Mark Twain And Me…And You…A Blind Date With Twitter

Don’t you just love blog etiquette? Do it this way…no that way, wait, you’re gonna fail, no my mistake you may succeed and leave me behind, do as I say, not a I do. Help I don’t know what I’m’ doing? Why didn’t I simply collect disability instead of call my self a lifecoach and suck money from those who have it?

All those notions crossed my mind because, as I spend my time and observe what happens on Twitter (to a certain extent); I see that it is an acceptable practice. I see “life coaches aka THE VERY worst kind of swindlers” post beautiful quotes that look familiar. Life coaches are in more of a bind than there used to be.  Their “sport” used to be to find positive quotes on the net, take of the title of the person who wrote them, and add their own.

The authors caught on and now there is a software with algorythms that will decipher if it is the same quote with the wording changed around, a few words emitted, etc (soon to be released). I guess that will be the end of “the life coach industry”, that is, unless they learn how to produce a creative thought (many times in a day); which I doubt, given the many I’ve met.

I have a software that untangles that and 9 out of 10 the times they have been lifted from the writer of origin and re-written in a way that nobody can decipher the originator. Nobody until now. Now even the descendants of Mark Twain are in the game.  Along with my offbeat cartoons and funny gifts, and I also create the world’s only love quote shoes with quotes by famous people; Twain being one of them. It is rare that when something is in the public domain that a family goes after someone. The problem was, people only assumed Twain’s quotes were in that category. They were not. I immediately took my Twain love quote shoes down out of courtesy.  As in real life, social media has it’s often large share of arrogant folks who are certain they are above the law.  They think that until the here the clink of handcuffs. Please folks (not everyone but the few who do this); this laws for you to. It is not only to protect the artist/writer, but to protect you from hurting you and those around you. Let’s all play by the rules. End of sermon.

But go to Twitter and other social networks and you’ll see his quotes all over the place (often even uncredited). There are thousands of unlicensed items floating around via Twitter & Zazzle or Cafe Press or wherever which will always be for sale.   These naive people believe they won’t get hit with a summons but guess what.  At least 20-40 people are getting hit per day by the Twain family.  If a Twitterer is smart, he/she will take Twain quotes out of his/her scheduled tweets.  The Twain family has attorneys there looking on for such copyright infringement. Admittedly, it is rare. Most pre-1900 authors and poets are in the public domains and it is relatively easy to tell by seeing their images on prints, coasters, tees, and other licensed items not being sold by the Twain family.  If a family is smart, who has a great writer or artist within that family, they will go to to an attorney or courthouse and keep control of the images.  However things were not as sophisticated back in he 1800′s.  I miss selling my Mark Twain items at my Shoes That Amuse, the world’s only famous love quote gift and shoe shop. But there are plenty more and I’m happy with that.


I am a writer, inventor, musician, cartoonist, and animal lover. I created the #1 ranked offbeat cartoon on the Internet, Londons Times Cartoons. I founded the world’s only famous love quote shoe in 2008. I love to Twitter @RickLondon and play around with facebook where you can fan our cartoon and gift page .  Lee Hiller-London is the love of my life.  I love her nature/wildlife blog at Hike Our Planet. We’re getting a cat soon.  I’m sick in bet today. Am sure you’d like to know this pertinent info.


  1. Elena
    Posted March 5, 2011 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

    you could be in bed but your comments are real funny even when you are sick .Sense of humor above all…I enjoyed all your words and clarification about originality.I love your “original” works and what is the most important for a writer or a cartoonist is getting to the people,the audience, and you get put a smile on my face with your cartoon and your words and I really appreciate that.Thanks Sir Rick London and recover!!!!

  2. admin
    Posted March 5, 2011 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

    Thanks so much Elena. Even though this piece was not supposed to be particularly funny, I did want to add some humor since it was/is about
    writers/bloggers who steal from other bloggers and call it their own. It infuriates me in that it does not often happen to me because I purposely use
    words that only a few understand and the robbers would be too dumb to know where to put them…lol. And they know it, so they mostly leave me
    alone. But it happens to plenty of my friends, and it is against federal laws and some kind spend time in prison (and I hope they do). Thye act like
    writing, real writing is not hard work because you can’t “See’ it because it is throught through in the brain; it IS WORK, AS HARD AS any physical labor
    I’ve ever done…but the robber wouldnt have a clue. He/she will sitting in jail figuring out why he/she is rotting there. Hate to sound mean, but it is time
    for that nonsense to stop. It just happened to a friend of mine who is trying to get started and is a very good writer who follows the rules.

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