Thieving Scum

Everyone has their “hot button” issues — topics that are guaranteed to turn them into frothing, raving lunatics, to drive them utterly beyond reason and into a blind fury. Outside of politics, I have a few. And one of them is plagiarism.

Let’s make it abundantly clear here: I’m talking about out-and-out stealing of other people’s work and passing it off as your own. I put a lot — a LOT — of thought and energy into what I write for Wizbang, and I know just what can be involved in cranking out original material. And when someone else takes that product of the author’s sweat and tries to make a buck off it without their knowledge, let alone without permission, it makes me want to get physically violent.

Yes, I joke about it. I’ve accused my colleague DJ Drummond of “stealing” my stuff (as recently as yesterday), but that is good-natured joking between colleagues who have a recurring habit of writing similar stuff. If I seriously thought for an INSTANT that he was lifting my stuff, I’d be on the phone to Kevin in a heartbeat, and Wizbang would be minus at least one author in very short order. (Him or me — that would be a non-negotiable point.)

But when it happens for real, it is no laughing matter to me.

There’s a “pay for blogging” site called MyLot. There’s one “blog” over there that is nothing more than a steady stream of reprints of Wizbang’s content. I sent them a nasty letter earlier today, and will be keeping an eye to see how long that stays up. I might have to get Kevin involved, as he’s the legal owner of the stuff they’re stealing.

And then there’s Perez Hilton.

OK, time for some full disclosure of my own: I first read about this story over at former Guest Wizbanger Jeff Harrell’s site. Here’s Pamie’s original article, here’s her first calling-out of Perez, and here’s her second.

I sent this news to Tracey, the editor of Wizbang Pop, who put up the story in almost record time. (And in a rather ironic twist, did NOT give me credit for the tip, but that’s extremely penny-ante, and since Tracey and I are part of the same blog “family,” it’s nothing beyond something I can give her some grief over.)

I have no idea who Perez Hilton is, but judging by this incident and a few other things Tracey says, it should come as no surprise that a guy who got his start stealing someone else’s name and reworking it for his own use has continued the practice and extended it towards lifting other people’s work for his own use without attribution.

By the way, in Hilton’s article, he’s busted by readers starting with comment #289. But no response so far.

And I doubt there will be, except for perhaps a closing of comments on that thread — and, maybe, even some selective deletions.

A Personal Note To Joe Malchow
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