Re: URGENT: Immediate ethical issue ---> need your input NOW

Subject: Re: URGENT: Immediate ethical issue ---> need your input NOW
From: John Fleming <johntwrl -at- hotmail -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Sat, 03 May 2003 23:45:32 -0600

On Sun, 4 May 2003 00:45:54 -0400, while chained to a desk in the
scriptorium, bgranat -at- editors-writers -dot- info ("Bonnie Granat")

> $I'm doing a job and Googling sometimes in order to get information that will
> $assist me in discerning the author's meaning.Twice tonight I have come upon
> $text that is identical to my author's. Not just a phrase or two, but entire
> $paragraphs.
> $
> $This job is due tomorrow night and I am almost through with it.
> $
> $My query is a global one: what on earth do I say to the editor who hired me as
> $a telecommuting editor? And why do I feel as if I've just read someone else's
> $diary or something?

I think I understand where you are coming from, Bonnie.

You've found two incidents where the author "borrowed" something
from somewhere else--verbatim--and hasn't acknowledged the
source. This immediately raises the question in my mind as to
how much other material is there that has been similarly borrowed
and you just haven't found it.

I'm no lawyer, but I think you are on the right track in your
plans to mention this to the editor. I think you need to make it
clear that you have found examples of material where the author
has borrowed without acknowledging or requesting permission from
the copyright holder. I hope you remembered to print copies of
the web pages where you found the material, because you will need
it when talking to the editor and if the case ever winds up in

Speaking of cases widing up in court, your primary objective here
is to make sure your (excuse the language) ass is covered. Make
sure you document all correspondence and communication with the
editor and with the author from this point on. I also don't
think it would hurt to talk to a copyright lawyer as soon as
possible to make sure there isn't more you should be doing to
protect yourself. (Obviously, given your deadline, you aren't
going to be able to talk to a lawyer before the due date.)

John Fleming
Technical Writer
Edmonton, Canada

Please respond to the group. My address is set to reject e-mail
from senders not in my address book.


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URGENT: Immediate ethical issue ---> need your input NOW: From: Bonnie Granat

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