About rift's Unicorn Poem

Welcome! I hope you enjoyed my poem! Here's the story behind it...

Once upon a time I was a jobless bum. In 1997 I finished up my college degree, moved across the country, and was waiting for my new life to begin. I spent my days playing on the computer and writing in my journals.

One morning, I woke up with several stanzas of a poem in my head. Fully formed. I laid there and thought that there must be more. And so I worked out the rest of the poem. I memorized it as I went because I didn't want to disturb my thought process by moving to write it down.

When the poem was done, I wrote it down. I dedicated the poem to a MHN forum and posted it there. Eventually, I posted it as an HTML file on my web site.

And there it remained, happily, until July of 2001. From my log files, I discovered that someone was stealing some of my bandwidth, by "hot linking" one of the graphics on my unicorn poem page.

The bandwidth was going to a semi-private forum. I saw my graphic there, accompanied by a copy of my poem... with someone else listed as the author.

I was outraged and heart broken.

The posted responses were all very positive, they loved the poem. One respondent even wanted to mass mail the poem (with it's incorrect author) to co-workers and friends.

The thought of hundreds of people seeing my poem, with someone else's name attached, was simply horrifying!

I sent out polite emails to everyone involved, and I changed the hot linked graphic to display a warning that the image and poem was stolen from me. The forum thread was deleted and the offending user was banned.

And then I was hot linked again, this time from a private forum. I emailed politely again, but this time got no response.

I took my graphics off-line, though I left the poem on my site. If the poem was stolen again, I didn't want to know about it. I have no idea if the poem was mass emailed with the wrong author attached. It's too painful for me to do any research.

I have mourned for my poem, for a very long time. I cannot understand the cruelty of the human who did this to me. Almost a year and a half later, and I am still heart broken.

I am an artist.
I have had my work stolen from me.
I know how painful this is.

And knowing this, I will NEVER display someone else's graphics or words or any other work, which I do not have permissions to. And I encourage others to do the same.

For more information about copyright,

I am still an artist. Though since this incident, my productivity has been low, and I hesitate to post my work on the Internet. I am hoping that by writing this story, I will exorcise my demons and begin creating again.

we'll see...

Cheri -rift- Meier
17 Nov 2002

Part 2: Unicorn Poem Copyright

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