I had hoped that this was a topic that I'd never have to breach on this site, but having had some recent things come to my attention, I feel like I personally need to say something about this.
First of all, I'd like to say that I'm not making a scene out of this. I've made scenes out of far too many things in the past growing up, and while this is hurtful, I am not going to call out any of the people responsible publicly or privately for that matter. I am going to go and give everyone involved the benefit of the doubt and hope they see this little essay and think twice before they do something like this again. Perhaps they just didn't know.
What am I talking about here? Specifically, I'm talking about the swiping of original or semi-original content. Now, Beautiful Dreamer has a policy that if you want something in the multimedia sections for personal use, go ahead and take it because that's what it's there for. If you want to use some images in a layout, then go ahead. That's great. If you pick a few of your favorite Chibiusa images and want to offer them on your website, also fine.
So what's not fine? Well, taking every image in the gallery and offering them on your own site, for one. When you do that, it hurts Beautiful Dreamer because it means that Beautiful Dreamer has that much less original content and that much less reason for people to stay and look around or come back later. I work my little tail off to provide Beautiful Dreamer with original content and it's aggravating to hear people say "This is like every other Chibiusa Shrine out there, same pictures, same information, same extra stuff to do," when Beautiful Dreamer has been the benchmark for Chibiusa sites for years. Lots of images, scans, and multimedia originates with us, to say nothing of the written content.
But Gabi, you say, you've borrowed lots of things from other places over the years. And it's true, I have (and by that I mean multimedia content -- all written content on Beautiful Dreamer is 100% original and always has been). Where's the difference between borrowing and swiping? First of all, I give credit where credit is due. If the site where I got the stuff is still functioning then there's probably a link to it on both the Acknowledgments page and the Links page. Unfortunately a lot of sites where I originally got stuff from are no longer online, so Beautiful Dreamer has become one of the only places still hosting a lot of this content online.
Secondly, Beautiful Dreamer never borrows content (even with credit) from other Chibiusa shrines. Since we're all friendly rivals, it seems wrong to take someone else's hard work and pass it off as your own, even if you do have a link in there somewhere. You see, other shrines of your specific type are just a little too focused in content for you to be able to borrow stuff from them in good faith.
Explain yourself, Gabi, I can here you all demanding right now. All right, I will. Take for example Beautiful Dreamer's humor section. Now, none of Beautiful Dreamer's written content has ever been up for grabs because it was all personally written and compiled by me. This has always been clearly stated on the policies page, but let's just assume for a minute that we didn't have such a policy and another Chibiusa website (We'll call it 'Pink Moonshine' or something equally generic) decided that they liked the humor content and were going to take the general idea of most of the jokes, reword them and then offer them in a 'Giggles' section. Even with credit (which is unlikely, since PM's webmaster decided to change the content up reorganize it a bit), Pink Moonshine has just dealt Beautiful Dreamer a vicious blow because it's just swiped a major portion of Beautiful Dreamer's original content to offer on a site which has almost the same mission statement: to inform the general masses about Chibimoon.
So I've told you what's very bad webmaster protocol. Now lets approach the situation again and see how this could be done the right way. The webmaster of PM comes to Beautiful Dreamer and likes the humor section a lot. Then the webmaster decides that he'd like to have a humor section on his website, so he spends a few days thinking up humorous original content and then writes up his own humor section. Since he likes Beautiful Dreamer so much, he should already have it linked on his Links Out page. If he's a real trump he'll make a little note on his updates page as to what inspired him to do a humor section in the first place, that is the humor section on Beautiful Dreamer. There, now everyone is happy with their own original content.
How else could this have been handled? Well, say that the person browsing didn't have a Chibiusa site. Say they had an Elios site instead and were particularly taken with the humorous Elios content at Beautiful Dreamer. Their next step would be to email me and ask if they could use some of my jokes (with credits and links back) on their Elios shrine. I am a very amenable person, so in most cases I will agree and then if I didn't already have a link to their site posted, I would and note that they were using some of my content in my next update, providing more publicity for them and for me.
Bottom Line: It's not okay to jack content and rewrite it (or not even bother to) ever, and especially not if you own a site nearly like the one you're jacking from. It's more okay to borrow stuff with permission if you run a site that's similar but not the same (i.e. a shrine to a related character, like Peruru).
It's just extremely aggravating to have someone tell you that they've heard your Chibimoon joke a thousand times when you were the one who wrote it and it wasn't supposed to ever leave your page.
Now, we've tackled images, multimedia, and similar stuff. We've also been over original content like information, humor, and opinions (although why someone would want to steal my opinions, I don't know).
With that all out of the way, lets get into special content (meaning, things you aren't likely to find at other places since Gabi busted her fanny to collect it for Beautiful Dreamer). Special content a Beautiful Dreamer consists of the downloads section, the coloring book section, and the doujinshi section. These are special cases and make Beautiful Dreamer an extra special website because I go the extra mile to find, scan, or make this content.
Beautiful Dreamer's coloring book images originally came from the Sailormoon Coloring book, which is unfortunately no longer with us. I had previously saved all the Chibiusa images, which means when the Coloring book went down, Beautiful Dreamer became one of the only places to find those coloring book images, and certainly the only one who offered so many of the Chibiusa images. I am happy to share, but please ask before you take the whole section, thumbnails and all and offer it on your own site (especially if it happens to be a Chibiusa site). That rankles me because its just not polite.
The download section features content that was made exclusively by me, with the exception of the winamp skins. The reason the wallpapers are not credited is because I made them, not because they're free to take and distribute. If you want to use them at home, go ahead. That's what they're there for. If you're a related site and would like to offer them, also kosher, provided you ask or I offer (Feather Dream hosted a number of my wallpapers before it went down for repairs). Please don't submit my wallpapers to open anime wallpaper sites, because most of them are not watermarked (because that makes them ugly) and because of that, once they get released to the public, I'll never see them again and Beautiful Dreamer will never get credit for them.
The doujinshi section is one of my prides and joy, since the images in it either came from me scanning one of my own doujinshi or hunting other doujinshi down on Yahoo!Japan, sorting through inappropriate images, resizing and attempting to improve quality and then offering them up. Because of the trouble I go through to offer these, these images ARE NOT UP FOR PUBLIC DISTRIBUTION. If you'd like to use some of the images in layouts or on buttons, then that's all right, but PLEASE do not offer them up in your own gallery. If you want doujinshi scans, then you buy the doujinshi or you hunt them down. Please do not rely on me to do all the work for you.
Whew. Well, I feel at least a little better. Once again, I'm not saying that two people can't have similar ideas completely independently, but I don't want someone to jack my original content, change it a bit, and then pretend they came up with it on their own.
That just doesn't fly, sister.