My work has been plagiarised!

I always believed, and I still do, that the web is for sharing. My work can be found in a variety of places, but always with acknowledgements, even when I’m not asked. I used to say I didn’t mind if my work got stolen, lifted, reproduced. I used to say I’d be flattered if anyone thought my work good enough to want to steal it. But why should anyone steal with so much free stuff about?

No. What I object to is that a story has been reproduced in toto on a community blog of – get this – a how-to-get-out-of-debt advisor website. Now the person in question has broken the community rules. But the strange thing is that my story has nothing to do with what his/her blog is about. Maybe it’s intended as some sort of literary entertainment. Heavens, what if the person is discovered!

Another strange thing is that the mother website has no contact information. Who is the mystery website owner? No go. But I have written to the registrar for contact information. And just in case our thieving blogger is looking over my shoulder, here is a screen shot of the page.

The original resides at Scribd where it was featured, viewed almost 2,500 times, had 13 reviews and is now for sale for one dollar. But if you can make out the plagiarist’s url from the screen shot, it is available for free until the naughty person is caught, reprimanded, shamed. Or you can wait for my ebook and get it with a whole lot of other stories through fairer channels.

8 thoughts on “My work has been plagiarised!

  1. Thanks so much, James, for all that. Ha, and there I thought someone really “stole” my stuff. Back to the drawing board, I guess.

  2. Oh the other thing is that many sites which are password protected to individual users are NOT password protected to Google. Many sites give Google special access to their catalogs to aid searching. Spammers can still many times cull text from the Google cache without going to the site. Perhaps the site owner did not specify that Google was not supposed to cache content, only allow search. There are probably a million ways they could have gotten the content even though it was password protected. It’s a wild wild world out here. It’s too bad too, because the spammers really make the commons less pleasant.

  3. Since I run a bunch of blog sites, I can chime in here with what is happening. When a bot signs up for a free blog on my blog network, it quickly adds a bunch of posts of nonsense text culled from around the web containing some links back to a site they are promoting.What they hope is that Google will index the site, see content that doesn’t trigger any spam alarms (hey, Google says, this story is pretty good. And why wouldn’t it be, it was written by Merc) and then Google with go ahead and increase the page rank of the site to which the links point.That’s all. It’s all an SEO scam designed to drive traffic to their targets. I have anti-spam measures on my network, but some people are more lax, I suppose. In any case, I wish spammers would die deaths of a thousand screams :-).

  4. You may be right about the bot, Tania. Here are stats on the offending page:Member since: 3/26/2009Last visisted: 4/28/2009Rep Points: 160Forum posts: 0Blog posts: 6Comments: 0Swetatiwari’s LinksI tried to comment, but the comments page has been removed. The time period corresponds to when the story was free and featured for a couple of weeks. If this person no longer maintains the blog, then the onus would be on the unreachable mother site. This is becoming an interesting exercise. But how can a bot place work if the community is password protected? Mystere et boule de gomme.

  5. And illegal, Rachel. The strange thing is that when I did a Who Is on the mother site only the registrar came up and the registrar hasn’t responded yet. Obviously no one seems to take the terms of usage seriously. They are just plonked on the site as lip service, like so much else these days.

  6. How totally bizarre. What I would guess is it is someone trying to fill up pages on a website and who just stole a whole load of content from Scribd. I get these very odd Google alerts for my name where websites have copied bits of things of mine, not whole stories… I did wonder if it was some kind of automatic bot trawling the web and doing it. There’s something very weird going on. But the fact that you can’t find who owns the website is very suspect. So sorry to hear about this.

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