1. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hackers steal

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by madhoca, Jan 22, 2009.

    I just went into another forum where I occasionally post work if I want another angle because it's mostly women on it. There was a message from a hacker telling me s/he had won 50 quid in a competition with my work. Aside from feelings of rage, glee that I've won a comp etc I can't think what to do. Nothing, I suppose.

    Has this happened to anyone else?

    Ironic thing is, I only post work I'm having reservations about--often comments on the forum have identified the problem areas--but not stuff I feel is 'finished'.
     
  2. Islander
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    Islander Contributing Member Contributor

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    You sure it wasn't a joke? Did the alleged hacker name the alleged competition?
     
  3. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    Nope--so s/he could have just been trying to make me feel as bad as possible. There can't be that many competitions in the UK offering this sum, in fact.
     
  4. Daedalus
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    Daedalus Active Member

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    I'm afraid you can't really do anything. Proving that a piece of work is yours in real life is hard enough, but doing so over the Internet is nigh on impossible. It's a tragic reality of the age of the Internet -- that anyone can lift a person's work and proclaim it to be their own. It is also why staff on forums like this take plagiarism very seriously. Perhaps contact one of them?

    It sucks, Madhoca. I despise people who take another writer's work and attempt to call it their own. Anyone who does that hasn't got the talent to make it otherwise. It's pathetic.
     
  5. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    Have you reported it to the admin of that forum?
     
  6. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yes--it's really a shame because it's only a small group of women just starting out. Oh well.
     
  7. Noodleguy
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    Noodleguy Senior Member

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    It sounds like a blatant lie to me. The odds that someone stole some of your work, submitted it, won 50 quid!, and then for some reason went to brag to you on a small forum...

    They're probably just being a jerk, honestly. I wouldn't worry about there being any money involved. Actually they probably didn't even steal your work.

    And if they did, that stinks. I'm sorry.

    But if you reported it to the admin, there's nothing else you can do about it that I can think of.
     
  8. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    It is a violation of copyright law if he did in fact do this. Find your earliest posting of your work, and any previous drafts, and file your copyright application. Never mind that it is after the fact of the contest. Registering your copyright is the first step for litigation against the plagiarist.

    Contact a literary lawyer to take it from there.

    The monetary damages may be small in this case. but most plagiarists don't just steal one person's work. Once he or she has been found guilty of plagiarism, most publishers will have nothing to do with that person.

    Don't take it lying down. I disagree with Daedalus. You can and should pursue legal action.
     
  9. Xeno
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    Xeno Mad and Bitey Contributor

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    Gee, that sucks. But I'd do what Cog says.

    He is the guru of WF.org and is always right. :D
     
  10. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    Thanks, Cog. I haven't the faintest which contest they won (if indeed they did win, it DOES sound a bit like a windup) but I'm going to have a trawl and see which UK comps offer this much money.

    My friend pointed out that it would have to be someone reallly dumb to kill the golden goose this way--kind of strange they wanted to crow about it. Maybe it was more like an attack on the forum, the owner said another person also got a message saying her work was being sent to an agent.

    If I find my story IS a comp winner, I'll certainly take action. It WAS copywrited, and I think a version of it is on my mother's computer because I wrote some stories when I was staying with her last summer. It helps that she's a lawyer. In fact, after the thread on 'publishing'? on the internet started up here I think it was, I started to copyright my work.

    Well, hope it doesn't happen again to me or anyone here. As they used to say, everyone: Let's be careful out there.
     
  11. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Yeah, the possibility of a troll occurred to me. If it was a contest winner, chances are it would be posted and you could find it by googling distinctive phrases (don't forget to put quotes around the phrase so it is treated as a phrase!)
     
  12. othman
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    othman Member

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    Yeah, I was about to suggest what Cog said, if you google the most distinctive line or two in your poem then if it has won a competition it is very likely that seeing as there is a prize they'll show it in their front page or something, but don't forget it could be a small, local competition that was never put on the interwebs.

    Anyway it's quite likely it's just some annoying little, spiteful teenager who had some homework due for the next day and just exaggerated because s/he is so proud of their clever little scheme, one day school, the next day the world...and so forth.
     
  13. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i would take that claim with a trainload of salt, if i were you... first of all, most comps don't pay that well, as you've noted... and second of all, it's unlikely that anyone would get such stellar results with a piece of work that wasn't polished, since you admit it wouldn't have been posted, if you thought it ready to be submitted...

    why don't you just google the title and see what comes up?... do the same with the opening line... if it was really a winner anywhere, i'm sure it would have been acquired by a crawl and if it's not showing up anyplace but where you posted it, tell that twit you weren't born yesterday and to take a long walk off a short pier...

    if it does show up somewhere, sue her/his pants off for plagiarism!...
     

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