1. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    I think I was just robbed, what do I do?

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by Jack Asher, Feb 2, 2014.

    I'd had an idea in my head for awhile for a zombie guide written for zombies, with tips on avoiding head shots, and when it's best to run...or a least shamble.

    Without really thinking about it too much I pitched it to zombie-guide.com, which had a submissions process and looked fairly legit. I pitched it to the editor Frank Deipmaat, the pitch was accepted, I wrote the article.

    That article now appears on the sites main page without my byline. It reads "By Frank Deipmaat" instead and features his twitter plug at the bottom, which was half the reason I was doing this.

    I sent him a letter as soon as I saw that, pointing out the "hilarious" misunderstanding. An hour later he hasn't responded. The article is still in his name, my meds aren't working and I'm on 2 hours sleep in the last 36.

    What in hell should I do?
     
  2. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Maybe contact the editor-in-chief or whoever's Deipmaat's superior and explain the situation? You sent in a pitch and there's a submission system and everything - which means your correspondence with Deipmaat should be on their system somewhere and in your email, so you should be able to prove this.

    If that fails, perhaps leave comments on the article page and drag Deipmaat's name as well as zombie-guide.com through the dirt via Twitter. They'll lose credibility as well as valued writers and therefore good content - the site owner probably won't want that.
     
  3. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    Do you save your outgoing and incoming e-mails?
     
  4. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    Diepmaat is listed as the owner of the domain. The title he lists on his email signature is:
    Frank Diepmaat

    Executive Administrator
    Zombie Guide Magazine

    Unless there is a position higher than executive, I don't think I'm going to get a hold of his "boss"

    And I've been using gmail, so all the emails are saved as well as iterated .odf files, and I've been talking to several people online passing the file back and forth. There is a pretty concrete record here, I'm not worried about that.
     
  5. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    I'd look for more examples of him plagiarizing other stuff in addition to saving the emails and any copies you have of the piece that predate his posting the stolen material.

    Cut and paste short paragraphs of his stuff and search for it in quote marks. Apparently a lot of blog stuff is nicked just like stories are. If you can find a group of ripped off people you might be able to drum up some reinforcements.

    He appears to be the site's editor so you can't go that route for help. [Which I see you know.]
     
  6. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    They're out of the Netherlands. Might be hard to get at them. You could send an email to their site host. Also, take to social media yourself, contact any partner or affiliate sites and let them know what is going on, etc.
     
  7. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    I found one article that had been passed around a couple of times. But most searches returned exclusive content, and there aren't any results for "zombie-guide.com steals" or "Frank Diepmaat steals, stolen, copyright, etc"

    But what would be the point even if I had evidence of more infractions?
     
  8. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    I think Ginger meant to take past articles he has printed as his work, and take quoted pieces of it and put it in a search engine, and see if it comes up elsewhere as other people's work.
     
  9. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    You could enlist reinforcements in your battle.
     
  10. Fitzroy Zeph
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    Fitzroy Zeph Contributing Member Contributor

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    I would send an invoice for $10,000.
     
  11. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Consult a lawyer.

    You've already tried to resolve it yourself. Now it's time to get professional assistance.
     
  12. Macaberz
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    Macaberz Pay it forward Contributor

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    I live in The Netherlands too. Problem solved *cracks knuckles* :p @Jack Asher

    I don't think that's entirely true. The way I understand it, @Jack Asher merely pitched his idea to Frank. Unless the entire document is written by Jack and was then falsely published under Frank's name there isn't much he can do legally.

    So Jack, did he actually copy your text word for word, or did he modify bits and pieces? I am not a lawyer but if it's just the idea he stole, well, ideas aren't intellectual property.
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2014
  13. Nightstar99
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    Nightstar99 Contributing Member

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    If he won't change it I would probably chalk it down to experience, As annoying and unfair as it is.

    Attempting to sue a, probably penniless, blogger in the Netherlands is cost and no reward as far as I can see.

    To put it in perspective, I ran zombie-guide.com through Alexa and it has a global rank of 1.4 million and is falling rapidly. This site has a global rank of 305,000. You probably got more people to read you piece by posting about it being stolen here, than you would have if they'd credited you on zombie-guide and you'd never mentioned it.

    He is still a goldplated arsehole for stealing it though, obviously.
     
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  14. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    Oh no, I wrote 2,000 words and it's all on the site exactly the same as when I sent it to him.
     
  15. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I'm not suggesting immediate legal action. I'm suggesting that a lawyer will be able to advise as to what options are available. A lawyer will know what questions to ask, and will be able to evaluate the relevant facts.
     
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  16. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    but only an attorney who practices international law will be able to advise you best on this situation, as US laws won't be applicable, since the perp is not in the US and the 'crime' didn't occur in the US...

    i seriously doubt there will be much, if anything you can do about forcing the creep to admit his plagiarism, or get any monetary compensation for his act... so you may just have to chalk it up to experience and be more careful about submitting work in future...

    i strongly suggest you be very careful about maligning this guy on the internet, or in print, as you could easily find yourself unable to sue him for his dastadly deed, while being sued by him for libel...

    love and consoling hugs, maia
     
  17. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    It's fixed! Sort of. The way the backend is set up he can't change the actual byline, but my name is in the title. It's not optimal, but I can at least point to something and say it's mine.

    Thanks for your help guys, that was agonizing.
     
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  18. Fitzroy Zeph
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    Fitzroy Zeph Contributing Member Contributor

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    Bunk. It's a freakin' website. Of course he can change the name. Get him to change the name. I am rabid supporter of an individual's copyright and you should not settle for anything less than a full credit.
     
  19. AnubisTheJackle
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    AnubisTheJackle New Member

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    If he's using WordPress like most sites of that nature, he would have to setup a unique account for each poster, or find a plugin to change / add bylines. It's difficult, as well, because the majority of those plugins require you to be able to manually edit the theme / template file for the website.

    Common practice in this instance is to put the original author's name in the title: "My Big Story by John Smith" etc

    Brought to you by my years of experience in website development.
     
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  20. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    So tell us the story - what happened and how come the guy changed tack?

    Also, with the backend thing - if nothing else he could just delete the article and re-upload it with a different byline. By no means is it impossible. But I get it if you don't wanna push any further.
     
  21. AnubisTheJackle
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    AnubisTheJackle New Member

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    I like how Guys Nation handles things. When I wrote a few guest posts for them, they actually had me register my own account, set up an author profile, etc. That way, if I want to go back and write some more, it's as simple as logging in, writing it, and submitting it for approval. By-line is automatic, and they don't have to manually change anything.
     
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  22. Krishan
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    Krishan Active Member

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    In Wordpress it really isn't very easy to change the "posted by" name - you'd need to create separate accounts for each of your authors. Managing such a system would be a fairly time-consuming task.

    I get around this by either including the author in the title of a post, or at the bottom of the post along with their bio. I've seen a lot of sites do the same thing.

    Sounds like it was just an innocent mistake in this case - I'm glad it's been resolved now.
     
  23. Woof
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    Woof Contributing Member

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    Yikes! One person's nightmare is informative for others... thanks for sharing, and I'm glad you got it (mostly) resolved.
     
  24. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    A thought occurred to me: Can you change the actual string "posted by", permanently? If it were changed to "approved by" or "uploaded by" that could make things clearer.

    I realize that the actual blogger with the problem isn't here, but I was still wondering. :)
     

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