Millions of pieces of original content were used by the site without consent, rewardStyle contends. Now this is some real millennial news right here, but it’s serious business nonetheless.
PopSugar, a website I’m most often redirected to when I click a celebrity fitness-related link on Pinterest, has been accused of obtaining millions of pieces of content from influencers affiliated with rewardStyle, the Dallas-based fashion technology startup that helps influencers worldwide monetize their blog posts, without the company’s or the influencers’ consent. Then, according to a release from rewardStyle, PopSugar stripped the content of all commissionable rewardStyle links, replacing them with digital shopping platform ShopStyle‘s affiliate links, ensuring that neither rewardStyle nor the influencer receives any money if someone buys the product they’re marketing.
Now that this is becoming a legal matter, rewardStyle is unable to comment, but here’s their full release: The news first came to rewardStyle’s and influencers’ attention yesterday evening, when Mallory Cowan (founder of Bumps and Bottles) happened to be searching for an image of her son online. She posted about the unauthorized use in a rewardStyle influencer-filled Facebook group.
Ayana Lage, a writer for Bustle who blogs part-time for fun, was part of the Facebook group, and soon realized she had 20 images stolen by PopSugar. “I was shocked when I realized they were making money off of my images, and I’m not even a professional or full-time blogger who relies on affiliate income,” says Lage. “The whole thing is infuriating.” Though the PopSugar page featuring the influencer content was taken down (it’s unclear how long it was up in the first place) after bloggers flooded the comment section of PopSugar’s Instagram account (oof), Lage took a screenshot of what her content (under the name @ayanagabriellelage) had looked like on the site below.
Blogger Bree Cooley, who has worked with rewardStyle since it first launched back in 2011, was also in the Facebook group that first reported the issue. “I’ve been a rewardStyle member since they first started back in 2011, and I recently celebrated my tenth year of blogging,” says Cooley. Read more from dmagazine.com…
thumbnail courtesy of dmagazine.com