Posting in Finance
Every piece of advice in the wellness revolution corresponds to what your mother told you growing up and what, if you're lucky, she's still telling you.
Regardless of your position on the new health care law, its success will depend on whether government, employers, the professions, and IT can combine to create a wellness revolution.
The stimulus funded that revolution. The reform bill merely raises the stakes for it.
The aim of the $19.2 billion in HITECH money, and the whole effort of the health IT industry, is to give people the data they need to stay well, along with the coaching they need to make use of it and change habits.
The approach has had results. Duke University cut its expected costs $30 million within a few years through a program of personalized medicine and wellness coaching. Patients were happier, too.
Corporations are now getting behind this approach. They were the buy-side of the health care equation before reform, and they still are after reform. They want to save money, and now they have incentives and tools, says PriceWaterhouseCoopers.
The problem, as former Duke Chancellor Ralph Snyderman (now with Proventys) explained to me, is that sellers of services -- hospitals, clinics, drug companies, device providers -- have no incentive to support this approach. It costs them money.
It works even better if everyone is in the pool, he added. Health costs should look like a bathtub, as Mark Kajdos of Pragmate explained. They never fall to zero, they peak at the start and end of life. Under health reform reimbursement systems should reflect this.
Support for this approach was tucked into the health care law. The FDA gets more authority, everybody gets an annual check-up, chain restaurants must post calorie counts and (perhaps most important) employers can save 30% on your insurance cost by sponsoring wellness programs.
Opponents of reform called this Big Brother and Big Government, but there's another term for it no one has mentioned, anywhere in the long drawn-out debate.
Eat your carrots. Stop smoking. Get some exercise. Stop the binge drinking. Sit up straight. Find someone nice. Sound familiar?
Every piece of advice in the wellness revolution corresponds to what your mother told you growing up and what, if you're lucky, she's still telling you.
What has changed is you will now have the data your own mother does, your employer has financial incentives to push you toward change, and access to services is now guaranteed to everyone.
Big Brother? Uh-uh. Health care reform is Big Mother.
Author's Note: A thumbnail of the illustration originally used with this post, Chris Buzelli's "Big Mother," has been removed after a complaint by its original author. I felt I was using the illustration in question under the fair use provisions of U.S. copyright law. (Further reading and analysis here.) In response to the string of comments below, I wrote about the subject in a post at Thinking Tech today. I would like to personally apologize to all who were offended by my actions or words.
Apr 6, 2010
Dana, were you behind in your work, did you suddenly have this deadline creep up on you? Did you suddenly realise to make your words seem more interesting you needed an image, pronto? You found one that suited and thought "ah sod it, i'll put a link to their website and their name, they may never find out, so who cares". It seems you went with a decision that has cost you dearly. Who the hell do you think you are? Can't you see how many illustrators and writers who are disgusted in your actions? People like you need a lesson on etiquette, but i guess you'll just smarm your way out of that. I sense a note of narcissism within you. Maybe you could write about that and then nick one of my illustrations. It's ok, you've worked out a way around having to contact me or let me know your intentions, i'll never find out anyway. NOT! People are now watching you closely and not for the right (write) reasons. Good luck.
As I just posted on Chris Buzelli's blog, Dana's moral reasoning in his email response to Chris about his unauthorized use of his illustration is a textbook example of "selective moral disengagement." Psychologists Jenny White, Albert Bandura, and Lisa Bero sum it up in one sentence: "Moral self-sanctions can be selectively disengaged from harmful activities by investing them with socially worthy purposes, sanitizing and exonerating them, displacing and diffusing responsibility, minimizing or disputing harmful consequences, making advantageous comparisons, and disparaging and blaming critics and victims."
Do you understand what you read? I'll make it easier for you: LAW protects the creative works as well as any other. It's called Intellectual property law. If someone uses artwork without permission is theft. There is no valid point in mr Blankehorn's point of view. It's what you can call a poor docummented post and point of view. It's called law infringment. I think he was ignorant of all this and instead of recognise it he still dig deeper his owm hole... So, for you to understand: As long as I need to promote my artwork, I can post whatever artwork I want in internet because there's a thing called law that protects my work. I know what I write because I did studied Intellectual Property Law in my art school back in the 90's. I assume that you didn't. Do you copy? It's that simple.
Really? Instead of jumping on the bandwagon, shouldn't illustrators spend their time drawing or painting instead? Dan has some valid points. If you don't use the tools (both technological and legal) available to you to protect your work then don't get upset when someone uses them. If you don't want people using your work then don't post them. If you post them then protect them. If people still use them, then sue. It's that simple people.
CBS??? Are you serious???? As a professional illustrator who makes a living off of his artwork, I find it absolutely appalling that you, CBS, is allowing this nonsense response from your writers and editors to continue, how fast would it end if say, Chris Buzelli was to go forward with a lawsuit against you? Which at this point I hope he does in a big way. However something tells me he will not as he can't take anytime away from his artwork. You have to be kidding me right now. Nicholas Wright Glens Falls, NY http://www.sharppencilcreative.com
"This idea that one must gain permission before doing what comes naturally on the Web has to end. You have the tools to stop it." Perhaps you're right. All of your previous posts should be examined closely for copyright infringement and the owners of said copyrighted items should be turned over to a lawyer (the tool) for prosecution to the fullest extent of the law. After all, it was YOUR idea.
The service providers are not the criminals in the health care debate as so many try to paint them. It's the consumer who thinks they need to run to the doctor with every sniffle, and then doesn't want to pay for the extra cost. Extra cost to process claims, have enough employees to schedule appointments, track down unpaid accounts, order more supplies, clean and do all the other needed aspects of running a medical or dental office. Consumers wanted $10 dollar co pay plans because they were cheaper up front, but they didn't educate themselves to the reality of limited access to health care as PPO plans determine who you can see. The old HMO's were thrown out because paying 20% of a visit was "too high", BUT with those plans you had better overall coverage and could see any doctor you chose, not a specific "service provider" based on your plan. Under the PPO plans doctors and dentists are required to adjust off charges, so in order to make ends meet and pay their employees they had to raise over all rates. The new health care reforms will put us all in the position many who are military dependents are in. 3 hour wait times in a clinic even though they had a scheduled appointment. Rushed and over worked doctors and dentists trying to keep up with the patient load. Hmmm Dana, perhaps you should try and have a baby in a military hospital. I've been there. Great doctors, but poor over all care because the whole staff was so over loaded they didn't have time to adequately devote to each patient. I don't need government being my "mother". The assumption is that everyone will do the right thing if given a chance. Everyone will start to eat right, exercise, not smoke and so on. Really? We've been teaching children in our schools for years not to smoke and drink yet they grow up and do it anyway, even though it's very expensive to do so. So now we will compel everyone to do the right thing for themselves?
Dana Blankenhorn, your views on copyright are appalling. I hope you will come to your senses and issue a public apology and monetary compensation where it is due, the sooner the better. Mark Vatsel Vatsel.com
I've asked before and ask again is Dana the best that CBC can find? Dana as you commented to me, "Even adults with mothers have relationships with them, and those mothers don't just ignore our bad habits. At least mine doesn't." Well I hope so and while your at it show some other articles on health care you have written and maybe she will dive o a good tong lashing. Dana it appears YOU do need your mother to help you navigate in this adult world however just because you do does not mean the rest of us do. Perhaps if you were to start acting like and adult, take responsibility and consider your words carefully and with some thought instead of preaching falsities or ill conceived notions to the rest of us you would not find you would so often need MOTHERS intervention. A free society predicated on thought, companion, consideration and self determination means less government intrusion and more freedom, soothing you have no notion about.
I understand the frustration from all the artists (because I LIVE that world ? I know what it?s like to have people wanting stuff for FREE and it?s annoying). And this writer?s ignorance came through in his first response(use watermarks). He wasn?t paid extra for using an illustration ? so I see it as non-commercial. But I agree, Chris, you have the right to decide who uses your art for what. I?m just not liking the mob scene. Because where a mob gathers, you start hearing unintelligent, emotional mutterings which hurts the cause. And I guess I should have stayed out of it altogether, but since only one point of view was being shown, I felt compelled to throw in another one. To all of the illustrators who are angry about this: I?m wondering if you had a problem with Shepard Fairey taking Manny Garcia?s copyrighted photo of Obama (without permission) for his HOPE poster? Many artists seem to be okay with that ?taking? of someone?s art. In this case, it was for financial gain (commercial use). And the photographer?s name was nowhere to be found on the art. There was no attribution for Manny Garcia. Also, I?d like to know what you think about the Creative Commons License? Many artists use this on their website which gives people the right to use their art (as in the case of a blog post) without permission, AS LONG AS it?s non-commercial and is properly attributed. I use a creative commons license on my blog http://www.mariabrophy.com - and often people will take parts of my writings and use in their blog, with attribution. It sends people to my blog, which gets me more readers. It's a win-win for all. The thinking behind Creative Commons is this: Sharing ideas, spreading your art, and directing people back to your website from others. (You have to admit, it worked in Chris'favor here. He may be a well known artist, but I never knew of his wonderful artwork until now.)
Boy, Dana- You have started the rallying cry for all oppressed Illustrators everywhere. Sort of awakening the townspeople with burning torches in their hands to rid themselves of the pariah, Did you ever imagine your arrogant, teabaggin', misguided views on Healthcare reform would be overshadowed by lifting some artwork? Evidently not. The scope of this outcry could galvanize a new anti-infringement copyright measures called the "Delusional Dana Law". Kind of like what the Lindbergh baby did for Kidnapping reform.
Hi Maria, Why are you saddened? Many artists are obviously upset with Mr. Blankenhorn and his actions. I assume many have gone through similar situations. He states that he understands the current copyright laws. He just doesn't agree with them. How do you react when someone steals your property? If you want to share your property and be "generous," then go right ahead and give your property away. However, I have a right not to do the same. It is not about nice or mean. It is about right and wrong. Legal and illegal. And he did not change this article. It is still the same, just without my image. He used my image to illustrate his editorial on health care without my permission. Mr. Blankenhorn has stated that he gets paid from CBS to write these articles. I was civil, next time I'll send the real mob - My lawyer. Chris Buzelli
@mariabrophy. Well, he did get himself into a hornets nest, and maby he did take the picture down. But if I by mistake took a bite of someones apple, I would put it down AND give an apology. So this is just a natural psychological reaction to a person who don't give a hoot and defends his right to steal. Here in europe our unions are strong and if you can afford being in a one, the lawyers will deal with a copyright infringement. We pay the union, so we can sleep at night and focus on work instead of dealing with this on the internet. But, it IS interesting to see how this case went viral. Maby it's the beginning of a internet union for illustrators? LOL
What you did and defend your right to, is literally taking the bread out of a hard working illustrators mouth. How about if I cut a little piece fabric of all your shirts and trousers. Taking something that small, would not be (to compare to your views) something you regard as clothes, and would be an OK thing to do. But, if too many of us took a piece of your clothes, your wardrobe would be full of holes and rags. This is exactly what happens to an illustrators economy when you use their image without asking permission. Maybe it is hard for you to understand, but it is like downloading music illegally. We illustrators are not record companies that sue you into oblivion, but private persons that live on a humble income. When someone steals our work, we would politely tell them to correct the mistake you made. You should be grateful for the free advice and not send arrogant replies. Cheers to the artists who spoken up in this matter. Lars Munck Illustrator & Storyboard artist
I'm saddened by the hatred coming from the art world. I am an artists advocate, and I'm deep into the business of art. My entire business is based on selling art and illustrations. But I have to say, this attack on Dana Blankenhorn closely resembles a witch hunt! He was ignorant in the way that he handled this. I'll give you that. But he's human, and like most humans, most people don't understand the copyright laws or the implications with regards to illustrators. (Even writers) I think it's important to educate people when they've got something wrong, but this hatred and venom is just overkill. I have no problem with someone taking my art and using it (non- commercially) for a blog post, as long as they attribute and link. (I don't know if he did that, because his blog article changed when he took the illustration down.) Anyway, I don't want to have an angry mob come at me, I get what you all are saying, but come on, let's lighten up a little. There's a lot more to consider - like sharing online, being generous and spreading ideas. There's only one reason no-one else is saying what I am: either they don't care, or they are scared of the angry mob!
Please see comment No. 147 in the following post for a note from our editor-in-chief about this issue: http://smrt.io/afLRv6
I can't believe that someone who makes their living by writing is so demonstrably ignorant of copyright law and its ethical underpinnings. I can understand people in other professions not getting it - but a writer? Margaret Organ-Kean
Hello Dana, As an illustrator I agree with Mr. Buzilli and feel you should educate yourself re: copyright law infringement so you don't further embarrass yourself and alienate readers. You have to understand your swiping a professional artist's work to dress up your column can lead one to think what else to you lift? Suzanne in CT
Ok. I'm going to illustrate something for you. HAHA no not acutally draw something, because you wouldn't pay me for it. Let me re-phrase: I'm going to explain something for you, something about the fair use provisions of U.S. copyright law, or what you, Dana, may refer to as your "safety net". Unfortunately There's a giant hole in your net. Perhaps reading the law would help, or maybe you lack basic comprehension skills. So here's where I illustrate, oh sorry, explain my point, in lamens terms of course. Dana Blankenhorn wakes up on a beautiful Wednesday morning and decides to write something that has the words Big Mother in it (an article that thousands of people will not read due to the controvesy of his behavior). Upon finishing up he realizes it just isn't quite "there" yet. He needs something to drive home the point...an illustration! Of course! So he attempts to paint a picture, but discovers that he hasn't dedicated his ENTIRE LIFE to mastering that art, so he'll just use a little image he finds online and do the artist a favor by saying something nice and putting up a link. Uh oh...all well meaning aside Dana broke the LAW. My second example: A strapping young artist named Jason stumbles across a link to an article written by a somewhat respected writer, and finds that he used an image without the artist' permission. He also reads his condescending "rebuttal" and link to a copyright law he believes is on his side. So Jason decides to paste both articles in every forum he can find and offer his criticism on the ideas of one Dana Blankenhorn. LEGAL! The later is legal because he offered a smart critique and opinion on a work, and did not use the work to further or add to his own work. He could also use these articles as examples in a school setting to teach students about the wrongs of copyright law. Or reprint your article on my television news show, and talk about how you broke the law and why. Interesting isn't it? Hopefully you learned something, Dana, after all it's never too late to learn. And I'm always glad to lend a hand! Dis-respectufully yours, Jason Wright Artist, Writer, Law-Abider
Hey Dana Isn't the internet great. Before the internet did you have to go to the library and cut the pictures out of the books?
It's true that artists have the tools to protect their art from being stolen -- it's called the LAW. We shouldn't have to watermark ANYTHING, but apparently ignorant people like this feel they need a visual reminder (like a little kid) of how to behave themselves correctly. Unbelievable.
Shame on you for stealing someone's artwork. By your logic of Fair Use, I should be able to copy your article for my own uses without your permission, or even giving you credit. I seriously can't believe you would do that, and I find it even more deplorable that you think you are in the right. If I were him (Chris Buzelli) I would sue you for copyright infringement.
To my fellow artists and illustrators, While it is great to have a forum to help spread the word that intellectual rights are not just an inconvenience to people who wish to take from others, I think the point is now well made. And now, the strongest message that can be sent is to just walk away from this web site and never return to any article this incompetent "journalist" happens to write. If you revisit his work, you give him business, and an unrepentant thief should not be helped to continue practices that he clearly feels willing to continue. Why not write to his boss and say you are avoiding anything with his name attached to it? Randy Asplund, Fine artist, illustrator, educator.
Dana's response isn't just arrogant it's outright lies. I'm sure it's possible for anyone that does creative work to not be fully aware of copyright laws. However I can't accept that the idea he thought what was doing was in anyway OK. As a writer, I'm sure that if someone reprinted his words, to make money, he would have the same reaction Chris did if someone said, hey I'm giving you free advertising, people will be lining up to have you write for them. Taking Dana's own words, I don't have time to get permission...shows absolutely he knew the law, and thought he could get around it. Not only that, but he didn't even try, since he knew who the artist was, and clearly never contacted him. Dana, your ethics are clearly lacking, Dana, and I question anything you write as being the truth. I certainly hope that CBS takes action against you for your theft. It's also clear from your own words this isn't the first time you've done this. And you don't even have the good enough sense to realize if you had just apologized, this would have gone away.
Dana, I get paid for what I draw, not for the blog posts accompanying them. If I had to get permission for every block of text I used I wouldn't have time to get any blog posts to go with my illustrations and would likely not make any money. So I developed this policy, which usually works. I seek to give credit. When I can find one, I even seek a place where the article's being sold, and link to that. I used to just link to the particular blog, but I was accused then of stealing bandwidth. No one is going to take a 100 word blog post or email and call it art. No one is using it as anything but eye candy, and those who like it are going to use links to seek it, and the writer, out. I don't know how to get this through to you. I didn't steal from you. I didn't rob you. I sought to publicize you. And was called a thief for my troubles. Now I'd like to get to work helping you, but unfortunately, I haven't actually read your article or anything you've ever written, except for one email and a blog post in response to it.
Thank goodness Tim O'Brien said it first. What an ignorant view point. First of all, artists should not have to hide their work behind watermarks, it is actually a deterrent for people trying to buy online as they can not see the whole product they are purchasing. Just because something is not watermarked it is not fair game. Stealing is stealing Second of all, even by giving him credit you are still stealing the use of the image which he didn't agree to. Just because it is more accessible does not mean that "getting permission to use it needs to stop." It makes it even more important. It's people spreading ignorance and unethical business practices that make it so hard to be an artist. It's not difficult to just email someone and ask permission. Elisha Dasenbrock www.limitedpalette.com/blog
Big Mother and Big Government are the same thing. Why do you think the called Soviet/Communist Russia, Mother Russia. It was because of the Big Government and it's big involvement in people's lives. So whatever you call it, Big Mother or Big Government, it's still unwanted intrusion into people's lives....at a big cost.
You are surely not the only one that feels this way about grabbing images for your own profit. That's what scares us image creators. As you can see, we illustrators help each other out. Let's just see you try to use an illustration free of charge for your own profits. We will all be watching. Here is a something temping for you. Use any of these for free I dare you! My work is even on this database. http://www.profilestock.com/ Oh and since your portrait is not watermarked I guess I can use it on my FB page and blog. Oh don't worry I give you a link and credit! Thanks! Jay
You don?t mind if I use your Photo for some articles about Art theft , do you? It is ok, because you have no watermark on it! Thanks! Cheers Randis HD-Fortress.com
Dana, no one cares about your interpretations of the laws. Fact is: you have stolen and used artworks from artists, not for the first time as you have stated yourself. It left a bad taste of disappointment in seeing this sort of behavior from someone your age, It is not like your are some 5 year old who simply does not know better, stealing someone?s artwork to beautify his little homepage, no, you are stealing IPs to benefit your profits. Do you think you could run by offering a waiter to spread word about the good meal for exposure instead of actually paying for the food? No? For how stupid do you hold Artists then? You are very lucky not to have tried this with my IPs. Randis HD-Fortress.com
I really can't add anything that hasn't already been said, but you are a thief. "This idea that one must gain permission before doing what comes naturally on the Web has to end. You have the tools to stop it. Use them"...I assume you have the tools to stop stealing from other creatives and would probably like to take that back. -Blake C Himsl Hunter
The world is not your personal eye candy store, dude. Take some responsibility for your actions, and use a stock image service to illustrate your articles. It's just NOT that hard to do the right thing!
This is exactly the type of mindset that makes it difficult for Illustrators and other creative professionals to demand fair rates for their work. Cheers to the artists who have come to add their voices to the conversation. Thomas James Escape From Illustration Island
Dana's own words: "I get paid for what I write, not for the illustrations accompanying them. If I had to get permission for every illustration I used I wouldn't have time to get any illustrations on my articles and would likely not make any money. Unbelievable.
Most artists I know can't afford health care. Maybe if all the jerks who steal their work and use it to illustrate their articles started paying for what they've ripped off, that would change. Your defense is just sad, and if this website stands behind you, that's even worse. Thanks for lowering the bar for the use of the term "smart," Smart Planet. - Jamie S. Rich
[Let me try that again, without smart quotes or em- dashes] I'm an illustrator as well, and -- at the risk of seeming to pile on -- must stand with my fellow illustrators and voice my concern regarding your contempt for (or lack of understanding of) intellectual property rights and your arrogant, condescending response to Chris. There's little I can say that hasn't already been said regarding the fact that this is copyright infringement, plain and simple. The fact that you can't understand or admit that boggles the mind. Do you honestly think it's OK to go to an illustrator's website and take an image without asking? Do you really believe that unilaterally setting your own terms of "payment" -- a credit line -- constitutes a valid business contract and absolves you of any wrongdoing? Unfortunately for us illustrators, petty thieves are a dime a dozen on the internet. What sets you apart, in light of your apparent stature as a respectable writer who should know better, is your abject lack of contrition, unbridled arrogance and need to blame the artist for not protecting his work, which, as you surely well know, is essentially unprotectable online. As someone who earns a living as an illustrator, the culture of online theft is bad enough, but when it comes from professionals and and/or is combined with attitudes like yours, it scares me. I sincerely hope you've given this some thought and will contemplate writing an article on "Rethinking Online Theft." It might do us all some good. Michael Gibbs
I'm an illustrator as well, and ? at the risk of seeming to pile on ? must stand with my fellow illustrators and voice my concern regarding your contempt for (or lack of understanding of) intellectual property rights and your arrogant, condescending response to Chris. There's little I can say that hasn't already been said regarding the fact that this is copyright infringement, plain and simple. The fact that you can?t understand or admit that boggles the mind. Do you honestly think it?s OK to go to an illustrator?s website and take an image without asking? Do you really believe that unilaterally setting your own terms of ?payment? ? a credit line ? constitutes a valid business contract and absolves you of any wrongdoing? Unfortunately for us illustrators, petty thieves are a dime a dozen on the internet. What sets you apart, in light of your apparent stature as a respectable writer who should know better, is your abject lack of contrition, unbridled arrogance and need to blame the artist for not protecting his work, which, as you surely well know, is essentially unprotectable online. As someone who earns a living as an illustrator, the culture of online theft is bad enough, but when it comes from professionals and and/or is combined with attitudes like yours, it scares me. I sincerely hope you've given this some thought and will contemplate writing an article on "Rethinking Online Theft." It might do us all some good. Michael Gibbs
His usual MO is to just move on once his ideas & arguments have been exposed as fraudulent and indefensible. If he's unsuccessful in changing the subject ("This idea that one must gain permission before doing what comes naturally on the Web has to end. You have the tools to stop it. Use them") the most you can hope to expect is something along the lines of accusing you of being a mindless Bush-twin neocon and unworthy of further attention.
He has a twitter account. it is @danablankenhorn where he professes to have apologized publically and privately, although still blathering on about educating on copyright, however he tagged @bucelli instead of @buzelli Accident or intentional. You be the Judge. Either way he is still guilty of copyright infringement. And to have the audacity to try to "educate" in such a condecending manner is reprehensible.
Hi Dana. I've taken the liberty of posting your article on my website. It's a good article, and I'm enjoying getting the advertising revenue from it. Don't worry?I linked to your site, so I'm helping you promote yourself! You're welcome!
Hi Dana. I just punched your mom in the face. What? She's got the tools to defend herself! If she didn't want to get punched in the face she could have made a plaster of paris helmet (dumbass).
"Progressives have absolutely no compulsion against the free acquisition of other people's property for their own use, especially when it's in the name of the "greater good"." I could use a new car. Guess I'll just head on down to the local car lot and take one. If the dealership has a problem with it, I'll just tell 'em, "Hey, don't worry...I'll tell everyone where I got it. I'm doing you a favour, jerks!" Besides, they shouldn't be surprised...I'M A PROGRESSIVE. - Scott Chantler
Look for images marked "creative commons" use sites that OFFER stock photography/images. In the real world I lost the ability to sell some of my photos (which cost me something to produce since one of my subjects are the cats I've trained to follow cues so I can photograph them.) especially can't sell "exclusive rights" because someone copied them off MY website, for a blog. IMHO if I can't sell my work, and someone else gets PAID for using it. (even if paid for the Tshirt and not specifically the graphic) It IS stealing.
This level of stupidity, callousness, ignorance of the law, and sheer unprofessionalism goes beyond the wildest fantasies of self-referential egotism. I hope someone does in fact sue the next time this happens. To blog it up (and not remark on the fact until @zelee noted it) just digs his hole even deeper. Rename it "Stupid Planet" if they keep this jerk on the job.
we have a response! check it out http://www.smartplanet.com/technology/blog/thinking-tech/keeping-your-images-off-smartplanet-or-anywhere-else/3684/?tag=content;col1 too bad he didn't have the balls to post it anywhere on this blog we would expect to actually find it.
Most of the commenters I've seen here have been artists and illustrators. Allow me to add the voice of a published writer to list of appalled readers. I once had a story "appropriated" and published on a site that I found objectionable. The thief gave many of the same arguments that you did: it's on the Internet, and I should just deal with the fact that it is now public property. Not to mention, the thief had made minor changes to my story (thus making it hers, she said) and linked to me as the "inspiration," so I should be grateful. Hardly. Nor would you be if some unknown hack who considered himself (or herself) a writer stole your work. We have copyright law because artists (both visual and written) have a right to profit from their work. Above all, just because theft is easy doesn't make it right. Show a little integrity.
How would you like it if we took your text and used it without your permission to go along with our images? I bet not to well. But that is essentially what you are claiming you have the right to do do with our work. And instead of graciously apologizing you are further branding yourself as a jerk by blaming us for you stealing the work in the first place. Just because alot of people do something does not make it legal!