I had hoped that I would never need to make a story like this public, but since some misunderstandings appear to be more difficult than others to sort out, I will do it this time.
I have been accused by a blog owner for stealing her content and re-publishing it on another blog. I won’t post the URL to the other blog since it is obviously a spam blog, but I would want all of you to read the e-mail correspondence posted by the original content owner. She has decided that I am the owner of the spam blog, or at the very least, personally responsible for the blog – which is of course not true.
So why would anyone get the idea that I run a spam blog? Well, simply because the spam blog is using the WP-Andreas09 theme by Ainslie Johnson, and my name can be found in the footer of the theme. The original content owner has completely ignored the fact that there are hundreds of thousands of blogs and websites out there that I should be “responsible of” since my name can be seen on them. This is a common misunderstanding, but it has never gone as far as getting out as a public story where my reputation and my business is threatened and where I am being called a criminal.
The simple fact is that I am a website template designer, something that anyone can find out by spending a minute on my website. The original andreas09 template is easy to find, and there is a text on my contact page that explicitly explains that I am not the right person to contact about other sites than andreasviklund.com.
This kind of misunderstandings happens to everyone who works with website template or WordPress theme design. I have done my best to avoid it, and I continue to answer about 10 e-mails every week from people who have mistaken me for being the owner of a site that uses my template designs. I am sure that this story will be sorted out soon as well, as every similar misunderstanding has been. But I can’t help feeling annoyed about having to spend working time on situations like this just because people who get their content stolen doesn’t spend a few minutes on basic research to make sure that they are attacking the right person before they go into attack-mode. That is just rude.
Edit: For further information, see the comment from signature DWK (who is the content owner) and my replies in the this post. The legal threats came after I wrote those replies, and after I sent an e-mail telling DWK that I had replied to her comment. I sent that e-mail to make sure that the misunderstanding was sorted out.
Edit 2: Situation solved and sortened out as for my part. I will not write more about this specific situation on the blog since it is none of my business, but I will very likely write more about this kind of misunderstandings in the future since it affects a lot of template designers every day.
This article was written by Andreas Viklund
Web designer, writer and the creative engine behind this website. Author of most of the free website templates, along with some of the WordPress themes.