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Copyright Infringement and Me


Previous Entry Copyright Infringement and Me Nov. 3rd, 2010 @ 11:14 pm Next Entry
Date:November 4th, 2010 05:06 pm (UTC)

editors should protect authors, not cheat them

I've been a professional editor for more than 25 years and am still surprised by what some publishers -- and authors -- think they can steal from other sources. I once edited a book whose author was a university professor who stole liberally from websites, including Wikipedia. How did I know? Whenever his writing got a little better, or he used big words or unusual phrasing he hadn't used before, I'd search the words online. Like his description of a blue jay. Sure enough, the first entry that showed up was the one he'd copied. Sometimes he even left the links from the websites in his manuscript copy. When I first caught an example, I gave him the benefit of the doubt and advised him he could not lift copy. After I kept finding more, I reminded him that he would not let his students plagiarize and neither would his publisher let him do so. He was amazingly unapologetic! If I'd had the authority I would have refused to continue to work with him. As it was, I saved him from huge embarrassment and possible legal action by catching all his cheating -- or maybe I didn't catch it all...we'll see.

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