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The case of the drug taking copy cat

The case of the drug taking copy cat

Duncan Riley> I received an email this evening from Blog Herald contributor and all round great blogger Vicki Fox Smith about a case of first degree plagiarism. The case for the prosecution is simple: that John Collari, a self described “Christian Drug Taker”, student of Zion College, and editor of the aptly titled “Diary of a Sinner” did reprint in full, without any attribution, an article titled “The Weblog as Digital Pub” originally published at Just in from Cowtown and later republished with full permission at The Blog Herald.
Now Vicki has been very reasonable in contacting John and asking nicely to remove the plagiarised article, to which there has been no response. In Vicki’s own words on JIFCT: “Jeesh, if he had cited me, or asked permission I would have been fine with him copying it there.”
Vicki’s situation is not unique but it is certainly the most blatant example of plagiarism that I have personally seen. There are undoubtedly other tales in the Blogosphere of similar occurrences. Please feel free to share your thoughts on Vicki’s predicament and any other relevant examples of plagiarism. It could happen to any of us one day, and I’d know I’d be the richer for knowing how other people have dealt with it.

View Comments (4)
  • Finally, the young man who published my “Weblog as Digital Pub” essay as his own decided to apologize. He removed it from his weblog.

    He also publicly apologized by leaving a comment one of my blog entries. Later this morning he posted an apology on his own weblog.

    He has now redone his own page so that it no longer is quite as revealing as it had been about some of his more, urrrrm, interesting activities and has moved on to enjoying the additional hits he is getting as a result of this whole affair.

    The Email he sent me privately had a slightly different tone. I can’t in good conscience post his private mail here or on my weblog, but he was somewhat aggressive and deceitful.

    He showed far less contrition than he should have, given my ability to take this places he would definitely NOT want it to go.

    I now consider the matter closed. I want everyone else to as well. With any luck, this young man learned a valuable lesson and will not repeat this kind of behaviour.

    You should know, that I had not revealed his name in any of the postings I did about this, my sense had been that this fairly pathetic person had enough problems already and that making a connection between his name and an illegal and unethical act was not something I needed to do.

    Duncan is a journalist. He told you the whole story.

    I am hoping that he gets his act together and goes on to a succesful life and the career in the ministry he is working towards.

    I remember being 21. I wasn’t a plagiarist, and I don’t think I was either lazy or stupid either, but I did do thinkgs I very much regretted later.

  • I think what happened here was a model of how cyberspace (or the blogosphere or whatever else we choose to call this place) can take care of its own business without the intervention of an authoritative entity of any kind. Granted, this won’t work every time, but it is a great case study for how copyright violations can be addressed by the “swarm-ocracy”. Someone should blog about this issue looking for other examples and comparing the differences between the online and the off…hint, hint, Vicki…

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