Unethical Virtual Assistant: Your Virtual Admin

Here’s another thief who has stolen, verbatim, my home page text: Your Virtual Admin at http://yourvirtualadmin.blogspot.com/

Here’s my site:  http://www.therelief.com.

Here’s a PDF of their blog home page with my stolen content:

http://www.virtualassistantnetworking.com/infringements/YourVirtualAdmin/012409Home.pdf

This Virtual Assistant’s name is Maria. She was contacted about the infringement to give her a chance to remove it from her blog/site before being posted here. She chose to hang up abruptly.

Here’s a hint, guys. Stealing content from other Virtual Assistants is copyright infringement. It’s against the law and it’s also not a great way to make your introduction into the Virtual Assistant world. It’s even dumber to steal it from an industry leader with a widespread audience.

So take a hint, Maria, if you want to save yourself some grief and possible lawsuits: quit stealing and remove my content from your site immediately. Otherwise, you will be hearing from my intellectual property attorney. And once I have to go to that length and you waste my time and money to get you to do what is right, I go for blood.

16 Responses

  1. Carol says:

    What nerve some people have! I wonder if she actually believed she wouldn’t get found out.

    Sorry you have to go through this headache, Danielle.

  2. Lisa says:

    Sheesh…what happened to ethics? It’s too bad people don’t realize that they are only hurting themselves and it’ll eventually come back to haunt them!

  3. Amy Courser says:

    Gee…that’s dumb!

    You think she would have at least used some synonyms or mixed it up a bit…lol…I remember losing sleep about what to write for copy on my old (soon to be replaced) website and it was (is currently) horrible! But at least it was my own.

  4. Marchelle says:

    I took a look at both sites. That is definitely copyright infringement. She should have contacted you and asked for your assistance in creating her web page instead of stealing your information. Her mistake was, she copied your site word for word and your site is copyrighted. It makes me wonder if she can really offer the customers the services. She will not have good luck for that. I don’t blame you, I would go for blood also if she does not change it. I really appreciate all the help you have given me. Thanks again.

  5. Maria says:

    Please grow up and get something better to do with your time. It is not that serious. If you were really making any money at this you would not be concerned with other peoples blogs. And just so you know that blog is months old. I do not have the login information to it. So continue to fill your little life with this little bit of gossip to make your sad little day. And that includes everybody responding to your dreary blogspot. Everybody on here needs to get a life and a REAL job!

  6. Welcome to the VA world, Maria. Good luck. You’re going to need it. There isn’t a VA in the world who will trust you, much less work with you knowing this about you and your attitude about it.

    If it wasn’t that serious and no big deal as you say, then why hang-up on me instead of facing me like an adult?

    Because you damn well know it’s wrong. And for your own sake, you should know this, too: It absolutely is serious.

    That’s why Copyright and Unfair Trade Practice laws were instituted. You don’t get to help yourself and make money and attract clients off my work or anyone else’s. And you can be sued for those damages and any monies earned in the course of using someone else’s content, trade names, trade marks and other intellectual property.

    Heck, win or lose, just defending yourself against a lawsuit is expensive. And regardless, they could win just on default if you don’t have the money or means to defend yourself.

    Maybe you don’t have any money, but a lien to collect on any judgment can be placed against any assets you have now or in the future and your bank accounts can be frozen. What a fun way to live life!

    In the scheme of things, it might not be worth that much effort. But then most of time, these things are pursued on principle, just to teach unethical morons like you a lesson.

    And by the way, you can submit for a lost password on Blogger any time you like. But that’s okay. My attorney will just get the site shut down. In the meantime, you’ve just made lots of “friends.”

  7. Maria,

    Your post is outrageous and simply arrogant! We, who post here and follow Danielle, make money. We have profitable businesses – not by stealing from others. Have you heard of the Law of Attraction or Karma. Perhaps not. How about God? Honesty? Ethics?

    Your reputation will precede you. This is a small world, overall.

    I honestly think your day is sad, if this is the behavior you display.

  8. Caroline says:

    Well done you Danielle for naming and shaming! I am sick to death of VAs signing up for my materials in order to copy them and use in their own businesses.

    I even have a page on my site which freely gives information to VAs but warns them if they sign up for any of our client materials we will ban them permanently from the VA organisation I run. It’s simply unethical and unprofessional.

  9. April says:

    Maria,

    “It’s not that serious”? Uh, yes it is. Your attitude towards something illegal and unethical like copyright infringement is a perfect example of why you will never make it as a VA.

    This is not high school. This is a professional industry. We are not bored housewives who just threw up a (stolen) website and waited for the money to roll in.

    Speaking of needing a REAL job, I would suggest you find one because you are clearly not cut out to run a VA business. If you can’t even handle something as simple as recovering a lost password, writing original web copy, and knowing the difference between a website and a “blogspot” as you called this site, you have a LOT to learn before you could even think of becoming a VA.

  10. ann says:

    Thank you for bringing this out into the open. I used to subcontract to a VA who did this constantly and I could not do business with her any longer. I do not agree with her ethics and I will not bring that negative energy in to my domain.

  11. Maria,

    You don’t really have a solid case for copying Danielle’s work. I read your post and nothing you’ve argued is valid…just alot of name calling. If you made a mistake, why not call it like it is? You’ve taken something that is not your own. It’s stealing, pure and simple. Stating, ‘…get a life’ and other nonsense only makes matters worse for you. You’ve been caught red-handed. Do the right thing; apologize, take the site down and don’t perpetuate the matter further with daggers. Just because something is on the web does not mean it is yours for the taking. Danielle works hard and no one has the right legally and ethically to take her work. Just do the right thing. Don’t make matters worse then they already have become.

  12. Jamie Havrilla Thomas says:

    I would like to politely comment…

    I have used this site to gain some helpful information for my business, and although I understand the need to protect intellectual property, the idea behind this website is to help others succeed.

    I am thoroughly disappointed in the “professional” approach the owner of this site has taken. Although, you might have tried to contact her by other means, my guess is that this was embarrassing and she was like all of us starting out, trying to start out. And, instead you humiliate her in front of all of us.

    I bought your forms, and have taken a seminar or two, you the owner are a very talented woman, but I would hope that with all your years of experience, you would have some clout to know that to humiliate a person publicly is childish, and although I do not support Maria’s behavior, I also do not support yours.

    VA’s like you have said, are professionals, and I would challenge you Danielle, to act in a more professional manner. Threatening law suits, publicly, calling her dumb, what is this?…do you cherish you intellectual property so much that you have lost your integrity too?

    I have a Masters Degree in Leadership and this is a poor example of it. Even though there is copyright infringement.

    If Maria responded on here, in stead of humiliating like you did, you may have the decency to ask her why she did it and if it was because she is not a good writer and needed help writing something for herself, pointing her in a direction of one of your programs?

    Just a leadership thought.

    I hope you solve the matter, but I will be removing myself from your blog because I did not know you had some leadership issues you need to work through. I hope you continue to succeed, and I hope Maria will be successful as she finds herself just as talented as you are, and is able to write her own material.

    I challenge you to do this Maria, it will show your skills more than you know, and if you are not good at writing, empower a friend who is! That is what I did. Good luck!

  13. And I would encourage you to remove yourself from my list. I have no use for people who promote the idea that everyone else is responsible for the problems and transgressions of people like Maria.

    Maria alone is responsible for the consequences of her actions. She is the one who chose to steal and then to not deal with the person she stole from.

    When she or anyone else steals, they leave themselves open to however the offended party chooses to deal with them. Perhaps she should have instead chosen to do the right thing of her own devices.

    Dishonest people like her are responsible for creating the litigious society we now live in because of the fact that they can’t and won’t do the right thing of their own devices much less when they are asked politely to do so.

    Maria had the opportunity to tell her side of the story and to make right that which she did wrong just between the two of us. If she had been a grown-up and taken responsibility for her wrong-doing, I would have been very happy to enlighten her on things.

    But Maria–and Maria alone–chose not to do that. No one else but Maria is responsible for her “humiliation” as you term it. Save your bleeding heart for people who deserve it or have earned it.

    PS: For the record, I never make threats. I always do exactly what I say I will.

    PPS: And by the way, part of the intention in posting these situations is to stand up for all the rest of the VAs out there who have had stuff stolen from them by other VAs, but didn’t have the means or strength to stand up for themselves for whatever reason. It takes one person to stand up and remind everyone of their moral compass so that others aren’t so afraid to insist that people DO THE RIGHT THING by not letting them get away with crap like that. Maybe then we can get back to honesty and real integrity in business.

  14. Carol says:

    Maria, what you did is absolutely serious. To choose to act arrogant and huffy on top of that is horrendous. You are a disgrace to the VA profession.

    Jaimie, this is not kindergarten. Maria is, I assume, an adult and should take full responsibility for her actions.

  15. Alan Weiss says:

    Danielle asked me to come here and read this thread. I’m astonished.

    First, Maria stole. Stealing intellectual property is theft. If you’re not original enough to create your own work, then you shouldn’t be in business. I’ve seen works of people such as David Meister, Seth Godin, and myself simply copied on web sites whose owners believe they won’t be found out.

    Second, Jamie enables this kind of illegal behavior by failing to understand the gravity of the offense and then mistaking who caused the “humiliation.” Maria caused her own humiliation. Her comments are ridiculous.

    I’ve sent my lawyer after plagiarists and copyright infringers if they do not respond to my first and only warning. You’re either a professional or you’re not. Professionals don’t tolerate theft in their profession.

  16. 2/24/09 UPDATE: The infringing blogsite has been successfully taken down by DMCA request.

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