Tag Archives: copyright infringement

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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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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Fall off the face of the earth, you old hag!

1 Oct

I admit to being old–particularly when compared to the eternal youth of a recent college graduate embarking on a first job–but I confess that even my usual lack of vanity winced a bit at the “hag” moniker.

Then again, if old inevitably means ugly, and if not giving in to temper tantrums makes me mean, then I guess that hag would apply.

What I’m going on about?

Ah, little grasshoppers, gather around and listen to a story.

(Be Ye Warned, all those who do continue reading: it’s longish, and quite likely not very interesting, as pettiness rarely is)

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On piracy, again

2 Feb

Every so often, for one reason or another, the issue of piracy comes up.

This is particularly true of book piracy, both print (ARC versions of books are scanned and posted in ‘filesharing’ sites even before they are available in book stores) and, even more so, electronic.

There are many discussions and points of view on this–both Karen and I have talked about it, Shiloh Walker has spoken frequently and eloquently on the topic, and via RRRJessica’s Monday Stepback post I was able to read a differing point of view from Bibliophile Stalker, a Philipino author.

However, in the end, is this post by Robin D. Owens (author of the Heart series, a favorite of mine), which strikes closer to the heart of the matter, as far as I’m concerned (bolding  mine):
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What we (hopefully) learned this week (and a few rambling thoughts)

23 Oct

From the “Readers have copyright rights too” conversation over at Dear Author, I hope that we have all learned to think before posting, commenting or tweeting.

It has been said, ad nauseam, that all people should think before putting their thoughts up there in the internets for everyone, their pet parrot and their alien relatives to see. After all, it’s there forever, in one way or another (from Google cache to screen caps).

It has been noted that we eeeeeeeeeeeeeebol readers keep lists of authors behaving badly, and that we are not shy to share those lists with other readers whenever flaps like this latest break out. Continue reading

I speak about plagiarism, yet again (and the peanut gallery groans)

9 Jan

For those who just got here (hello, new peeps!) I have blathered on about plagiarism before, here and here (and those two links are chock-full of links, it’s a treasure trove of links, I tell you)

Being late on my blog hopping this week (sue me) I just saw this post over at Dear Author, linking to the latest plagiarism scandal: a Christian author copied an essay by another Christian author. (And hey, it seems our most beloved SmartBitches found about it too.)

The funniest bit? The plagiarist added a bit about how vividly he remembered the incident that happened to the actual author of the essay. Incredible memory, indeed.

Or perhaps the most bitter of ironies is that the rabid fangrrrrllls and fanbweeees are not only defending the plagiarist, but claim that the actual author should feel flattered that such a celebrity had deigned stealing her work. (I can almost hear the steam coming out of Shiloh Walker‘s ears over such nerve.)

I’m having a cynic moment here–it’s Christians like this one and his fans who give such a bad name to other Christians.

As Ms Chand said over this bit of thievery and the subsequent lack of honest repentance:

“Has the man who writes best-selling books about his ‘Conversations With God’ also heard God’s commandments? ‘Thou shalt not steal. Thou shalt not lie, and thou shalt not covet another author’s property’?”

(Attentive readers may have noticed that I didn’t name the plagiarist–I don’t care to give him more exposure; follow the links if you are curious)