You’ll recall, I’m sure, when my entire post on Johanna Skibsrud and Gaspereau Press was plagiarized and reposted on a website called Authorcourse, without attribution. (Actually it was worse than that. It was attributed to Authorcourse.)
This resulted in my filing a DCMA complaint and having the offending post deleted for copyright infringement. Eventually, I received a sort of apology from the site owner, who I’ll refer to as the first Mr. Glickman. ‘Sort of ‘ because he expressed surprise that I wasn’t grateful for the re-posting, given the millions of hits his site gets.
Sigh. In any event, I accepted the apology and the file was closed.
Well, not completely.
Yesterday, the site owner’s brother, the second Mr. Glickman, posted on this blog.
(Perhaps it’s no surprise that his comment showed up as spam.)
In the course of trying to save it and delete the other spam comments I’d received overnight about nude escorts and Viagra, I’m sorry to say I inadvertently deleted it. Otherwise, I would have posted his comment here, too.
The gist of it, as I can recall from my quick scan before it entered the dead zone of deletions, is that the second Mr. Glickman wanted me to remove all references to plagiarism and his websites from this blog.
I wasn’t clear as to which websites he owned, and which ones are owned by the first Mr. Glickman. The second Mr. Glickman described this for me but it sounded rather complicated. (That’s why I intended to save his message and read it more carefully. Oops.)
However, I guess it doesn’t really matter. I am not about to delete any comments I’ve made or posted about Authorcourse. Authorcourse posted my material without consent or attribution, and worse, passed it off as its own. My DMCA complaint was upheld, after all. I won that skirmish.
That aside, in one of the comment threads, a commentator mentioned other sites owned by the first Mr. Glickman and made unflattering comments about them. I have now removed that information. I don’t care what websites the two brothers own or what their subject matter is. I only mind when one of them — in this case, Authorcourse — uses my work without asking me and/or crediting me for it.
That same poster provided me with details for Authorcourse in terms of its domain registration and servers. Somewhat ironically, since I was never able to get hold of anyone at Authorcourse (the reason I filed a formal complaint), the second Mr. Glickman is named as the registrant contact person for Authorcourse, too. His contact information is listed as an email address for one of those unrelated websites that he’s concerned about.
I’ve deleted that too, as well, as personal contact information for both siblings, as a courtesy, even though this information is public domain.
Hopefully, that’s what the second Mr. Glickman wanted, because, unfortunately, that’s all he’s getting. There was nothing objectionable about any of the information I posted, or the comments posted on my blog. In other words, I am extending to Mr. Glickman the courtesy that wasn’t extended to me. He made a request, and I responded. By contrast, when I tried to reach him some months ago to point out that my work had been plagiarized, I got nothing. Because all my emails to him were returned ‘undeliverable.’
Which come to think of it, was the problem with Authorcourse in the first place.
There was no way to reach anyone to ask them to remove information that violated my copyright. Not one of the emails listed on the website or in the DCMA records worked. When I tried posting my comment on the Authorcourse blog, no-one deleted my comments, inadvertently or otherwise. Instead, my comments (asking for deletion or attribution) stayed stuck in a kind of perpetual ‘awaiting moderation’ queue. Ignored completely.
In fact, the only response I got from Authorcourse was after I sent a demand letter to the first Mr. Glickman and filed my written DCMA complaint. He emailed a couple of weeks later to tell me that he’d taken the post down. This was after the post had been disabled by his server.
Now from what I remember of the mistakenly deleted spam comment, the second Mr. Glickman sounded thoughtful and concerned. He said he understood how I felt because he too is a writer. He also said he was going to raise this matter with his brother. I appreciate that. And I hope he does.
Might I suggest, Mr. Glickman, that when you do, the two of you discuss having Authorcourse (or you, I guess, as its contact person for DCMA complaints) list an email address in your DCMA information and on your various websites that actually works?
That way, people like me won’t have to file formal complaints when we (rightly) believe our material has been plagiarized. We can deal with this stuff informally. Respectfully. Writer to writer.
Just a thought.