Who would have thought this little blog of mine would have such devout readers. Readers who are journalists, who want to spread my words with such faithfulness as to keep the original untouched, in its exact same form, word for word, comma for comma. And print it in one of the nations English dailies, with (purportedly) the highest circulation.
This should warm the cockles of my beating heart, it should fill me with pride and joy, it should, it should...
Well it doesn't. I am mad.
And after I complain to the person in charge of that section of the paper I receive a phone call from the offending creature. Who calls it 'research'. Who does not admit to charges of copying even though she has scooped up 400 words of a five hundred word post and did a paste job. Who does not identify herself on the phone .Who has the gall to suggest I 'want something", as in money, to keep me quiet.
Now I am madder.
What the silly woman does not know is that the exact same piece was plagiarised in a magazine that was circulated in November 2005. So, now everyone knows it definitely appeared before her piece, whether in my blog or actually lifted from some other 'journalist' .Who is the fool? Plagiariser No 1 or P # 2.
The editor of that particular magazine issued an apology right away, refused to use the "journalist" in question again and circulated my letter to her stringers as a warning, and ...(oh wowee!!) suggested that, perhaps, I would like to write for her illustrious magazine.
Not surprisingly the 'in charge' of the paper today said...."err so why dont you come and meet me and maybe you would like to write for us". Oh surprise surprise! .Very pally like. Familiar. First name basis always. Friendly. Patronising.
No mention of formal apology. No mention of setting it right in print
The odd fact is, 'not so net savvy' journalists do not use the Internet except, like this woman, for "research". They don't know that this great piece of software called Copyscape (please look to the bottom right hand corner of this page) can catch them red-handed in black and white if they have online versions of their papers.
Any editor in this country would do well to use keep it on their desktop. Google is another wonderful tool. Just type in phrases from any article and if it has been written before, at least on the net, you can find out in 2 seconds flat.
And we have copyright and patent laws in this country too. Yes. I know this is not Neem or Basmati and this thief is so local as to make the situation somewhat amusing,( I mean if we meet in the same restaurant -what do I do? Throw curry in her face?) but all the same. There is such a tiny, little thing called creative pride. My words above another persons byline. Ugh. I dont like the look of that name. It ain't mine.
How many other bloggers have experienced the same thing? How many blogs are being reproduced wholesale without permission and with no attribution given to the writers and photographers?
Dear community of Bloggers. Please do let me know.