Wednesday night, a fellow media conspirator Gann Matsuda from Frozen Royalty sent me an email. The subject line was, “Are you contributing to this site?” Immediately my stomach fell.
Are you contibuting to this site, or are they just stealing your/LAIst’s content?
I omitted the URL of this site for obvious reasons.
This website took my piece “Summer of Sorrow Continues for Hockey”, HTML and all, and published it on their site. My anger might have been mitigated somewhat if they gave me a byline. But no. The byline reads, “September 7 | Posted by admin | NHL News Tags: hockey news.” All there was was a crummy link at the bottom of the story with the heading, “Article Source”.
I was sitting at a coffeehouse in Redondo Beach when this discovery was made since it was hotter than a pair of trapped balls in a jockstrap. My immediate reaction was a string of expletives that caused more than a few people to look at me. I responded to their looks by saying I was plagiarized.
Once the first wave of anger left, then came the bewilderment. Of all the pieces written that day about the tragedy in Russia, why did this person choose this one? I really didn’t like the piece and thought it was too slap-and-dash, had continuity problems, was overwrought and had a piss-poor ending.
Writing as much as I do, not everything is going to be a gem. I’ve come to live with that reality. I just hope to throw in a jewel somewhere in there every now and again.
So for a bit I was oddly flattered that such a piss-poor piece would be pilfered.
That moment of peace left very quickly when I realized that this motherfucker has stolen my intellectual property. Well perhaps intellectual should be put in quotation marks since I do write about sports — how intellectual can it be?
I tried contacting the person or people that run the site, but the link that says, “Contact Us” directs you to another page. I did a /WHOIS search on the domain name which leads to Toronto. Then I realized that maybe I shouldn’t be doing this alone. I should have the weight of Gothamist handle this.
So I got my editor on it, but as of noon pacific time today the piece is still up.
This is unacceptable.
So I am declaring war on Canada for harboring these heisters. I want a written apology, the piece to be taken down and the people who are responsible for this nonsense brought to me.
But it is sort of amazing that I have written things on the Internet in one form or another since 1997, and this is the first time I’ve encountered this problem. I guess I’m lucky.