OH! HELL! NO!

Someone who reads this blog sent me an email this morning with a link to this site. She was freaked out because at the bottom of the page there was a picture of MY CHILDREN used in a “testimonial.”
OH HELL NO.
I emailed “Ashley” and asked her to remove my photo immediately.
No response as of yet.
There is also a picture of an ultrasound with the words “girl parts” written in Paint. that I KNOW I saw on a blog recently but I can’t remember which one.
Anyone have any advice how to go about this if she does not respond to my email?
I would greatly appreciate it.
**edited to add**
She responded to the email and took the picture down.
Now, I hope it’s only a matter of time before the whole thing disappears…

99 thoughts on “OH! HELL! NO!

  1. Tiff

    If that photo isn’t removed immediately, I say we track them down the poster and kick them in the shins. Repeatedly. Then spit in their eyes. Also, let’s give the company lots of bad press. Dirtbags.
    I’m sorry you’ve been used like that. It really sucks.

    Reply
  2. clickmom

    Listen Shelley,
    I know some kid hackers who could totally mess up her site for you. They could put some really fun photos in there instead of your kids. Like baboons or something.

    Reply
  3. AlwaysCurious

    OK 1- crazy!
    2- Who would believe that was for real? I read through the site and she has BASIC facts wrong. Like saying XX = boy and XY = girl. This is basic 7th grade science.
    Let clickmom’s friends f up her site :)

    Reply
  4. A'Dell

    OMG! Some people have no ethics. Find you a lawyer friend and send a stern letter. Or, better yet, call the local news station and they can do a story about “Online Privacy! It could happen to you!!” They always seem to love stuff like that.

    Reply
  5. Lindy

    Oh no way Sister. Talk about an invasion of privacy. Thats a total no-no. Anyone who wants to use your pics should ask your permission. Especially of your children. And did I read right? A few posts back you said working your new job into a schedule? How did I miss the new job thing?

    Reply
  6. SusieJ

    Did the woman even apologize? Did she think you would send her a comment saying, “Thanks?” Unbelievable.
    And, I have 4 boys, and never looked back on that one. How do you think it makes the boys someone does have feel when the Mom whines about how much she wished he had been a girl?! I LOVE my boys. I would not change them for anything — and I make sure they know it.

    Reply
  7. tiffany

    that’s crazy. i just saw a similar thing on cnn.com today…some 16 year old girl had her picture stolen off of flickr and used in a massive ad campaign for verizon in australia.
    it’s terrible…and the company is trying to claim that the picture belongs to the public because it was posted on the internet…still, i think it should matter that she is a minor. as are your kids, obviously.
    but, damn. now i’m like ‘if Y had to have a picture of her kids stolen, it’s too bad it wasn’t stolen by a huge company like verizon. they must have tons of money, and then she coulc get whatever house and whatever van she wants. also…infinite bean dip.’

    Reply
  8. Karly

    If you go to that site and zoom in on the picture of “Dr. Michael Smith” his lab coat actually says Dr. Michael Boyle MD. So…fake doc too. Not that I’m shocked, but wow. You’d think she’d at least use the name on the coat.

    Reply
  9. Katie

    Well, that destroys “Ashley’s” credibility if she’s making up testimonials and stealing photos of happy kids off the internet! I hope anyone who is tempted to buy her (load of absolute rubbish) book reads this first and sees her for the fraud she is.
    And what her deal anyway? Quoting from her site:
    1) My Testimonials. I view my testimonials as My Word. (Illegitimate testimonials are against the law) That’s why I insisted on having some of my clients provide me with actual video proof of the success of my system!
    Hahhahahahahahaha!

    Reply
  10. Heather

    I say we definitely kill them in the shins, and I have removed any pictures of my kids and their friends from my fickr. How creepy and scary to think someone would steal a picture of your family. It could also be a very twisted compliment- they are cute. Still wrong though!

    Reply
  11. jen from boston

    You are fucking kidding me. Man, that is just such bullshit. is there internet/truth in advertising po-po you can call? too bad that site doesn’t allow comments, I’m sure they’d being getting a few courtesies right about now.
    Karly, nice catch on Mr. Michael Michael. I mean, make up your mind Dr. Michael Michaels.
    Still, upon further reflection, it’s not until you’ve been plagiarized on a swingers’ site (such as I have had the distinct honor) that you really have anything to bitch about. (OMG, U know I’m totally kidding, right? Right? I mean, your sitch is like a distant second).

    Reply
  12. Suebob

    That is totally creepy. But it just proves what you already knew: you have the world’s cutest kids and anyone in their right mind would want a family like yours.

    Reply
  13. Monet (aka birdsboss)

    Yeah i commented on flickr and shiat…that is ridiculous…something that really chaps my khakis…i am glad they took the pic of your family off…that is your family (g-unit and brubbers)

    Reply
  14. elizabethsheryl

    Wow. People are really insane/stupid.
    I know a girl online, on a weight-loss message board, who ON HER OWN lost 100+ pounds and found her before/after pictures on some horrible diet pill website. She was especially pissed since she worked damn hard to lose weight and not to mention those pills could kill people.
    I don’t want the government all up-in the internets because I like freedom of speech but there should be some sort of repercussion for this nonsense. Contact her host and get her website removed.

    Reply
  15. Kristie

    This does bring up a very real concern for those of us who use Flickr (or any kind of public sharing photo service) and have pictures of our families out there. I have a Flickr photostream on the top of my blog (because I love Y’s so much I blatantly wanted one of my own) and once, a girl went into my Flickr account (photostream pics have to be set to “public” in order to show up) and took a bunch of the photos of my oldest daughter, made a video for her birthday, set it to music, and posted it on YouTube.
    Her intention was sincerely nice, and thankfully she didn’t put anything but my daughter’s first name on it — no other identifying information. I wasn’t offended because she was someone I “knew” from the Internet, and she only did it as a nice birthday gesture, but it still bothered me to think it could be done.
    Maybe I want it both ways. I want to be able to use my own photos publically, but not have any Tom, Dick or Harry able to take them and use them as well.
    (sigh) I love/hate technology.

    Reply
  16. Bec

    If you can figure out who her webhost is you can contact them and say that she’s violating copyright which is usually one of any hosting company’s terms of service.

    Reply
  17. Not The Mama

    Wow, that is insane. It makes me so angry — and more than a little paranoid — when people steal photos like this. I don’t know flickr well (still learning) but I think there is a way to make the photo public but keep people from downloading it.

    Reply
  18. AmyM

    Wow. That is wrong. And scary.
    I don’t have many pictures of my kids online, but now I’m thinking I shouldn’t have any. Because you never know what they could be used for.
    Thankfully someone found this for you.

    Reply
  19. Melissa

    I read the bottom testimony too and it talks about her TWO girls and now they have a little boy, but the picture is of 3 little girls and a baby boy. My guess is that one is stolen as well. Good job Y!

    Reply
  20. Gry

    I do believe that pictures you take are copyrighted by you – no one has a legal right to take one of your pictures and distribute them/show them on their own website/profit from them unless you give explicit permission – or someone correct me if I’m wrong.
    But, of course, unless someone stumbles upon them by accident and recognizes them (like in your case) I guess there isn’t much you can do to protect your images, except don’t upload them to the net.
    I know I’d be really pissed if it happened to me, and I know the risks, but I still post pictures of my daughter online. SHE IS TOO CUTE, THE WORLD NEEDS HER CUTENESS!!*
    *of course same applies to G-unit!

    Reply
  21. Beth

    Whoah! Recently someone took one of my Flickr photos of *beads* to use as her blog and Flickr icon and I was affected enough that I asked for photo credit (and would’ve asked her to take it down if she didn’t give me credit — and she took it down regardless). So much worse when someone uses a photo of your kids.
    That said, there’s someone (and I know he’s not the only one) on Flickr who was collecting photos of little boys in his “Favorites” — and they were all photos of little boys either shirtless or naked. And yes, a photo of my little boy was among them. After that, I privatized many of my photos. Of course, the chances of someone finding my kid from an online photo are fairly slim, but I just hated the idea of someone looking at my kid’s image in a perverted way. Flickr was no help whatsoever, and saw nothing wrong with the guy’s collection, but the people I emailed to let them know their kids’ photos were in that collection were squicked enough to block the guy. It’s a gut thing.

    Reply
  22. Tara

    Just for future reference, the photographs you take are immediately protected under federal copyright laws. You do not have to do anything else to have that copyright protection – once the work is in a fixed form (i.e. you put pen to paper and create a drawing) you own the copyright to that work. Your ownership of that copyright prevents others from copying that material, creating new material based upon your work, publically displaying that material or distributing that material. You can also chose to register your copyright – but it is not necessary, it just expands your protection under the law somewhat.
    Also – many states have laws that prohibit the use of a person’s name and/or likeness for commerical purposes. In New York, it is a misdemeanor to do so.
    And Hi. Love your blog. Oh – and I am a lawyer – specialize in all this intellectual property stuff. I am glad the whole thing got resolved, but just wanted to give you a bit of info in case it ever happens again.
    Thanks for writing!

    Reply
  23. Shelley

    Ahh…that ridiculous and angering. It’s utter bullshit, in all honesty. I guess a fake book with fake science…should have a fake doctor…and fake pictures and fake stories.
    I am going to do that, I am going to write a book called, “10 Easy Steps to Meeting Brad Pitt and Making him LUV You!” I will put fake testimonials of people who posted pics of themselves with good ol’ Brad. I could make millions! *grumbles*
    Much love,

    Reply
  24. ben

    The kid in Texas that wound up in an ad in a bus stop in Australia?
    Her picture was taken and posted to Flickr by her camp counselor, who chose the Creative Commons option that the picture could be used as long as it was attributed, which I think it was. In other words, the kid should be pissed at her counselor for posting her picture, not some marketing genius (heh) who decided to use it.

    Reply
  25. Chag

    That is seriously messed up. I’m sure the other photos in the testimonials are used without permission as well.
    Glad you got her to take it down.

    Reply
  26. Blake

    Ooh! Dr. Michael Smith offered his own imprimateur to the gender selection secret! And unlike most doctors, Dr. Michael Smith walks around in white lab coats to show how sterile and scientifically minded he is! In fact, Dr. Michael Smith bears an uncanny resemblance to cheap medical stock art, 1 for $1!

    Reply
  27. Ginny

    How did she think she could get away with that, given your legions of fans, Y? Thank goodness people are looking out for you! I’m glad I’m too inept to post pics of my kids, ’cause people are crazy!!

    Reply
  28. Holly

    Just thought I would let you know that if you click on the show authenticity button, it comes up as the emails these people “supposedly” sent, and Shelley’s is shelleyfox04@yahoo.com if you wanted to write her and ask about your photo. To see if she sent it or if it’s Ashleys doing. She “sent” the email on january 12 2006. just sayin”

    Reply
  29. Jade

    Goll I had a hard time trying to find a place to comment on here! And you sure do get a lot of them! I rarely get comments unless there from my MM friends.. Thank you for your comment on my Blog at Typepad, and I’m glad I’m not the only one out there who gets excited about laundry!! LOL!!

    Reply
  30. Susan

    I wish we could track down that doctor and alert him that his picture’s being used. I did a Google images & web search on Michael Boyle MD but didn’t come up with him specficially. DARN!

    Reply
  31. Jen from Boston

    Have you heard about the Google/Okrut mess?
    I am now tagging everything kid “friends and family”. This pisses me off that I feel I have to do this, but enough is enough. I would rather not take the risk.

    Reply
  32. Kymberlyn

    I had something similar happen with a photo of my children. I was so angry and upset, and the worst part is the person behind it could not understand why. Afterall, I put the picture of my children on my blog. The issue is not the fact that people on the internet can see my children. The issue is that THEY ARE MY CHILDREN. Not to sound like crazy George, but when it comes to my children, I’m “the decider.” I’ll determine what gets posted and where it gets posted. If someone wants photos of children they have 2 choices. Take pictures of their own, or pay a buck to istockphoto. It’s really that simple.

    Reply
  33. Sheryl

    At the risk of angering you and your readers I would suggest NOT putting hundreds of pictures of your kids, cute as they may be, on the internet for public consumption. It frankly just seems like common sense, and you’re lucky this is all your photo was used for. But then, who’s to say that is all? This is just one unauthorized use you found out about.

    Reply
  34. Y

    That doesn’t make me angry, Sheryl.
    (I hope you weren’t TRYING to make me angry–I mean, the “common sense” thing and the fact that you’ve been sitting on my blog for 20 minutes waiting for a response suggest that perhaps you were, but I could totally be misreading that!-)
    I think it’s a personal choice and I’ve chosen to post my pictures on flickr. I’ve taken measures to make sure they’re protected, but obviously its not good enough.
    I do take issue with your “public consumption” comment because they are NOT there for public consumption in the form of STEALING and using them to defraud people out of money.

    Reply
  35. Sheryl

    No, I was not trying to make you angry. I enjoy your blog and read frequently. But having followed your blog and others I have noted that a dissenting opinion is typically met with disdain and therefore I usually keep any such opinions to myself. But I should not have made that assumption about you and your readers and I apologize.
    I was not sitting here at my computer waiting for you to react, by the way. I stepped away from the computer to help my son with his homework. Obviously I’m not the only one who doesn’t give others enough credit.

    Reply
  36. Y

    You know what? I’m sorry for the snotty reply.
    I have a few people who are assholes and live to annoy me, and usually I just ignore (I honestly do not get mad at dissenting opinions, but I can’t stand assholes. There IS a difference.)
    Anyway, your point is a valid one and trust me, I struggle with whether to take my pictures down or not.
    I just hate that the assholes of the world ruin it for everyone, you know?
    Again, sorry for being a little snot.

    Reply
  37. elizabethsheryl

    There are thousands and thousands of internet users who DON’T steal pictures and use them for financial gain/without consent. If a community as a whole decides to abide by rules and MAKE them/enforce them, then there is no justification that can be made about the illegal act. Yes, people are going to abuse copyright laws but it doesn’t mean others should refrain from doing something that makes them happy (photography, sharing photos in a community setting) just because a small number of people choose to have no scruples.

    Reply
  38. Paula

    Oh crap, that is NOT good. I would be so pissed off too. I have a slide of pics of my baby niece on my myspace page and after reading this, I’m going to make my page private for family and friends only but who knows, it’s probably too late! Some people are just too weird!
    Sorry that happened to you, Y.

    Reply
  39. gigi

    I have a good idea to stop this happening again, don’t post pictures of your kids online! this time it was innocent enough, next time it could be paedophiles, you are insane and selfish to subject your kids to that.

    Reply
  40. Laural

    That is insane!!! I’m so glad you found it and got it off. I hope this isn’t inappropriate to say – but now that it’s down and everything you can take it as a compliment that your kids were so beautiful they were used in ads. (I get the whole without your permission thing though)

    Reply
  41. NTE

    It’s so horrible that this happened to you – but I’m so glad you got it taken down right away. I’m so worried about things like this happening, b/c even though I post anonymously, I still post pictures. The idea of people just taking them and using them is sickening. I’m definitely on the fence here – stuck between don’t let a few bad apples ruin it for everybody and terror of what could happen if I leave them up. Grr…

    Reply
  42. Incognito

    I’m sure that my “name” makes sense, eh? That affects you in a place in your gut that you never knew you had. I’m so so sorry that happened to you. I was told that putting a “watermark” on all of your pictures helps with that? Does anyone know? I’ve never tried it and not quite sure how to. Man – that just stinks. Sorry Y.

    Reply
  43. SJ aka The Simple Family

    This lady is a creep. But you know that. And a joke.
    PLEASE, PEOPLE. CHECK WHAT YOUR CREATIVE COMMONS IS ON FLICKR. I KNOW TOO MANY PEOPLE WHO HAVE HAD THINGS STOLEN BY SITES/COMPANIES THAT DON’T WANT TO PAY AND JUST GO THROUGH FLICKR.
    Also, while we’re at it, make sure that you aren’t posting too many ahem, photos of your kids that others might like. Yes, little Suzy looks cute in the bathtub and I’m sure some of the child “admirers” will enjoy it as well.
    PS: I once had someone find all my pregnancy photos and then start their own “SJ” flickr account with them.

    Reply
  44. Abra Leah

    Creepy picture theiving aside, there is also no “Raleigh, NC women’s clinic” and as such probably not a real Dr. Smith (as someone else posted). Not to mention all the grammatical and spelling errors…
    So sorry happened to you!

    Reply
  45. jennifer

    This comes up at a funny moment, I was just reading some emails send from a mommy on my homeschooling loop that suggests putting watermarks on your photos.

    Reply
  46. Kris

    Um, I have a question. ::raising hand::
    Does anyone REALLY think that a doctor would have a yahoo email address and use it for business? I mean seriously. Are people THAT stupid?
    (They must’ve altered the photo again because Dr. now doesn’t show a name tag that I can see.)
    Bastards.

    Reply
  47. Dee

    that’s totally effed up of someone to do, but really, can you blame him for wanting to make your kids an example of a happy family? they’re so cute and wholesome looking…
    (if this comment came through more than once, i apologize. my ‘puter is acting up.)

    Reply
  48. clumsyraine

    If you click on “Click Here For Proof of Authenticity” next to each of those testimonials you come to this page: http://www.pickthegenderofyourbaby.com/testimonials.htm And it shows “authentic” emails from Dr. Smith and a few others. The domain names for the good doctor and the second email are generic advertisement domains. The yahoo user IDs in the next two don’t show up as even being registered with yahoo! What a scam artist…

    Reply
  49. Susan

    For some reason I am really preoccupied with this. (Yes, I’ve commented before!)
    I really want this ASHLEY chick to get busted. What a scam artist!
    My guess is that isn’t HER in that first picture with the baby, either. Probably yet another stolen photo.
    What a L-O-S-E-R.

    Reply
  50. Bonita in Pink

    OMG’osh… that’s horrible!
    I’m so sorry to hear that this happened. To you and to everyone else! Geez.
    That’s why I’m a bit private about my photos now… a lot more than I was before. Now that I’m having a baby, I want to be able to blog about her but I think I’m going to create a private blog for her. For my friends and family only. It sucks you can’t share with the whole world and that people like this have to ruin it for everyone but… you just can’t be too careful anymore.
    =(

    Reply
  51. erin

    just thought you should know…you’re the only one of my blogs badass enough to be blocked by my workplace’s productivity censor.
    (a little good news to make up for the psychos you put up with)

    Reply
  52. Kris

    HAH! Jen, “Ashley” has been owned! LOL!
    And one of the things on her page say “Any scammer can make up fake testimonials. That’s why I insisted on having some of my clients provide me with actual video proof of the success of my system!”
    BWA HA HAAAAAAAAAA…..
    Someone seriously needs to kick the shit out of Matt. And get the FBI involved. But kick the shit out of him first.

    Reply
  53. Abra Leah

    She also changed the “testimonial” about the “2″ daughters to “3″ daughters to match the picture, but when you click on the authenicity link the “orignial” email still says “2″ daughters.
    Aren’t there internet fraud services that she can be reported to?

    Reply
  54. patois

    I’m late to the “party” here, but holy shit! I’ve got to hide this from my husband, who already bitches and moans about too much of our lives out there.

    Reply
  55. Kay

    While I think your kiddo’s are so cute that who wouldn’t want to claim them, I find it creepy and disconcerting that someone would do that.
    Then again, hey, she thought your kids were pretty I mean, who would steal ugly kids pics? LOL

    Reply
  56. petite mommy

    I have had this happen too many times to count and what’s even worse is that many of them hot link the photos. I try to put an ugly looking copyright across some of the photos but that just ruins the photos. I just wish there weren’t so many crazies out there. They ruin it for everyone!

    Reply
  57. Angella

    I totally forgot about this post when drafting my list od people who have been wronged!
    Because there are SO MANY!
    I wish I could leave a flaming bag of poop on every Creeplor’s doorstep.
    UG!

    Reply
  58. Karen (Misc Mum)

    Golly Gosh – that would completely freak me out!!! I’m so glad it’s been resolved, but now I go to wonder if/how/why/when my own photos will get mishandled in such a way…… yukko.

    Reply

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