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Plagiarism or not?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Inky_Wretch, Jun 12, 2009.

  1. Inky_Wretch

    Inky_Wretch Well-Known Member

    Local radio station has started a new Web site. It's basically an online newspaper, complete with obits and marriage announcements.

    But the "stories" are just one or two paragraphs long. And obviously cribbed from our newspaper.

    Complain or leave it alone?
  2. pseudo

    pseudo Well-Known Member

    Do they have ads? If so, they're profiting from your copyrighted content. Tough to go after them if they're paraphrasing, but if their site is essentially a cut/paste from yours, I think that stretches the boundaries of fair use.
  3. 93Devil

    93Devil Well-Known Member

    Honestly, I think the obits might be more off limits than anything. Are they word-for-word obits from your paper?
  4. Inky_Wretch

    Inky_Wretch Well-Known Member

    Sorry, the obits are submitted and not lifted from us.

    My complaint is about news and sports. We covered a summer league baseball game yesterday. Nobody from there was at the park. Yet today, there's a two graf summary of the game.
  5. I Digress

    I Digress Guest

    I think it should be looked into.
  6. RickStain

    RickStain Well-Known Member

    Unethical, sure, but nothing you can do about it. You still can't copyright facts.
  7. mustangj17

    mustangj17 Active Member

    Welcome to every radio station website ever.

    Just start running ads that say "____ Newspaper, so good, the competition takes our stories"
  8. 21

    21 Well-Known Member

    Unless they're using your stories verbatim, you can't really call it plagiarism. Unethical and scummy, perhaps, but not plagiarism. As RickStain said, you don't own the facts.

    But nothing wrong with running it past the lawyers; if you can assemble enough proof that they're lifting your stories, it might be worth a cease and desist letter.

    (If you really want to prove it, misspell a name or change a small detail. Gets 'em every time.)
  9. Drip

    Drip Active Member

    My vote for post of the month.
  10. Baron Scicluna

    Baron Scicluna Well-Known Member

    At the small town daily I used to work at, the local station would lift everything from us. I would write a feature, and the sports announcer would flat-out read it, including the quotes, without attributing it to the paper.

    We complained a few times, the radio station ignored it. So, our editor wrote a nasty editorial ripping the station, ending it by daring them to read it on the air.

    They didn't.
  11. CarltonBanks

    CarltonBanks New Member

    I would ask them to kindly attribute where they get their information. You might be pleasantly surprised.
  12. buzzerbeater

    buzzerbeater Member

    I don't think I've ever been pleasantly surprised by a radio station's ethics. I guess it could happen.
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