Thursday, May 04, 2006

Copyright violations - my work...with someone else's name on it

Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, but I have to admit it feels strange to discover my work in an online publication with someone else's name on this case, someone posting on Authors Den. Although she changed the titles and rearranged an apostrophe or two, she kept the rest of my work essentially intact - just with her copyright at the bottom of it.

The full story is available in the Poets Against Plagiarism Blog (see link at right), now resolved thanks to the help of Pris Campbell and Kevin Doran who started the blog as a way to publicize the issue of plagiarism and copyright violations in the on-line environment we now increasingly publish in. Our thought was to dissiminate information on writers' rights and remedies, as well as publicize the actions of those who violate those rights. Since blogs' contents are readily picked up by search engines, publicizing the names of those who steal the work of others' could be an effective first step in getting them to think twice before doing it. Especially since on-line publications may be leery of publishing their future work. We also saw the process of creating awareness an important first step in inviting publishers to create and post formal policies on plagiarism and copyright violations by their contributors.