Duane Lester of All American Blogger recently published a hyperlocal post concerning the "serious shortcomings" of the sheriff's department in Holt Country, Missouri — his home state. Of the piece, Lester wrote: "It was significant to me in that it was the first article I wrote utilizing training I received at BlogConCLT and it was very local."
A few days after he showed the article to his friends from Holt County, one of them mentioned to him that the hometown paper of Oregon, Holt County's county seat, "finally covered the story." Upon opening a copy of The Oregon Times Observer, Lester was surprised to find the story had not so much been "covered" as lifted verbatim from his site.
After consulting with a lawyer via Twitter, Lester drafted a letter to the paper detailing his grievances, wrote up an invoice for the amount he felt he was owed for his services, printed out the two documents, and headed down to Oregon, Missouri, to discuss the matter with the Times Observer's publisher and managing editor, Bob Ripley.
Oh, and he brought along a camera just in case things got testy. Which they very much did.
"It's to demonstrate the importance of standing up for yourself and your rights, regardless," Lester writes in response to readers asking why he penned a post about his ordeal. "It's to show how to protect your work from those who would steal it. It's not hard when you are right."