Thursday, March 03, 2005

Plagiarism: The Most Sincere Form of Flattery?

I'm working on a review for Isaac the Pirate: Capitals, the follow-up to Isaac the Pirate: Exotic Lands, a graphic novel I reviewed about a year ago. They're originally printed in French, and volume 1 received some pretty big awards for both story and artwork there. I started doing some searches online to see if volume 2 received similar accolades, and found a pretty favorable if somewhat cursory review of it.

Midway through the review, something struck me as odd. A paragraph explicating the artwork really stuck out, like it was written by a different person. Even more strange it looked familiar to me. It bothered me for about a day, and then it hit me. I wrote the paragraph.

Now first I just thought I was being spacey. I dug dug around my computer and found my original review, and unfortunately my memory was correct. The lifted an entire paragraph, word-for-word, from my review on volume 1 for their review on volume 2. Since the paragraph focused entirely on the artwork and had nothing to do with story, it fit right in.

I don't retain the rights to anything I review, so I sent an email to my contact at the magazine. The mag gets quoted a lot on places like Amazon and others, so I don't think they care so long as they cite the author and publication. This is obviously a little different.

I suppose I should be angry about it, but really I'm just amused.


1 comment:

LadyLitBlitzin said...

Oh my gosh, that's crazy! And disturbing.

Apparently some people don't really understand what plagiarism is and that it's wrong. Years ago, I worked for a start-up newswire and I had a reporter from a well-known newswire service lift my news stories word for word. We finally had to email her to tell her to cease and desist, and she got really indignant, which I still don't understand. She should have been mortified considering she had to know what she'd done... (apparently I'm still a bit angry, hahaha).

Sadly I wonder if she thought that because we were a small operation and not as widely read that it was okay for her to do that.

Anyway, I hope that they respond to you and give you proper attribution!!!