Monday, December 03, 2007

Plagerism - DON'T DO IT!

I'm sure by now you have heard about and been beaten over the head several time with the recent plagerism scandal.

An ebook author, whom I won't name, has been charged with alleged plagerism. I don't know all the details, I am not either of the parties, so I have no clue as to what the hell is going on.

But I have been on the victim end of plagerism myself, and it SUCKS!

A while back I allowed D Musgrave to post a story of mine on his website, one that he had helped me to edit and felt good enough to share with his readers. I was honored.

Then while reading the newest stories at a website I frequently visited a few months later I came across one that sounded VERY familiar. At first I didn't want to believe it - but it was true - the story was mine, with just the character names changed. I cried, I yelled, I threw a FIT, then I sat down and decided what to do.

First I emailed the owner of the site it had been posted on and had the story removed. The owner was great about it all.

Then I alerted my buddies on ERWA so that they could look the 30+ stories over to see if any of theirs had been ripped,

And then I did something that in hindsight was rather stupid. I confronted the man who plagerised me publicly and a flame war resulted. Here I was the victim, and I was being blasted at, doubted, and generally called a lying sack of dodo.

It made the pain a million times worse. But I knucled down, said to hell with them, and moved on.

Now I occasionally do a sweep of lines of my stories, te see if anything pops up. And I listen when someone says that there is a plagerism claim, so that I can see if anything of mine was ripped.

And then I cry - because however it ends, someone's reputation is in tatters, and someone's hard work is doubted. And both parties always suffer.

It's not worth it. Write your OWN stories, or DON'T WRITE! That's my stand on it.

If you have an idea and can't string two sentences together to save your life, find a friend and write the story together.

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