BREAKING SCIENTIFIC NEWS

Hasselhoff Crab discovered during cruise!

It should not surprise you that when you go way, way down, you find great piles of crabs coming together, and that it would be appropriate to name them after this blog’s patron saint.

Merry Christmas!

And all through the house…

I bet the Blueberry Princess will like this.

You might want to sit down before reading this.

The SHOCKING NEWS in the journalism world (OK, just the world inhabited by this blog and my readers) is that the National Post has been very unfairly treated throughout this whole intellectual property theft business. (In the Post’s honour, I’m leaving out the hyphens in the compound modifier.)

Yes. It’s pretty sad. The Post has been forced, with egg on its face, to post this note at the top of the column they stole from a Metis blogger:

It was JUST A MISUNDERSTANDING GET OVER IT AND FOR GOOD MEASURE HERE’S THE WRITER’S REAL NAME ARE YOU HAPPY NOW WE STILL GET PAID PER IMPRESSION FOR THE ADS ON THAT PAGE RIGHT?

You’ll note there is nothing in there that suggests they were wrong to steal the column or that they will compensate the writer for her work. It’s a byline error, move along. Nothing to see here!

Brett Hodnett explains:

I’m the one who sent the link to your blog to the National Post, hoping they could use the excellent information when they were reporting on this issue. I don’t have any relationship with the National Post, or any other media for that matter. They mistakenly assumed I wrote it and credited it to me. I noticed it on the site and emailed them to tell them that I didn’t write it, and they had my name removed from it within minutes.

This is a fascinating glimpse into the National Post’s publication process. Mr. Hodnett sent the link to the Post. They grabbed it, put it under his byline, and published it. (I note with some satisfaction that at least they took the time to copy-edit it: I would have made different editorial choices, but I’m glad to see that they put a small amount of effort into it.) This tells me that the Post’s normal publication process must allow editors to receive e-mailed links from writers, copy the text from the web page, and republish it under the writer’s byline without so much as a “how do you do?” to check ownership, receive permission to republish, or arrange payment.

Arrange payment. I crack myself up.

Seriously, how many other times has this happened? If I send the Post a link to Townie’s “Moving to Iqaluit” post because I think it’ll help them with their research, will they republish it under my byline without even responding to my e-mail?

I had a plan to start a new blog. I was going to cover it with ads and make a ton of money off of it with little to no effort, because all of the content would be stolen from the National Post. Don’t worry: I was planning to make sure that all of the stolen content would arrive as e-mailed links, so my butt would be covered NaPo style. (Low riders, baby.)

Sadly, my plan hit a snag. I was going to start by stealing the intellectual property of people from socio-economic or political groups that have historically been underrepresented in the media. You can see how this would pose a practical challenge if all of the content has to come from the Post.

Hey, National Post!

Theft is wrong. You stole this article, and you removed the original author’s byline.

Prime Minister Harper’s scratching his head, eh? That looks awfully familiar. Where the heck have I seen that lately? Seems like it was in a blog post that went viral last week. But I thought the author was an Aboriginal woman, not some guy named Brett Hodnett. I’ll have to think about this for a minute. Where did that come from?

Ah, yes. There it is.

To quote the author’s response to this blatant plagiarism:

I am the author of the blog this Full Comment piece was taken from:

http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2011/12/04/brett-hodnett-the-real-math-behind-attawapiskats-90-million/

I do not mind that you reprinted the entirety of my article without asking first, as I specifically licensed it that way. I would like to note yours is the only publication who did not ask before doing so, however and I may change my license to reflect my unease with what you have done.

I do mind that despite the small attribution link at the bottom, this article appears to be attributed to Brett Hodnett. It is clearly misleading and I would appreciate it if your publication did not make it appear that someone else has written this.

You can reach me at ***, or at home at ***. I very much expect to hear from you on this matter.

Thank you.

 

I suspect that when âpihtawikosisân selected the license for her blog post, she thought that other bloggers might want to quote and link back to her post. I also suspect that it never occurred to her that a national newspaper would steal her entire post and put someone else’s byline on it.

 

 

There’s a lot I could say about how it’s sickeningly fitting that an Aboriginal person’s words were stolen with only a tiny nod (“originally published here”) to her ownership.

Mmmmm mmmmm mmmmm.

      

 

I’ve been having great fun decorating cookies. Scott, I hope you enjoy the tiny David Hasselhoffs. You truly earned them with your Hoffensive contest entry.

Pro tip: Start by smearing the chocolate on Hoff’s crotch. It’s easier to spread it from there.

Oh…and I’m sorry about this: