Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Who would want to plagiarize reviews ...

Yeah, it seems silly, right? Well, this happens more often than people realize. I remember that during my early days as a reviewer, the owner of a reviews website was caught copying reviews from someone else. At the time, blogs were not the in thing like they are now. It turned into a pretty nasty incident, and as a "noob" to the reviewing scene, I couldn't completely understand what was going on. On top of that, when I tried to find out more information via a Yahoo group that had just started for "noob" reviewers like myself, the "veterans" refused to talk about it. Of course, I dropped that group like the hot potato that it was. It spoke volumes that the "veterans" didn't want to talk about the ethics of reviewing. Of course, there are more layers in that, but this post is about plagiarism and not the ethics of reviewing.

Anyway, every once in a while, another opportunistic idiot shows his/her sorry face and gets caught... and no, I am not giving these people the benefit of the doubt. They know what they are doing; they know that what they are doing is WRONG. Period.

The latest incident involves what is, I believe, the "elder" among all romance review sites: All About Romance. This is the quick summary: a dumb piece of work, who dares call herself the "Queen of Romance", stole the name of a popular romance related blog (Ramblings on Romance, which has been around for about five years already), and the woman then proceeded to pretty much copy and paste whole chunks of text from reviews originally posted at All About Romance, passing the reviews as hers. This is the link to the AAR blog talking about the issue here.

As you may see from the comments section, some people are trying to give that person the benefit of the doubt. As I stated above (let it never be said that I am not opinionated hehe), I am not that generous. I am looking at all this not only from the perspective of a co-owner of a reviews newsletter, but also from the perspective of a reviewer, as I did review for a number of years.

The acts of people like her go beyond just the plagiarism. She's not only stealing the property of others, but she's also affecting how review sites and/or review blogs may be perceived by others, particularly publishers and authors. Fact remains that this woman (who alleges to be 23 in her blog: (1) is stealing from others and (2) her actions are affecting more than just her selfish, moronic person... and THAT I can't easily forget ... or forgive, given the sheer amount of work honest reviewers and review site/blogs owners out there put into their work.

As to motivation, these people often work on two premises: (1) they see the recognition some of the most popular review sites/blogs have and want a piece of that; and (2) they get free books without the need to do to the work of reading them and then writing a review of the books because, after all, there are tons of review sites out there they can steal from... and yes, chances are EXTREMELY hight that she will do it again, this time having learned that she can get caught, she will figure something out to circumvent the law. The internet provides the means to create as many personas as you want and there are tons of free options out there to start blogs, personal pages, websites, etc. It's the land of opportunity for those who lack ethics of any sort.


marcy said...

I so agree, Mireya. We reviewers might not work as hard as authors but our work is our own.

Anonymous said...

Yup. And it is not easy to try and express your thoughts on a book with the constraints we need to place to keep the length manageable and still be able to say why a book worked or didn't worked for us as readers!

Dhympna said...

She may reappear. However, she is not a very smart plagiarist though. She used her real name by the looks of it.

This whole incident is rather odd in terms of the breadth of her pilfering.

RO said...

YIKES! The thought of taking responsibility for a work you know you didn't write is not cool whether you ae a reviewer or an author. There are enough books, review sites and actual review newspapers to go around for everyone. Sad state of affairs to take credit when you shouldn't. Then to use your own name?!!! (lol)