The hand that feeds

I haven’t seen Andy’s blog in awhile, he’s marked it private. Now it has come to my attention that Matt Sybil has taken his Mirror of Cartomancy blog down. I wonder if he did that because he’s going to publish, or if he was just being plagiarized and got fed up? (ETA: Plot twist alert! Read the comments!)

This blog had all the meanings of the Italian Sibilla cards on it, in detail, and with reversed meanings, too. There was enough there to save you the price of the big Venturi book. There was also information on wall cards and other reading techniques. It was all there.

I hope he did this because he is going to publish a book, but I suspect otherwise. (ETA: Oh, IRONY!) I don’t know for a fact yet, but I very strongly suspect he got ripped off. People steal this stuff like there’s no tomorrow. It’s why I don’t put things like information on card meanings on my blog anymore either. I have a little older informational stuff like that, that I left up. It gets the most hits, but I’ve had to send out many, many DMCA notices. I’ve found it on other peoples’ blogs as well as copied into documents and uploaded to facebook groups, and always without credit. This is why I only blog things like deck reviews and rants now. Adding more would just mean more work, in perpetuity.

These people never cease to amaze me, pretending they know how to read cards. What do they do when somebody actually believes that and starts asking them questions? All they’re doing is ruining things for everybody else. I put the information out there free, to be shared, but the idea is to link to my blog, not copy it without attribution and claim it as your own, or repost it claiming you “don’t remember where it came from.”

ATTN: Plagiarizers: Attribution, please, or you may find a DMCA notice posted publicly in your blog comments or on your facebook group for all to see. I will kick you for this. And you will lick my boot, because that’s the kind of spineless thing you are.

Eric Hoffer was damn smart and interesting, and still very relevant BTW. More here

Information on how to send a DMCA here Attn: Bloggers

13 responses »

  1. I’ve had the same over on my blog; some crazy stalker taking my content – so many DMCAs served she lost her account. It seems to be a problem again, after a fallow period, and it’s very sad that people still think it’s ok to use copypasta every where!

    Sad that good blogs are being shut down due to this :/

    I’m going to spam with a link to the group set up in order to help educate, inform and support in all instances of plagiarism; forgive me.

    • Thanks for linking to Pagans Against Plagiarism, and no need to apologise!
      I’d like to add that the group is not exclusively pagan. Everyone is welcome to join, and a lot of the stolen content that gets spotted and dealt with is not necessarily pagan – i.e., Tarot, etc.
      The more, the merrier – and the bigger the network, the more eyes we have.

      • As far as I know, we are the only group to be specifically focused on this subject too – some serial plagiarists have tried to give us a bad rep over the years, but we are still an active, growing group of creative people from all around the world.

        Sadly, we are needed :/

  2. People don’t realise the damage caused by these actions. Sadly I have decided enough is enough. Sent the fifth notice to Scribd in six months today!

    • Scribd is the worst of the worst. In order to download anything, they require that you upload something. People see things they want and upload things they might not otherwise. It’s always full to bursting with copyright violations, I’d venture to guess that pirated material makes up the bulk of what’s on there. That site needs to be shut down.

      Good to hear from you – hope all is well otherwise.

  3. I wonder if the blog was taken down. I know there is an Italian author who claimed that large portions of his book were translated almost word for word from the Italian, and posted on the Mirror of Cartomancy blog in English. That has been a recent problem with Lenormand too. It can be difficult to know for sure who has the intellectual rights to all of the material that’s floating out there.

    • Yikes, Kaph, I hadn’t heard that. Well, it’s still relevant to what we’re talking about here – just with a different guilty party, if this is actually the case! There are some extremely litigious people in this world, but if it was truly almost word for word, then that tells you right there.

      Lenormand is positively infested, I agree. I dusted off my Sibillas to get away from all that – ha!

  4. WOW. Yes, it all makes perfect sense! I did notice that the quality of that blog was pretty uneven: the Sibilla stuff was great, but the little bit he had on Lenormand and Kipperkarten was dopey. The timing of the videos and the subsequent blog disappearance nails it all down. I’d even tweeted the little worm asking what happened and offering to help, but he’s obviously buried that particular alias.

    In the videos, Mr. Carfiero appears to just be talking about the Seven Card Spread posts. This is his book I wonder who the rest of the Sibilla posts were stolen from?

    Over the years, I’ve occasionally found material translated from other authors on the web. Sometimes it’s taken down, other times it’s allowed to stay, but this is the first time I’ve seen someone go to all the trouble of translating WITHOUT giving attribution. And then stick it on a free blog, just so he can bask in glory – under a screen name, lol. Whoever this Matt Sybil is, he’s a few french fries short of a Happy Meal.

    I still like Lenormand, I just stay away from most of the people, lol. I don’t *think* Sibilla will ever get co-opted to that extent, but you never know. Eep.

    And thanks for this!

    • Hello Stella,

      I think you are too harsh regarding Matt Sybil, while it might seemed to be he’s copying the Italian author, all the meanings of Sibilla he explained it so well ,while there is special someone who sold this information with approx $30-$60(shipping included) and giving short and huge advertising in her book, she even use this to scammed many people to take her course ($1400?) with so much money that people get stressed from it.

      I guess Matt is not bad at all, he at least want to share the information FREE and not scamming everyone with money (yet?).

      But true if indeed he is copying that he must resource the real source but i really like his posts a lot, it gives happiness everything that he shares.

      • Hi Mike,
        We can say “Venturi” here. 😉 I have that book, it’s very good , but I agree that the frequent plugs for the course are annoying. That course was $1400? That’s crazy (and a BIG red flag). The teasers in the book are along the lines of “I will give you the combination that means such-and-such if you take my course”. But giving people combo lists is not teaching. The idea is to learn the meanings and nuances of the cards and become proficient at working out combinations yourself. The book is really all you need from her, and the course is no longer available anyway, though the website is still up. And the facebook page hasn’t been updated in several years. The impression I get is that the course, smaller book, etc. were shady, but the larger book is fine – it’s still being sold in spite of the course being kaput, so apparently there aren’t any copyright claims against it. If there are, I would like to know.

        While both Matt’s blog and the Venturi book had information like Superbia being an amulet card, for instance, it’s not the same thing. There are differences in relaying card meanings, and stealing content word for word. Any Lenormand book, for instance, will tell you that the Rider brings news. If you say that and explain in your own words, you’re not plagiarizing. You HAVE to say “the Rider brings news” if you are writing about the card meanings, it’s just a core idea that has to be relayed. But if you retype something that Andy, Rana, Caitlin, or any other person wrote, however, then yes, it’s plagiarism. If you translate Erna Droesbeke’s writings, or Iris Treppner’s, and publish it as your own, that is also plagiarism.

        That’s apparently what Matt did. Carfiero didn’t invent the line of seven spread either, it existed long before he was born and everyone is free to write about it, but only in their own words. Not his.

        I was quite fond of Matt’s blog, there was some excellent information in it, and it was fun to read. It covered some bits that the Venturi book doesn’t, like wall cards. But as much as I liked referring to it, it needed to come down. We don’t know which parts he actually wrote, or if he even wrote any of it. Some other people invested decades out of their lives learning Sibilla and wrote all of that, and here comes some noob using it to build a false reputation. It would have been wrong to leave it up.

        I just wish I knew who all the original authors were. I’ve benefited from their work and I would like to buy their books, even if it means typing Italian into google translate (but NOT blogging it and claiming it as mine – sheesh!) At the end of the day, it’s not about how well I know Sibilla – it’s about whether I can look at myself in the mirror. 😉

  5. I suppose it’s also tough to be vigilant in protecting your IP if you’re “the little guy,” without a big corporation to back you. It takes a different mindset to plagiarize so blatantly, I guess. I can’t imagine ever wanting to pass of someone else’s writing of any kind as my own, so it’s hard to understand why other people do that.

    I backed off from the Lenormand after it became a hot commodity, because I felt the community was fighting to establish who was going to make the money, and it brought out ugly attitudes all over the place. I miss the years before 2010 when we felt like pioneering explorers! This situation exists with tarot as well, but the tarot community is large enough that I think it’s not always visible to “the public.”

    Like Fennario, my (Lenormand) card meaning page is my most popular. However, I don’t feel my meanings are so detailed or unique to be worth plagiarism.

    • I miss the years prior to 2011, too. We all wrote about whatever we had learned, and the world at large didn’t even bother to look. Now we can’t share so openly anymore.

      The situation does exist with Tarot, and the problems started when Tarot people started getting into Lenormand en masse. I’m not saying all Tarot people are thieves – virtually all of us read Tarot as well – but it blew the gates open and let in everything off the street. The big dog came in, and he’s a good dog, but he’s covered with fleas.

      I’d watch that blog of yours. You may not think it’s worthy of plagiarism, but I thought the same about my Kipper meanings at one time.

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