Plagiarism and Stupidity

Ian Lurie

Update: The page was removed from DSD-Professionals after several folks commented there (thanks everyone!). The owner says she was given the content by someone else who said I gave permission. And I do give permission, all the time. As long as you follow the Creative Commons license I placed on my book: Click here for the license. I have tried to be nice about incidents like this in the past, but I’m running out of patience. Would you photocopy a book, hand it out in your store and then be surprised if you got in trouble?

I’ve had my stuff plagiarized before.

But did Cindy over at really think I wouldn’t notice this:


She rewrote a few items, but kept the exact same rules (oh, she changed ‘dress appropriately’ to ‘look appropriate’). And gave no attribution whatsoever.

Do most bloggers think it’s OK to just copy someone else’s work?

And don’t tell me ‘imitation is the sincerest form of flattery’, either.


Ian Lurie

Ian Lurie is the founder of Portent. He's been a digital marketer since the days of AOL and Compuserve (25 years, if you're counting). Ian's recorded training for, writes regularly for the Portent Blog and has been published on AllThingsD, Smashing Magazine, and TechCrunch. Ian speaks at conferences around the world, including SearchLove, MozCon, Seattle Interactive Conference and ad:Tech. He has published several books about business and marketing: One Trick Ponies Get Shot, available on Kindle, The Web Marketing All-In-One Desk Reference for Dummies, and Conversation Marketing. Ian is now an independent consultant and continues to work with the Portent team- training the agency group on all things digital. You can find him at

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  1. Wait a second ian – I got this information from a different source. I did not know it was yours and BTW my other source did in fact give me persmission to use it.
    I assure you I would not have done this had I known it was yours.
    Why didn’t you just email me and let me know. My goodness I would have taken it offline immediately!
    Which, BTW – I will do today!
    So very sorry for the misunderstanding.

  2. Hi PaintChip,
    I could not find your e-mail address anywhere on your site. I did a WHOIS search and found the e-mail of the domain owner. I did e-mail that address, twice, over the last 2 days. Never heard back.
    I do need to know the other source, please, asap. If someone’s out there handing out my work without attribution I’d like to know.
    The best way to verify this kind of thing is to do a Google search. A search on “Conversation Marketing” would’ve shown my site and others, and let you know right away that there might be an issue. You could’ve then seen the Creative Commons license on my book, and known that a simple attribution would’ve avoided the entire problem.
    It’s very easy to accept content from someone else and then say “But I didn’t know” later on.
    But it’s the responsibility of a web site owner/publisher to verify that content they receive is indeed theirs to publish. If you want to go into citizen journalism and web publishing, more power to you. But you have to take responsibility. People put years of effort into developing an idea. Having someone steal it and hand it to someone else is not a pleasant experience.

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