Thursday, April 21, 2005

The Madison County Freakin' Plagiarists

You may or may not have heard of the "Madison County Record", which was created by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce "as a weapon in its multimillion-dollar campaign against lawyers who file" questionable lawsuits:
Neither Anderson nor Timpone see any need for the paper to disclose in its pages that the chamber is an owner. Timpone said the chamber doesn't dictate the paper's news content and he defends the stories he runs as genuine news. He said he chose not to divulge the Record's connection to the chamber in print because "I was afraid we'd be prejudged. I thought, 'Let people judge us by our actions.'"
Well, gee... You would think that with a $million dollar budget, they could have managed to draft a few original paragraphs for this page, rather than plagiarizing Jones Act material from my website.

Remember - they want us to judge them by their actions....

[Update: They responded quite promptly to an email, and have added a link to my site consistent with what I asked them to do if they wished to continue to use the material. Given that the principals of the organization probably had no idea that somebody had been "borrowing" passages from around the Internet on their behalf, I will give them credit for quickly taking both responsibility and remedial action.]


  1. So did they respond to a cease-and-desist?

  2. I've offered to let them use it, if they provide an appropriate link back to my site.

  3. They replied with an apology, indicating that they will "address it immediately."

  4. They have now added a nice link to my site below the material, which is what I asked them to do if they wish to continue to use the passage. So no lawsuits from this corner. ;-)

  5. Did they use the Blame the Intern excuse? That's usually the alternative to the Let Me Tell You My Own Insane Version Of How Copyright Works excuse.

  6. The "blame the intern" excuse usually includes the declaration that "the intern doesn't work here any more". Sometimes it even includes the declaration that the intern was fired over similar issues, which seems to me to be a confession of a lack of due diligence in not following up on the "intern's" other work.

    A new one I encountered recently was, "We contract with a company in India to develop our content. I guess we should be more careful." Well, duh.

    But in this case, no excuses were offered - just a prompt apology and quick remedial action. You would think the place was run by lawyers. ;-)


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