Real Life Issues

Simply Who, Exposing the Full Story Behind the Infringement of my Safe Space on the Internet

Simply sharing the (and my) truth with you all, bear with me because this will be a long one. If you can recall on February 17, I wrote a blog about remaining authentic. In that post, I weighed heavily on not sharing what prompted it and opted to go against mentioning the contributing factor at hand.

I didn’t realize how much could change in just two weeks, but things have escalated quickly. In my promise to remain authentic to you all, I’m going to be extremely transparent on what is taking place right now with Simply Sevi and the infringement of my safe space.

Full disclosure, I will provide screenshots and links in regards to the incident at hand. Please do not contact this blogger for any sort of retribution on my behalf. We are all better than that. My main goal is to be transparent and honest, in order to move forward with this situation.

A few weeks ago, I discovered that a person had started to take a few pieces from my blog verbiage and add them to her own site. No big deal, they were just small snippets. What I decided upon is distancing myself from her personally and in the blog world. I also made the decision to write the Authenticity at its Finest post as sort of a “Hey, you can be your own person! You’re great!” After that, I let it go. I deleted this person from my personal Facebook – yes, this person was an acquaintance – and moved forward.

Mind you, I never addressed this person directly in regards to any of this. I didn’t see a need. In moving forward, I made a mental note to just keep a close eye on this person. Little did I know what I was in store for.

Simply Too Similar

On February 27, I went for a courtesy check, since it had been a little over a week since the authentic post. In my Google homepage, her old link was still up (www.acupofsocal.com) and I went to take a look.

This is where things simply get a little too weird and I had to come to terms with addressing it directly. Visiting this person’s blog, I realized that she had revamped her entire site and the look was familiar.

A little too familiar.

 

All screenshots are taken February 27, 2017.  This information may have changed by the publishing of this blog.

Panic and anger instantly set in and I went into scramble mode. Why and how was this happening to me? I am fully aware that I do not own “simply,” various fonts, or topics that I write about in this space. This was just too much of a coincidence to sit back idly. After talking with my close friends and gauging their reactions to this matter, I knew I needed to take further action. They helped me jump into action and I was able to send a preliminary action required communication email (sent February 27 at 4:09PM) to get the ball rolling.

Key points from the email:

This space is my intellectual property which is extremely important and a valuable asset that I am more than prepared to fight for.

Action needed to be taken on her end by March 1, 2017, to remove any trace that may cause confusion of my brand in comparison to hers.

I left it at that.

Simply Confused…

Simply Sevi launched at the beginning of the year, January 2, 2017, to be exact. The registration on my own domain became active December 30, 2016.

simply sevi whois

Simply Autumn just posted about their rebrand on February 24, 2017 (as seen below).

Well, Simply Autumn decided to post the following blog Be Original. Be Authentic. on February 28th. A link is provided to give context to see exactly what I am dealing with. Remember, I stated above that I did not mention or contact blogger directly until the email communication above.

Screenshots of Be Original. Be Authentic. post in case it is removed from site.

A few words on Simply Autumn

This has been time-consuming over the last few days. I attempted to solve this civilly with the email asking for action required in removing any traces of my identity from this “blog.” Unfortunately, those actions did not take place. Instead, this blog decided to further infringe upon my authenticity with their own comments on being original and authentic. I’m going to assume this was a nod to my own blog to let me know that they have been paying attention.

I find it heartbreaking that it’s become so hard for one to create their own identity on the internet. It’s quite sad that instead of owning up to taking it too far, this blogger decided that they would just put their own spin on it. This other “blog” is far from simply anything, it’s just plain simple. Thank you for reminding me how easy it can be to cloak a blog in lies and try to cover it up as “inspiration.” It shows what type of person we can easily become and start to feel sorry for.

Where to go with Simply Sevi from here?

Simply Sevi will continue as is. I have full plans to remain authentic and genuine as before. Stay with me. Grow with me. In turn, I want you to know that I value you and the connections we’ve made over these years. From Ware is the Vodka to Simply Sevi, I’ve been offering my quirky personality and meaningful thoughts in this space. This has been a place for all of us to contribute to being better versions of ourselves. Thank you for being here for me in my truth. You guys are the best!

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28 Comments

  • Reply Autumn

    I’m sorry you feel this way Sevi. It was never my intention to “copy” your blog. Honestly I thought your blog was still called “Ware is the Vodka.” To be completely honest. My recent post of authenticity wasn’t regarding you at all. It was a completely different scenario with a “friend” that literally would take a photo of me at the gym and crop my head off and use my photo. I have no problem with changing anything on my blog that you feel is too similar. A friend actually rebranded my blog for me because I felt like “A cup of socal” wasn’t in the right direction of my focus. I realized soon I prefer to focus on health, instead of what SO Cal has to offer. Like my fitness journey back to health. And recipes.

    I will take full blame if you feel that I am trying to infringe on your blog. I would have never have guessed to check your blog before launching. Some friends were helping me come up with “catchy” categories titles for my menu. It would be the same as having “about” on the menu as everyone else’s website. If I am making sense? My name came from a blogging facebook group and someone mentioned simply autumn. It got a bunch of likes and I went with it. I thought it was classy and “simple” enough to switch over.

    My bio was written not knowing how similar it was to yours. That I have no problem brainstorming and changing, since it is bothering you so much. We go pretty far back Sevi. You should have just reached out to me direct and confronted me. Or bring to my attention what was going on. It was never my intention to cause this stir between us. I do agree though. Very similar! What are the freaking odds?!

    I would screen shot what my post was referring to but the “friend” blocked me on everything to show you what I’m talking about. It was straight cray cray. Let me know what you would like me to do to “fix” this issue.

    March 3, 2017 at 2:55 pm
    • Reply Autumn

      Oh and I just finished reading your whole side of the story as well. I never received that email! I swear.

      March 3, 2017 at 2:57 pm
      • Reply Autumn

        Also, On my facebook newsfeed your blog page showed up after I already wrote and published this post about Authenticity. I loved what you had to say and copied your quotes about authenticity and inserted them into my blog BUT linked it to your site because I didn’t want to “copyright”. It wasn’t directed to you in a negative way, just how I really liked what you wrote about it as well, since I was going through a similar situation that week. If you would prefer I move those links, I’ll gladly do so.

        March 3, 2017 at 3:09 pm
        • Reply Sevi Ware

          I am currently working on responding to your email.

          March 3, 2017 at 6:11 pm
          • Autumn

            Thank you for replying.

            March 3, 2017 at 6:18 pm
  • Reply Whitney Antwine

    Sevi – You are a HUGE inspiration both on a personal and blogger-professional level. Keep on pushing through and giving us the Sevi we know and love. Your content IS original, authentic, creative and everything in between. Looking forward to more of your quirk!

    March 3, 2017 at 3:23 pm
    • Reply Sevi Ware

      Thank you so much for your kind words, Whitney! I’m definitely going to keep doing what I do here on Simply Sevi.

      March 5, 2017 at 4:10 pm
  • Reply Stephanie

    So proud of you for exposing the truth, Sevi. We’re living in crazy times where narcissists attempt to gaslight the public with “alternative facts” and digital literacy is becoming imperative. You are one-of-a-kind, and it wouldn’t be in your nature to allow injustice to continue without speaking out — it’s only fitting that you say something when you’ve become the victim. A truly authentic person would own up to the error of their ways instead of digging themselves further into a hole of well-documented falsehoods. I can only shake my head at Autumn’s pathetic comment and irrational excuses above, and resign myself in the knowledge that any attempt to reason with them would be futile, because they are clearly not in their right mind. Love you!

    March 3, 2017 at 4:40 pm
    • Reply Sevi Ware

      I LOL’d at the “alternative facts!” I’m definitely going to keep doing what I do to remain as authentic and transparent as possible. It just sucks that this whole situation has come down to this, but I feel so much better having it all off my chest and out in the open.

      March 5, 2017 at 4:12 pm
  • Reply Stephanie

    P.S. Autumn, if you’re still lurking– hello from Sevi’s web developer friend who has logged your IP address and knows that everything you’ve said about not knowing about Sevi’s rebrand or visiting her site before you “created” (read: copied) her sidebar content is a blatant lie. Peace!

    March 3, 2017 at 4:44 pm
    • Reply Autumn

      Sorry that you are reading it all wrong. Also, on that note I will bring this up to my relative who is in fact a lawyer. If I do see any hacking of my IP address, messing with it, and interfering with my privacy, I will be taking legal action immediately. Not claiming that you are, but only stating. I totally appreciate you taking the time and standing for your friend’s page, as I would do the same in this unfortunate situation. This was a complete misunderstanding to begin with. I have indeed found the email Sevi is referring to. It is an email address I do not check day to day or even go through it often. It’s only linked to my blog, not for personal daily use. Anyways, I have taken the time and addressed all the confusion and will be taking action for the areas that indeed do look VERY similar, pretty much the same. I’m not blind or naive and will fully take responsibility for some way “copying” her unintentionally. I’m definitely in no way playing victim. I will admit I was taken back and clueless until this post. I don’t really see the need to keep going back and forth but I would like to defend myself in this stupid mistake I made, without even realizing it. I do take full responsibility regardless.

      March 3, 2017 at 5:29 pm
      • Reply Stephanie

        Oh bless your heart. I would never compromise my integrity to sink to your unethical levels. If you were an experienced blogger like Sevi and our network, you’d realize that your IP address is logged by WordPress, and analytics software does the same for website visits. *Eyeroll*

        You should have just acknowledged your mistake, gave proper attribution to Sevi for inspiring your brand, and moved the heck along.

        March 3, 2017 at 5:45 pm
        • Reply Autumn

          I’m sorry I have offended you, any other readers, but most importantly Sevi. You’re VERY right about not being experienced with web address and so on. That is why I had help with my blog setting up, even the bio part. I’m new to wordpress (obviously). I did have an old blog years ago on blogspot but was just not into it at the time. Of course, I made some tweaks on my end, but no, I didn’t realize how similar (same) our wording was in the bio, until today. Just because someone visits another website doesn’t mean I payed attention to her bio. Honestly, call me dumb or whatever you want, I didn’t even realize she changed her name of her blog! I would just scroll and read an article and move on. I do acknowledged my mistakes. Regardless if you believe I knew about Sevi’s page or not, I have stated several times now that I am responsible for this completely INNOCENT mistake. She is an inspiration! That should be noted. You don’t know me at all or my intentions. You are simply defending your friend, which is understandable. Telling me to move on but commenting is an oxymoron on your part. This was a learning experience and I take to heart.

          March 3, 2017 at 5:59 pm
          • Stephanie

            I think you’re confused about the definition of oxymoron. Saying you’re responsible for an innocent mistake is an oxymoron. I think you were probably trying to say that I’m being hypocritical, and to that I would say… I never claimed that I needed to move on personally– it was advice directly for you. Sevi is my friend, and this is her space… I have no intention of backing down to your cowardly responses.

            March 3, 2017 at 6:07 pm
  • Reply Nicole

    Hey Sevi,

    I am so saddened after reading this post and the first few comments left. There is nothing in the blogging world that’s scarier than having someone copy your work, not credit you for it and feeling like there’s nothing you can do about it. A couple months after I launched my blog, a local “new blogger” emailed me asking if I’d want to meet up at some point. When I went to look at her site, I found that she’d directly copied my about and contact pages. Like straight up, just changed the name. Obviously, I was infuriated {and a little scared that there was nothing I could do} and sent an email similar to the one you did. The gal came back and claimed that a friend had written the pages for her and she “never” knew they were copied, *insert ok sure, Jan gif*
    I sincerely hope that Autumn stops copying your work and I’m sorry you have to deal with this.
    Lots of love!

    March 3, 2017 at 5:00 pm
    • Reply Sevi Ware

      It’s so disheartening to hear that something similar happened to you. It’s so scary and really makes you feel just so defeated when you can’t do much. I’m really hoping that my email response to her is enough for her to realize why this post came along to begin with. Thank you so much for all of your support.

      March 5, 2017 at 4:18 pm
  • Reply Autumn

    I promise I will be sure to not make this careless error again. I’m sorry you went through that. That is what and why I even posted about authenticity to begin with, was because I am too going through this as well, with a recent friend I just met only a month ago. Got her into blogging and didn’t realize she would copy literally everything down to my photos. One in particular is my dog… But apparently I’m just as guilty, and so embarrased! I will be sure to change what needs to be changed asap! Definitely have learned my lesson. I just wish there was a way to not make the same mistake, without even knowing I was doing it! Ugh. I do in fact terrible! I’ve known Sevi when our husband were deployed and she has helped me in so many ways in the past from depression. I just wish I saw the darn email before all this confusion and innocent mistake.

    March 3, 2017 at 5:41 pm
  • Reply Ashley

    As long as you keep giving good reads, here I will be!

    March 3, 2017 at 9:15 pm
    • Reply Sevi Ware

      Thank you so much, Ashley! I really appreciate your support. I definitely plan on continuing this blog the same way!

      March 5, 2017 at 4:25 pm
  • Reply Suzy

    Hey girl, We’ve come a long way from RLT! So proud of you and your creative space. People think it’s no big deal to copy other’s work but they don’t realize how time, effort, and brain power you put into every word and therefore they don’t understand what it means to protect that intellectual property. Stand strong and don’t let it get you down. Just shows you that you have created something special 😉

    March 4, 2017 at 12:32 am
    • Reply Sevi Ware

      Thank you so much, Suzy! For the last 4 years Ware is the Vodka and Simply Sevi has been my safe haven on the internet that I’ve written about some of my most personal and trying times. It’s so disheartening for someone to just swoop in and take advantage of this space. I’m looking forward to moving past this and continuing what I’ve built.

      March 5, 2017 at 4:27 pm
  • Reply Leah Frazier

    Read the copyright laws girlfriend. They don’t care if it’s an “innocent” mistake. You’re still liable. It’s a strict offense.

    March 4, 2017 at 5:09 am
  • Reply Christa

    I see a lot of ineffectual backpedaling going on. Good for you, Sevi, for standing your ground and standing up for yourself with integrity.

    Imitation IS the highest form of flattery but just like a knockoff handbag, imitators will never be more than a cheap, substandard copy of the original. Keep being the wonderful, brilliant, original you!

    March 4, 2017 at 9:29 pm
    • Reply Sevi Ware

      Thank you so much for your support, Christa! I made sure to respond to all of the information in the comments above to make sense of the information that has been presented. I’ve said my peace and plan on sharing an update later this week and be completely finished with this situation.

      I’m definitely going to stick with sharing all of my originality on this space!

      March 5, 2017 at 4:32 pm
  • Reply Heather

    I commented on Facebook but I’ve been thinking about this since you posted and it makes me so angry for you! You are one of the most authentic and genuine people (and bloggers!) I know, so to have this happen to you is so heartbreaking. I think the backpedaling happening is so silly and transparent. This is so much more than unintentional copying. For her to claim she had no idea but also name check your authenticity post in HER authenticity post? It’s kind of mind blowing.

    Anyway, you consistently have one of my favorite spaces on the internet and it shines through. Stealing your content is so wrong, but you will always come out on top because you are legit the things you stand for, not a copy. <3

    March 6, 2017 at 2:47 pm
  • Reply Heather

    (I might have double commented but fingers crossed this goes through only once!)

    I commented on your page on Facebook when you posted this weekend but I could not stop thinking about this. You are such and authentic and genuine person (and blogger!), to have someone blatantly steal from you and claim it’s a mistake is mind blowing. She even name checks you authenticity post in hers. Girl what? You have always had one of my favorite spaces on the internet and this makes me so angry for you. Just own up to your mistakes and apologize, the excuses feel so hollow.

    Sending you all kinds of love and good vibes Sevi <3

    March 6, 2017 at 2:52 pm
  • Reply Moving Forward with Simply Sevi, The Final Follow Up of the Simply Who Situation | Simply Sevi

    […] the original blog post, Autumn did comment and respond to the email that was sent to clarify the situation. I responded […]

    March 10, 2017 at 7:04 am
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