Plagiarists’ Favors

Today, numerous outlets reported on an episode of the print vs. online media saga in which a proud member of the old school misunderstood plagiarism, humility, and apparently the concept of a favor:

A writer was recently surprised to find that a piece she’d written about apple pies for a website in 2005 had been picked up wholesale by a small cooking magazine without anyone telling her…She asked for an apology on Facebook, a printed apology in the magazine and $130 donation to the Columbia School of Journalism.

Instead, the writer received a conceited response suggesting that she should, in fact, pay the magazine for taking the procedural steps to publish the piece. You can read part of the e-mail—which includes justifications such as “I have been doing this for 3 decades” and “the web is considered ‘public domain’”—at Consumerist.

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Dylan DePice is a former CJR intern.