Monday, February 04, 2008

Stop, Thief!

Deborah Markus, the editor of the new Secular Homeschooling Magazine, writes of her efforts to stop the plagiarism of her work, in particular, The Bitter Homeschooler's Wishlist.

It seems as if several sites and blogs have posted her work in its entirety without crediting her or naming her magazine. Deborah has stated many times that she does not discourage links to TBHW or SHM, as long as they are credited appropriately. (I think what I wrote is acceptable.) Deborah has spent lots of time tracking down and contacting the owners of such sites and asking them to direct their links to her website and cite the authorship appropriately. She also requests that those linking to TBHW not put the entire article on their site, but instead to maybe list a few lines and then provide a link to her site.

As if that's not bad enough to have to deal with in the first place, the owner of one site spoke to her and basically told her that he was NOT going to remove her content from his site because that post gets tons of hits and comments. In other words, since he was getting such an enormous benefit personally from plagiarizing her work, he is not going to remove the link.

Deborah writes:

They hadn't agreed, and weren't going to agree, to my request to trim and link because -- well, had I noticed how many comments had been posted to the bitter wish list's posting? Hundreds. Those were hundreds of people who were staying on their site to talk about what they'd read.

If they trimmed and linked to mine, that would be all those people leaving their site and going to mine. And they really didn't want that.

They also didn't want to make the link to SHM any bigger or more prominent, for that same reason.

This is unconscionable. Deborah names the website at the end of her article and I wholeheartedly support her work and her efforts and her right to the benefits of her work. The perpetrators of this crime--and yes, it is a crime--should be ashamed of themselves and pull the post and put up an apology immediately. I will make it a personal effort never to be involved with them in any manner whatsoever and I wholeheartedly encourage readers of this blog, especially homeschoolers, to do the same. Spread the word!

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