Politics, Politicians, and Current Events Examined

Plagiarism at the It Makes Sense Blog

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By Spartacus Thrace

Original article about Amy Busefink posted on the Res Publica Blog at 12:32 AM on January 17, 2011

Plagiarized Res Publica article posted on the It Makes Sense Blog, January 17, 2011

One of our writers, who uses the nom de plume “Le Corbeaunoir,” worked very, very hard and produced a fine article about Amy Busefink and the ACORN voter registration fraud prosecutions in Nevada. Titled “Project Vote’s Amy Busefink: A Progressive From the Neighborhood Gets Busted,” it was posted on the Res Publica Blog at 12:32 AM on January 17, 2011 and has been well-received on the internet. At some point later that day, as shown by the screen grab posted above, “Professor1” at the It Makes Sense Blog posted a large — 16 paragraphs worth — verbatim portion of that post listing himself as its author under the slightly rearranged title “Busted: Project Vote’s Amy Busefink: A Progressive From the Neighborhood.” Although Professor1 uses the exact text right down to the hyperlinks and footnotes written by Le Corbeaunoir, and one of the photographs Le Corbeaunoir obtained for the Res Publica article, Professor1 gives no attribution to Le Corbeaunoir or the Res Publica Blog, not even a linkback to the authentic article. Le Corbeaunoir has asked that the It Makes Sense Blog correct this situation, but has received no response at this point.

It is common for one blog to repost something originally posted on another blog. We at the Res Publica Blog are in fact quite pleased when one of our posts is reposted elsewhere. But it is also the common practice for the reposter to attribute the original source by identifying the author and including a link back to the original post. That is, at the very least, the decent, honest, and honorable thing to do.

Plagiarism is the act of stealing and using the ideas or writings of another as one’s own. The reposting of the Le Corbeaunoir article without attribution and a link back is theft, pure and simple, and it is unacceptable on the bases of morality and practicality. First of all, it is immoral to steal the fruits of another’s labor. Secondly, the thief blocks potentially valuable feedback to the true author, being ignorant of all that went into the making of the article, and is unable to carry the story further as may be required by events.

Le Corbeaunoir has asked the It Makes Sense Blog to do the right thing, and so far it hasn’t. We cannot make them do the right thing, but we will stand by our hard-working writers.

We are letting people know what happened, and this post will stay up until the It Makes Sense Blog does right by our writer.


It appears that, shortly after we went public with our complaint about plagiarism, the offending post was pulled from the It Makes Sense Blog:

Screen grab of the It Makes Sense Blog taken at 1:03 PM on January 18, 2011 showing the internet address of the plagiarized article and an error code indicating that the article no longer exists at that address.

Le Corbeaunoir still hasn’t been contacted by anyone at the It Makes Sense Blog.

This is a good example of why plagiarism doesn’t work in the blogosphere: We would have preferred that they simply apologize, attach the correct attribution to our writer and a link back to the original article, and move on. Now, unfortunately, none of their readers will get to read what really is a great article about Nevada’s prosecution of ACORN and Busefink and what it means to conservatives.

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