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Plagiarizing reviews, pirating books: a shout out to authors

4 Apr

I was made aware a while back that author Delilah Marvelle had found that someone had plagiarized a number of reviews of her books from an English speaking reviewer.

As I get so little traffic (and have a Creative Commons License posted pretty prominently on the blog), I’ve never been too terribly concerned about plagiarism. Still, I checked–and found that at least two filesharing (aka, pirating) sites seem to have posted some of my my more positive reviews.

I say ‘seem’ because I am not about to register to either of these sites to check–I will say that it’s a pretty safe bet to say that they are using positive reviews to encourage users to download those books. Which pisses me off.

Here’s the thing–I cannot start sending DMCA notices on behalf of the authors, because only the copyright owner can do that.

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No, really, plagiarism doesn’t ‘just happen’

8 Mar

(No, I don’t spend a lot of time looking up these stories, they just show up on my horizon.)

If one were very, very charitable, one would imagine that someone who doesn’t read much, or who doesn’t spend much time online, would not know what plagiarism actually is, and therefore, one would be able to excuse/justify/explain people like Cassie Edwards (“oh, she’s so old, she couldn’t have known better”) or Kristi Diehm (“oh, but she’s just a blogger”), plagiarists.

I am not that charitable, by far. My mother is about Ms Edwards’ age, and she knows very well, not only what constitutes plagiarism, but that plagiarizing is both intellectually lazy and morally wrong. For her part, Kristi Diehm had written (and then deleted), a full post on the topic before going on to steal other people’s intellectual content. Also, I’m ‘only’ a blogger *snort* and I’ve known what plagiarism is well before colleges and high schools started using turnitin to catch it.

I’m even less inclined to excuse people like, say, Timothy Parker, who earned a Guinness World Record as most syndicated crosswords compiler back in 2000. Parker gets paid royalties and fees for this work; instead,  he copied old crossword puzzles almost clue by clue, raking in plenty of money over the years, for work other people had already done–or by reusing his own word under fake bylines.

The original investigation was published earlier this month by fivethirtyeight, and the story was picked up by the New York Times and other big news outlets today.

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John Havel, plagiarist for The Hustle, a (long) postscript

28 Jul

First, the niceties: I am not a lawyer, nor do I play one anywhere. You can read what I know (or think I know) about copyright and fair use, as it applies to the United States, here and here, respectively. Based on my understanding of both, I believe that my use of screenshots and quotes in this post, for the purpose of commentary and discussion, as well as to express my opinions, fall squarely under fair use.

Also, I’m using either do-not-link links, or cached pages from the Wayback Machine, because I’m not giving the assholes at The Hustle hits.

Finally, this is very long. No, seriously; it’s insanely long. You’ve been warned.

And now, on to the post. (Please note the update in the body of the post)

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John Havel of The Hustle is a plagiarist.

21 Jul

Update: links at the end

Signal boosting from Kat Mayo’s eloquent rant over at Book Thingo.

The short version: asshole John Havel thought it would be funny to showcase his ignorance and arrogance all at once, by plagiarizing a romance novel and putting it up for sale on amazon.

Here is hoping Harlequin decides to take action, make an example out of this fucking asshole. We’ll see how funny and interesting he finds it to be in court.

In the meantime, here is the blurb of the actual, copyrighted work, by Australian author Anna Cleary:

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Rambling rant and other stories.

13 Aug

(Please keep in mind that this was written on Sunday afternoon. After Monday’s news, all the shit below seems petty, small, unimportant–and yet, life must go on, so here it is.)

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I’m very tired–working seven days a week ain’t for sissies–and dealing with some family crap that has no easy solution has sapped the cheerfulness out of me. Feel free to skip to the more neutral bits at the end, or entirely ignore this one, and instead expect a review in the next couple of days.

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More on copyright

7 Mar

Discussions, discussions, discussions…

One of my favorite blogs–even if plenty of the commentary and more than a little of the posts are beyond my pay rate–is Popehat. I found it not that long ago via Dear Author, and have since enjoyed reading and even (though very rarely) commenting there.

There are a variety of points of view and interests reflected in the blog, as befits any group blog, but there is quite a bit of emphasis on freedom of speech, its challenges and its defense. It’s the posts on this topic that I enjoy the most, particularly because I love being witness to people who do put their principles before their likes/dislikes. Ken White in particular is very good about defending the law rather than siding with entities or people he may or may not have a beef with–to wit: Eat Less Totalitarianism.

The reason I’m mentioning all this here is because a more recent post–or rather, where the comment thread has wandered off to. The post gives some background about Prenda Law, a thuggish law firm (or shop) which seems to act much as the proverbial ambulance chaser for copyright holders. And in the best tradition of such fine representatives of the legal profession, they have mucked things up in fairly entertaining ways.

What made the whole bit all the more interesting to me is the conversation veering towards copyright law, infringement, piracy and the like. (Something those who have read the blog may have noticed I’m interested in.)

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So. On that plagiarism, apology, forgiveness thing? I’m more of a cynic than I thought.

23 May

For those kids who didn’t bother to read the meta page: many posts in this blog are reposted from Karen Scott’s blog. Deal with it. This particular entry was originally posted on May 22nd 2012 at 8:00 am London time.

Yes, I’m sure many here are tired of the topic, particularly since it seems to crop up regularly, all over the place.

Me, I’m one of those who believes that talking about it, keeping the perpetrators and their victims clearly separated, is the only way to reduce the instances of plagiarism. (Like racism, there are some people who don’t realize what it is–or that they are indulging in it¹–until someone points it out to them.)

But, onwards with today’s post.

On May 21st 2012, Jill Sorenson commented, over at Karen’s,  on my latest post on Kristi Diehm, plagiarist

My own reply to Ms Sorenson took me back to RRRJessica’s awesome post on the scandal (seriously, go and read the whole thing; it’s wonderful and full of win. The part about moral autonomy and women? Win, I tell you).

Upon re-reading the post, my mind, that horrible, suspicious, cynical fiend, fixated on the following bits: Continue reading