And Now, A Word (And Rules) About Plagiarism

For those who didn’t follow my Twitter account on Thursday, I had quite the battle over content that was stolen from here. It took enough of my time for me to not even write an NBA Finals post later that evening, but you don’t need me to tell you Skip Bayless is a know-nothing and LeBron James is the best player in the game. After the jump, here’s a quick recap of what happened.

Last week, I published an article about former UFC fighter Tyson Griffin and his fall from the top of the lightweight division. Later that evening it was posted on MMA Movement, a website with original content as well as fan-submitted articles. The key word there is “submitted”. Thursday morning I awake to a commenter who points out that my post was taken verbatim but mistakenly thought I had submitted the article to MMA Movement. I never did. In fact I had never even heard of the site until it was brought up in the comments section.

For the first time (to my knowledge) in this blog’s history, I had to deal with stolen content. I requested the post be deleted or else I would report the blog to WordPress for stealing articles. After the comment was deleted I decided not to play around and screencapped everything from the day I started writing the post, to the comments I made on MMA Movement, and pretty much anything else relevant to this potential fight.

I’d spotted other articles clearly taken from other sites without authorization and published there, and was ready to bring as many people to them as possible for a showdown for the ages. Just as I was ready to send a deluge of e-mails, I received a message from the MMA Movement founder:

Mookie, today I logged onto my site “themmamovement.com

” and read all the comments on the article “Tyson Griffin, What Happened?”. My site was founded as a “Grass Roots” site and we receive articles from all kinds of people to publish on our site. Lately, with my real life occupations and college, I needed to start a team that would help publish/write opinioned articles. One of the people I found personally is @MMAFanHQ, he is a great writer and part of the Movement Team. But another guy I recruited, @COLTENBECK_ doesn’t write and just talks to people about submitting articles, well apparently he has not been completely honest with me and has decided to just copy anything he finds. Which to be fair, I don’t mind, but he did NOT link the article to your page or give you any credit at all.

I am the one who deleted all of the comments, and personally added your page to the bottom of the article (like the rest of our articles). Tonight for the first time I will personally be writing an article on the site apologizing to you for this.

Colten no longer has access to my site and I guess the saying is correct “If you want a job done, you have to do it yourself”. Again I am sorry and to show you how sorry I am, we love to help grow anything MMA related and would appreciate working with you in the future. Any ideas?

-The MMA Movement (Founder)

I contacted “Colten” through Twitter and he swiftly denied any wrongdoing before telling me to “love God”. I didn’t pursue the conversation any further as a result. As you read in the e-mail, he likes to steal and has since been reprimanded and booted from the site.

Meanwhile, Izi, founder of MMA Movement, apologized for the entire situation and deleted the Tyson Griffin article from their website. I accepted his apology and he graciously wrote a public apology on his blog and explained the whole fiasco. Everything is peaceful and the crisis is gone.

____

Now, on that note, I’m going to make it very clear as far as using my work right here in this post. I’m not going to overreact and password-protect everything I write, but I will not stand for this happening again from real people (as I’m not bothered when the scraper-bots do it).

Three clear rules:

  • Do not re-post any of my work. I’m not going to stand for this and I will catch you if you even attempt to re-post everything and then try and pass if off as your own.
  • Re-blog feature. If you’re a WordPress user, this is a way to post an excerpt of anything you like here without it being plagiarism. Everything is explained here. Use it but don’t abuse it because this is the 2nd incarnation of this feature and I can’t do anything about it.
  • If you want to use or refer to any articles posted here, e-mail me or tell me on Twitter. Simple as that. I’m all for anyone wanting to publicize my work even further but it has to be on my terms and not via copy-and-paste.

 

Are we clear? Cool. Back to our irregularly scheduled programming, including the Italy/Germany live blog in the Euro 2012 semifinals.

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