment posted but you have everyone's supposrt and if there is ANYTHING I can do, please do let me know :) I hope this horrible situation gets resolved soon because this is a total joke and I cannot believe that Elle hasn't sorted this and issued you with an apology. All my love Maria xxx

Miss ED said...

I'm so glad that you found out about this, so many of these things happen and the author or owner almost never finds out! I hope you are given a formal apology, and I'm so glad you stood up for yourself!!

Ripped Nylon

Kristy Elena said...

hi jill, i'm a bit late on this but i've finally had some time to get back to blog reading and discovered you, your blog and this situation through beautifully invisible. i really feel for you. i'm glad to see the original post was taken down, but i find it terribly disconcerting that this happened to begin with.

but the silver-lining... at least you got to see how much the blog community supports you in times of difficult issues, and i hope it was enough to make you feel better! =) it's lovely to meet you, you have a new fan in me and i'm following.

Vogue Gone Rogue
Full Time Fabulous - Kristy
twitter: @kristyelena

the Citizen Rosebud said...

congrats on the IFB feature. The best to come of this is the support you know you have in the blogging community and the chance to air out this "dirty laundry" habit a big gun like Elle is doing to little bloggers. Let's hope this starts a healthy dialogue and course of action for what to do and not to do to original content.

Chuck said...

Eugh, how shoddy. Particularly from a commercial blog too, they should be aware of copyright regulations. Good luck in the battle, you have many readers behind you. x

The Photodiarist said...

Wow! I am sorry about all of this, Jill. Unfortunately, people do this all of the time. Big guns like Elle must figure that individual bloggers don't have the following or resources to challenge them.

polka dot said...

Thanks to each of you, I really appreciate the support. I'll update everyone when I have some clear answers- I'm in the middle of a kind of detective story.. a thriller, actually. It's fascinating!

Fashion Limbo said...

Hey, if you need me to write an e-mail in Spanish to them or something (I'm half Spanish) I will. This is absolutely disgraceful. I have just left a comment on the post, in Spanish and I'm going to tweet about this on the Spanish side of my blog, ok?

It happens all the time and I'm sure i will happen to all of us at one point and where the heck is our protection? we can only take care of each other xxxx

artdecodiamonds said...

You have to stick up for yourself.. and what u think is right!

polka dot said...

Thank you all so much: this is not only not over, but it's gotten worse. The online Spanish Elle editor, Sibila, accidentally sent an email to me intended for the post author, Carmen B, in which she slags me off in a really repulsive, derogatory way... the post is back up, without my permission - my permission was conditional and they did not meet my conditions... it's just a mess and now becoming a legal mess, so I'm hesitating to post about it.. so if anyone is reading this, please please keep your comments going here, as they WILL be read by the right people -and they are guaranteed not to be deleted here.

In addition - as the post is back up, but Carmen has changed the wording so it sounds like I'm a raving lunatic - she's no longer claiming she saw the women on the street, as legally that would be considered perjury - and she's also falsely claiming she has contacted me and apologised, which she absolutely has not. And things are so not okay.

So if you'd like to fight my corner - in ANY language - right now it's descended into a Madrid vs. London football match over on the post, with her readers encouraging her in Spain to just forget about this crazy woman:

http://equipo-e.blogs.elle.es/2010/12/03/bye-bye-madrid-hello-london/#comments

I, in the meantime, have to go - do some laundry and vacuuming - so have a lovely weekend everyone and again, thank you!!

I vow to learn all I can so I can pass it on to you. And anyone who wants to 'like' this please do -and spread the word:
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Whats-new-copycat/123871281010990?v=wall

(just started it last night - a forum where we can exchange experiences & advice on copyright infringement or any other issues).

xoxo

polka dot said...

p.s. The issue of Roz, who is underage, is also a serious one. Her parents are understandably, furious, and have both written to me, supporting me in my struggles with Spanish Elle, and have also written on the blog, demanding to be contacted and that the photo be taken down - to no avail.

While at first - the first email from the editor sounded gracious and sincere - but it has descended into a cat fight that I don't have the time or the stomach to engage in. But I do need and appreciate your support - and so do Roz's family. Thank you.

Fashion Limbo said...

Have just left another comment, in Spanish, wondering how can anyone defend stealing and a complete unprofessional behaviour. But i guess it's like that in Spanish Elle, you have some BFF that will defend their mate's actions even though they are downright stealing.
Stay strong xxx

Kit said...

I love coming back here and read all the latest comments, please keep the comments coming.

Jill, would you mind to link this post on your side bar, so in future I would come back and read the comments again and for others as reference.

xxx

Laura Connell said...

That's shocking. I am retweeting to my 800 followers and hope you will update us with your result. You may wish to contact mainstream press as they would love this story I'm sure and it would help you get a resolution.

Prêt à Porter P said...

I followed the link I'm to lazy to put it into translate ;) but it does look like she edited it and did put up a link to your blog. The power of everyone using their voice!! :) I know a lot of bloggers put up images w/o crediting, but I'm surprised that a blog linked to a major publication would overlook that.

Eva said...

I'm so sorry this happened to you. There are so many wrong things about this situation and I can't believe such a publication is handling this in an immature way. Good luck to you and keep us updated.

Kit said...

Oh, one of the authors from Elle.es blog replied on the comment, saying the same old thing but still, what about Roz? We still want an apology post NOT on the comment box. ARGH

Itzy said...

Hello, I usually do not comment on blogs but I can imagine how you should feel about all this.
It is good to know (from you, because obviously she is not an honest person) that not only she lied about the sources, but also she is still lying about talking to you and sorting all out. What a lier!!!
We support you! and the good work that you do! If you need help with translating something, please let me know.
Love from Barcelona!,

I.xx

Zack said...

Hi Jill,

It's terrible to hear about this. It reminds me of a situation I read about the other day where Cooks Source (US food magazine) ripped off someone elses work and not only didn't credit, but said that they should be grateful for having their work published.

http://www.futurelab.net/blogs/marketing-strategy-innovation/2010/11/how_social_media_ignorance_can.html

polka dot said...

Again, thank all of you who are commenting and contacting me privately. They have taken it down a second time. If there is anyone who has saved a screen shot of it the 2nd time - I have, but i'd like it to also come from other sources - please email me @ jill@haybooks.com

I am also gathering a group of other photographers and bloggers whose work has been used - ONLY by Elle.es, we can address copyright infringement issues from other publications when we have learned how to solve this problem. There are many people out there who have had this happen to them from Elle.es and are coming forward. Just let me know, privately, via email, as together we have a stronger voice than individually.

many thanks
Jill

Missdaisy said...

Sorry to hear that. It is the second case of stealen blogs that I read in two days...
If there is anything we could do to help you, please let me know. I think I am going to write Elle Spain and let them know what they are, and that people is not stupid.
Love from Spanish reader

delapen said...

First off, I am so sorry this happened to you. We as bloggers definitely get picked on by major magazines but we can't let it get us down. Please keep moving forward. This is my first time on your blog, but I like it already. You've gotten really great content & awesome writing skills.

Also, you've gotten me considering water marking my own images & making it clear if I use images from other blogs. I have a general disclosure statement in my about page and I try to list where I got my images when possible. Thanks for bringing this to my attention and I hope everything works out for you!

AsianLily said...

Keep on keeping on this fight...so disappointing to hear this, Elle is a great brand and in my eyes, it is completely diminished now, at the end of the day, integrity and our reputation are all we have especially in the world of blogging. I'm sorry this happened to you but PLEASE do not let this one go not just for yourself and your lovely friends, but for the entire blogging community. We truly sacrifice so much for our blogs, most of us do it on the side with no monetary compensation so the fact that this bad person from Elle, who is PAID, could not bother to credit you or to respond to your comments is beyond horrible.

Let us know what happens! We are rooting for you.

jessica said...

Fair play to you for sticking to your guns!! I'm so disappointed in Elle for stealing someone else's images! Im so angry!Keep up the good fight! Go get them!

Anonymous said...

Am I the only one surprised to see everyone so upset about this? They are just images for crying out loud! What would you do if you were a fashion designer and you have to watch your hard work being copied at lightening speed and sold in all the high street stores with no a single percent of it coming into your pocket? What would you do then? Wake up- its the fashion industry where copyright law has been blurred!
You obviously have a lot of free time on your hands. If I were you, take this as a compliment and move on otherwise you'll get yourself blacklisted in this cold-hearted industry. Goodluck!

Heather Fonseca said...

Ug! I'm tweeting your story! Honestly, what's wrong with people?

Love,
Heather
http://heathersdesignblog.com/

Julia said...

Omg the last anonymous comment about it being okay to steal. It's called copyright and UNLIKE FASHION DESIGN, PHOTOS ARE PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHTS. Regardless of your opinion of "it's just photos" the person who stole them didn't have to go out, find subjects, shoot, invest in gear, the location, traveling, etc...if it were just photos, no photographer would make a living and Annie wouldn't be Annie and Bruce wouldn't be Bruce.

But back to this actual tragedy, I'm so sorry this happened. Style Odyssey just alerted me via Twitter after I complained that people use "courtesy of" far too lightly. I'm disgusted that I spend my time creating images that I want to share and people think saying "courtesy of" without even asking to use it/ripping off entire posts is totally okay. Just because it's online, doesn't make it fair game. If it was, copyright laws would have been banished with the internet. I don't know what level of resolution you've come to with this. But please do not let it go, you are protected no matter what country published them, and I would get a lawyer. A photographer friend of mine had 3 images stolen by NBC for their party site, he wrote them an email [his dad is lawyer] and got 3k per photo and they took them down. It's not about the money but sometimes you need to stick it to people so that they learn. I would tweet at Joe Zee every day if I needed to until he gave me names and they dealt with Spain. Disgusting. Honestly gross on every level possible.

It makes me not want to share my images online any more, it's kind of like--I work hard, you enjoy, you say thanks, you can hire me, but don't steal my images. I really wish there were internet police and easier ways of finding your stolen images than by accident.

polka dot said...

Thank you, Julia. Thank you, each of you, from my heart.

I have to keep this quick and yes, I have a lawyer and we're resolving this, and when we do, I will issue a simple easy to follow 'recipe' for as and WHEN this happens to you. WE - collectively - will become the internet police. Please start by 'liking' this small facebook club so we can find and support each other:

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Whats-new-copycat/123871281010990?v=wall

and also - and i'll say this in future posts - anyone who wants me to reach them to update the story, either leave your email address or if you don't want sad angry people like 'Anonymous' to see it, just email ME:

jill@haybooks.com

and I'll keep you on a kind of group mailing list to update you on the story which, I vow to you all, shall have a happy ending!

As for Anonymous: I just have one question. Why is it that the people who have nothing positive to say are always such cowards? Why are negative comments - not just on my blog, but on everyone's - always signed Anonymously? Why don't you want us to know who you are, or what - if anything - you produce?

I don't have too much time on my hands - I don't have enough. This Elle Hell has taken up way too much of my time and attention - but I'm so not focused on it. There is so much else - all good - going on in my life. I hope it's the same for all of you - including our sad bully/coward friend, Anonymous.

Thanks again everyone! I'm so grateful for your support. It's all a learning experience - we're pioneers here, so everyone's making it up as they go along.

Sally said...

Spanish-ELLE is a highly UNPROFESSIONAL Magazine.
I'm really sorry for the other Elle magazines in the world cause it is such a bad example...
They've such great versions (ElleUK) in their own home to inspire them and still do nothing right.

Really sorry that this happen to you and that no one is save enough from experience this. I live in Spain so if you need any translation (better that the google ones :)
Or anything just contact.

Sally

Adorngirl said...

whoa! what a great response it needed to be raised, and I am glad that you have put it ito the light so that we know what to do if it happens to us. x

Raquel said...

This is a terrible story, I never thought Elle people could be so rude! I would feel violated as well, since I always put links back to the original source when I post pictures from other bloggers on my own site... Such a shame... But these stories need to be told.

Have a nice 2011!

jemina said...

OMG, how terrible, who would have thought that ELLE (Spain) did this, thanks for raising this issue

XOXO
Jemina

Polly said...

How awful. Honestly, is there that little creativity hanging around that they need to steal yours? And one girl being underage just seems all the more distasteful for me, if it were possible. I really hope you get a swift, positive outcome.

S_S said...

So glad you've posted about this lovely and its getting the comments and recognition it deserves - it is truly terrible what a so-called reputable brand, such as Elle, can get away with.. and what, just because they're 'Elle' they should be allowed to whatever they want??? errr... I dont think so....

Keep going Jill and I hope someone sits up and take notice.... this cannot happen again.

xxxxx

Veronica said...

Sneaky!
The last I heard from VOGUE magazine was that the fashion world had opened its arms with a warm welcome to bloggers. Seats reserved at shows and even books published of their street style images. For a fashion publication such as Spanish ELLE, with its own hefty list of resources, to TAKE your images or any bloggers images and use them as their own has created a new low in fashion photography. There is really really no excuse for this. As a photographer, I'm with you in spirit, every step of the way.

Jill, I hope you know you've got one of the best blogs out there and I hope that this issue doesn't keep to down in the dumps for too much longer.

Love, from Canada.

Kazuko said...

i can't believe this is still going on. shame on you (spanish) elle!

Jessie said...

This makes me so ashamed of being half Spanish....the initial behavious from Elle of stealing and trying to make those pictures their own is only made more disgusting by their attitude afterwards, no apology, the insults, the lame excuses. What adds salt to the wound is how some people can actually say things like "oh she was in a hurry and published them without crediting, it was a mind slip" when on the initial post she claims those pictures as her own...and then the others saying the author of the blog post at Elle is a great professional and it's not a bad thing what she did.

She committed plagiarism. She stole. Shame on Elle, shame on anyone who justifies this in my father's language, in English, in Japanese, whatever. No excuse. Stealing is illegal people, or have we all woken up in a parallel dimension where taking other people's work is actually OK?

I don't think so.

Please spread the word people. It could happen to anyone of us. To any writer, photographer, musician, artist...imagine suddenly discovering that someone is profiting from your work, saying it's theirs. How would that make you feel? Spread the word.

Fashion Limbo said...

oh and "Jessie" just above, it was Fashion Limbo, who commented above :) I signed in with a different account and you may not recognise me, Jill.

We all believe in you and your talent.

polka dot said...

Thank you Jessie and everyone reading this. Please feel free to use this particular post almost like a petition.

There is much more to the story than them just using my photos. That in itself is a non-story. They've since slandered me, slandered Roz (an UNDERAGE GIRL) - the editor realised she was in trouble, offered me - TWICE - in writing, how much I wanted to settle. I worked with my lovely lawyer, Lucia Rubio - hours and hours and days before, during, and after Christmas, composing a file of all the evidence, all the points where Sibila (the editor) and Carmen (the blogger - employee of Elle.es) had a choice and each time they made the worst possible choices they could make.

They offered me a financial settlement. Roz's family and I came up with a reasonable amount. We submitted it, via my lawer, 21st December.

We received no reply. My lawyer sent follow up emails. Finally - yesterday - a Hachette Filipacchi lawyer said they can't AFFORD to pay the settlement (trust me, it's really small) and instead offered me - not Roz's family, just me - 5% of the amount I asked.

This isn't about the money.

We all know what this is about: if I, a mature, professional who happens to do a blog, can't win this round, then what is the point of any of you out there continuing to photograph, write, post, day after day after day, for FREE, if you know that anyone out there who is lucky enough to be employed by a large corporation like Elle International/Hachette Filipacchi, can pick and choose from your content and claim it is their own (in the original post, Carmen B actually used the words 'I found these girls on the street').. then really, we might as well give up now.

I will not give up. Please - I don't normally get a lot of comments, altho I have a nice sized group that view my blog - and that's fine - but please, here, leave your signature. Because I do truly believe that someone, somewhere, who works for a real newspaper, will finally have the courage to talk about their competition and say 'this isn't fair.'

So grateful to each of you - and those who have emailed privately. I will keep you all on a mailing list so you can be updated privately on developments.

threesmallapples said...

So ridiculous. They have the time, manpower and money to source their own material, so why steal yours?! Outrageous.

x

RedHead said...

Retweeted this, but the link to Carmen B's post gets a 404...maybe they've removed it! Hope they apologise and don't just go into hiding!

RedHead said...

Just read your post above - hardly surprises me that they are treating you so poorly. I've fallen right out of love with Elle since I discovered that the girl who won their 'Elle Talent' contest, which is supposed to be about finding new and undiscovered writing talent and giving them a break, had actually WORKED FOR ELLE. Surely, with all that talent under their roof already, they can go and take their own damned photos.

Rebecca said...

I just wanted to leave a little footprint of support, stealing is stealing even if you are a big company.

Blah Blah Becky said...

This is insane. Did you get an apology or just an offer of money? So shocking that a HUGE globally respected brand like Elle could do something like this!

polka dot said...

Thank you each of you for your 'footprint of support' (I love that phrase): sorry to be so cryptic, it's just it's so difficult to explain succinctly:

Becky, the short version is, the Elle.es editor, having accidentally sent an email meant for the blogger (signed 'kissesxx') to me instead - in which she slagged me off in Spanish - realised that she was going to get in trouble, so she tried to offer that the company (not her, of course, but Elle) would pay me compensation, basically to shut me up and make me go away.

I knew it wasn't about the money, but worked at great length with the lawyer - and with Roz's parents - to put together a fair amount for me, and for Roz. We put together all the evidence (because, even when you take a post down, you can still find it on the internet - nothing goes away completely) and having spent most of December doing this, we submitted the request via my wonderful lawyer in Madrid, Lucia Rubio, who came forth early in December to offer to help the cause.

The editor then did not reply. Lucia sent several requests and then a few days ago - which is why I'm now bringing this up again - came back, rejecting the reasonable amount we requested. Crying poverty!

So basically, they offered money, asked me how much I wanted, I came up with a small amount, they rejected it, and came back with 'we'll give you 5% of that'.

We haven't given them the answer. My feeling at the moment is that while I want to move on and don't want to lose more time on it, if there is a way that this story can be told, that will be the best way to STOP THEM FROM TRYING THIS STUNT AGAIN.

Even if they paid the amount we asked, it's so small and it wouldn't be coming from either the blogger's or her boss/editor's pocket anyway: so basically, as things stand now, there is no reason to stop Carmen B, the next time she's getting paid to post, from stealing YOUR photos.

That's part of the reason I haven't posted a street shot since ElleGate started: I just don't feel like posting anything that Carmen B, or anyone else employed by another company, can use. I doubt she's going to steal my self style shots, or photos of my feet. But who knows. She could, and I can't do a damn thing to stop her.

Yeah, Carmen's post is a 404 now: of course.

And she did eventually send me the lamest non-apology, too little, too late, and it was just total self justification and along the lines of 'my dog ate my homework.'

There's nothing they could do now that would take away from the fact that Carmen was calling 15 year old Roz a cold English woman (unlike the warm, sexy passionate Spanish women like herself) and encouraging her readers to mock Roz as well - and that Roz had taken that photo days after having had her back surgery - and that Roz had to read those insults after travelling 4 hours each way to see the surgeon for the first time.

Each step of the way, both Carmen and her editor, Sibila, had choices - to take the post up, down, etc - and each choice they made was the worse possible choice they could make. YOu couldn't make this stuff up.

earlfrau said...

That's not cool. What's cool is you not losing your cool.

Retweeted this (@earlfrau) and emailing you in a bit.

SymbioticLife said...

Wow. I'm just speechless. I've just started blogging and have barely dipped my toes into the pool. I had wondered about watermarking my images (not that mine or anything near yours), but hadn't bothered with it for a few reasons. To be honest, this is giving me giant pause. This is horrible for all of you who are involved. I don't know how this can be positively resolved at this point but I wish you look and will be watching. If there's any further way to help, please just shout. I'm on twitter as @symbiotic_life.

SymbioticLife said...

ack typo! I wish you luck :D gah!