Saturday, October 02, 2010

A Case of Plagiarism

Rick Moore, a friend of mine, and of some of you, is a highly talented writer. He's also just become the victim of a plagiarist. His short story, "Electrocuting the Clowns,” which appeared in the excellent 2003 collection Beyond the Porch Light, has been stolen by a man claiming the name David Byron. That’s not the name this guy goes under on Facebook. He is apparently selling a work on Lulu that contains Rick’s story. He has several books there, under his two names, so I’m not sure which one contains the story.

Please check out Rick’s post about this plagiarist. This hurts all writers and readers, and diminishes us all.
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37 comments:

ANNA-LYS said...

Ohhh no, this is sad
and makes me angry

Deka Black said...

Why to do plagiarism? i do not understand it, really! Why? Seriously, why some people do this? Is like to take a pic of a van Gogh (for example) and say "hey, guys, look what i just painted!"

laughingwolf said...

goddamn sonsabitches! GRRRRRRRRRRRRRR

Middle Ditch said...

Checked it out and left a comment. This idiot used the same title!!! Not a very professional plagiarist.

G said...

That truly F'n sucks. Man has no testicles to speak of. Maybe his two cats have his testicles.

ivan said...

Cannibalistic business.

At least this Byron guy could have rewitten the story.

There ain't no justice!

Or is there?

I once rewrote Chekhov's The Lady With the Dog and it got rejected.

Oh well. Checkhed out!

Or outed!

sage said...

Lulu is a self-publishing company? I wonder if the changes in publishing will bring more of this.

Charles Gramlich said...

Anna-lys, I know. Just so upsetting.

Deka, Yes, how could someone feel "good" about stealing someone eles's work, and then even if it's complimented you know it's not your own. Makes no sense.

Laughingwolf, I second the sentiment.

Middle ditch, yes, and I read the plagiarized version. He changed a couple of words but almost everything is exactly the same.

G., hopefully they'll eat them soon.

Ivan, most everyone has rewritten a little Shakespeare but they have the decency to change the setting and the actual words and only use the plot. I've tried my hand at that myself in a story called "The Sundered Man"

Sage, Lulu is a pay to pub place. I don't know all the ins and outs of it. But you could put most anything you wanted up there to sell.

David Cranmer said...

That makes me sick.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That's scary? Has Rick contacted Lulu?

Ron Scheer said...

I'd be surprised if there is not a lot more of this going on. We live in a culture where you are increasingly free to do whatever you can get away with. Many people do not see that file-sharing music is theft. So the word "theft" loses much of its meaning.

There are even blatant examples of academic plagiarism not by students but by academics themselves. If they get "outed", they weasel out of culpability and their reputations somehow remain intact.

Alas, it's become that kind of world. Maybe it always was.

Charles Gramlich said...

David, yes, just disgusting.

Alex, he said he was going too. I'm not sure if he has yet. He's also reporting it to the writer's organization he belongs too.

Ron, I know, I've seen that a couple of times in academic circles and I'm just aghast. I don't understand how that could possibly be. What a bizarre world we live in.

Kate Sterling said...

This is so upsetting. It's a shame we can apply some old fashioned western justice and hang the thief. Or better yet, go medieval and have him drawn and quartered. :)

Cloudia said...

We are free to echo, or to "Homage" NOT to simply steal! Some little jerk...





Aloha from Honolulu

Comfort Spiral

Evan Lewis said...

Neck-tie party!

Steve Malley said...

How can a person be net-savvy enough to put out all that online publicity, but still dumb enough to think he wouldn't get caught in his lies?

Charles Gramlich said...

Kate Sterling, there's definitely something to be said for that.

Cloudia, yes, and the line seems pretty clear. The exact words, the exact title. Just a new author's name.

Evan Lewis, Gents on the lynch, a title borrowed from REH btw.

Steve Malley, you gotta wonder what goes through their heads.

Deka Black said...

I'm with Cloudia. Homage is a legitimate thing. And a very good one when is well done. This is like eat a rotting slice of bread.

This said, i believe the neck-tie party Evan says will be a waste of time.

Better a shooting contest. Minimum caliber is .357

Charles Gramlich said...

Deka, hopefully the guy has ruined himself in the writing world. This is a sin against us all.

Travis Cody said...

Damn.

JR's Thumbprints said...

Some people just don't give a shit as long as they can make a few bucks. I see it all the time. This dude's a short-term thinker with absolutely no long-term plans.

eric1313 said...

To echo Kate S... (faintly)

Get a rope.

What a douchebag. I hope Rick is able to recover the money that this jerk has gernered thus far and maybe put an end to this guy.

Seems there is a lot of power in having psuedonyms. Especially here on the ever anonymous web.

Issa's Untidy Hut said...

Charles:

Believe it or not, this actually happened with a poem in Lilliput that appeared many years ago. I was contacted by the poet Neal Bowers who spent years running down the guy who was stealing his work. He wrote a book about it called "Words for the Taking." Here's a review of the book.

I do hope Rick can get some satisfaction.

Don

Charles Gramlich said...

Travis Cody, nuff said.

JR, that makes the most sense. I'm sure you're right. I knew a woman once who plagiarized from Dean Koontz and got caught. She was ostracized from the writing community.

eric1313, the web is so huge. It makes searching easy but you have to know what to search for so there are still chances for such to escape detection for a good long time.

Don, Issa's Untidy Hut, great title for that book. The 'cheats' among us cost us all so much, in money, time, emotion, trust. definitely not a victimless crime.

Ty Johnston said...

Rope, hell. That's too easy. I'll chip in a buck for a couple of 12-gauge shells.

Why only a couple? One for each hand. He'll never use a keyboard again.

sandra seamans said...

I linked to this story also, Charles and updated it with more info today. The guy is running a press now!

Lana Gramlich said...

Wow...that's freaking horrible...

jennifer said...

That's really terrible. I'm glad you did a post about it and exposed this dishonest person.

Charles Gramlich said...

Ty Johnston, an appropriate treatment.

sandra seamans, thanks. We all definitely need to work together to root this guy out.

Lana Gramlich, yes indeed, and thanks for all the info you gathered about this for Rick.

jennifer, cockroaches flee the light. At least most of the time.

Sidney said...

Wow, that is shocking. Brave new world we live in.

Sidney said...

Wow, that is shocking. Brave new world we live in.

Travis Erwin said...

What a bastard.

AvDB said...

While I love the self-publishing business, along with the anonymity of the internet, it does allow room for this guy to pop up with a new name, find another author to steal from, and start all over.

His IP address needs to be tracked to be sure he never does this again. Where's the library police when you need them?

cs harris said...

I can understand an inadvertent incident of plagiarism, as when someone takes notes and carelessly omits using quote marks, then at a later date uses the phrases without realizing that they were quotes. But this is just deliberate theft. How weird.

Mary Witzl said...

That really burns me up too. What a weird thing to do, and Middle Ditch is right: how utterly STUPID to use the same title!

Carole said...

Does he have any recourse against the plagiarist? No good.

Charles Gramlich said...

Sidney, stealing has gotten easier, although catching them seems to have as well.

Travis Erwin, indeed so.

AvDB, Rick is on a roll catching and identifying this guy's aliases, but, as you say, it's not that hard to reinvent yourself on the web.

Candy, I see both kinds of plagiarism at school. The first is certainly something that can be fixed. The second one there is no fixing that kind of person.

Mary Witzl, how many have had the sense to change the titles, one wonders? And yet have still stolen.

Carole, Rick is going after him with both barrels. Ultimately a lawsuit could be filed but it would be hard to get any justice I'd think.