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KLB
10-16-2007, 01:14 PM
Besides Chinese and Japanese blogs, one of the most frequent groups that steal my content are environmental organizations, who try to hide behind their "noble" non-profit status and Fair Use. Never mind that the fair use clause of copyright law does not afford them the rights they think it does.:flare:

Yesterday, Copyscape's "CopySentry" service alerted me to yet another instance of intellectual theft by an environmental organization, only it wasn't a straight copying of one of my articles as is typical. Instead the president of the organization posted an editorial about mercury in fish and under a section of the editorial he titled "Why is mercury a problem?" he plagiarized a huge section of my article only occasionally swapping some words here and there to make it less obvious. Of the approximately 800 word section of the editorial, around 650 words were part of phrases that were lifted verbatim from my article. Now I might have let this slide, however, this individual then proceeded to promote his article and thus himself by publishing the editorial not only on his organizations own site, but on another environmental site, his MySpace web page and a MySpace forum thread started by one of his "friends" who opened the thread with the comment with "giving credit where credit is due" (of course the credit didn't go to my original article). In essence because of this case of blatant plagiarism, there are now at least four web pages that contain almost half the text of one of my articles.

Being that it was the president of the environmental organization that committed the plagiarism and not some low level administrative person, I'm quite certain getting this case of plagiarism addressed is going to be an up hill battle. The thing is, this isn't only about the theft my content, but the fact that the head of a well known environmental organization has committed intellectual fraud by claiming to have written something that he substantially plagiarized from elsewhere.

My first track to deal with this issue has been to write an editorial on my blog titled "Plagiarism, Copyright Infringement, Fair Use and Environmental Organizations (http://blog.environmentalchemistry.com/2007/10/plagiarism-copyright-infringement-fair.html)". The purpose of this article is to help frame the larger issue (I plan to link to it from the footer of all my pages) of copyrights and plagiarism, as well provide a public warning the writer who plagiarized my article to either make amends or be prepared to have his plagiarism fully exposed to the light of day.

Besides blowing off a little steam, my intention in starting this thread is to ask for some help that I'm sure I'll need to gain substantial attention to the plagiarism this individual committed when they ignore my requests to correct the situation.

You can see for your self the exact extent of the plagiarism by feeding the URL of my article into Copyscape's search tool (the first four results are what you will be interested in).

--edit--
I forgot to provide the URL of the article that was plagiarized, which is: http://environmentalchemistry.com/yogi/environmental/200511mercuryvsomega-3fattyacids.html

KLB
10-16-2007, 03:40 PM
Just a quick update. I am happy to report that someone from the environmental organization in question called me to clear up the issue. She was the responsible for editing content before it was posted to their site and was totally mortified that the plagiarism slipped past her. She promised to help clean up the mess as quickly as possible and was grateful to know about CopyScape and that it could help her avoid this problem in the future.

Let's hope this issue gets cleared up without major hassle. Man I really hate having to clean this type of thing up.

Cutter
10-16-2007, 04:38 PM
So it was just a careless accident? Are they responsible for all three web sites?

You could always try digging into this guys credentials for more dirt, may be he has a degree or two from a diploma mill.

KLB
10-16-2007, 05:12 PM
No it wasn't a careless accident from the stance of the writer. He clearly copied and pasted from my article. The differences between my article and his article were the result of editing by someone else. Where the mistake came in was that the editor normally asks writers about the sources used so that they can check for plagiarism, but in this case due to time pressures the article was posted without the double check. Now that the editor knows about Copyscape, she is going to make it a mandatory part of their editing process.

The funny thing about this is that the editor said had been pushing people to exercise more care with their articles but has had a hard time getting people to understand the plagiarism issue. Now she feels she has a perfect example of why copying and pasting articles is not acceptable. So maybe some good can come from this.

The plagiarized article ended up being posted in a total of four places. First it was posted on the environmental organization's website, then the writer placed it on his own MySpace page. From the MySpace page another individual copied and pasted it to a MySpace forum thread. Another "environmental organization" also copied the article from the first organizations website and posted on their own site without permission of the first site. So in essence it is a case of copyright infringement of a plagiarized article. I'm certain that this is going to be one of the messiest plagiarism clean ups I will have had to deal with. Fortunately the editor is taking responsibility for cleaning things up.

In regards to the guy's credentials, I don't really care, as long as they clean up the mess and make things right I will be happy to drop the matter.

agua
10-16-2007, 06:52 PM
Although I agree plagiarism isn't good in any form, but at least it was an environmental organization which hopefully is barking up the same tree as you Ken.

You could take this as a huge compliment aswell.

On another note ken - I was reading the article and found it quite hard to read as when there is text in the left and right columns, it is so close to the article text - maybe give you div holding the text a left and right padding of 5px or more

KLB
10-16-2007, 08:29 PM
Although I agree plagiarism isn't good in any form, but at least it was an environmental organization which hopefully is barking up the same tree as you Ken.

You could take this as a huge compliment aswell.

Yes I do realize it is in a way a complement, but at the same time I was pretty ticked off when I discovered the president of one of these organizations had basically plagiarized half of his editorial from one of my articles and then didn't even cite my article. This was pure intellectual fraud.


On another note ken - I was reading the article and found it quite hard to read as when there is text in the left and right columns, it is so close to the article text - maybe give you div holding the text a left and right padding of 5px or more
I can't increase the padding to 5px without causing bad side effects deep within my site, but I did increase the padding a little. I really want to go to a wider layout, but I can't do that yet because almost 9% of my user base still uses a screen resolution of 800x600 or less and a fluid layout is totally out of the question. I'm thinking of shifting my page width when the percentage of my users on 800x600 resolutions drops to between 2% and 4%.

demosfen
10-17-2007, 09:37 AM
http://www.hti.umich.edu/u/umhistmath/Lobachevsky.mp3

KLB
10-17-2007, 10:21 AM
http://www.hti.umich.edu/u/umhistmath/Lobachevsky.mp3

That is hysterical:lol:

I think I'm going to post a link to the MP3 in the comment section of my article.

Nerpolllder
10-20-2014, 05:33 PM
thanks for the list guys. it'll really help me.