11 January 2010

Stop thief!

I was doing some Google research this morning trying to find information about a château that is not far south of where we live. You can see it from the road, but it's privately owned and not open to the public.

One of the Google search results turned up a blog post with a picture of the château in it. I scrolled through it and paused on a couple of the other photos in it. Those look familiar, I thought. And then there was a photo that I knew was mine. This was not a blog I'd ever seen before.

A first glimpse of the Château de l'Estang

It turned out that somebody named Scott S. had republished one my my blog posts and all the pictures. It was not attributed to me at all. Here's a link. And here's a link to my post, the one he lifted. The funny thing is that his post containing my text and photos is back-dated to 2006. My original was posted in January 2008. So far, I haven't found any more of my posts on Scott's blog, but he seems to have lifted posts from other blogs as well.

An unpaved road through the forest near Orbigny

I think I might know who is he is, actually. He lives in North Carolina and used to write a food blog. We were in touch for a while. Then he and his blog disappeared. Scott in Durham, if it's you, can you leave me a comment or send an e-mail? And maybe give me a credit for the post of mine you re-published?

Getting closer now, with a better view

At any rate, I didn't find much information about the château, pictures of which decorate this post. It's called the Château de l'Estang. It dates from the 15th and 16th centuries and it's near the village of Orbigny (pop. 750), on the far eastern edge of the old Touraine province, 10 miles south of Saint-Aignan. There's nothing much else in that area. It's just a fine château sitting out in the middle of the country. People live in it, I think.

The view of the Château de l'Estang
from the paved road outside Orbigny

I wish the owners would open up places like this to the public once in a while. The same applies to the Château de Saint-Aignan, which is also privately owned and never open for public tours of any kind. It's a shame.

A close-up of the Château de l'Estang
that is stitched together from two pictures I took

The more I look at Scott S.'s blog, the more I think it might have been a test site to see how well posts from other blogs would be imported. I don't know. And by the way, all the photos in this post date from January 10, 2006. Be assured that now in January 2010, the Château de l'Estang is still there.


  1. How do you feel about this robbery, Ken - you don't seem too upset about it ?

    I had a stats gadget on my blog for a while that told me whereabouts in the world visitors were from, which was very interesting, also how much was being copied. I was amazed that at least one picture every day was being copied by someone, somewhere.

    On the one hand I was quite flattered but on the other, being a person who was brought up to ask before taking anything, I was slightly miffed.

    I switched the gadget off.

  2. I know how you feel, Ken - photos of mine have been appearing on some of the "official" villages of France websites. It made me cross enough to send emails asking that the photo be removed, but I am not sure what you can do if the "borrower" doesn't respond.

    I would have been flattered if they had asked - it's not as if we are difficult to get in touch with.

  3. It's ironic that the post includes your photo of the sign saying, "Propriété privé", with your comment, "It's pretty obvious that you're not supposed to walk down this path." That's right, Scott S.! You're not supposed to walk down this path of thievery (with the "bready" lady *MDR")

    Good (unintentional) detective work, Ken :)

    (p.s. This replaces the comment I just deleted, in which there were some typos... and my verification word is refed)

  4. Unfortunately, I think this happens a lot.

  5. thats terrible - what can he gain from such theft?? my wife writes a very nice blog and would hate to see her hit as well. I know you writers spend a lot of time publishing a nice blog

    Ken - was revisiting your trip to Salers as part of my planning for our trip to Auvergne this May. I did a mileage check from our gite and it is a 2:45 hr drive!!!! I wanted to fit in a town visit and 3 castle stops during the day - this now seems well unrealistic to get back home the same day.

    maybe we could overnight it and return the next day to our gite or pass.

    would you think other places nearer to our gite would be just as interesting and offering the same regional food specialties as the Salers area? thank you

  6. The online publishing world is full of thieves now. I've seen an article that I had written for my music blog adapted and turned into a special by a very well known weekly magazine publisher.

    If the château is listed as a national monument/heritage site then they need to open up the grounds to the public once per year. (though its optional to open up the actual château building). They are not always a splendid on the inside as they appear from their elaborate facades.....

  7. Guilty!!!! I tried the link but it was "broken". Mauvaise conscience?
    I bet your blog is 1,000 times better than his anyway. Maybe you should be flattered after all.

  8. Ugh. I, too, am surprised by your lack of rancor. I am heartily annoyed on your behalf.

    Verification word is "pupee," which about sums up the situation.

  9. That is a beautiful chateau...one lovely enough to just drive by and see from the road. We are staying in the area this summer for a month and plan to seek out lesser known chateaux such as this one even if we can only see them from the road.

    I will be putting this on our to do list.


  10. Alors, Ken, on a osé voler tes photos... Quel s*l*ud !!! Bises ;-) Marie qui trouve très joli ce château de l'Estang !

  11. Salut Marie, oui, mais c'est pas grave. J'espère que tu vas bien. Est-ce que tu l'as vu, ce château, en 2006 quand tu es venue nous rendre visite?

  12. Gosh, that sure is tacky. Imitation and sincere flattery aside, it's still pretty darned cheeky to publish someone else's stuff without permission or credit. Grrrr.

    Word verification: ofersu

  13. Ken,
    I am really enjoying your blog. They say immitation is the best sort of flattery - well at least I think the saying is something like that!!
    By the way your banner is wonderful, and is the kind of photograph I wish I had the imagination to frame. Don't worry I'm not tempted to copy it and pass it off as my own.....

  14. Shame on Scott. That's not imitation, it's pure thievery. Stealing everything, including your mention of Callie?! Beyond tacky.

  15. A whois search for the domain "spanbrowncape.com" gives the owner info as follows:
    Browne, Gwen
    1373 Lucky Duck Drive
    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15210
    United States


  16. Thanks, Daniel. I have no idea who Gwen Browne is. Maybe I'll send her an e-mail.


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