Tuesday, October 5, 2010

On Plagiarists, Fake Names, and Other Random Things

Let me say one thing about stealing someone's fiction and claiming as your own: it doesn't pay. It doesn't pay in financial terms, and it sure as hell doesn't pay in the destructive force said plagiarist calls upon him/herself, especially in the era of Google searches and the interwebTM. Not to mention a whole slew of explicatives I'd love to sling at plagiarists for being total %($&#@s, but this is a "family oriented" blog after all. (Like hell it is.)

Evidently there's a new plagiarist in town, but he's not new at all.

From Jodi Lee: "I was recently tipped off (via twitter) to proof that David “Doc” Byron has been plagiarizing works, presumably from people that have submitted to one of his many little for-the-love projects."

You can track the discussion from there.

This has happened before, to me. I'm sure it happens all the time. I don't understand the mind of some people, especially when stealing someone's story and posting for free online...or giving away to a FTL market...dude, nobody's reading your steaming, stolen, pile of dog sh*t. (Not that the original story was dog sh*t...it just became so when you put your name on it, thief.) Are you trying to build a reputation? Well, you have one. Jerk.

Speaking of names (cool off, Angry Aaron), I intended to post a little bit about fake names (for fiction). Yes, we're all familiar with random name generators, especially for fantasy and science fiction...check out this site for run-of-the-mill, normal people names (and other information). Kind of spooky...it gives you a fake credit card number even. (I hope those are fake--sheesh.)

Speaking of random, Andrea Allison of Southern Writemares plays around with random titles at her blog. My suggestion? Mix and match the words from various titles and generate something truly random, like "Flowers of Shards" or "The Twinkling Boyfriend".

(I think I've heard of that last one...)

Speaking of overused transitional phrases, have a great day, huh?


L.R. Bonehill said...

Another plagiarist rearing its ugly head? Sometimes words fail me – nice words, that is.

Barry Napier said...

I often forget that I am supposed to keep my own blog family friendly as well...which is odd because my fiction is most definitely NOT.

K.Hinny said...

Sometimes people aren't trying to make a name for themselves, sometimes these nards are just having a laugh at everyone else's expense. It is just something to keep those of us who are honest, talented and true on our toes and gives us another bit to learn from.

While I and I'm sure the rest of the writing community would much rather NOT have to deal with it, sadly some people are just sucky.

(How's that for family explicit?)

Baby name books are also a good idea for coming up with names when the character is too shy to give up his/her/its name :) Thanks for the link!

Alan W. Davidson said...

Thanks for the heads-up, angry one! (That nick-name may stick).

Won't this story stealing madness never end?

Aaron Polson said...

L.R. - What scares me here is this fellow was snagging submissions from unsuspecting writers. Ouch.

Barry - We can try. We can try.

Kara - Baby name websites have been a big help when writing a story set in another culture.

Alan - I think it will get worse, to tell the truth.

Cate Gardner said...

Argh, I'm so going to play with that name generator thingy for hours now (small minds and all that).

Argh, plagarists make me so mad.

onipar... said...

This pisses me off something awful. When I give the whole plagiarism speech to my students, it takes everything I have to keep from it turning into a diatribe.

Hope this guy gets what's coming to him.

Danielle Ferries said...

Plagarists = scum of the earth.

Natalie L. Sin said...

Ugh. It's doubly sleazy to court people's stories, and then steal them : P

abrokenlaptop.com said...

I'm right behind you, Angry Aaron. It's a comfort to see the writing community band together and brandish their pitchforks.


Rabid Fox said...

Man oh man. It's one thing to plagiarize. It's quite another to deceive authors by having them submit their work, then steal it. Wow.

Sometimes it's easy to hate humanity. At least the monkeys haven't started these kinds of shenanigans ... yet.

K.C. Shaw said...

Geez, not another plagiarist. At least they're pretty easy to catch these days.

I like the Baby Name Wizard for my character-naming needs, but that name generator sounds like fun (and now watch me waste the next hour playing with it).

Bobbie Metevier said...

There was another of these people several months back. He'd write most of his own and then lift entire paragraphs from other people's work--made it harder than hell to google!

AJ Brown said...

Sadly, Aaron, this isn't just someone calling another person's work their own--it's someone publishing books that others submitted to him, to his 'publishing company.'

The plagiarist wasn't playing a game and laughing at others--this guy blatantly stole more than one person's work and passed it off as his own, even made money from it. It's terribly sad for our community of writers--we are a tight-knit group, which I guess Byron/Boyer/Brookes or whatever he is going by now just didn't believe anyone would do anything about it. Fortunately, legal action is taking place, and well, we all know about it now.

Be safe with your work folks--and look after one another. That's our only real safeguard against people like this: one another.