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Newspaper Plagiarizes Blog, Taunts Real Author

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the shades-of-cooking-magazines-past dept.

Advertising 301

iandennismiller writes "I've been keeping an eye on this viral marketing campaign called Petite Lap Giraffe — it's the DirecTV ads with the Russian guy and the tiny giraffe. I was pretty quick to debunk the existence of the giraffes, so a lot of people have been visiting my blog as a result. Today, I noticed a New-York area newspaper that was represented my research as their own, so I asked them to link to my blog (i.e. provide attribution). What ended up happening perfectly illustrates that newspapers just don't understand how the Internet works ..."

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Only one question (2)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 3 years ago | (#35662314)

WTF?

Re:Only one question (1)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | more than 3 years ago | (#35662516)

Someone needs to let this blog writer know that writing an article based on knowledge learned in another article is not plagiarism.

Re:Only one question (1)

jdpars (1480913) | more than 3 years ago | (#35662536)

Just like writing about Shakespeare and including metaphors interpreted by someone else isn't plagiarism, right?

Re:Only one question (1)

JustOK (667959) | more than 3 years ago | (#35662828)

et tu, jdpars?

Re:Only one question (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35662876)

Alas, Poor Yorick, I misquoted him well.

Re:Only one question (0)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | more than 3 years ago | (#35662936)

Copying metaphor is duplication of creative style and thought. Facts aren't covered by copyright. While it's really sleezy to read a news article and write a new News Article based on what you learned--it's not plagiarism.

Stating Facts not Plagiarism (1)

Roger W Moore (538166) | more than 3 years ago | (#35662940)

Just like writing about Shakespeare and including metaphors interpreted by someone else isn't plagiarism, right?

Wrong. That would be presenting another's ideas as your own. However presenting facts gleaned elsewhere is not plagiarism. So if the article has said words to the effect of "we know they are not real because look they use this stock footage photograph" that is not plagiarism because they are reporting knowledge gained from elsewhere, not someone else's thoughts or ideas. Even if they claim that they discovered the photo is is still not plagiarism - that would just be a lie.

As far as facts are concerned it is not plagiarism to repeat them. However it is good practice (and in science essential) to cite the sources of such information but newspapers typically do not do this because journalists use many sources and it would clutter and confuse the article to have multiple citations everywhere, at least in print, online they could, and arguably should, do this....but not doing so does not make it plagiarism anymore than I plagiarize J.J. Thomson if I mention an electron in a scientific paper without a citation to his discovery paper.

Re:Stating Facts not Plagiarism (5, Insightful)

jdpars (1480913) | more than 3 years ago | (#35662966)

You really need to read more academic (probably focus on literature) rules on plagiarism. They're pretty strict, and if you can't show your original thought, and what you wrote is the same as what someone else wrote, it's plagiarism. Journalism has a nice little habit of avoiding academic rules, though, because they actually get paid and can use that money for lawyers.

Re:Only one question (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35662916)

Someone needs to let this blog writer know that writing an article based on knowledge learned in another article is not plagiarism.

My own original thoughts on this: Someone should tell this blog writer that writing an article based on knowledge learned elsewhere is not plagiarism.

Re:Only one question (1)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 3 years ago | (#35662954)

I see no evidence someone didn't do the research them-self (except for maybe that they later changed it).

It's hardly impossible data to find, and they didn't life anything the guy actually wrote.

And I tend to agree, it is the type of thing that I would site for a paper, but not an article, it is generally discoverable information, and not at all stealing the wording or anything. Newpapers only site direct quotes or serious research, not 15 minutes bored looking at a site type of thing (that again the paper could very well have done itself, the website would have been reviewed to write the article anyway, and any old intern could randomly have the knowledge to do the same if they thought it interesting).

Next up, loops using i++ are all plagarised.

Re:Only one question (5, Insightful)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 3 years ago | (#35662968)

That's arguable either way - it's certainly not a copyright issue, but plagiarism is a much broader term - but it's gone way beyond that since the newspaper have chosen to act like rude, unprofessional asshats.

They paraphrased this guy's findings, he contacted them and asked for attribution. Had they been reasonable people, they then had the option to say: "Of course, we've added a thank you and a link to the bottom of our article." or (in private, as a direct response to the blogger in question) "It is publicly available information; as such we don't feel that attribution is necessary or appropriate in this case, and therefore we will not be providing it.".

I don't doubt he would've complained if they'd chosen the latter, and I may even have agreed with him, but it would've been an issue with two reasonable points of view in play. What the newspaper actually chose to do was publicly add the following to the article: "A quick domain name lookup...which is free and public information...will give you those details, which we acquired - you know, being a newspaper with research capabilities and all - of our own accord (although some are trying to claim this information as their own “discovery” as a way to promote their own personal website! But enough of that...)". All the evidence suggests that they are snide, rude, and childish - I'm far more concerned about that than about the technicalities of plagiarism.

Re:Only one question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35662792)

You just like, totally don't understand. If it wasn't for this, I'd be on a plane to Africa looking for tiny giraffes. I could sell thousands of them. For me, I'm very glad he debunked it. Now to start paying down my thousands of dollars in debt to research groups about how much I was going to price the giraffes.

Cooks Source worked because the lady ripped off was nice. This site is boring and horribly written. You know, Rosa Parks wasn't the first one arrested on a bus. The NAACP was looking for someone to defend. They turned down a teenage girl because she was pregnant and the father was married. She was also mouthy. Turned down another teenage girl because her dad was a drunk. Rosa Parks was chosen because she was nice and had light skin. All details from Cracked [cracked.com]

Re:Only one question (0)

tomp (4013) | more than 3 years ago | (#35662984)

The author thinks he owns facts. It doesn't work like that. What a baby.

Re:Only one question (5, Insightful)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 3 years ago | (#35663034)

Maybe so, I find the newspaper's mocking edit to the newspaper's article to be wholly unprofessional, not to mention having a distinct overtone of the snide, slimy breed schoolyard bully about it:

A quick domain name lookup...which is free and public information...will give you those details, which we acquired - you know, being a newspaper with research capabilities and all - of our own accord (although some are trying to claim this information as their own “discovery” as a way to promote their own personal website! But enough of that...)

Even if the blogger was totally fabricating these claims (seemingly unlikely, given the changes made to the article's presentation) there would be absolutely no call for any journalist to resort to petty mudslinging like this. If they feel they are in the right, wouldn't a personal reply explaining that have been far, far preferable?

snooze you lose (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35662318)

Seems as though it's not their fault but yours. Learn how to use the interwebs.

Worst Formatting Ever (1, Informative)

Supernoma (794214) | more than 3 years ago | (#35662326)

That was so impossible to read, I didn't even bother.

Re:Worst Formatting Ever (1, Funny)

jelizondo (183861) | more than 3 years ago | (#35662354)

Right! I see why NO ONE in their right minds would link to that blog!

Jesus! Hire a freaking designer,

Re:Worst Formatting Ever (0)

angel'o'sphere (80593) | more than 3 years ago | (#35662372)

I second that ... your blog is unreadable.

Re:Worst Formatting Ever (3, Insightful)

sycomonkey (666153) | more than 3 years ago | (#35662406)

I'm not sure what you mean. When I look at the blog, it's black text on a white background, fixed width, centered. The font's kinda big, but that's about it. It's about as simple as you can get. Now if he had a busy background image, he may have removed it to conserve bandwidth, i'm not sure, but as of 8:24pst, it's a pretty dead simple page, and is perfectly readable. If anything it's TOO readable.

Re:Worst Formatting Ever (3, Funny)

RedACE7500 (904963) | more than 3 years ago | (#35662460)

Agreed. I also found his blog to be TOO readable, so I didn't read it. I like to challenge myself with my reading material. That's why I stick to Where's Waldo?

Re:Worst Formatting Ever (1)

milbournosphere (1273186) | more than 3 years ago | (#35662470)

It's not the simplicity that's the problem. For me, it's the lack of white space in relation to the massive font size. Make the font smaller, and space the 'paragraphs' out a little bit more. Also, it could stand to be a little wider... on my screen he could easily fit three columns of the article's size on the screen. He still has plenty of horizontal white space to work with; he should use it. Just my $.02

Re:Worst Formatting Ever (1)

iandennismiller (2029404) | more than 3 years ago | (#35662538)

Er, I meant to reply to this - I changed the line-height to 1.6em, and it spaces it out a little. I shouldn't have tweaked the design over the weekend without taking a closer look at it, but I like your suggestions. Maybe next weekend...

Re:Worst Formatting Ever (1)

Clsid (564627) | more than 3 years ago | (#35662990)

Nah, it's not just the fonts. It isn't that hard nowadays, just take a look at http://www.blogger.com/template-editor.g?blogID=4010125631613458355 [blogger.com] for designs that look just right. Hard contrast, as opposed to common belief, is actually pretty bad when it comes to the screen. That was why computer shells had gray text on a black background until recently (among other color combinations).

In fact some people argue that the view that WordPerfect had with that blue and gray, is something that makes MS Word look like a retard's project. I don't know if they still do it today but that point to me, is perfectly valid.

So remember, right colors, right fonts (and size) plus if you use trendy layouts, that can only help you look like a champ. I have a relative who majored in Graphics Design and they taught them a lot about colors and one of the few things I learned is that, more often than not, pale shades make for more pleasant reading. Check this site for a list of colors:

http://www.designbyjoyce.com/colors2.html [designbyjoyce.com]

Re:Worst Formatting Ever (1)

NitroWolf (72977) | more than 3 years ago | (#35662670)

It's not the simplicity that's the problem. For me, it's the lack of white space in relation to the massive font size. Make the font smaller, and space the 'paragraphs' out a little bit more. Also, it could stand to be a little wider... on my screen he could easily fit three columns of the article's size on the screen. He still has plenty of horizontal white space to work with; he should use it. Just my $.02

You can fix it yourself... Hold down your control key and scroll your mouse wheel... fixed right up for you.

Re:Worst Formatting Ever (1)

Hangin10 (704729) | more than 3 years ago | (#35662716)

Massive font size? First thing I did upon opening the page was zoom way in.

You insensitive clods with your perfect vision...

Re:Worst Formatting Ever (2)

Seumas (6865) | more than 3 years ago | (#35662524)

I don't know what the complaining is about, either. It looks fine, though I'd maybe reduce the default font size a couple notches and maybe use a different background color for the quoted pieces just to set it off from the main article content itself. Hardly anything to get off track of the real story here, over. I mean, seriously, Press CTRL and flick the little wheel on the mouse a couple times and it looks just fine.

Re:Worst Formatting Ever (1)

wagnerrp (1305589) | more than 3 years ago | (#35662768)

When I look at the blog, it's black text on a white background, fixed width, centered.

White backgrounds are bad. Nothing in nature is every such a bright white, and your eyes really don't handle it well. Using a light grey background like CC or DD is much better for preventing eye strain from long term use. Dark (but not black) backgrounds with light (but not white) text is even better, but is generally recommended against as it can be more difficult for users with vision problems to read. The only problem with non-white backgrounds is that it wastes a lot of ink if the site does not have a similar "printer friendly" version of the page.

Re:Worst Formatting Ever (1)

iandennismiller (2029404) | more than 3 years ago | (#35662530)

I changed the line-height to 1.6em - I think it's a little more readable now.

Re:Worst Formatting Ever (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35662362)

I could clean it up a bit for you and rephrase some of the awkward sentences, but then I'd be caught plagiarizing...

Re:Worst Formatting Ever (2)

LeinadSpoon (1602063) | more than 3 years ago | (#35662430)

Here's the details as far as I can tell: - The author of this blog wrote a post on 3/23 about some website which claims to sell "Petite Lap Giraffes" - Among other things he pointed out: - The domain was registered by "Grey Global Group", which is a marketing firm in New York - One image in particular on that site was clearly photoshopped. - He guesses it's somehow a secret DirecTV marketing campaign - On March 28th, some newspaper published a story about the same website, including all three of the above mentioned details. - He commented, asking that they credit him - They edited the story to argue that they did original research - His comment is "awaiting moderation" From my perspective, it seems like he has a pretty strong case, although technically there isn't enough evidence to assume they plagiarized. It's possible they could have just happened to make all of his observations (as the edited version of the article points out, the domain lookup aspect is trivial. That coupled with the other two things is pretty suspicious though...)

Re:Worst Formatting Ever (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 3 years ago | (#35662474)

Pretty strong case for what?

Re:Worst Formatting Ever (0)

topham (32406) | more than 3 years ago | (#35662548)

For plagiarism... as defined in the educational context, not copyright context. Leaving the blogger with nothing.

Re:Worst Formatting Ever (1)

Tolkien (664315) | more than 3 years ago | (#35662642)

I read the linked blog post and from what I understand he says, they initially copied his article ver batim, then when he found out they reworded it.

Re:Worst Formatting Ever (2)

JanneM (7445) | more than 3 years ago | (#35662574)

Um, even if they'd seen his blog post and decided to write an article about the same thing, they have no obligation to credit him or defer to him.

If you see a wire piece about some news, you can look up the same sources then write about the same news without having to acknowledge whatever piece alerted you to the thing in the first place. Copying others text is a definite no-no. Follow others lead to write about the same thing is something every news organization does every day. You don't own the news even if you're first to write about it, no matter how much AP may be lobbying to change that.

Re:Worst Formatting Ever (5, Insightful)

Mr. Slippery (47854) | more than 3 years ago | (#35662620)

Um, even if they'd seen his blog post and decided to write an article about the same thing, they have no obligation to credit him or defer to him.

It's not just that the saw his post and decided to write an article about the same thing, it's that they used specific facts that he had worked to uncover in their story.

Does that create a legal, copyright obligation? No, facts are not copyrightable. Does it create an ethical obligation, in an journalistic or academic context where citing sources of information is important? Yep.

Re:Worst Formatting Ever (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35662454)

Microsoft Expression Studio 4 Web Professional includes a complete set of professional design and development tools for creating modern standards-based Web sites, streaming video, and Web graphics. It includes three professional applications that work together: Expression Web, Expression Encoder, and Expression Design.

Re:Worst Formatting Ever (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35662690)

Sure. And no, I don't want fries with that.

Re:Worst Formatting Ever (1)

mug funky (910186) | more than 3 years ago | (#35662756)

is this the strangest slashdot troll we've seen here?

or is it proof that microsoft really has the subtlety of a grenade in a primary school classroom? if their search logic is this useless there's no way in hell i'm ever using Bing, even if it does give me the exact (ie stolen) result that google gives...

crap (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35662344)

on top of crap on top of crap.

Cooks Source? (4, Funny)

dcollins (135727) | more than 3 years ago | (#35662368)

So is this where Judith Griggs, formerly of "Cooks Source" magazine, landed?

Great. (5, Insightful)

mikkelm (1000451) | more than 3 years ago | (#35662378)

Ah, Slashdot. Where pointless and petty feuds between nobodies is front page material.

Re:Great. (0)

winkydink (650484) | more than 3 years ago | (#35662410)

Exactly. My first reaction was, "Sheesh. Get over yourself."

Re:Great. (5, Funny)

tsm_sf (545316) | more than 3 years ago | (#35662554)

... and your second reaction was to log in, scroll down the posts until you found one tangentially related to your mood, and post a snotty reply.

At the least you could clue us in as to what fame threshold you're looking for in your plagiarism news. I have my account options set to .25 deciSheens, so I usually see everything.

Re:Great. (2)

mug funky (910186) | more than 3 years ago | (#35662770)

i believe the SI unit is milliDianas

Re:Great. (1)

snowgirl (978879) | more than 3 years ago | (#35663002)

i believe the SI unit is milliDianas

I think they updated to the Sheen since the measurements were more consistent...

Re:Great. (1)

mug funky (910186) | more than 3 years ago | (#35663014)

how do i convert to Britneys?

Re:Great. (2)

Seumas (6865) | more than 3 years ago | (#35662572)

My first reaction was "what the fuck is anyone talking about?".

The plagiarism part, I get. The whole thing about people wondering about some giraffe they saw in some ad I've never seen . . . whatever.

Re:Great. (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35662420)

Ah, Slashdot. Where pointless and petty feuds between nobodies is front page material.

ah the lazy moron, who hasn't bothered to rate potential stories on the firehose, instead just a prefers to be a whiny doucher.

Re:Great. (1)

torstenvl (769732) | more than 3 years ago | (#35663006)

LULZY newb.

Re:Great. (5, Insightful)

black3d (1648913) | more than 3 years ago | (#35662614)

Indeed, but one is a private individual and one is an accountable business. I found it hard to read as well, but was amazed when I got to the part where the newspaper actually does pretend that it wrote the content itself rather than stealing it, and MOCKED the original author for even trying to lay claim to his own work.

A quick domain name lookupwhich is free and public informationwill give you those details, which we acquired–you know, being a newspaper with research capabilities and all–of our own accord (although some are trying to claim this information as their own “discovery” as a way to promote their own personal website! But enough of that)

For a "professional organisation" that is absolutely incredible. First of all they steal his content. Then they edit it to try and make it look like it wasn't stolen. And then they edit it again to actually make fun of the guy they stole it from.

Re:Great. (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 3 years ago | (#35662730)

That's not content. It really isn't. It's a simple fact that can be ascertained from the source.

Re:Great. (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 3 years ago | (#35662840)

Just because something contains some facts, doesn't justify wonton lifting of entire content, verbatim.

Re:Great. (2)

shermo (1284310) | more than 3 years ago | (#35662978)

Mmm... wonton lifting

Re:Great. (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#35662958)

The issue isn't that they independently came up with the same fact. The issue is that they stole the fact along with the text that surrounds it then tried to pass it off as their own work by editing the article. Since they edited the article I can't read it as it originally appeared, but if that's what really happened, then yes, they ripped the blog writer off for hist content.

Duh, its LI (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35662388)

As Clemens pointed out, "Never argue with an idiot..."
LI has an abundant idiot supply --- just get off the LIE (great acronym -- who thunk that one up?) and take some other route down the island -- what do you find between the city and the ritzy end? Strip joints, chop shops, the occasional decent deli, and burned out restaurants are what grow from the sand.

Re:Duh, its LI (2)

vlueboy (1799360) | more than 3 years ago | (#35662956)

Actually, that also happens in the heart of nearby New York city, though under the covers of a non-english paper of good reputation. There were a couple lines that said "Edit" or something similar and I immediately knew they had stolen it from Wikipedia's spanish page. Googling the first sentence or so confirmed my suspicions.

This is seen as a "victimless" crime where I stand in the sidelines with the bitter knowledge that complaining to the big fish does nothing other than bring undue attention to myself and/or the actual victim of plagiarism... as best case scenario everyone's already read the same plagiarized information so an apology is printed only after the fact and will miss X percentage of the original readers. Content might be removed by the "criminal"* without comment if it is online and you're not lucky... but the scarrier thing that in USA whims might land you and the victim in court to give proof that the material is yours or whatever.

A smaller example of this problem is how impossible it is to kill name/backgroundCheck/credit report scrapers that clone your defunct geocities / Usenet pages and so on. Google, mylife et al make money off bulk-cloning our age, myspace posts, phone numbers and past and present addresses and employers. Since almost nobody hosts personal stuff on their own webservers "protected" by 'no-robots.txt', it's a wild west of "shoot first and inquire later" against webcrawlers. Worse, they provide no useful way to wilfully update bad data or remove unwanted entries, even if they're in housed in your local country.

* Stealing text I own copyright to NOT equally criminal as RIAA's copyright violation standard. Writers are better backed up by USA laws than individual bloggers and copyleft publishers just because cash and publishers+lawyers are a given.

Get even! (4, Informative)

ISurfTooMuch (1010305) | more than 3 years ago | (#35662392)

You aren't going to be able to make them admit to their plagiarism or post your comment on their site, so forget about that. However, you can make damn sure that, should anyone search for petite giraffes or longislandpress.com, they'll have a good chance of reading about this incident. So go out there and work to get this into Google's search results for one or both of those searches.

Re:Get even! (4, Insightful)

gman003 (1693318) | more than 3 years ago | (#35662440)

Step one in that process, of course, being "get on the front page of /."

Re:Get even! (1, Insightful)

blankinthefill (665181) | more than 3 years ago | (#35662468)

I would think that having a story posted to Slashdot is a pretty good way to go about doing that... .

In other news, the price of fly shit in tibet rose (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35662424)

Journalist guy, I would be astounded if anyone gave a shit.

It's sort of important in a certain way, I guess,

Attention Whore. (0, Flamebait)

Virtucon (127420) | more than 3 years ago | (#35662426)

So, somebody is worried about somebody plagiarizing their blog about fictional creatures? WTF? What an attention whore!

Re:Attention Whore. (3, Interesting)

black3d (1648913) | more than 3 years ago | (#35662656)

Maybe you haven't had your original content lifted wholesale from your website and then republished by an organisation making a PROFIT off it. I have. It's not cool. They copy-pasted content without attribution (bad enough - you're only meant to do so for illustrative purposes - not as the basis for your article), and then turned around and started mocking the guy they stole it from, whilst still not providing attribution.

If another blogger stole his stuff, it wouldn't be much of a news story. The talentless scum do that on a daily basis. When a news organisation does it, it becomes newsworthy.

Re:Attention Whore. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35662722)

No they didn't; they arrived at the same conclusion he did and he just assumes they ripped him off.
He has no proof they even knew of his blog other then the fact that he can do a DNS lookup and managed to find the stock photo used in the obvious photoshop? That barely even counts as original research let along something that can be plagiarized.

Re:Attention Whore. (0)

SlayerofGods (682938) | more than 3 years ago | (#35662668)

Of course this is someone that took the time to debunk 'Petite Lap Giraffes' in the first place; so, is it really so suppressing?
Now maybe if he could take the time to look into a real hard hitting issue like where jack links gets such great footage of big foot or how geico taught a caveman english maybe he'll be on to something worth reading about.

Looks like commercial infringement (1)

Maow (620678) | more than 3 years ago | (#35662452)

And as such they ought to be (IANAL) liable for a fair amount, similar to how the RIAA has sought many multiples of "damages".

I encourage you to get a free initial consultation with a lawyer. Once they were called out on it and still refused to attribute their story, it should be a slam-dunk to be awarded something financial (whether or not it would be collectible) plus expenses.

Still, that's the only thing they and future infringers understand: monetary penalties.

My 2 worth...

Re:Looks like commercial infringement (2)

nomadic (141991) | more than 3 years ago | (#35662552)

You can't copyright, trademark, or patent a fact. This guy is being ridiculous.

Re:Looks like commercial infringement (1)

black3d (1648913) | more than 3 years ago | (#35662692)

No, but you can copyright content. Such as this post for instance. It's now copyrighted. It can be quoted - that falls within fair use. However it's illegal for you to take my post and claim it as your own work.

Re:Looks like commercial infringement (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 3 years ago | (#35662752)

Ah, but if I were to post on one of MY posts that "quoting other people's slashdot posts is fair use and isn't copyright infringement," you wouldn't have a cause of action. That's the difference here.

Re:Looks like commercial infringement (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 3 years ago | (#35662810)

You can't copyright, trademark, or patent a fact. This guy is being ridiculous.

True, but you can copyright a story, and when a newspaper copies a story word for word without citation, it is plagiarism. In the newspaper biz, it's a big deal.

Re:Looks like commercial infringement (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 3 years ago | (#35662824)

But that's not what happened here.

USI and copypasta (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35662464)

USI and copypasta all rolled up with some righteous indignation and old paper media. nom nom nom nom........

Wait... (1)

myrmidon666 (1228658) | more than 3 years ago | (#35662500)

Isn't that what most blogs/news sites do anyway?

Go tell somebody... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35662518)

that cares.

Mmm, ironing. (1)

trawg (308495) | more than 3 years ago | (#35662520)

If a blog takes a newspaper story and rewrites it as their own, it's fair use, but if a newspaper does it....

Re:Mmm, ironing. (3, Informative)

MishgoDog (909105) | more than 3 years ago | (#35662566)

Actually, I'm fairly sure that to claim the 'fair use' argument, the original article has to be fully attributed. Which is this blogger's gripe in the first place...

Re:Mmm, ironing. (2)

cpt kangarooski (3773) | more than 3 years ago | (#35662798)

Actually, I'm fairly sure that to claim the 'fair use' argument, the original article has to be fully attributed.

No, attribution is not required for fair use.

Re:Mmm, ironing. (2)

Demonantis (1340557) | more than 3 years ago | (#35663010)

I'm pretty sure you can't copyright knowledge so the point is moot. The actual gripe is the blogger wanting recognition. What the blogger has managed to do is paste the issue on a website where people like to talk about copyright. So you can cue the NRTFA comments that have nothing to do with the article. And they paraphrased so the only place, I have seen, that would really care about it is academic journals.

Re:Mmm, ironing. (2)

Cigarra (652458) | more than 3 years ago | (#35662724)

If a blog takes a newspaper story and rewrites it as their own, it's fair use, but if a newspaper does it....

No it's not, it's still plagiarizing and mediocrity. Only that "professional" is expected to display much more professionalism than amateur bloggers. And if that's not the case, the deserve to be exposed as what they are: mediocres.

no worries (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35662544)

Now the righteous armies of slashdot will invade the long island press and avenge the blogger who has been wronged.

Newspapers don't understand the internet? (1)

sourcery (87455) | more than 3 years ago | (#35662560)

How could you expect journalists (newspapers, TV, magazines,..) to understand how the internet works, when they lack any substantive understanding of how just about anything works?

Re:Newspapers don't understand the internet? (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 3 years ago | (#35662622)

No, you see -- they're better than the rest of us.

Some guy with a blog just gets his information and stories from another guy with a blog.

Newspaper journalists and news anchors and radio news people get their information and stories from daily newspapers and the AP and regurgitate it. *Totally* different. . . .*totally*!

Re:Newspapers don't understand the internet? (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#35662982)

Newspaper journalists typically get those stories off the AP wire service, something which the paper pays for and contributes to in order to use the content. Typically you'll see at the top of such stories a byline crediting the AP as the source.

TV and Radio is a little different, I'm not familiar enough to know how they handle or don't handle that situation.

on a more intersting note (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35662564)

I haven't clipped my toenails in a while.

fair use (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35662568)

Out of curiosity, if it's a free newspaper, couldn't they just argue fair use because they're educating their readers? I mean, it worked for that portland group against righthaven. And that group didn't have to credit the newspaper did they? Just ripped the article word for word.

Re:fair use (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 3 years ago | (#35662636)

But did they claim to have done the research within and to have authored the piece?

House Hippo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35662640)

Meh, the commercials kind of ripped off the old House Hippo [youtube.com] classic

Or maybe they did their research? (1)

Peganthyrus (713645) | more than 3 years ago | (#35662680)

Why yes, obviously the only place the newspaper could have discovered this is your blog. Nobody involved in as non-technical field as the *press* could ever have heard of whois, or the many web interfaces to that command. You are right in assuming that you are the only person who was curious about this ad campaign to do even the most rudimentary amount of research.

Unless you have logs showing hits from IPs that resolve as being at the paper, I think Occam's Razor applies.

WTF Taco? (-1, Troll)

TRRosen (720617) | more than 3 years ago | (#35662698)

This guy has no basis for his claims. The newspaper however does have a rock solid case for Libel. Dumbass.

This is like claiming someone plagiarized your report on George Washington because they said he was the first president and that was obviously copied from your writings.

Re:WTF Taco? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35662774)

Suggest you not become or pretend to be a lawyer. Likewise suggest you try and understand what plagiarism is. While the facts are not protected, their presentation is. Had they stuck to just the facts (apologies to Dragnet) there would be no grounds for argument...

Re:WTF Taco? (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 3 years ago | (#35662852)

IAAL; this is ridiculous. The presentation was not taken. All this guy is complaining about are the facts.

Re:WTF Taco? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35662960)

Hey jackass, he didn't make a "legal claim" he just stated that they "borrowed" his fact checking without acknowledging the source.

Re:WTF Taco? (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#35662992)

You might want to tone down the libel yourself.

Re:WTF Taco? (1)

TRRosen (720617) | more than 3 years ago | (#35663024)

the truth is an absolute defense for Libel and the guy is a Dumbass so i think im ok.

THIS is "original research"!? (2)

Dahamma (304068) | more than 3 years ago | (#35662748)

I'm sorry, I just can't take this "feud" seriously, it's a fight between two imbeciles to see who is more clueless or gullible. And Ian is winning that fight hands down.

Can I get credit for debunking this myth 5 seconds after I saw the website, given that it's COMPLETELY OBVIOUS to 90% of the population that it's exactly the same theme as the DirecTV commercials that have been inundating network TV ever since the Superbowl?

slashdot publishes claim of plagiarism... (1)

MichaelKristopeit408 (2018816) | more than 3 years ago | (#35662772)

the claimed "research" consisted of viewing the jpeg exif data, which included a stock photography company and photo id, and then viewing the referenced stock photo, which looked just like the image with a tiny giraffe less a tiny giraffe.

anyone else that references a published index to a published database is "plagiarizing research"? are you joking me?

slashdot = stagnated.

Tone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35662804)

It's seems obvious to me from the defensive tone that she is lying.

Move along ... nothing to see here folks ... (0)

gordguide (307383) | more than 3 years ago | (#35662812)

Although the original article has been altered somewhat so direct comparison is impossible, I took the time to compare the two blog entries; one, his original entry on the subject, and two, his comments with direct quotes from the article.

Nowhere do they lift his words in the article. Not even one sentence, not even a half a sentence. So, no copyright infringement (at even the most generous definition of the word) and no plagerism. The news author just did some research and wrote an article.

This isn't a college paper, this is a newspaper article, and a brief one at that. (One could argue the newspaper version is a vast improvement, actually).

It may well be certain facts were gleaned from his blog entry .... facts that could have been independently verified by the news author. Verifiable facts do not enjoy copyright protection (deliberate lies inter-spread with facts do, believe it or not, that's how they copyright the phone book ... but if the alleged offender omits the lies, you're case is over).

That leaves lifting his words verbatim, which also didn't happen. Case dismissed.

Independent verification (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35662910)

It's entirely possible, and entirely acceptable in my mind, that the paper wanted to do the story, found your interesting post, and then independently verified the information, which agreed with your findings. If you found it, so could they. It's all fine.

News at 11..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35662952)

Guy with no idea about how media works complains that media has no idea how internet works.

May I point out (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35663012)

That the subject of this hubbub, the Direct TV viral marketing campaign, is actually incredibly more interesting than any of the people or interests in this sotry. I actually applaud Direct TV for making the giraffe site. It's very clever, and clearly they are using some great special effects for their "live" video and photos. It's actually very funny. Viral videos have no effect on me when it comes to actually making any purchase (as far as I know) but I do generally find very clever marketing campaigns something of interest.

I had seen the commercials out here in San Francisco with the mini-giraffe; I did not realize they went so far as to create a site to imply you could BUY the mini-giraffes. Pretty funny.

Everything else associated with this story is stupid as hell.

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