Be Original, or How Nickelodeon’s NickMom is Sliming Parent Bloggers

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September 20: Post updated with new posts being added to NickMom with improperly used images, and the Nickelodeon response.

September 15: Post updated with response from NickMom below, as well as issues with parent bloggers’ pictures of their children being discovered used without permission.

be original

I don’t even know where to start, so I think the beginning is best. In February 2006, I was put on bed rest while I was pregnant with my twins. I couldn’t work my day job anymore (it was just writing/reporting/database building as a special projects reporter at a newspaper, so that was weird). I had this vision of a site for moms. Not one of the cute sites with pastel colors where people with PhDs and no children would teach us how to change a diaper. No, a real site for real moms. A site for moms who have brains, who have an identity beyond the butt wiping. A site for moms who have this crazy notion that we can have it all, that we should have it all. That we would determine our fate, what hours we worked, whether we could attend our child’s school recital in the middle of the day.

I agonized over the name. I Googled. I Thesaurus’d. I scribbled into a notebook. And then it struck me.

Type-A Mom.

The over-achiever. The driven, brilliant, earth-mover. The early adopter. The change maker. The geek. The mom who would never accept being forced to choose: mom or person.

This was in the sidebar of the site in one of its earliest incarnations (both the text and the image):

Type-A MomHi Mom! You work hard, you play hard. You juggle life and love and kids, and you do it all with style. You wipe butts and kick butt. You’re a Type-A Mom! Type-A Mom is a site designed to be created and maintained by the real know-it-alls in parenting, the moms.

Join first to connect with our community of moms. Don’t just read articles, but write them (and earn money for doing it!). This site has no investors. This isn’t a “mom” site run by men in suits. This site is run by a mom , and all the moms here get a cut in its success. It’s time to get real, moms!

In my mind since yesterday, I have been going over and over what to say. How to characterize the years, YEARS, of butt-busting, toiling, working to grow with nothing but sweat because who has a marketing budget? To become now a site where hundreds, maybe thousands, of people have contributed. People have blogged here and gone on to be major A-list social media influencers. Type-A is now a conference going on its fifth year. It is now more inclusive for both moms and dads, with Type-A Parent.

And then this happened. Nickelodeon’s NickMoms trampled all over my brand name. They blatantly ripped off How to Be a Dad. Then they refused to acknowledge it. Then they removed the How to Be a Dad rip-off, but refused to remove the image they posted on sites like Pinterest. They refused to remove the post referencing Type-A Mom, or even answer me in any way. Then they kind of sort of didn’t apologize but said something on the record that was approved by a team of Viacom lawyers, but to How to Be a Dad and not me.

Then they admitted that it wasn’t an honest mistake. Oh, no. They have known about me and the Type-A Mom brand for years.

I have written, spoken and talked about social media and how best to handle things like this. They want to target PARENTS. They clearly want to target bloggers and online/digital parents.

Why not simply remove it, apologize, even reply in social networks, and be done with it? So many brands have turned episodes like this into a positive. They are not.

I have tweeted them. I have tagged their Facebook page. Yesterday, they gave Amy Lupold Bair an email address (because it is so distasteful having people question their ethics publicly), so I emailed them. I haven’t heard back.

But I am Type-A Mom. When I started, no one was using this phrase. I searched it. I kept Google Alerts. It was only in the last 2-3 years that it has become used commonly.

I spent years explaining to people that it isn’t “type-uh-mom.” Probably one of the most frequent questions I get during interviews is how I came up with the name and what it means.

I think the worst thing in all of this is that some bloggers are saying my brand name isn’t distinctive. Wow. I can’t imagine ever telling someone their brand name isn’t distinctive.

Type-A Mom and Type-A Parent are original. Sure, type-A personality was around. It is the PAIRING of the two that is distinctive. Many, many distinctive businesses and brands incorporate common terms. For example:

  • 5 minutes is surely common, but there is no doubt who you mean in this space when you say 5 Minutes for Mom.
  • Resourceful is a pretty well-known word, but Resourceful Mommy will always be Amy’s business.
  • Blissful and domestic are both extremely common words, but who in social media would question what you mean when you say Blissfully Domestic?
  • Apple. Enough said?
  • Amazon. How many of you were even thinking river?

I constantly tell people to protect their business, and now I am going to do the same. There is even a blogger using Type-A Mom in her name. It would be wonderful if I didn’t have to ask people to do the right thing, if they would just respect that I created, built and grew Type-A Mom and Type-A Parent into what it is today and come up with their own unique brand or content.

Beyond all of this, in business I think it is best to be original.

I always strive to do this. Some of the best business people I know do this. Some of the business people who made history did this.

Innovate, originate. Don’t copy. 

Yes, I understand at this point in our society many things have been done. But just look at some of the innovations we still see. In a choice, do something new (or certainly something old done in such a fresh, new way as to reinvent it) versus regurgitating someone else’s concepts.

Be you.

Be uniquely, deliciously, splendidly, wonderfully you.

Update on September 15

Three days after Amy’s post and after several of us tweeted to the NickMom account about these concerns, I received this email this morning:

Dear Kelby,
I’m Bronwen O’Keefe, the Senior Vice President of Nickmom.  I am responsible for the website and forthcoming TV block.  I wanted to personally let you know that I am very sorry for what happened.  It was never our intention to offend you or appear disrespectful of your work.  I also regret that we didn’t reach out to you sooner.

I hope that you will accept my apology, and as further evidence that I mean what I say, we have taken down the graphic.

Sincerely,
Bronwen O’Keefe

I am pleased they finally removed the post. I am thrilled they apologized (as I wasn’t sure that would happen). This is a great response, respectful and worded nicely. This should have come three days ago. I am not pleased that it took this long, that they were initially dismissive and then ignored the matter, and that they reached out to several other people before contacting the How to Be a Dad bloggers and I.

Since this blew up, however, other bloggers have discovered their own images (many times images they posted of their own children!) have been stolen and used without their being contacted for permission. In one instance, the blogger’s watermark on a picture of her with her children on the first day of school was covered by NickMom with big block letters. I would highly recommend that you conduct a search in Google with the following: site:nickmom.com yourblogname. You can do a few variations (like blogname.com, blogname). They have via and site name in many instances. See Amy’s post for instructions on how to request its removal.

Further Update if You Find Your Image on NickMom Site

In a reply email when I inquired about this issue, Bronwen O’Keefe said to contact them to alert if you have an image used without your permission at copyright@mtvn.com. She said that “all emails will be acted upon.”

And it continues…. September 20 Update

I get that it takes time for a major corporation to correct errors like this. In fact, the bulk of the NickMom site seems to be improperly used images… images used without permission, and many times which credit a social bookmarking site where the original image was shared instead of the original creator.

Let me make this very clear: a social sharing or indexing site, such as Reddit or Google Images or Tumblr, is NOT an image’s source.

So last night, when it was brought to my attention that NEW content is being created that continues to improperly use images, I contacted them again. Amy Lupold Bair did as well with her own questions. I mean, as I said, I understand it could take time to vet prior posts. It should NOT be an issue to prevent new ones from being posted.

Here is what I sent:

I wanted to check on any progress to address the issue of stolen images/photos used without permission on the NickMom site. I am extremely concerned to see that past posts with images used without permission not only remain, but that new posts have since been added since this all came to light that are clearly not properly sourced (Reddit is never a source, any more than Google image search would be, for example, but regardless Reddit via links don’t even take one directly to a share there)… but I have to presume if the new posts are not properly sourced, they are again being used without proper permission.

Are there any plans to remove all stolen content? Or is Nickelodeon taking the approach of only removing stolen images when notified? I have many bloggers asking if there has been an update, so I would really like to explain precisely what action is being taken currently (and if there is an ETA on any changes being seen on the site).

Here was my reply:

Interestingly enough, Amy at Resourceful Mommy checked with a similar request for an update, so I will share with you what I shared with her.

We have actually been working hard on a full process review, and while that takes time to fully complete, I can tell you we are taking positive steps forward.
We have the copyright@mtvn.com email, which is our company’s mailbox for individual copyright owners with copyright concerns. I would encourage you to feel free to make that address available to anyone coming to you so we can talk to them directly about any issues they may have.

I have had some conversations already, and they have been very productive and positive for everyone. We are also making improvements to the training program for stable of bloggers and contributors, which will strengthen the baseline understanding of our expectations.

I want you to know that we unequivocally take our work and reputation seriously, and I am confident we are headed in the right direction. The conversations we have been having, internally , and with partners, and with a growing number of bloggers in the community, are facilitating that.

In addition, we look forward to any recommendations you may have for funny bloggers who may want to contribute.

Let me be also be clear about something else. They did what I asked. I technically have no beef with them personally. BUT I remain very concerned about a major corporation stealing creations of bloggers, including images parent bloggers have posted of their own children. What a violation! The fact that the higher-ups have been alerted (and it has been a week-plus) and nothing has happened with the old content is bad enough. The fact that there is still new content being created is disturbing and alarming.

At this point, I am not sure what more we can do. Tell Nickmom on Twitter (@nickmom) how you feel about this. Check for any of your own stolen images and report them. But I would expect a corporation to use due diligence and be sure they are not improperly using images without permission and with improper credit on their website. If you know anyone in the media or online news, entertainment or social media sites, let them know about this story.

And? Look at what this blogger did to stand up for bloggers and their content. 

Photo of apples, © Pixelbliss – Fotolia.com
Photo of woman, © Audrey Johnson via SXC

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Be Original, or How Nickelodeon's NickMom is Sliming Parent Bloggers, 10.0 out of 10 based on 14 ratings
About the author: Kelby Carr (522 Posts)

Kelby Carr is the founder and publisher of Type-A Parent. She also is the organizer of the Type-A Parent Conference. She is the author of Pinterest For Dummies and Pinterest Marketing For Dummies. You can follow her on Twitter at @typeamom and circle her on Google+.

 

Comments

  1. Amy from Resourceful Mommy

    September 14, 2012

    Thank you for doing what you do – writing a well thought out and researched post. I hate that we have to deal with this. There is a blogger calling herself the resourceful blogger despite the fact that I’ve been blogging under the Resourceful Blogging category for four years. If you google resourceful blogging, her link is now right above all of mine. It’s hard to know what to do when someone clearly steals the social media capital you’ve worked so hard to create. In my case, the blogger not only knows about me but comments frequently on my blog and Facebook. She knows and she flaunts. And of course, as bloggers there is little we can do because of the legal costs associated with taking on these people. The fact that a company like Nickelodeon who survives only because of parents would do this to parents trying to make a living while being home with their kids is nothing short of repulsive.

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    • Kelby Carr

      September 14, 2012

      Amy, that is just awful. Thank YOU for standing up for bloggers and for me. I really appreciate your post and all the awareness. And for encouraging me to apply for the TMs. This just all has to come to a stop.

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  2. EricaSays.com

    September 14, 2012

    This week seems to be all about content originality… If a large brand can rip off the work of a couple pro-bloggers and get away with it, what's to keep them from stealing from the rest of us?

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    • Kelby Hartson Carr

      September 14, 2012

      Precisely.

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    • Julie Haas Brophy

      September 15, 2012

      They've taken a number of images from Sh*tMyKidsRuined.com as well (as have maaaany other sites). I got tired of policing it, so I've been quiet on this one. Very frustrating.

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    • Erica Mueller

      September 15, 2012

      Julie, Amy has information on her post so you can send an email to the department that handles this. Direct line! http://resourcefulmommy.com/10259/hands-off-our-content/ Amy says "NOW is the time to do something because they are not only pulling content that is stolen, but they are also deciding how to move forward with the site in general. Let her know that this could protect her in the future as well!"

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  3. Andrew Kardon

    September 14, 2012

    That’s actually surprising that Nickelodeon would do this. I could understand if they 100% completely ignored you and How to Be a Dad, but to do it half-assed and remove some things, apologize to only one of you, is just… odd.

    I’m sure lawyers are getting involved on their end telling them how to handle things. Sorry you’re going through all this, though. Stand firm, hang tough and I truly hope Nick gets in touch with you a.s.a.p. to personally apologize and make good!

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    • Kelby Carr

      September 14, 2012

      Thanks Andrew. I hope so, too!

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  4. Katherine Stone

    September 14, 2012

    I actually have a registered trademark for Postpartum Progress (no. 4059239) , precisely because I wanted to protect this brand that I’ve worked so hard to create. I’ve had people steal my content in the past, and I know how upsetting it is. Sorry this has happened to you Kelby.

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    • Kelby Carr

      September 14, 2012

      Yes, I applied for TMs for Type-A Mom and Type-A Parent yesterday. I should have done it years ago. The case of first business use is without question here, but it was just something smart to do. Thank you for understanding Katherine!!

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      • Victoria

        September 14, 2012

        This has been the kick in the butt I needed to finalize the trademark registration on my brand (Girl Gone Wired).

        I find it perplexing that people who steal other people’s intellectual property, could, if they *really* wanted to, create their own. Laziness is no excuse for blatant theft.

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  5. Fadra

    September 14, 2012

    Kelby – I love this post simply because I never really knew how you came up with the name. It means a lot more to me now. I love the way you’ve captured your business savvy and your heart in the same post.

    Meanwhile, I’m sitting back waiting for a “Most Things Fadra” blog to pop up ;)

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    • Kelby Carr

      September 14, 2012

      Thank you so much, Fadra! And hah, I sure hope no one does!!!

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  6. Crys Wiltshire

    September 14, 2012

    Well said! Sad that it needs to be said…

    I am not big enough for anyone to be ripping me off, but I see it happening to all my bloggy idols (basically everyone named in this post and then some) and it really pisses me off. The internet is a fact finding landmine and posers will be called out on their crap. You guys all do what you do incredibly well and your fans know it and recognize it.

    Keep rocking it as the original parental gangstas we all know you are.

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    • Kelby Carr

      September 14, 2012

      Thank you so much Crys!!

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  7. Average Jane

    September 14, 2012

    This kind of thing is so frustrating. A few years ago I had to put a stop to a blogger who was trying to start an Average Jane women’s blogging group in my own city! It’s bad enough that there are lots of other blogs incorporating “Average Jane” in their names (all of which came after mine), but I’d been blogging since 2004 and was well established in my own town’s blogger community. In my case, she switched to another name; if it had been a big media company, I probably would have been out of luck.

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    • Kelby Carr

      September 14, 2012

      Oh, in your own town is AWFUL! So sorry you deal with this so much. Yuck.

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  8. Dawn @ Finding the Happy

    September 14, 2012

    You even asked ME to contribute, and I still remember it like it was yesterday. I was too overwhelmed to help out but I was still greatly honored.

    For something… so BIG … to do something so blatant to you and your brand, is absolutely mind blowing! I hope they finally DO the right thing, and I thank you for the kick-ass job you’ve done. Truly!

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    • Kelby Carr

      September 14, 2012

      Thank you Dawn! I am so glad to have been an online friend with you so many years. And I so totally remember. :)

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  9. Janine

    September 14, 2012

    I’m not sure who is consulting for this MAJOR company on how to handle this situation but it pains me to think of the hourly rate they are paying for obviously terrible advice.

    Ignoring does not make things go away.
    Half-assed responses will not make it go away.
    The longer they refuse to admit, and address their mistake the LONGER this will drag out and the BIGGER the issue will become.

    The good thing is the awareness that I hope will come out of this situation, and the discussion it is sure to generate.

    It’s just unfortunate that it comes at a price to you, to the guys at How to Be a Dad, and so many other countless bloggers who have had original content stolen.

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    • Kelby Carr

      September 14, 2012

      Yes. I can think of many brilliant people in social media consulting they need to hire, stat.

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  10. Christina Gleason @ WELL, in THIS House

    September 14, 2012

    I do hope that Nickelodeon does the right thing here. Not because they have a legal obligation once your trademark application goes through, but because it’s the decent thing to do when they want to be a part of the social parent space. Perhaps, in a court of law, they could convince a judge that the phrase is “common enough,” despite that the reason would be your own branding efforts. But from a PR perspective, they should be thinking more about what will come of ticking off some of the most influential parent bloggers in the social sphere. WHAT A WAY TO MAKE AN IMPRESSION, NICKMOM.

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    • Kelby Carr

      September 14, 2012

      Exactly. Just DO THE RIGHT THING.

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  11. Rene Syler

    September 14, 2012

    Well the initial infraction is one thing, but their behavior upon having their error pointed out is reprehensible! I can't believe in the age of social media companies still think if they don't address something it will just go away. Wow, they have a lot to learn, eh?

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    • Kelby Hartson Carr

      September 14, 2012

      Yes, precisely. I GET that mistakes happen. Many companies have made major mistakes very publicly in social media. It is in the RESPONSE. Shoot, I think I did a whole blog post about that subject way back when. LOL.

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    • Rene Syler

      September 14, 2012

      Yes. Seriously, when will they (big corporations) learn the things we all did in kindergarten? Make a mistake? Apologize, try to make it better, then make a necklace out of dandelions as a peace offering. Okay maybe not that last part but you get what I'm saying, This is horrifying. I'm gonna email later. But the one thing I would say is that it is a round world. Period. XO

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    • Kelby Hartson Carr

      September 14, 2012

      Hahah. Nick is SO not braiding my hair.

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  12. Angela England

    September 14, 2012

    Yep it’s sad that people won’t take 30 seconds to run a quick good search and see what’s up. But in this case they can’t even claim ignorance of you and your brand since they are on record as having stated that they know you and have had you on their list FOR YEARS. Of course Type-A Mom is a well known phrase NOW….you’ve been working it for years!

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    • Kelby Carr

      September 14, 2012

      Yes, I think that is part of what makes this so frustrating. Five, six, seven years ago… NO ONE would have said the phrase is common. Sure, it may have been UTTERED before then on a rare occasion. It was not common until recently.

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  13. Sommer Poquette

    September 14, 2012

    That is really too bad Kelby Hartson Carr! What a tough week for you and just wrong of them.

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    • Kelby Hartson Carr

      September 14, 2012

      Thank you Sommer! I really appreciate the support!

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    • Sommer Poquette

      September 15, 2012

      Kelby Hartson Carr ALWAYS

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  14. Dresden

    September 14, 2012

    You have been so gracious during all of this. I am so sad that people are not getting how hurtful their actions are. I adore you, am in awe of you, and think you are amazing.

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    • Kelby Carr

      September 14, 2012

      Dresden, thank you SO MUCH! That is another thing awful about this. This is all just so UNDIGNIFIED. Having to write this post is undignified. Anyone who knows me well knows I am not one who hops on Twitter and throws a hissy fit any time a brand offends me in the slightest. I hated to write this. I hate having to fight to defend my brand. I hate that Charlie and Andy have to fight. We SHOULD NOT have to fight to get people to do what’s right.

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      • Rajean

        September 14, 2012

        Kelby, please don’t feel undignified! Writing this post, while hard, I’m sure, is paying it forward to everyone less business savvy, less experienced, less Type-A Mom than you! Your brand is important and what you have worked so very hard to establish, nurture and grow is worthy of defending! And we shall help you do so, with every share, tweet and comment. I’m happy you have blazed a trail that I have now walked upon and proud to call you a friend – whom I learn from daily.

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        • Kelby Carr

          September 14, 2012

          Rajean, wow, thank you! I truly hope this will help other bloggers protect their own brands. I really do. I am SO lucky to have you as a friend and have your support!

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  15. Jen L.

    September 14, 2012

    I distinctly remember my first BlogHer, going to dinner with you and @slpowell (see what I did there?) and hearing 4 different people say, “Oh, you’re name’s Kelby? I just know you as Type-A Mom!” More people know bloggers by their brands, twitter handles, whatever, than by their names. Having written for and followed your sites, conferences and brand for years now, I can’t imagine anyone in the blogosphere NOT identifying Type-A Mom with you. NickMom needs to get it together. The last thing they want to do is hack off the blogosphere. We’re a ferocious bunch, particularly when you mess with one of our favorites, our leaders, our friends.

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    • Kelby Carr

      September 14, 2012

      Yes Jen! I was thinking JUST that this morning. Shoot, I actually meant to include it in the post but thought of it while driving. I don’t think big brands understand… it isn’t a BUSINESS brand only, like some sterile thing, when it comes to blogging/social media. We ARE our brands. My name is Type-A Mom now just as much as Kelby is my name. I think maybe they don’t understand that. When I go to a conference, people CALL ME Type-A Mom as much if not more than Kelby.

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  16. Jill

    September 14, 2012

    Wow. I have a feeling that they’re not apologizing to you directly because legally they would be accepting fault. Which is really, really crappy. I saw their tweet to HTBAD and “can we still be friends” is just so… 2nd grade. Sigh. Keep your head up and do what you do!

    Let this be a lesson to all of us to TM our brands, our voice, immediately.

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    • Kelby Carr

      September 14, 2012

      Yes. Everyone TM right now! I truly hope THAT is the lesson bloggers get out of this.

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  17. Sommer

    September 14, 2012

    I am so sorry you are going through this. I know how hard you have worked. We’ve all worked hard with like you said no marketing budget to build our brands and be who we are today. Seeing another @GreenMom or Green and Clean Mom out there would have me in tears and I’d feel frustrated. I’ve seen the term use a few time, green and clean but not with the mom. The best advice I had was to Trade Mark this so I could have a legal leg to stand on if need be. Did you do that? Regardless, it is wrong of them and I’m so sorry and feel your frustration and pain.

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    • Kelby Carr

      September 14, 2012

      I did yesterday. I KNOW I KNOW! But it is done. And they would have a really hard time proving first business use. It is a very emotional thing.

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  18. Lisa

    September 14, 2012

    As I said to my husband last night about this mess, if the foot was on the other shoe, Viacom would be going after us. However, since they did it, they think its okay. I just don’t understand that.

    **banging head against the wall**

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    • Kelby Carr

      September 14, 2012

      You can bet on that! LOL

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  19. Jenn Hethcoat

    September 14, 2012

    Kelby this is so very well written. Watching this unfold and seeing the dismissive attitude NickMom has taken towards all involved is unnerving and exactly as you said, undignified. To bring us to a point where we have to explain, publicly, why we are upset about our brands, our ideas and our hard work stolen seems ludicrous.

    I find that I am more upset by the way they are handling this situation than by the original transgressions. IF they were un-researched and un-educated enough to believe that this was actually a mistake … but handled it appropriately, I would understand and walk away shaking my head.

    Because their lawyers have vetted a response to Amy and Fadra and still not to you, Charlie or Andy…. and those responses are forcefully stating that they aren’t wrong but hey, they took down the work in ONE place since you complained…. I have lost a great deal of respect for the company. Respect gone we have moved into contempt.

    Thanks for writing, I know that putting this to words here, in this space, is not your style…not your preference. But you are doing what needs to be done!

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    • Kelby Carr

      September 14, 2012

      It isn’t my style and is way out of my comfort zone, but thank you SO MUCH for your support and kind words, Jenn!!!

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  20. Joy

    September 14, 2012

    Wow. I hate you are going through this. Praying that it is resolved soon in your favor!!

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    • Kelby Carr

      September 14, 2012

      Thank you Joy!

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  21. Rachel @ Finding Joy

    September 14, 2012

    I am so proud of you for standing up for what is right. I cannot believe that they have been so incredibly stubborn and have taken what you’ve worked so hard for with such nonchalant callousness.

    Thank you for writing this and for fighting for, in fact, everyone who has worked so hard in this industry.

    You are THE Type-A mom.
    Rachel

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    • Kelby Carr

      September 14, 2012

      Thank you, Rachel. It means SO MUCH that people care about what I am doing here. So. Much. And lol… thank you about the “THE Type-A mom” comment. :)

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  22. Elizabeth

    September 14, 2012

    Good for you! As someone who has frequently had the name of something I created (GodlyGals) used without permission and branded as belonging to someone else, I totally understand how you feel. I’m glad you are taking them on and going ahead with the steps to get your TMs.

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    • Kelby Carr

      September 14, 2012

      So sorry you have had to deal with this!!! Thank you!

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  23. Nikki from The Guilty Parent

    September 14, 2012

    Kelby I remember when Type-A Mom was born. I was one of the “early adopters” as you call us because I wanted that space. I didn’t want a site that talked down to me in step by step instructions like so many of the mom sites did 10+ years ago. I wanted something that was fresh and understood me. I am so Type-A in your description and I am so glad to gave birth to this brand. It’s been wonderful to watch this grow and change (as our babies do) that I can’t fathom a different platform than what you’ve built. Thank you so much for everything you’ve built. I think it’s disgusting for any company or brand to do what NickMom has done and in no way do I think they really respect the bloggers like they claim they do – in my opinion they are no better than the common thief on the street stealing from a child, because in a way that is exactly what they’re doing. When they stand to copy or infringe on our work in a way that benefits them they are stealing from our families. I sincerely hope that if enough of us stand up and protest this kind of behavior from companies it will set the tone (which really, haven’t businesses learned yet?) that we won’t put up with it and we’ll do what’s necessary to protect ourselves and our businesses.

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    • Kelby Carr

      September 14, 2012

      Nikki, I remember you as one of the earliest Type-A Moms. THANK YOU for this comment. These comments from those of you I have known so many years makes this all so much easier to deal with.

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  24. Kathy K

    September 14, 2012

    This is unfortunate that you have to go through this after years and years of building up your brand. The silver lining in this all is that us smaller bloggers who are trying to build up to what you are today have learned a lesson on how to protect our brands. I look up to all of the bloggers mentioned above as a means for motivation and inspiration! I may be “small” but I have once already had to deal with someone out right stealing my content and claiming it as their own(I’m not alone this person steals ALL her content and claims as their own), of course to which I don’t have the money to take it into a federal court to further it, what are my options? I have never even thought of TM my blog/brand name, which I am going to look into after this comment.

    Thank you for all that you’ve done and will do. Hopefully you can come to a resolution with Nick. You have power in numbers, other bloggers standing behind you. Nick needs to come to their senses and see that it’s their very customer market they are battling with right now.

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    • Kelby Carr

      September 14, 2012

      Content theft is just SUCH a serious problem. I hope it gets better! And thank you so much for your words of support. YES! Go TM. If I encourage bloggers to go apply for trademarks, that will at LEAST mean this all happened for a reason.

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  25. Dr. Daisy Sutherland

    September 14, 2012

    Oh Kelby!! I feel for you and truly can’t believe that large corporations would stoop to this level. It simply shows their lack of creativity and their need to find it elsewhere even if it means stealing. Know that we stand behind you all the way…there is only one Type-A Mom and Type-A Parent. Unfortunately, I found someone using the Dr. Mommy name and they went as far as trademarking it…I completely understand your frustration as that is what I’ve dealt with for months…thankfully I show history of using my brand as you do so all is well…remember they will mimic and imitate but there can only be one and you are the original!! Hugs!!:)

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    • Kelby Carr

      September 14, 2012

      Daisy, WOW! I can’t imagine someone else being Dr. Mommy. I am so, so sorry! I hope it all works out in your favor. You I know have built it up for many years.

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  26. Michele Price (@prosperitygal)

    September 14, 2012

    What I am finding amazing about all of this Kelby is that had the shoe been on the other foot, Nickelodeon would have had no problem with going after you with both barrels blasting.

    Boy yes the TM issues, nothing like a colleague TM your intellectual property and claiming it as their own, been there.

    Now with everyone going out to invest in TM their blog names etc… does that change the factor of the money that it takes to protect them? (going to google now to look that one up)

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  27. S

    September 14, 2012

    I frequently see bloggers capitalizing on some other blogs names. I am not talking about some similarity, but an obvious copycat with just a slight variation. As a blog follower this really turns me off. While words belong to everyone, it is obvious when someone could not come up with something original on their own. Sometimes people do come up with the same name and maybe they don’t know about each other. Bottom Line…if you are not “Trademarked”, then it is something you will have to live with.

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  28. Andrea

    September 14, 2012

    Kelby, this sucks. Since I have been reading everything about this I’m in awe at how ridiculous people are being. How could they NOT recognize their mistake PUBLICLY? Seriously?

    I’m so sorry this happened to you and I hate it.

    I hope that eventually they will respond respectfully and DO something about it. Mostly I’m just sad that they won’t even try to play nice. It’s a big sandbox out there and there is room enough for everyone, they really should recognize that before someone comes around and hits them where it hurts because karma is a beyotch, but she’s also a good friend to have … am I even making sense? You’ll get the GOOD and AMAZING KARMA, my friend. Sigh. I’m sorry. And like Fadra mentioned, I love this post because I learned so much about how you came to be who you are in the social media world. (hugs)

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  29. Janice (5 Minutes for Mom)

    September 14, 2012

    I was so busy with kids stuff in the beginning of the week and then focusing on writing the second half of the week, that I am just catching up now on all this NickMom stuff. Wow. Major fail on their part!

    To say that your name is not distinctive or “yours” is ridiculous. Those of us who were here back in the old days of 2006 know that you came riding into town with the clear vision of Type-A Mom, laid your stake with your Type-A Mom flag, and it was ALL yours — and no one else had coined the term before.

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  30. Jessie Akos

    September 14, 2012

    Wow!! As a newbie on the scene, I am definitely learning from this. Thank you so much for sharing, Kelby. You have a huge community of supporters behind you, and really, NICKELODEON, REALLY??

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  31. Stephanie @MingleMediaTV

    September 14, 2012

    Thankfully you will be able to show first use – see, the Internet is good for something. But shame on Nickelodeon for ignoring the “woman” in this equation. They have clearly misjudged you and the community you have built.

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  32. Michelle

    September 14, 2012

    I am so sad that you have to write this post. And I’m so sad that Amy had to write her post yesterday. I’m flabbergasted, yet I know I shouldn’t be. It happens far too often.

    And what people – and brands – don’t get is that things like this truly change our perception of them. I don’t think this is where they want their Q ratings headed.

    Fingers crossed it’s resolved responsibly and soon. Because you’re awesome, Kelby. You already know how much you inspire me and so many others. You are an original, and Type A Mom needs to stay that way.

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  33. sara graff

    September 14, 2012

    I started my blog Saving with Sara May 2010. I have had the same type thing happen with people using the same blog name or something similar I think it is so wrong…..I am very sorry this is going on they of all people should be ashamed….I am a small blogger don’t have a ton of money for advertising etc all has been by word of mouth, business cards and magnets on my car….how do you tm a name? Does it cost money?

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  34. Deanna @ The Unnatural Mother

    September 14, 2012

    I’m sorry that all you had to go through, it’s terrible that a brand like Nick with such huge recognition, and support has to go to these lengths, it’s actual disgusting but I have to say THANK YOU to NickMoms for not picking me as one of their mommy bloggers, and yet I was feeling so crappy about it a few months ago, so glad now, I do not want to be associated in any way to this crap.

    Hang tough, all of you have my support!

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  35. Diana Lee

    September 14, 2012

    It’s bad enough when people are ignorant and rip off other people’s ideas, but for a huge company like Viacom to blatantly rip off your brand is disgusting.

    Keep fighting the good fight. I hope they do the right thing.

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  36. thedoseofreality

    September 14, 2012

    I have to say that as much as I was not impressed when I saw what they were doing with the blatant content stealing, I am even MORE unimpressed with their cavalier, almost instigating follow-up.
    What is so wrong with saying a genuine, heartfelt I’m sorry and righting the wrong?
    For a company that wants to appeal to moms and dads, they certainly are doing a terrible job of it.

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  37. By Word of Mouth Musings

    September 15, 2012

    When Charles Caleb Colton said, Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery … I am sure he was talking about drapes and dresses and haircuts ;)
    Shame on them for this.
    So very wrong xxxx

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  38. Michele Price (@prosperitygal)

    September 15, 2012

    Great to see they apologized and took it down, There was a reason for all this drama, you put it very well…now other bloggers are discovering where they have been copied etc.. and are doing something about it.

    Should this be the last step? Should everyone forget what Nickmom did over and over again? I am wondering Kelby?

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  39. Leanne

    September 15, 2012

    I’ve been blogging for 15 years. Yep, 15 – in my own little corner here just for family and friends and I’ve gone unnoticed and been happy. Just last week I started a trademark request for Canada and the US though, and now I’ve stumbled upon you and I’m VERY happy I have. Good luck fighting the good fight!

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  40. Tracy Beckerman

    September 15, 2012

    I'm glad you finally got the apology, but there is such a thing as "too little, too late." I cannot believe a site that should be so savvy about mom and blogger relationships would fail to realized the damage they do to THEIR brand by trampling over yours and others. One of the best pieces of advice I got when I launched my column (and the best money I spent) was to trademark my column and later my blog name. I have sent out numerous cease and desist letters over the years and every time, I am dumbfounded that someone would have the audacity (and stupidity) to try to use my brand name when it turns up on 50+ pages in a google search. Thanks for keeping us updated on this!

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  41. Kerry Sauriol

    September 15, 2012

    Honestly a short apology is not enough. I would want to see proof of what sort of quality assurance they have regarding original content. They apologized because they got caught…that is it.

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  42. Gigi Grabiec Ross

    September 15, 2012

    It's plain sad that you had to write a post providing the originality of your blog name, how long you've been doing this, how well respected you are. Those of us who have been blogging for more than a minute know you're the real deal and a class act…and NickMom does too. Kudos to you again, for always being such a strong voice for all of us and helping us to get the respect we deserve.

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    • Loralyn Caraccio

      September 16, 2012

      I saw this on Rachael's FB / blog also…Nickmom

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  43. Sandra Foyt

    September 15, 2012

    Thank you for standing up to the idiots! Wish it were more surprising that unethical folks will take advantage whenever and wherever they can get away with it. I guess that's another good reason to organize bloggers so that we can stand together when necessary.

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  44. Lucretia Madden Pruitt

    September 15, 2012

    I should be stunned, but I'm not.
    I gave up trying to 'defend' the GeekMommy name. It's become utilitarian like aspirin. But YOU are Type-A Mom. And Nickelodeon owes you a *public* apology.
    That said? Maybe they should send some of their people to Type-A Parent Conference this month to learn HOW to be social without stealing other peoples' content and disparaging their work.

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  45. Candace Lindemann

    September 16, 2012

    Kelby, I have nothing but respect for what you built. I think the NickMom response has been awful. At the same time, I do not think they did anything illegal or unethical in having a graphic of a fake facebook conversation featuring "A Type-A Mom" as part of the dialogue. It is not that you have not built an amazing brand (you have). If they had started up a blog or conference or in any way attempted to provide social media content or services under that name, that would definitely seem to be an infringement to me. And they could almost definitely use it in a parody. And if they are parodying you then in a lot of ways that is a sign of how huge you have grown your business. Their dismissive response, however, is just stupid. How is this all supposed to be appealing to online moms?

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    • Kelby Hartson Carr

      September 17, 2012

      Thanks Candace Lindemann… but one thing I would like to point out since a couple people have brought up parody. You can use parody in the case of a public figure, and the standard for public figure if pretty high (I had to know this inside and out when I was a reporter, because what we could print about someone relied heavily on whether they were a citizen or a public figure). You can parody someone who is famous, a celebrity, whose life is under intense public scrutiny.

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  46. Jc Little

    September 16, 2012

    I remember three years ago, discovering Type-A Mom and thinking what a clever name. This story makes me suspicious of how knowledgeable these big brands are of their target audience and the social media communities that have existed for years = not very!

    Now I'm wondering how I can protect The Animated Woman…

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    • Kelby Hartson Carr

      September 16, 2012

      Definitely go apply for your trademark. It took me literally 10 minutes.

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  47. Candace Lindemann

    September 17, 2012

    True…but you can parody a brand.

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    • Kelby Hartson Carr

      September 17, 2012

      Unless it is trade libel…

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    • Candace Lindemann

      September 27, 2012

      Kelby Hartson Carr – Just saw your reply – weird how things are notified or not on Facebook. I do agree that what NickMom was /is doing was / is slimy. I just think in this one particular case they were probably legally okay…which is not to play down your rights to your brand or all the work you put in at all. And, of course, I'm not a lawyer. Just my understanding as a lay-person…

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  48. Charlene DeLoach

    September 18, 2012

    I saw those trademark comments & agree with you Kelby. And said as much on RM post though I'm not a TM attorney. It has to do with common law trademark: the use of & building of a brand over years, like you have so wonderfully done.

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  1. Shame on NickMom09-14-12
  2. Wherein I Emerge from a Mom Funk - The Laughing Stork09-14-12
  3. Photos: When to Share, and When to Find Your Own09-15-12
  4. Content Rules — Centsible Life09-15-12
  5. Protecting Your Blog Content: The NickMom Blog Controversy - Tips & instructions for beginning and intermediate bloggers.09-17-12
  6. Blog Trademarks, Image Infringement and NickMom | Charlene Chronicles09-18-12
  7. NickMom uses bloggers’ images without permission09-20-12
  8. NickMom: The New Stranger Danger, Taking Your Child’s Pictures and Why You Should Care |09-20-12
  9. And then I told mom - GOODEness Gracious09-20-12
  10. Stolen Words, Photos, and the NickMom Fiasco | The Angel Forever09-21-12
  11. Asheville mom blogger takes on Nickelodeon for ripping off content | Ashvegas09-21-12
  12. When Content Theft Gets Personal | Plagiarism Today10-01-12
  13. Blog Trademarks, Image Infringement and NickMom07-11-13

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