Monday, March 23, 2015

What do you do when a homesteading forum steals your words?

Who reads the TOS of a website that they use?  I know that I don't often, but I sure am going to from here on.

There's a fairly big controversy at a site that I've written about before,  The basic issue is that the site has instituted a Terms Of Service (TOS) that is entirely in the favor of the site, and allows them to, well, let me quote them:

"Section 4. User Submissions.
Any communication which you post to the Site or transmit to or to the Site by e-mail, private message (PM), public post and/or other medium can be used by on a royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable, nonexclusive license 
with the right to reproduce, modify, publish, edit, translate, distribute, perform, and display the communication alone or as part of other works in any form, media, or technology whether now known or hereafter developed, and to sublicense such rights through multiple tiers of sublicenses. may use the information it obtains relating to you, including your 
IP address, name, mailing address, email address and use of the Site, for its internal business and security procedures. "

Now while a lot of websites may have terms of service that are like this, the new owners of carbon media decided that they'd actually do this.

They were taking posts by users on, editing them, and then posting them as "original" content on other websites that they own.  Most of the editing was just removing the original posters name and replacing it with "angie" or "pinkpiggy" or some other random username.

No link back to the original.  No attribution.  Just plain and simple plagiarism.

This has made hundreds of the users of that forum pretty mad, and they've been talking about it in the forums where the messages were drawn from... or trying to

Carbon media is deleting the threads and discussions as fast as they can, and this attempt at a coverup is really making more people angry, faster.

Honestly, as far as trainwrecks go, it's pretty good.

If you'd like a homesteading forum that's run by actual homesteaders, try

If you want a corporate trainwreck, I'd highly suggest the following links at

Users want the TOS changed
Users outraged that discussion threads are being closed
People find out their words are being stolen and posted
One of the forum moderators breaks ranks and keeps a discussion forum open


George said...

It seems that CMGSteve posted a reply regarding all this.

03/22/15, 08:45 PM
CMGSteve CMGSteve is offline

Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 12
Again my apologies for this. We took the entire RSS feed from the Pig and Cattle forums here (there were no particular authors or topics here that were purposely singled out), and had the software auto post these on two sites under a few user names we had used for testing in the past on those forums. We certainly didn't mean to slight anyone here but the forum software forces us to post under a username as opposed to a Fan page name as on Facebook. We've definitely learned our lesson.

Bill Gauch said...

It's highly likely that there TOS violates provisions in the DMCA. I would suspect and legal take-down notice would be the way to go if you want any/all of your personal content removed. Most forum sites have exactly the opposite TOS. They claim no ownership or responsibility for any content posted on their site. Companies don't want the liability of insuring that the content is legal and that the poster has a legal copyright to the content. If you post something that is copyrighted (not your own work), the owner of that work could sue for infringement. Worse, if you post something wholly illegal (child porn, direct valid threats of specific violence, etc.), the company would potentially be a co-conspirator. said... Those are some far reaching terms and conditions! No thank you.