plagiarism, part XVII.

A friend of mine clued me in on the fact that my “Sacred Cows” posts have been reprinted verbatim without permission or attribution in the January edition of Illinois’ “Gun News”.  (It’s on page 11, as “Don’t buy THAT gun!”) The only attribution they give is to “MCKNBRD at the Appleseed forums”, who has taken it upon himself to entertain his forum friends with my blog posts…again, without attribution or permission.

Folks, it’s getting to where it’s not funny.  I had committed those articles to someone else, for actual money, and these people are basically stealing the meat off my kids’ sandwiches.  I don’t have the spare change to let a lawyer off the leash every time this happens, and I may just have to stop writing those gun-related essays and articles as blog posts for general consumption.  I do like currency, and the bank holding our mortgage likes timely payments–something that’s much easier to accomplish when people don’t just run by the shop and swipe the sellable merchandise, so to speak.

Ugh.  Is the new rule that “everything found on the Internet is automatically public domain”?

71 thoughts on “plagiarism, part XVII.

  1. Leatherwing says:

    I read through the forum, I was hoping to see you take credit for your work and see how the forum responded. Instead, I saw MCKNBRD respond to a question and it is obvious that he doesn’t have the brainpower to have written the piece in the first place.

    Sorry to see that done to you.
    By the way, I found your blog a couple of months ago (because someone linked to that particular post). I’ve added you to my blog reader and enjoy your writing.

    You’ve mentioned your novel a few times. Have you posted what it is about, or are you keeping that to yourself?

  2. Well, the forum post is easy, a DMCA take down notice should take care of that. I’ve never done one, but the ease they seem to fly around on the tubes of net, it should be easy.

    $dig appleseedinfo.org #on the command line, gets me..

    ..the IP address of 64.202.163.148. Another command line command, “whois”, gets me to godaddy.com, who I assume is their host. You can google up several examples of how to write up a proper one, and from what I understand, their host would be very interested in removing the content to preserve their “safe harbor”.

    The small claims court here in Maryland is not very friendly towards individuals, vastly favoring limited liability companies and thoroughly protecting the lawyer’s’ guild, but perhaps the things are different around your parts. I’d think at least getting a judgment against Illinois’ “Gun News” would be a little satisfying, even if they don’t show up to defend themselves and you never collect.

    Unfortunately, I’ve never had a company do the right thing after I’ve send them a polite letter stating the obvious. I’ve always had to cut my losses or file a suit to get them to talk to me.

  3. lenf says:

    Marko, Have you contacted both parties? and both web sites? It doesn’t seem unreasonable to ask for both attribution and an apology (from MKCNBRD) published in the respective web sites and newsletter. If your request is written properly, you could suggest that it was also published so that your side could be heard.

    Is everything found on the Internet automatically public domain? Technically it probably isn’t. But practically? Well, I don’t know.

    A simple copyright notice on your site might help. I’m sure you could write something short, polite and effective.

    I suspect that MCKNBRD was just excited about the topic and dove in. The attribution to him on the newsletter is the formality that you were looking for (for yourself) and rightly so. It looks like they made at least an effort at attribution, showing where they found the work, probably they didn’t contact MCKNBRD to verify it.

    On the other hand you could declare war.

  4. whoops, looks like the first step is to contact the site owner. He has “domains by proxy” from godaddy, but there’s an email address and a regular address available.

  5. well, that thing reads like a neighborhood newsletter, but it does seem to be in earnest…and God knows residents of ill need all the advocates they can get. don’t know what their circulation might me, but i note that oleg has a featured attribution block there acknowledging his permission to reprint his work, and i’ll bet they would give that to you along with a proper apology if asked, and that might be worthwhile to ask for; they might even make a feature story out of that and prior plagiarism re the frontsight fiasco.

    the attribution to the “contributor” on the other hand seems to suggest that he did indeed submit it as his own, and it seems he would be the target of any retribution. but as to the question of what’s “out there” being free to use (steal)? well, to use your analogy, if my merchandise was on unguarded tables outside my store, even if it was obvious it belonged to me and was for sale, not for free…i don’t think it would have taken long for me to liquidate my inventory with nothing to show for it.

    so yeah, i guess the answer is don’t post what you’re not willing to give away. sad, and i will miss what you withhold (until you are a featured author in your own right, of course). but i couldn’t have shot everyone who walked away with stuff that i made too easy for them to steal, and you can’t track down and sue everybody who likes your goods enough to steal them. shit ain’t easy, is it?

    jtc

  6. Jay G. says:

    I don’t have the spare change to let a lawyer off the leash every time this happens, and I may just have to stop writing those gun-related essays and articles as blog posts for general consumption.

    Y’know… With all the fans you have around the world, surely someone can track the shitbird responsible down and give them a heavy sack beating stern lecture on not taking credit for others’ work…

    Dammit, this sucks, Marko. Let me know if there’s anything I can do.

    Like provide an alibi…

  7. Eric says:

    Over at the Down Range TV forum, wtr100 posted your Sacred Cows in two subforums. I reported one posting to the moderators and just sent him a private message. His signature is a link to http://www.appleseedinfo.org

  8. divemedic says:

    I had some other forums steal some of my research as well. That is why my blog has been so neglected, and why I have ceased providing content to the intarwebs.

  9. Marko,

    As a longtime member of ISRPA, I apologize on behalf of the organization. If it helps any, I would be almost certain that this was done in sloth, but not in malice.

    Ich benenne ISRPA Montag-Morgen Fruh.

    Have you talked to an IP attorney about ways to curtail this behavior? If you wish to e-mail me, feel free. I may have some names from my trips to Boston.

    Shootin’ Buddy

  10. crankylitprof says:

    There’s always the passive-aggressive, have several blog friends post, “I liked it better when Marko Kloos originally published it on his own blog, you plagiarizing sack of wombat vomit.”

  11. “I liked it better when Marko Kloos originally published it on his own blog, you plagiarizing sack of wombat vomit.”

    we are so fortunate to have of our acquaintance the illustrious professor of literature to guide us by example in the finer art of proper invective etiquette. :o)

    jtc

  12. Jeff says:

    I have some friends with juice at Appleseed, I’ll send them a link to this post.

  13. MedicMatthew says:

    Sadly, a lot of people do seem to think that anything they read/find/see on the Intarwebs is in the public domain. I’ve found a couple of my photos online with some other schmuck taking the credit for them. Thankfully it has only taken a strong verbal ass chewing for them to admit to their thievery. Thankfully for me I have the metadata embedded into my photos to back me up. But as a precaution I’ve taken to adding a copyright watermark to my images and making it so that right clicking is disabled on my business website.

  14. sasu says:

    Really sad behaviour. Then again, I found you blog because of one these unauthorised posts.

    Those posters should at least attribute the text to you so people would not have to play detective to find your blog. Better yet would be just a short quote and then a link to your blog for the whole text.

  15. Marko says:

    I’d have no issue with an excerpt and a link to the original post. Excerpting a paragraph or two is fine; copying the whole thing is not.

    I registered at the Appleseed forum, and as soon as the admin clears my registration, I’ll add my $0.02 to the thread that hasn’t been closed.

  16. brigid says:

    I sent the Indiana Gun News a shot across the bow. I hope Appleseed will do the right thing.

    I’m so sorry about that.

  17. Ross says:

    Marko, I’m an instructor with Appleseed, and I’d like to apologize for this. I was just made aware of this thread and I have sent a message to the OP as well as to one of our moderators. I’m not sure what can be done at this point (barn doors and horses spring to mind…😦 ) but I have suggested that either it get edited and attribute it to you or to delete the entire thread.

    I read your work occasionally – and read the post in question, in fact – and enjoy your writing. I’m sorry to see it happen on our forum.

  18. perlhaqr says:

    Standard Mischief: whoi info for appleseed.org shows “domaincontrol.com” as the DNS provider.

    whois for domaincontrol.com lists

    Special Domain Services, Inc.
    14455 N Hayden Rd #219
    Scottsdale, Arizona 85260
    United States

    as the registrant. I would start there, if I needed to send a DMCA notice, but really, it’s far, far politer to simply point out to the offending party that they are infringing, if it seems possible they may respond to that. No one wants to have a legal instrument waved in their face unnecessarily.

    Sending a mod at that forum a note saying “Hey, guys? This is mine, and here’s why this is a problem, please fix it.” would be my first step. If they tell you to take a long walk off a short pier, you can always escalate to the DMCA notice.

    And Marko, basically, yeah. If you’re going to sell stuff to other people for publication, sticking it here first is probably not the best idea. I hate to say it, because I enjoy reading it, but I would say the vast majority of the people on the net would appropriate stuff in this manner without even a second thought. Functionally, I doubt many of them see the difference between this, and forwarding that funny thing they got in their email to all their friends and cousins and that one guy they know who works with computers and has seen them all a hundred times. (No! I’m not bitter about it. Nuh unh.)

  19. MCKNBRD says:

    OK, wow. Seems copying a post on another board has started a sh!tstorm.

    First, let me apologize. I had no idea that a post I saw on a private board was something done for personal gain, and the original author got paid for it. Had it been attributed as such, I would have GLADLY given credit where it is due.

    Secondly, I can not edit my post at Appleseed due to the fact that the post is locked. I tried, to no avail. If the post is unlocked, I would GLADLY post a link to the munchkin wrangler and my apologies for copying it.

    For what its worth, I found the ‘article’, ‘blog entry’, ‘post’, whatever quite hilarious, and thought I’d post it on a board of fellow gun enthusiasts, as we usually see several of these firearms on the line at our shoots.

    Once again, I am sorry for the plagiarism. Had I known the original source, I would have posted it, along with a link to the original.

    MCKNBRD

  20. Don Gwinn says:

    I would contact John Naese at GunNews before worrying about any legal recourse, Marko. I found he was pretty easy to deal with last time. I just don’t think they figure they have the resources to check everything they publish, but I foresee this happening more rather than less in the future.

  21. alath says:

    Mcknbrd, any time you reproduce something that someone else wrote, you are supposed to give credit to the original author. It doesn’t matter whether Marko is writing for money or fun. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a blog, a forum post, or what. If someone else wrote it and you are including parts of it in something you wrote, you have to let the reader know who originally wrote it.

  22. pax says:

    MCKNBRD,

    alath told you straight: it doesn’t matter where you found the work. If it isn’t your own, the only courteous (and legal!) way to re-post it is to do so with an attribution that makes it clear that you yourself are not the original writer. Typically, that’s done with a sentence like the following:

    “Hey guys, I got this in my email this morning and thought it was hilarious. I don’t know who wrote it, but …”

    Or

    “There’s this great blog I was reading, http://www.munchkinwrangler.wordpress.com, and I found this post that just cracked me up! Here it is:”

    Or

    “Marko Kloos over at the Munchkin Wrangler wrote this, and I thought it was just too good not to pass along…”

    Something like that. That way, everyone knows you’re not trying to take credit for someone else’s work, just a nice guy who found something funny to share with others.

    As a related thing, if the piece is longer than a couple-three lines, most writers prefer you’d print maybe a paragraph and then link back to the source so people visit the source to read the rest — it’s much more polite, and is actually the only way to stay within the technical bounds of copyright law.

    Hope this helps.

  23. Earl says:

    I linked and used all this today. Hope it works out for better shooting for everyone.

  24. Roberta X says:

    MCKNBRD — d00d, next time you “copy a post,” it might be more honorable to do so in a manner that does not imply you wrote the piece. Credit where credit’s due!

    From where did you copy it? A blog is not “a private board,” so it seems someone else is doing a little “borrowing,” too.

    Plagarists seem to think they’re not doing any harm, but if folks keep stealing the work of our gunwriters, what’re they going to live on? How do they develop a reputation when their work is attributed to others?

    The States are transitioning from a culture where one’s own integrity and pride kept one from theft,. to a culture where the fear of getting caught is the only goad to proper behavior. It hurts when gunnies go that way — we were supposed to be the Good Guys, not a bunch of chicken thieves.

    When you do this on the Appleseed board, it gives a very poor impression of that group, too.

  25. Kevin says:

    Just a blog lurker here..
    a couple of years ago I excerpted some witticism from the net and sent it to a bunch of fence sitters to try and get them to think of what ever topic it was. In he email, I had the link then the excerpt – yet a few of the recipients commented on how well *I* wrote and it took a reply or two to get them to click on the link and read the whole thing as the author wrote it.

    So now I just send links and hope that they are not too lazy to click.

    In this day of cut and paste, it is getting to the point that written communications may become as hard to protect as verbally transmitted ideas in medieval times.
    It may end up that no one will commit anything to digital “paper” that they feel is personally valuable.

  26. George Smith says:

    Funny … but there’s an incredible difference in MCKNBRD’s apology and his original intro to Marko’s work. I mean … compare the phrasing, the grammar, etc.

    Any one who spends a minute on the ‘Net knows about attribution. Any one who’s been in school knows all about plagiarism.

    Obviously, MCKNBRD is related … in a same DNA Arkansas way … to Sumdood.

    Marko’s work is too good to lose … but so is income.

    Regards.

  27. Randy in Arizona says:

    I see that someone posting as MCKNBRD has sorta apologized, but the original putz needs to apologize in the GUN NEWS too.

  28. You need to send a bill for twice what you would have gotten to “Guns Save Life”. Include a statement that you’ll be happy to write similar content for half the billed rate if they will contract up front.

  29. Nickle says:

    Well, I’m an Appleseed Instructor myself, and also one of the Staff Members there. I’m also one of the forum Admin’s, and I have removed that thread completely.

    On behalf of RWVA, I apologize for that being plagurized (and impacting someone’s income), and, know that as soon as it was brought to my attention (about 15 minutes ago), it was dealt with.

  30. Moriarty says:

    MCKNBRD,

    You’ve screwed up royally and made a first-class ass of yourself. Now would be a very good time to go forth and make what amends you can on the Appleseed forum *and* by contacting the Illinois Gun News with a proper attribution and a written apology.

    Even so, you’ve gotten Mr. Kloos’ entire essay published when “Fair Use” (and simple courtesy) would allow copying of properly attributed excerpts only. Your inconsiderate and thoughtless behavior has effectively dumped his whole work into the public domain without a bread crumb in compensation.

    Apology or no, you can’t call it back. One hopes you’re more cautious when sending bullets downrange.

    Frankly, no one can blame Marco if he stops publishing essays altogether. In case you weren’t aware, this isn’t the first time he’s faced plagiarism of his work:

    http://munchkinwrangler.blogspot.com/2007/06/on-plagiarism.html

  31. Shooty Buddy #3 says:

    The thing about the net. You can’t swipe someone’s post and expect to get away with it. One can find out a lot in just minutes on the interweb. For example, with nothing but a laptop and no passwords, in about 3 minutes I found Mcknbrd’s

    Full Birthdate 10-10-72
    Legal Name
    email address
    IM address
    street address and city of residence
    Where his wife works (Wachovia Bank Hi Mrs. B!)
    his Occupation: “that would be great” or “maintenance manager”, not indicative of brain surgeon material
    And that the measure of his mettle is his penchant for watching KnightRider

    Oh, and his most erudite original writing consists of “your dealer is full of poopy”

    All of which simply spell out his naivety on web ethics and safety.

    My, I’d accept the apology but ask for him to post it on Guns AND the forum that started it.

  32. MarkHB says:

    “Sorry” doesn’t cut it when you’ve cost someone money, sadly. It would make my days vastly duller, but I’d completely understand if you deceded to stop posting your blessays.

    Your written word is your bread and butter, and when people just fecklessly pilfer it, then they cost you money. Blogging your essays must be considered akin to leaving a pie on the windowsill to cool, in a neighbourhood of theiving bastards. If it’s not MCKNBRD, it’s going to be someone else. 99% of people are Perfectly Nice, but if you leave that pie on the windowsill of your blog, the 1% will be around faster than you can say “spoils the whole barrel”.

    And tomorrow I’m watermarking every image and video on my site, because I really ought to follow my own advice – sadly, there’s no good way to watermark text that I can think of, unless you want to start posting your blessays as JPGs rather than copy/pasteable text. Which would work, now that I think on it.

  33. theflatwhite says:

    There’s an upside to publishing good copy on the net.

    For every unfortunate incident like this there are muktiple cases where loyal readers post links back to this site, generating traffic and reputation. I have linked to the exceptional “The Gun is Civilization” post several times (and not just on gun forums) when advocating 2nd Amendment rights on the web. That’s exposure only made possible by this open format.

    There’s a downside to sharing good writing in this manner, but there are positives. Here’s hoping you, Lawdog and others continue your excellent work. Please keep writing.

  34. MCKNBRD says:

    Wow. Well, I guess an apology isn’t enough. I shall prostrate myself for all the internet heroes to flail me accordingly.

    I shall, forthwith, refrain from posting anything I hear/see/read anywhere, without doing due diligence and researching all jokes, cute comments, and witticisms, to verify that I properly render their authors accordingly.

    Oh, and ‘Shooty Buddy 3’…never underestimate your ‘prey’. I’ve posted much on the web in 8+ years, and you, apparently, pick and choose what you want to read. I’m quite capable of holding my own in conversation, and quite handy with words, tools, and other things.

    I will, however, contact the folks that used ‘my’ post without permission and see to it that all is properly accounted for.

    MCKNBRD

  35. MarkHB says:

    How very passive aggressive. MCKNBRD, if I stole your wallet, then just said “sorry” as I walked off with it’s contents, would that be all right? Would it hell. You’ve *cost Marko money*. He just can’t afford to sue anyone, so you’re getting away with it. You would like us all to say “Awww, what a nice nice bloke. He said sorry.” perhaps. How would that work? In which way is your apology compensating Marko for the price he would have been paid for the article?

    Learn, yes. Man up and say “Oh hell, I didn’t realise what I was doing”. Fine. But being surprised that your apology isn’t enough just shows you *still* don’t realise what you did, or that you won’t mind if I steal your wallet sometime.

  36. MarkHB says:

    As I’ve got the bit between my teeth, there was a situation once where I’d used imagery that I thought was royalty-free, but was in fact not. I promptly contacted the artist in question, explained the situation, and asked how much he normally sold that image for.

    He said.
    I winced.

    I paid up, though, and as a result I gained a valuable contact, retained my reputation for creative-industry white-hattery by putting right what I – I personally – had done wrong.

  37. vilomaxus says:

    Choose life!

  38. hey! markhb gots a linky thingy now! neat stuff!

    but, all the kool kids are in l.a.? i beg to differ…

    jtc

  39. MCKNBRD says:

    Here is a link to the Appleseed post where I apologize for the indiscretion:
    http://appleseedinfo.org/smf/index.php?topic=5136.0

    Oh, and MarkHB: thanks for the free psychoanalysis. Had there been any intention of monetary gain in my posting, I would gladly offer ‘normal’ fees for his blog entry. As it was, it was an honest mistake. I’ve contacted Marko, and its between him and I now.

    Good day.

  40. Kristopher says:

    Thank you for man-ing up, MCKNBRD.

  41. The Bad Yogi says:

    Just for the hell of it:

    Between him and ME.

    And, it was NOT an honest mistake, dude. The folks here are being WAY too lenient with you. It was theft, when you put YOUR NAME ON SOMEONE ELSE”S WRITING. Period. Dishonest, conniving, weaseling theft. You represented someone else’s creativity as your own. Deliberately. And then acted surprised by the fallout. You are the sort of jerk who we used to arrest in bars, where they would say, “but she ASKED for it.”

    Prostrate yourself in front of your god, not us. You are a great example of why the recent shit-storm of a financial breakdown isn’t done.

    (the bad yogi heads out, muttering something under his breath about retro-active birth control)

  42. MCKNBRD says:

    So, Yogi, let me get this straight…you are saying that my cross-posting something is equivalent to rape or sexual assault? Are you f-ing kidding me?

    I have apologized to the owner of the material. I have heard back from him. He understands the concept of ‘honest mistake’; a mistake made without malice or forethought. That you can’t understand it isn’t my issue. I’ve also emailed the IL gun group that published it and apologized here and on the Appleseed board, so all I can do has been done.

    Marko’s opinion is really the only opinion that matters. Let the internet commandos say what they will.

  43. theflatwhite says:

    @MarkHB

    Did Marco lose actual or potential money by MCKNBRD’s plagiarism?
    I’m not defending his actions, but merely pointing out it isn’t the quite equivalent of reaching into Marco’s pocket and taking a grand. Intellectual property isn’t a zero-sum commodity like physical property.

    I know this is near and dear to your heart since your work is subject to identical “theft” and abuse (as is mine – software).

  44. theflatwhite says:

    @MarkHB

    Did Marco lose actual or potential money by MCKNBRD’s plagiarism?
    I’m not defending his actions, but merely pointing out it isn’t quite the equivalent of reaching into Marco’s pocket and taking a grand. Intellectual property isn’t a zero-sum commodity like physical property.

    I know this is near and dear to your heart since your work is subject to identical “theft” and abuse (as is mine – software).

  45. John says:

    Sorry to hear about the misstep at GunNews.

    I’m sure we can arrange proper attribution in the next issue.

    As for some of the harsh comments here:

    1. The author wrote this piece (a very well done piece, by the way) for compensation. It’s on the Internet now. While it’s annoying when people reprint your stuff without proper attributions/credit/etc., it is what it is. If it hasn’t happened to you already, you just don’t know about it. It’s not a theft of the Mona Lisa.

    2. As for some of the comments: Reminds me of the old picture from despair.com (how’s that for attribution). It goes along the lines of: Blogging… never before have so many with so little to say said so much to so few.

    That’s about all of my time this is worth. Problem noted. Correction/attribution for the OP’s talented works to come in next month’s GunNews.

    Let’s invest our time and ire and the enemy, not like-minded friends working (as volunteers) to further our civil rights.

    John

  46. “It’s not a theft of the Mona Lisa.”

    whoa up there, john…that’s exactly what it is.

    i had earlier said that the “gun news” was an advocate that the abused denizens of ill desperately needed, and to go easy on their part in this theft. but if you in your smarmy, dismissive, condescending tone are speaking for that publication as you represent yourself to be, then i have changed my mind.

    for we all know that some of the greatest losses and harm can be done in an “inside job”.

    pay the man his just compensation, or be forever damned by all who, unlike you, attach a high value to intellectual ideas, property, and honor.

    jtc

    “like-minded friends”?

  47. theflatwhite says:

    The mona lisa is an object. If stolen, the louvre no longer retains posession.

    Unlike the lisa, intellectual property can not be “stolen” in the traditional sense. By its nature, the only value that can be exacted is in distribution – thus right to copy.

    Now an author has the right to be compensated when his work is distributed by another party. Permitting distribution without compensation is solely based on generosity.

    But it must also be noted that in the US, the onus is on the copyright holder to maintain the right. Failure to enforce the right can negatively affect court enforced restitution should the holder choose to sue at a later period (IANAL nor do I play one in front of my mirror).

  48. MarkHB says:

    “But it must also be noted that in the US, the onus is on the copyright holder to maintain the right. ”

    Mmph. This is why I’m likening Marko putting his essays on his blog to leaving a pie on the windowsill – it’s gonna get stolen. Better to leave pay-copy either incomplete, or just plain off the site altogether.

  49. Matt says:

    MarkHB,

    Is that not what Marko is doing? Maintaining his right by calling out the blatant theft of his mental sweat and toil?

    This is not the first time it has happened to him. It doesn’t matter what everyone “thinks” is appropriate. Blaming Marko for the theft of his work is like blaming a rape victim for being in the wrong place and being dressed inappropriately by your standards? Did she deserve it based on where she was? Never. This is no different.

    No one has the right to repost ANYTHING verbatim from the Internet without the permission of the copyright holder. And the copyright is implied if not outright stated. Free to excerpt but attribution must be given.

    How dare you imply that Marko is somehow at fault for the actions of others who stole his work AND CLAIMED IT AS THEIR OWN!

    If Marko asks for donations to hire an attorney to pursue legal action, there will be $100 in the pot from me the moment the link goes up. I assure you, if anyone reposts anything I’ve ever written and claims credit for it in the way Marko has been wronged twice now, I would be hiring an attorney.

    Blame the victim. Real nice worldview there.

  50. Rusty P. Bucket says:

    I am not clear here. Munchkin, you say you have committed these posts to people for money – fair enough. After doing that is it legal to print them for free on your site? And if so, what is the difference if I read it for free here or somewhere else? The fella that paid for your work still gets the shaft, doesn’t he?

    I am not trying to be a dink or start a pissing match, I just am trying to understand the law and how it applies here. I don’t think people should paste the work of others with out permission either. A brief post on copywrite laws might be interesting.

  51. John says:

    A lot of high altitude horses here. Or are these ivory towers occupied by closet gun haters?

    People reprinting your work should serve as the sincerest form of flattery. Especially when they strive to offer proper credit when they use your work in a non-profit, ‘educational’ manner.

    The work was reprinted with what a reasonable and prudent man would thought to be proper attribution. If I had done it, I would have emailed ‘M-bird’ and asked for a name and permission as courtesy, but it wasn’t me and it was merely reprinted with attribution to M-bird which was a mistake as Mr. bird failed to give full and proper credit to the source of his post.

    Then along comes various Sally-pants cheering & jeering, fanning the flames trying to make an anthill into Mt. St. Helens by discussion on hiring of lawyers and offering donations that won’t put a ding on the retainer, much less the first court appearance. Buy a clue with that $100, will ya?

    Maybe some people need an expensive lesson on how effectively impotent they are so they’ll choose their battles and expenditures more carefully.

    Gosh, if some instead focused efforts, energies and work towards supporting our rights, we might be further along the road to expanding them. But then again, if all some of you do is make idle threats and nasty comments about your allies on the ‘Internets’, then what good are you? With ‘friends’ like you, who needs any enemies?

    As for Mr. Munchkin: Sorry sir. You’re a talented writer. GunNews screwed up. No reasonable and prudent man would suggest GunNews volunteers are in a conspiracy to rob you of your work in order to continue to lose money on each issue published. (Uh oh. Dirty secret gets out: Advertising is falling a few hundred bucks short of paying for printing & postage for 9800 copies of GunNews.)

    Make lemonade out of lemons. By disseminating it and giving you proper credit, they may be inadvertently finding you new paying outlets for your future work.

    All the best to you.

    J

    (not J. Naese either).

  52. […] Marko seems to have the worst luck with people plagarizing his writing.  I’d have mixed feelings about it, personally.   On the one hand, I’d be awfully pissy that someone is taking credit for my writing.  On the other hand, someone apparently thought my writing was good enough to pilfer.  Marko writes for money though, so people pay for his writing.  Not cool for people to be taking credit without at least some attribution. […]

  53. “With ‘friends’ like you, who needs any enemies?”

    exactly my point re your little (unintentionally) non-profit church bulletin, there, john. 1000-odd copies, huh? i’d venture that this little episode has provided more exposure than that for what your “volunteers” have written…and not in a good way. because marko didn’t volunteer, he was conscribed!

    so you’re not in a position of authority there, after all huh? wonder what those who are think of your using your nasty attitude to speak (poorly) for them?

    “Maybe some people need an expensive lesson on how effectively impotent they are so they’ll choose their battles and expenditures more carefully.”

    again, well-said but ill-intended. apply that to the operation of the “gun news” and maybe one day they will be profitable…after all, that’s what mw is trying to accomplish for himself, isn’t it?

    jtc

  54. theflatwhite says:

    @MarkHB

    Reality is that unless relatively unknown authors share their work with the world in an open format, they will remain as they are – relatively unknown. Marco’s sharing examples of his craft is not leaving the proverbial “pie on the windowsill” for people to steal since it has very beneficial side-effects. This is especially so when 95% of blog posts have no market value whatsoever other than to showcase the author’s talent.

    Take my employer. Like most software companies, we have internal projects/code that are of value to us but have near-zero potential for benefit as a marketable product. We are considering open-sourcing some of these since their “showcase” value exceeds intrinsic monetary worth. Many companies are already doing this – Sun, IBM, Apple, even Microsoft. Does that mean we give away the cash cow? Obviously not.

    @Matt
    MarkHB and Marco are “real life” friends, so no need to take offense where none was intended. I think you misunderstood.

  55. […] Marko seems to have the worst luck with people plagarizing his writing.  I’d have mixed feelings about it, personally.   On the one hand, I’d be awfully pissy that someone is taking credit for my writing.  On the other hand, someone apparently thought my writing was good enough to pilfer.  Marko makes money off writing, though, so not at least offering attribution is pretty low. […]

  56. Rick in NY says:

    Marko,

    Perhaps the thing to do in the future is write/sell your work, then post it here after you get paid for it. It’s a rotten way to have to run things, but then you get paid and get the credit for writing your articles.

    Rick

  57. MarkHB says:

    Matt, in no way was I blaming Marko for him getting ripped off. Just trust me on that one, OK?

    TFW, I grok what you’re saying, and yes the reputation boosts of the proliferation of Marko’s stuff are swell and all. Without proper attribution, though, it does him a hell of a lot less good as it’s recurrently a case of him being the guy who turns up after the fact. That’s a much lower-impact event than reading something through the first time, nodding and thinking “Holy crap, this guys *really* gets it – who is he?”.

    The only real way to prevent people from plagiarising text on the Internet is not to post it up. This isn’t me blaming Marko for his woes, but it is a rational acceptance of the inherent twattery of *just enough people* to make the event itself seem – from available evidence – to be inevitable.

    Yes, we can come down righteously on these thieves like an erudite ton of bricks, but after-the-fact disemvowellings and the occasional recourse to legal counsel will continue to be a fact of life as long as Marko posts his essays online. I’m perfectly happy to administer as many verbal kickings and online “Got you, you plagiarising shitweasel” posts as are necessary, but the number of ignorant, thoughtless or just plain witless types out there is so high that if Marko keeps posting, then this will continue to happen. They’ll probably keep acting surprised and upset when they get roughly handled in the comments pool, too.

  58. Chuck says:

    Hanlon’s razor:

    Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hanlon%27s_razor

    I saw the response, to the post on the Appleseed Forum, seems to me that they have apologized the best they can, everyone makes a mistake, from time to time. I love, how gun owners are there own worst enemies, I don’t know “MCKNBRD”, but my bet is he is a decent guy, who is not very internet savvy, but if he is an Instructor with the Appleseed Project, he is giving up his time to promote Liberty, and I also bet, he can out shoot the vast majority of you.

    My 2 Cents

  59. MarkHB says:

    An internet connection is a powerful tool, just as a gun is. What does it matter how competent anyone is with one, if they use the other one irresponsibly and harmfully? Is ignorance of how a gun works an excuse for one adult shooting another?

  60. Matt says:

    Not in my world, Mark. You suffer the consequences of your ignorance. Often a great teacher in the long run.

  61. Chuck says:

    I would say comparing this Internet “breach of etiquette” and shooting someone is not in the realm of reason.

  62. Weetabix says:

    So, Marko, what DO you think at this point?

    Are you guys happy with each other?

  63. pax says:

    Chuck,

    I’m not sure I followed your reasoning. Does MCKNBIRD’s shooting ability pertain here in some way? If so, how?

    (Genuinely puzzled — not being snarky …)

  64. MarkHB says:

    It’s not a “breach of etiquette”, it’s theft resulting in financial harm. Unwarranted harm is unwarranted harm – everything else is a matter of degree and mechanism.

  65. Marko says:

    What’s done is done, folks. I received a few aplogies, and offers to make things right as much as possible at this point, and I’m not the kind of person to hold a grudge when people own up to mistakes.

    I’m rewriting the articles in question, so that they’ll still be sellable merchandise. In the future, I won’t put any gun essays out on the blog until I’ve offered them up for sale first. That’ll solve the issue permanently.

  66. Vaarok says:

    I had the same thing happen with my picture of a Gew98. I put it up on Wikipedia with an attribution clause, and next thing I know everyone’s congratulating me that it’s featured in Guns Digest, since apparently their article-writer used Google Image Search rather than get off his ass and use a camera.

  67. MarkHB says:

    Vaarok,

    There’s an emerging service called TinEye that’s very useful for that kind of thing (http://tineye.com/) – it’s a reverse image search. You give it an image, it does clever image comparisons across as much of the ‘net as it’s catalogued and hands you pages with that image on it. Does a very good job.

  68. ASM826 says:

    Part of the issue is that with electronic functionality, I can get a forwarded copy of something someone I don’t know read, liked, cut&pasted, and then mailed out.
    By the time I see it, it really is common property, there are probably as many copies of it sitting in inboxes as there are copies of the Gettysburg address.
    How do I parse out the original author? I fully agree that Marko has every right to any use and profit from his intellectual property. I don’t think that it directly follows that the people involved here are thieves.
    I would try to use a small quote, and link back to the author’s site, if I was being careful. Say I did that, and it turned out that I was linking not to the true author’s site, but the site where someone had posted an essay that they copied? Would I be at fault? What constitutes due diligence on the internet? Do the internet savviness of the person involved matter?
    I don’t have an answer, and I don’t want Marko’s work used in any way that he doesn’t authorize, I just think that these issues have not been fully explored for all of us.

  69. Disgusting says:

    Most of the comments left here have obviously been left by complete morons. Digging up someone’s personal info over a post on an unrelated website? Threatening legal action? You should realize that you would be laughed out of any lawyer’s office when you came in whining that someone’s post on a gun forum had cost you money or work.

    I love how you jump to the conclusion that his post was malicious, you’re too dumb to realize that gun people don’t usually “get” the nuances of the internet. Dude saw someone funny and reposted it; you start shrieking plagiarism. “Mommyyyy, the mean man copied my tired jokes! The AR has design flaws! Look at how funny I am but he stole it!”

    Had a major publication reprinted your work with no attribution, you would have cause to complain. That didn’t happen, someone posted the text on a gun forum and then a tiny publication in Champaign County picked it up and accidentally attributed it to the wrong guy.

    In conclusion: You’re all idiots.

  70. MarkHB says:

    Ahh, that’s why I keep trying to pull my pants on over my shoes. It’s as though a great weight has been lifted from my shoulders.

    Thanks you.

  71. Don Gwinn says:

    “Mommyyyy, the mean man copied my tired jokes! The AR has design flaws! Look at how funny I am but he stole it!”

    All that anger, and then the truth slips out; Marko deserved to get ripped off because he made a joke about this guy’s rifle.

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