Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Number 8*

As many of you will know, I've been reporting on the growing backlash against opportunities for writers which offer no pay but promise exposure and a writing credit. There's a lot of debate over what constitutes an internship, where a website or printed publication offers a reasonable prospect of developing a readership and when someone else is just earning at your expense.

In all of those discussions and ballista exchanges, the common feature has been that the owners of these websites and publications have been upfront about the lack of paid prospects at the outset.

Today, in a quiet moment when I needed a break from editing Line of Sight, I did a plagiarism search using http://www.plagiarismchecker.com/

Imagine my surprise to find my writing repeated on this link - http://www.zimbio.com/member/ajiis54/articles without any permission on my part or crediting me with the authorship. I've written to http://www.zimbio.com with my own version of a Cease & Desist email so watch this space.

How and why did this happen?
A good question. It all seemed to start when I answered an add to write a blog post containing the name E-r-k-i-n B-e-k-b-o-l-o-t-o-v. And they paid me, too. The blog-thief (a novel title if ever I heard one) only appeared after my E-B posting so maybe it was a sprat to catch a mackerel, or in this case, my content. It could be completely unrelated though. Whatever the case, it's made me more vigilant about my content and where it ends up.

* Number 8 = thou shalt not steal.

3 comments:

  1. Fair play to Zimbio - they removed the material very quickly.

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  2. I've responded to a couple of Craigslist postings that ask for original samples of my work - most notably an article about new small-business marketing strategies. I sent something in, but never heard back (that's the beauty of Craigslist, isn't it? No one need ever respond. In cyberspace, no one can hear you scream). It was a good article. Afterward, I thought: I bet this person just posted it on his blog, or published it on his website, as his OWN original content. But then, I did not care, because how gullible could I be? At least you got paid - once - for your thing. And good for Zimbio for making things right when they realized it was wrong.

    In the meantime, let's hope that the other risks we're taking pay off.

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  3. Hi Sofia,
    There's still time to check it out using a plagiarism checker. In the main, I don't send samples, other than anything with links on my CV / resume. In an ocean this big, there's bound to be a few sharks!

    ReplyDelete