Blatant Plagiarism

August 19th, 2006

Following a link in the Usenet group, I checked my sites in Copyscape, thinking I would perhaps find people quoting pieces of my text somewhere. Instead I found this:

302 words copied from my homepage!

I’m now torn between publicly defaming them, and writing them an email telling them to take the page down immediately.

Hmm.. could do both? 😉 — ideas welcome!


I decided on the ‘non-threatening’ approach that Andrew suggested, and sent him just this line, after addressing him with his first name: “How about you take down the page you copied from my website?”. I even added “Thanks” with a smiley. How non-threatening is that? 🙂

Update 2

Result! The copied content is gone 🙂

5 Responses to “Blatant Plagiarism”

  1. Like buying something expensive, these things always seem to work out better if you sleep on them for a day. Then you have time to think about the best approach and look at it in a calm and rational way. I’d say drop them a short but very polite note that is in no-way threatening and then wait to see how they respond. If no toes are stepped on then the issue may be resolved easily without harm done to either side, but if threats are made then this raises the stakes and makes an amicable resolution more difficult.

  2. John Bokma says:

    Hi Els,

    My advice is still to complain with the hosting provider and see what they reply. If they start talking about reporting this issue according to the DMCA, I would contact the culprit himself.

    Blogging about it just gives people a kind of platform. I try to stop doing such things. The saying is: there is no bad advertisement.

  3. Els says:

    @Andrew – you’re right of course, only now that I have slept on it, I’m still indecisive 😉

    @John – I know the saying (there’s no such thing as bad publicity), but I’m not sure I agree with it. Right now, Googling for the guy’s website domains gets zero results. If I’d name them in this blog, soon the only result would be connected to plagiarism – I’m not so sure he would ever actually benefit from that?

    Anyway, it’s weekend – not gonna worry about it until Monday morning 🙂

  4. Charles Sweeney says:

    Good day to you. Just got your RSS feed.

    I would contact the webmaster about it. Form reading other people’s experiences this usually results in them removing the material as usually they have just stumbled across it and have no desire to get into a battle, and can easily go and pinch another person’s article!

    I wouldn’t contact the host unless I had something solid to present to them, like a legal order. (Some readers might not be aware that webhosts are not qualified to nor empowered to rule on copyright matters).

    I had a case like this before. I ended up striking up a dialogue with the person. I got him to make a link to my site as a credit (it’s still there after several years) and he even paid me $100 for a month’s advertising on my site!

  5. Els says:

    If only all plagiarists were like that! 😉