The Plagiarism Saga Continues (Sorta…)

Posted by on Feb 24 2006

Imagine my surprise this evening when I opened my email and saw this EntireWeb Ezine that was sent an hour earlier. What’s the big deal, right?

Except that this author took my article bullets and simply re-wrote the text.

I give up. What’s the point in writing original articles if someone’s just going to borrow your whole article premise, outline and structure?

I immediately wrote back to the EntireWeb Ezine, with this comment:

“I know he re-wrote the text so this isn’t precisely copyright infringement, but he took the bullet points nearly one-for-one, which makes him a poor writer, as well as possibly unethical, and definitely un-original. I wouldn’t accept any more article submissions from someone like him, if I were you.”

I hope they fry him.

Fat chance it will do any good, but at least I got it off my chest. I also wrote to Blue Apple, which appears to be the author’s employer, but who knows, the author might own Blue Apple for all I know. They have no clear information on their site about the players in the company.

The only revenge I have is that, if this website designer can’t even come up with an original list of 10 website mistakes, how good of a designer can he possibly be? It doesn’t take a mastermind to create a “top 10” list in their chosen profession, even if they’ve only been doing it a year. Unless, of course, you’re not paying attention.

Off the top of my head, I can think of 50 or 60 common website mistakes. Why did he have to take the 10 I had already written about?

On another note, I was just speaking with my friend Alicia Smith this evening, debating whether I should publish my upcoming six books as ebooks or paperbacks. My concern was that if I publish them as ebooks, someone could just take the PDF file and distribute it without my permission or knowledge. The more I dig into online plagiarism, the more I’m convinced that ebooks are just a plagiaristic nightmare waiting to happen.


6 comments for now

6 Responses to “The Plagiarism Saga Continues (Sorta…)”

  1. Pamela Stewart

    Hi Karyn:

    I have run across your website and blog a number of times and think you are great! You have clear writing, practical information and an obvious passion for what you do.

    This whole plagerism thing must be pretty upsetting. I know from personal experience how much time and energy it takes to craft a well-written article. It is not just the amount of words, it is often years of hard-won experience that gives you the unique content to make a useful article.

    I hope you don’t get discouraged from writing e-books altogether, since I am sure you can still reap some benefits from broad, quick exposure to your target audience and a boost in your website ranking. But print books would be cool too, and a good thing to add to the mix.

    Personally, I tend to think karma takes care of all wrongdoing. Whenever I get burned by someone, I realize that they are the one who has to live with the heavy burden of having done someone wrong. That must feel pretty crappy.

    So just keep up the good work, and I am sure you will see a wonderful, unexpected burst of good fortune come your way if you continue to share good information with those that need it.

    24 Feb 2006 at 5:00 am

  2. Suzanne Falter-Barns

    Karyn … I feel your pain. I just had the same thing happen, though slightly differently, thru an article submission service. You can read about it on my blog at

    Thanks for sharing your tale — we need to get the word out there!

    Suzanne Falter-Barns,

    28 Feb 2006 at 7:17 pm

  3. Karyn Greenstreet

    Hi, Pamela,

    No, I’m not getting discouraged from writing e-books, just getting the mist cleared from my eyes about the pros and cons of publishing via e-book format.

    I like to believe in Karma; what the “thiefs” sow, they shall reap, eh?


    28 Feb 2006 at 10:47 pm

  4. Karyn Greenstreet

    Thanks for sharing your story, Suzanne, and a big OUCH to you and to the owner of the article bank that got hacked.

    From time to time, I do find a one of my articles on the ‘Net without my name on it (or with someone else’s name on it). Generally speaking, a nice note to the website owner often fixes the problem.

    With that said, I’m still a huge fan of the Internet, and if a little plagiarism is the price we pay, well, heck, so what? I won’t die if someone copies my text! 🙂


    28 Feb 2006 at 10:51 pm



    Dave D. sent me your newsletter and I visited your site. I too have and always deal with website plagerism. It will be a never ending cycle I can assure you. One thing you might want to look out for is hacker attempt retaliation. These people will sometimes do ANYTHING if you tick them off (even though they are the one out of order). Just watch your webstats and be careful with your emails you open.

    This is not a new thing to be sure and as a designer I see it a great. At one point I had 1000+ 10-15 year old in the Netherlands stealing content from my own site.

    One trick is to revisit your past articles and refine them. The theif will probably not pick up the changes after they have (or tried to) use your content.

    You can view a proper website copyright on my own site at it is at the bottom of every single page I put on the web. I developed this with several attorneys over the years and thus far it has proven to be one of my best allies. It must be displayed as seen, 3 lines of text, the last larger than the rest.

    Keep up the good fight.
    Ms. Lee Moon

    03 Mar 2006 at 2:48 pm

  6. Karyn Greenstreet

    Hi, Lee,

    Excellent copyright text at the bottom of your site (!

    It’s important for people to understand what it will cost them if they’re found guilty.


    05 Mar 2006 at 4:37 pm

Category: Internet & Social Media Marketing, Website Planning
Tags: ,