Tuesday, January 22, 2013

When being nice comes back to kick you in the butt...

So.. I so SO didn't want to get involved in this mess, as I generally try very hard to stay away from any sort of drama and the two people involved in this particular one are both people that I know and like. However, I feel that since my own reputation as a graphic/blog designer has been compromised, my hands are tied. As much as I don't want to.. I feel that I have to. These kind of things are sticky and a bad reputation can hurt a rookie designer plenty. 

So here it goes.

This morning I have received an email from Rachel from Fiktshun, who I'm sure many (if not all) of you know and love. She sounded angry, heartbroken and desperate for answer, and the general gist of the email was that someone stole some of her custom designed graphics and used it on a blog that just happened to be designed by me. 

I won't go into details, nor will I try to recap the whole story for you here - that would take forever. You can read all about it here:


We exchanged some emails and I assured Rachel that I had nothing to do with the image theft or the hotlinked images, or stolen blockquotes.

The design I did for Lady Reader's Bookstuff was a friendly freebie consisting of: the header, the background, the social media icons, blog button, a couple of banners for her blog tours, the favicon and post and sidebar header images. I had nothing to do with the images she later added and that were "lifted" off of Rachel's website. 

I didn't even want to get any deeper into this issue, but as Rachel pointed out, her first thought was: her designer did it (since it appeared that Amy didn't have sufficient html skills to incorporate the blockquote herself), and her unfortunate designer at that time was no one else but me. Having my own reputation on the line, I decided to email Amy and ask her about the situation. She said she didn't intentionally steal any images and that she'll make sure to remove the graphics in questions immediately. Well, if you read Rachel's post (linked above), you know how that went. Rachel then decided to go public with the whole matter, which left me no choice but to follow suit. 

I do not want my name or my reputation as a blog designer to be tarnished by this unfortunate turn of events, and so I feel that I have to make a statement here. Let's make this clear: I was not in any way involved in this situation. I did not steal or help steal any images. And I did not help install any blockquotes featuring images that were hotlinked on Rachel's site (or any other site for that matter). 

It hurts me to have my name dragged into this mess, as all I was trying to do was help out a friend by designing a free web layout and graphics. Well, consider it lesson learned. 

I'm sorry that Rachel was faced with this situation, especially since she is one of the people I asked to co-host the 2013 TBR Pile Reading Challenge with me. A person I admire and respect, both as a blogger and a human being. 

I do not stand for plagiarism. In any way or form. 

That's all I have to say on this subject. The rest is silence... 


Below are the images designed by me for Amy. These are the only parts that I had anything to do with. 


Alba said...

I'm so sorry about this :(

I remember I was the one all excited and freaking out because of how much I loved how you did her site!!

As I said on Rachel's post...

I feel lied to :(

Because this person, I knew!

I'm sorry she made all this mess and got you involved when, if I'm not mistaken, you've only just started with the design thing-which I might add AMAZING!! I've seen your work!-

Sorry again.

-Alba BookPics-

Bookluvr Mindy said...

I was so sad for both you and Rachel when I learned of this. It's so unfair that a thief can hurt people so easily. It's not cool at all. And I'm glad that you both were able to talk about it and figure out. I'm so sorry Evie! I hate thieves. The ruin the fun in book blogging.

Kathy said...

Awww Evie. I am sorry you had to get involved in this. Your work is amazing, and people are not going to judge you for what someone else is doing.


Kathy Ann Coleman said...

I feel sorry that you have been dragged into this situation. (As I said on another post, I'm sorry stuff like this keeps coming up, period. It's ridiculous, embarrassing and petty!)

For what it's worth, the images you did are great! You've definitely got some talent!

Also, as someone who is "in-between", who can manipulate something even if I can't code it from scratch, it's actually really EASY to get the code needed to modify stuff if you know what you're looking for. I've no idea who did it or why here, but I wanted to point that out. Why would *you* need to use someone else's stuff? You've obviously got enough talent to design things that are your own.

Anyway, best wishes and take care. As I said to Rachel about what happened to her, I'm also sorry to hear what has happened to you. Building a reputation in ANY artistic medium is hard enough without this crap!

The More the Merrier said...

How sad that you were dragged into this when all you were trying to do was be nice.

Instead of creating all this drama wouldn't it have been easier to just ask you to design some graphics. Maybe the point was to take something from Rachel, I don't know. Either way it's a huge mess.

By the way I love the design you created, especially the stars, I have a thing for stars.

Fiktshun said...

As I'd said in email, I'm so sorry you had to get involved in all of this.

But I'm glad I reached out by email this morning because I knew from the moment we corresponded that you were in no way involved in any of it.

And the fact that this individual made me doubt your involvement for even one second is just so upsetting.

She clearly had help with the coding but that someone was clearly not you.

I'm just sorry she took your lovely design and all of your efforts and threw it all away.

And I always try to handle matters privately but this situation has gone on for too long and now everyone has been hurt by this - you, the lovely author who entrusted her with her tour, her readers and friend, and me.

I hope no one further questions your design ethics! I will be more than happy to set the record straight.

Kathryn T said...

The design work you do is beautiful and I am so sorry you have had to deal with this. It shouldn't be. As a teacher I teach my student about use of images and what we can and can't use. I don't believe someone that has been blogging for awhile could not know they can't uplift someone elses design.

While ugly I think it is good to get it air time. People need to know. I did hear of someone being sued for big bucks, and she didn't know the image was not for use. She still had to pay.

You wise to stand and say you had nothing to do with it. Although I can hear the angst and annoyance for you. What a waste of your time and energy. However others may learn from it.

All the best, keep on doing what you do so well.

gracelo said...

I'm so absolutely sorry that this happened to you. I've seen your designs, and positively drooled over how good they look, but having your talent and integrity put into the grey area by something that you had nothing to do with is beyond devastating. You have my support. *huggles*

WildIrishRose33 said...

I'm sorry, like the others, that you had to get dragged in to this. But I think anyone who knows you (even if it is just through blogging/facebook) would never doubt your integrity as a designer. I don't think you've got anything to worry about. ((hugs))

Amy said...

I am so sad about all the stuff going on in the blogoshere lately. It makes it hard to stay excited about blogging. I also try to stay out of things, but when it affects you personally it's hard to stay out of it. Love you Evie! *hugs*

Bark At The Ghouls said...

I'm so sad for you. You do lovely work and to get caught up in this mess must be devastating but I'm glad you posted about it so everyone can understand what happened. Sometimes it doesn't pay to stay silent.

Tiffany Holme said...

Oh, Evie! I am sorry you were dragged into this and after you worked so hard on learning how to do everything to open your own design site!! The fact that you did it for free and then got pulled into this was horrid!!

You know I'm here for you and would come hug you in an instant if I could!! Talk to me if you need girl!

miki said...

Sorry you got dragged in this i really don't understand how she could have done that to you i mean what you did for her was so good, so exquise and she damaged it without any thoughts for you that'ws sad ( and unfair to Rachel of course)

Sierra Abrams said...

EVIE!!!!!!!!!! Oh my GOSH. This is happening SO MUCH lately and it breaks my heart!! :( Good for you for sticking up for yourself! I just hope this whole thing blows over and people apologize and friendships are mended.

Sierra @ Yearning to Read

Nazish Reads said...

I feel sorry that you got dragged into this and sorry for Rachel as well. I'm a graphic designer too, but not as good as you or Rachel, but I can imagine what it would feel like to have your stuff stolen or to be in your position.

Why is plagiarism happening so much on book blogs lately? That's what I keep asking myself these days. It's so frustrating! (The only good thing about my blog not being well-known is that no one will ever steal any of my reviews, other posts, or images)

Last year it happened, and then that blog that stole some reviews from many blogs last week (or was it before that?), and now this. People really need to smarten up and either ask permission or not do it at all. That way no one will get hurt, but apparently some people just want the easy way out, *sighs*

I just hope that there isn't anymore plagiarism on blogs anymore (although I doubt that will happen).
At least you stuck up for yourself to prove that you're innocent.

Here's hoping that these incidents stop. You have my support.

-Nazish @ Nazish Reads

Anonymous said...

So sorry to hear that you are in the middle of it :( It's not good when you work so hard to do a good job and someone just steals it.

I really like what you had done for Lady Reader that I was reading her blog. Then I went to check her Blog today and it was no longer letting me in. It said that I had to be invited to her Blog. Weird!!!

Giselle said...

Aww I don't think anyone blames you, Evie. I read Rachel's post and she states several times that you were not the culprit here so I wouldn't worry. It sucks to be involved in anything like this but everyone knows you wouldn't do something like this. I'm happy you started a design business, too, btw! I tweeted you but I think you were MIA that day.


Unknown said...

I'm sorry this happened to you and to her.
I just sometimes hope that we could clear things up like adults before going public about it.
I may not know what it feels like to have someone steal something from you (as a design or review) but I know how it feels like when someone steals a phone or something you just bought.
But couldn't we try to look for an explanation? Sadly, I know most of us react before talking to the people involved.

Rivie @ Bookshelf

Unknown said...

Oh I'm so sorry to hear that!
The design was so very beautiful!
I hope that your relationship with Rachel doesn't get damaged by this incident

Leanne Yang said...

I'm sorry that you got involved with this. I hope you work it all out soon, best of luck to you and your blog designing! I feel so down right now, as I just read a post from Giselle on the topic of plagiarism as well.

Melissa said...

Awww, Evie, I'm just getting caught up with what's been going on, and I'm so sorry to hear about all of this. It's too bad that you, as such a nice person, had to get tangled up in this mess. I think that your blog designs are absolutely beautiful, and I hope that you have much success in the future with helping many bloggers to make their blogs look un-freakin-believable! Sending a big hug to you xoxo

Sana said...

I just found out about the whole mess and it's just sad, really. But you're an awesome person and congrats on starting blog designing.

Bonnie said...

Evie it is awful that you have had to deal with this at all. I don't understand all of this drama that seems to be circulating and I really, really don't understand how issues of plagiarism keep coming up!

I'm so excited for you on the launch of your blog design business and I hope that this unforutnately incident doesn't impact your enthusiasm for this new chapter! <3

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