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Author Topic: Plagiarist doing the rounds  (Read 11887 times)
Ed
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« on: September 30, 2009, 03:02:10 AM »

Staff at Shock Totem have highlighted a plagiarist who submitted a thinly veiled Stephen King story to them. Apparently he's not averse to stealing work by lesser know authors, too.

http://abrokenlaptop.wordpress.com/2009/09/29/we-interrupt-this-blog-post/

So if you see the name Richard Ridyard on any of the boards you frequent, you might want to alert the webmaster and tell Dick the police would like to talk to him.
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« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2009, 03:17:21 AM »

It was all over Twitter last night. Here's the original thread on Angel Zapata's blog: http://arageofangel.blogspot.com/2009/09/ive-been-plagiarizedand-im-not-alone.html, and here's my take on it: http://blog.verulamwriterscircle.org.uk/?p=607.
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« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2009, 05:35:46 AM »

Holy cow!  It boggles my mind that anyone thinks they can get away with it/would try to rip others off...
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« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2009, 05:45:03 AM »

There'll be cover versions in the charts next, mark my words! Remakes at the cinema, too... maybe the next big thing will be a craze for rewriting the classics in modern styles.

Joking aside, it does indeed boggle the mind that anyone would consider this, let alone consider that they might get away with it (*). Especially, it being a Stephen King story. I mean, if you'd ripped off a Del story then not alone would you get away with it, but you'd deserve a prize for finding one in the first place. It does make you wonder how many of the stories out there are indeed close copies of other obscure stories.

(*) We don't know - maybe he never considered this. Maybe he did it for a bet or something.

Del
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« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2009, 05:53:10 AM »

I like your signature, Derek  grin  if he did do it for a bet, he's either got balls of steel or bricks in his head haha
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« Reply #5 on: September 30, 2009, 02:02:39 PM »

My mind is boggled. The excerpts of the passages from King and Ridyard (if that's indeed his name) remind me of an old writing excercise I used to do, repenning passages from a published story in my own words--it has the same just-changed-a-sliver quality--but of course I never tried passing those writing excercises off as my own original work. It's just ridiculous that someone would think they could get away with that.
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« Reply #6 on: September 30, 2009, 02:24:36 PM »

 I wonder how widespread this kind of thing is. From time to time I've noticed members, who I have never seen a post from, viewing the flash challenge entries. I'm not saying they're up to no good, for all I know they're just curious, I always read the entries whether I'm taking part or not, but now that all this plagiarist stuff has hit the blades it do make me think.

I guess most people have unintentionally used story ideas and phrases from published writers, for all I know my signature appears in some book, I still say I thought of it first though, but to rip off a story by the world's most famous horror writer does seem a tad stupid.
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« Reply #7 on: September 30, 2009, 04:55:49 PM »

I saw this on Angel Zapata's blog. A few other people have had work stolen by this jerk off. Hopefully they find out who he is. I'm not a paranoid person, but I've got a few friends that I trust to crit my work, and I think that's how I'll keep it.
Then again, people like that idiot are taking published works as well as stuff from writer's groups. We have to watch each other's backs.

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« Reply #8 on: September 30, 2009, 05:48:38 PM »

.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2011, 08:40:24 PM by Woody » Logged

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« Reply #9 on: September 30, 2009, 11:00:09 PM »

Wow.....and wow. scratch
I read some of the posts on the links and this is just nuts.
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« Reply #10 on: October 01, 2009, 05:15:57 AM »

This begs the question; do I now check the Interweb for everything I've posted in forums, and otherwise, to make sure that no one else has used it? For me that's 6 years of posting!! Obviously I have everything I've posted stored on my PC, comments and all... but...
What to do?  scratch

I take the view that everything I've written to date is crap anyway, so no worries here afro
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« Reply #11 on: October 01, 2009, 09:48:41 AM »

I take the view that everything I've written to date is crap anyway, so no worries here afro

I agree that at this stage in our careers, most of us (CD members) haven't yet reached the level of proficiency or critical acclaim that anyone is likely to gain much by snatching a flash piece they find here and marketing it as their own...

But how steamed would you be if someone who had access to the private critique area took the first chapter of your zombie story and ran with it? Suppose they solved the structural problems identified in the storytelling, changed a few names but essentially swiped your characters, the setting, the premise, and the main setpiece? Maybe they'd write a similar story to what you had in mind or something completely different. Or suppose they wrote a short story instead, and it came out to all sorts of critical acclaim? True, they would have to have done some original work to get to that point, but the fact remains they would have stolen some of YOUR intellectual property to get there. And in so doing, they would prevent you from ever fulfilling YOUR vision of the project... except as a private writing exercise.

In reading through several of the various linked articles on the original post above, there was the one about Douglas Bruton, who supposedly took "inspiration" from his fellow critique group members' works and incorporated that into his own. Before he was publicly named as the culprit, one blog post contained comments from a woman who told of a "friend" (I didn't read far enough to learn if it was Bruton or not) in her writing group. While she was on vacation near the tip of South America, she told this "friend" about the awesome experience she was having, and one person she had met in particular, a piano tuner in Terra del Fuego. Well, wouldn't you know it, this "friend" pounded out a story featuring that character before the woman was even home from her trip. So what, you say? Nothing to prevent her from writing her own story? Well, how "fresh" is the idea going to look the second time around? It's the same with some (not all, I grant) ideas.

Just because we're "not quite there" yet as far as our technical writing ability or storytelling doesn't mean we don't have good ideas. Yes, the world is full of ideas, but there are plenty of authors who have made their name with a "big idea."
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« Reply #12 on: October 02, 2009, 03:22:51 AM »

Oh dear! From publicity for Stephen King's forthcoming work "Under The Dome"

"On an entirely normal, beautiful fall day in Chester’s Mill, Maine, the town is inexplicably and suddenly sealed off from the rest of the world by an invisible force field. Planes crash into it and fall from the sky in flaming wreckage, a gardener’s hand is severed as “the dome” comes down on it, people running errands in the neighboring town are divided from their families, and cars explode on impact. No one can fathom what this barrier is, where it came from, and when—or if—it will go away."

From Del's Story "The Only Child":

"Where do you start telling such a story? Maybe with this: on the first day of the Walls one thousand, five hundred, and forty three planes crashed. A few of those were on take-off, but most were several miles high. They hit the Walls and simply fell out of the sky, already burning, already breaking up. And, of course, the emergency teams couldn’t get close to any of them.
   Or maybe the start is here: by the second day, the web was full of images of people who had been cut in two by the Walls. Some had been sleeping when the Walls came, others simply lounging on sofas watching the television, some were on beaches soaking up the rays. The images were horrific. It was like a huge blade had sliced straight through these people. Others had lost hands and arms, some their feet. Almost all had died.
   Then there was the Golden Gate Bridge. There must have been a thousand comparable incidents across the globe, but the Gate was the one that caught everybody’s imagination. A Wall came down across either end of the bridge, slicing through the cables, smashing concrete, and imprisoning everybody on there. We watched them on the web-cams. They climbed through the wreckage of the cars and trucks that hadn’t been able to stop in time and had smashed into the Walls."

This is the story that I submitted back in the spring and almost made it into the Catastrophia anthology. It's back out there, but once King's novel has been released, I guess I won't be submitting it anywhere else.

I had no idea of King's book until about ten minutes ago when idly surfing the web trying to avoid starting work.

Del
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« Reply #13 on: October 02, 2009, 03:27:57 AM »

Oh, I dunno, Del - yours will probably be better than his afro
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« Reply #14 on: October 02, 2009, 05:39:39 AM »

Bummer, Del. But it does go to show how few original ideas there are out there.
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