As I hope anyone reading this blog can tell, I take a fair amount of time writing it.
So I was quite surprised to learn yesterday that someone using the blog name ‘Author Course’ at Authorcourse.com had replicated my entire blog on Johanna Skibsrud on his/her blogpage without any attribution.
I have posted a comment on Author Course’s blog asking for either attribution or deletion, but I’m not holding my breath. And since comments are moderated on that blog, don’t expect to see my comment posted on it either.
The offending blog is at:
http://authorcourse.com/more-on-johanna-skibsrud-and-gaspereau-press-getting-published/#comment-299 [update: this link was disabled by the host on November 25 due to my claim of copyright infringement -- yayy!!!]
My original blog is at http://peggyblair.wordpress.com/2010/11/19/more-on-johanna-skibsrud-and-gaspereau-press/
If you compare the two, you’ll see there are some minor differences because I edited my post a couple of days after I posted it on November 19th. The re-poster was a bit quick off the blocks. S/he posted it on November 20th.
This, of course, is rank plagiarism, which is the academic word for theft. The legal word for it is copyright infringement and the nice thing about copyright infringement in the US and in Canada is that damages are presumed.
I don’t mind anyone linking to my blog, quoting from my blog, or even cutting and pasting my blog, as long as they mention my name. Author Course, needless to say, has done none of this. The blog is passed off as their work (‘ by Author Course‘).
There seems to be a bit of a misconception out there that anything posted on the Internet is public domain and therefore ‘fair game.’ Not so. Copyright applies just as much to items posted on the Internet as anywhere else.
Perhaps Author Course thought s/he could simply post my work since I don’t have a notice that says ‘all rights reserved’ or that my work is copyrighted. But I don’t need that. Copyright exists as a matter of law.
Another writer I’ve heard about experienced much the same thing. She discovered that an on-line story of hers had not only been lifted and reproduced but modified by the magazine that published it. The plagiarist was entirely unapologetic when first contacted. She actually suggested that the copyright owner should be grateful she got a free edit. I understand that she was pretty much driven by comments on Twitter into changing that position. http://illadore.livejournal.com/30674.html
In my case, Author Course posted a Google link a few lines below the bottom of the blog post that says “getting published — Google blog search.” If you click on it, it links back to my blog. Perhaps s/he thinks that this kind of footnote is enough to bypass the plagiarism sniff test. But as many a university student has found out, attribution is necessary.
You either put the extract you’re using in quotes, with the author’s name, or in the case of blogging, a link to the original article when you’ve referred to it, or extracted from it. Under no circumstances do you reproduce the entire work without attribution or express consent. Get it, Author Course? None.
So, Author Course, if you’re reading this blog, I suggest you either delete my blog entry from yours, or give it proper attribution. And just for your info, I’ve reported this infringement to your host server, Hostgator. As we say in the legal profession, kindly govern yourself accordingly.