Accept no imitations

by Walter Olson on January 11, 2007

Now, this is ridiculous: at the URL http://www.overlawyered.blogspot.com/ (no, I’m not going to give it a live link) someone or other has erected a pseudo-blog under the heading, “Overlawyered”, followed by a verbatim swipe of the paragraph (“Overlawyered explores an American legal system…”) which for years stood atop this site’s sidebar and currently stands atop our “about us” page. The imitation-Overlawyered blog has relatively little content, but one of its entries (dated May 05, 2006) consists of excerpts swiped verbatim from a post of Ted’s of Feb. 16, 2006 on this site about a South Texas legal case.

Other content on the pseudo-Overlawyered site suggests that the author(s) take an interest in the South Texas legal scene, and have established a large group of blogspot entities which blogroll each other under the banner of “Team Kenedeno” (more at http://teamkenedeno.blogspot.com/). These interlocking sites often sport not very accurate names such as corpuschristicallertimes.blogspot.com, microsoftdotcom.blogspot.com, and exxonmobile.blogspot.com, and at least one of them (at http://wattslawfirm.blogspot.com/) also contains a more extensive verbatim swipe from Ted’s Feb. 16, 2006 post, mentioned above.

I looked around for a while, but failed to find any appropriate “report abuse” procedure on the Blogspot/Blogger site. The nearest thing was a “Flag Objectionable Content” button which apparently triggers a review for hate speech, obscenity, etc., but does not offer any way of reporting the rather different problem arising here. Reader suggestions are welcome.

Update from Ted: “We’ve contacted the appropriate people. Thanks for everyone’s help.”

{ 6 comments }

1 gitarcarver 01.10.07 at 11:43 pm

Try going here: http://www.blogger.com/privacy

At the bottom of the page there is a link that appears to deal with all questions, but may only deal with privacy issues. Either way, I suspect that if you write to the Google / Blogger people at that email address, they will point you in the right direction.

2 Amsterdamsky 01.11.07 at 3:09 am

Imitation is the highest form of flattery.

3 Yaron 01.11.07 at 5:27 am

Yes, they do make it difficult to contact them.

Basically you just drill in their help until you get to a specific topic (try something not related to abuse/TOS, since those specifically tend not to have that link for some reason).

Then, on the bottom of the right side-bar, you get an option to contact them, which takes you to a login screen. You can skip it, and get to a page where you state the exact nature of the problem. Currently it is located here:
http://www.blogger.com/problem.g?skiplogin=yes
But they moved it in the past, so if it changes again just try the long way.

Then just pick whether you want to report a spam blog, or “another TOS violation”, and you will be taken to a form where you can detail the issue.

From past experience you will almost immediately receive an automated message telling you that a real person will get back to you as soon as possible. And about three days later a real person actually will.

That first real person tends to be a little… dense, shall we say? So either originally state the issue very very simply and clearly, or expect that you will be required to reply to that person with a different way of saying the same thing, and a request to pass it upward.

Eventually it does get to someone who pays attention.
They then close those blogs.

Sometimes they even catch it if these blogs are opened again, by the same user, a few hours later. Sometimes they don’t.

Good luck.

4 nevins 01.11.07 at 8:37 am

If you can’t imitate him, then don’t copy him. Y Berra

5 Kent 01.11.07 at 12:30 pm

Perhaps you should consider registering a trademark, if you haven’t already.

6 Don Long 01.12.07 at 2:22 am

Good luck appealing to Blogger. Somebody started a blog with my exact name, first and last (and I have an odd last name; Long is my pen name). Blogger refused to remove it.

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