Author Topic: Notebooks out, plagiarists!  (Read 7872 times)

Offline Rolnikov

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Notebooks out, plagiarists!
« on: September 30, 2009, 09:57:07 am »
A guy calling himself Richard Ridyard has been plagiarising Stephen King, among others, and submitting the stories.

http://abrokenlaptop.wordpress.com/2009/09/29/we-interrupt-this-blog-post/

I happened to have that very story in my subs pile for TQF... I wouldn't have noticed, so I'm glad someone else did.

Offline CarolineC

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Re: Notebooks out, plagiarists!
« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2009, 01:28:50 pm »
That's worrying - and very, very bad. If he had submitted that to Pantechnicon I wouldn't have noticed either, not having read the King story. It's worrying for editors as they can't be expected to know everything that's ever been written. Very bad.
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AdrianF

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Re: Notebooks out, plagiarists!
« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2009, 03:47:08 pm »
I wonder if it's one of those "Ha Ha! editors can't spot Jane Austen.  Aren't they dumb!" type experiments that the news goes bonkers over every 6 months or so.

Either way it's pretty sucky


ChrisT

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Re: Notebooks out, plagiarists!
« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2009, 03:55:55 pm »
To be honest, even if I had read the original story... I wouldn't have known any different, except to say I'd have rejected it for being one of the most poorly-written tales...

Offline Rolnikov

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Re: Notebooks out, plagiarists!
« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2009, 04:06:49 pm »
I wonder if it's one of those "Ha Ha! editors can't spot Jane Austen.  Aren't they dumb!" type experiments that the news goes bonkers over every 6 months or so.

I don't know about other editors, but I often play a game with myself, and wonder what I'd think of the story if Stephen King, or my best friend, had written it. It's a good way to keep yourself fresh when reading dozens of them in a row.

I'd rejected two of Richard's other stories previously (both of which were also plagiarised).

I've had a good look at the files if there's any interesting metadata in them, but they seem to have been well scrubbed.

Offline CarolineC

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Re: Notebooks out, plagiarists!
« Reply #5 on: September 30, 2009, 04:54:35 pm »
Actually, here's a question which you more experienced editors might be able to answer for me. Let's say, during my stint on the editorial team at Pantechnicon, I'd accepted that story and it got published on the internet in Pantechnicon. Then, Stephen King came along and said "Hey, that's mine!" Who'd be liable - the plagiarising author or the innocent (and, possibly, far too trusting) editorial team at Pantechnicon?
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Offline Rolnikov

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Re: Notebooks out, plagiarists!
« Reply #6 on: September 30, 2009, 05:06:09 pm »
I reckon you would be liable, but you could join the writer as a third party in any proceedings. I may be wrong.

Our TQF guidelines and contracts explicitly say that, "By submitting a story the author assumes all responsibility with regard to potential copyright, libel, trade mark infringement or any other legal proceedings which might stem from its publication."

Probably wouldn't stand up in court but at least it shows our heart is in the right place...

AdrianF

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Re: Notebooks out, plagiarists!
« Reply #7 on: September 30, 2009, 05:42:00 pm »
I think any writer with any degree of professionalism wouldn't / shouldn't hold any editor who had published in good faith and upon discovering / confirming the plagarism removed the offending story.  Their grudge would be with the plagarising author, not the poor editor they suckered in.

I think if it ever got to court, the publisher could easily demonstrate they had acted in good faith

benedictjjones

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Re: Notebooks out, plagiarists!
« Reply #8 on: September 30, 2009, 06:05:14 pm »
i'm pretty sure that when i was at school smeone plagiarised a king story and sent it in to the yearbook type thingy where it was accepted, printed and sent out...  it was the one where the army men toys come to life and attack the assassin who killed a toy maker - it was only years later when i read the story that i realised.

Offline Screaming Dreams

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Re: Notebooks out, plagiarists!
« Reply #9 on: September 30, 2009, 07:19:38 pm »
It certainly is worrying for editors if they don't notice a submission has been taken from another person's work. As you say, you can't be expected to know every story ever published out there, so one could easily slip through I guess. Thanks for bringing this to our attention Stephen!

Offline Jim Steel

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Re: Notebooks out, plagiarists!
« Reply #10 on: September 30, 2009, 11:34:49 pm »
I think this knocks the 'social experiment' theory on the head:

http://arageofangel.blogspot.com/2009/09/ive-been-plagiarizedand-im-not-alone.html

Ridyard (if that is even his name) is nothing more than a thief, and not a very bright one at that.

Offline Peter Coleborn

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Re: Notebooks out, plagiarists!
« Reply #11 on: October 01, 2009, 12:03:18 am »
Hey Jim, your story in DH55; hadn't I read similar before...  Just kidding. Your story is great. Liked it a lot.

As for plagiarism: it's going to be difficult if the editor doesn't spot it, and I'm sure that I would miss many if such manuscripts crossed my desk. I gather that UK universities are using software to prevent students nicking stuff directly from the web.


Offline Rolnikov

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Re: Notebooks out, plagiarists!
« Reply #12 on: October 01, 2009, 08:07:22 am »
I've been getting really mad at the school our daughter goes to - last year there were projects by children displayed in the corridors that were blatantly copied and pasted from Wikipedia.

Though not quite as mad as I got about the poster in the classroom that said "What do you believe?" and all six options were religious...

benedictjjones

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Re: Notebooks out, plagiarists!
« Reply #13 on: October 01, 2009, 09:43:23 am »
^i thought lots of school had taken the american system:
'god has no place in the school system'

fully agree that wikipedia is worrying. too many people take it as being accurate when in a lot of cases it isn't which is more worrying than someone cpying direct from an encyclopedia or whatever.

Offline Jim Steel

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Re: Notebooks out, plagiarists!
« Reply #14 on: October 01, 2009, 09:58:32 am »
Hey Jim, your story in DH55; hadn't I read similar before...

Dang! You've spotted that it's a word-for-word lift from Barbara Cartland? I nearly got away with it as well...  :)

Thanks for the kind words.