Jody Rosen, a writer at Slate Magazine, was alerted by a reader to a story in a small Texas alternative weekly called the Bulletin where “10 and a half paragraphs copied nearly verbatim from ‘A Pirate Looks at 60,'” were plagiarized from an essay he wrote on Jimmy Buffett.

So, Jody writes a story for slate (here) about the plagiarism and uncovers a writer and possibly publisher who nab stories online and re-appropriate them for their tiny (20,000) unsuspecting audience.

After the story comes out the publisher is inundated with emails and the stories about the plagiarism spread around the blogosphere (here, here, here and here).

The Bulletin ceases publication and the writer issues a statement (here).

Does anyone think they can get away with this shit anymore? Do you really think you can steal someone’s words (pictures and designs too) and not get caught in 2008?

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  1. HOORAY!!!

    The same should go for photography and that is why it is very important for now, to put all Metadata in each image one publishes.

    Hopefully there will be some program to permanently imbed it and become trackable by its creator for its lifetime.

    matthew pace

  2. My girlfriend’s articles are snatched all the time by Chinese papers. They go so far as to not even edit interview answers such as “Blah, blah blah blah blah blahblah.” told Ruslogjdh Weekly. Try prosecuting someone in China… They do get away with it, just not in the States.

  3. Funny timing, this post followed by the one on Photo-Eye. Was in Santa Fe this past weekend and stumbled into this hole:
    where everything (everything!) is copied from National Geographic of the 80s and 90s. In particular, her pictures from Morocco are frame-for-frame rip-offs of Bruno Barbey’s. But she shoots in 4×5 and talks up her pictures with lots of touchey-feeley drivel, so that makes them different, no?

  4. Would you believe someone gave me their makeup artist card, with another makeup artists campaign on it? Would you believe there are artists out there carrying other artists work in their book as if it’s theirs? Plagiarism doesn’t surprise me!

  5. It has been common for the large newspapers in Michigan to take stories from the small local weekly’s. It got so bad, a couple years ago, that the weekly’s started to really become active and point it out.

    It happens at all levels, sadly. I also teach a in university journalism dept. and many of the young people don’t seem to have as much of a problem with it as you might think.


  6. When I was younger I would have no issue with plagiarism. However when I started to write extensively I would find my work all over the web with other people taking credit for what I toiled over. It struck a nerve with me because I felt they stole what was mine and did not give one lick of credit. In this day and age what can you really do.

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