My Plagiarism Manifesto

Guys. I have to say that I never knew so many of you looked to me to bring you opinions on stuff in the YA community. I’ve always shared my opinions open and freely and I’ve never held back anything. Your emails, tweets, DMs, Tumblr Asks, and Formspring questions have made me realize that you think of me as some kind of community leader. I would like to state upfront that I am not a thought leader, I do not think my opinions are the law but I do appreciate you caring about them and I think healthy discussion is good. If you disagree with me anytime please feel free to tell me. You will never be turned away, censored or mocked.

Plagiarism is wrong. Plain and simple. As I work in publishing my sympathy and support will always be with that of the content copyright holder. Always. I’ve never been plagiarized so I don’t know the righteous indignity that goes along with that. I imagine that I wouldn’t be too soft on the person who stole my work.

I have this website and the .org website that has contributors. My pledge to you is that I will always be vigilant about what is being posted on these sites and if anything is ever shady I will deal with the problem immediately.

I don’t like what has happened. I don’t like the extra stigmata being brought on the YA community. Hell, I even considered closing my own blog because I just can’t take the negativity. I have built my brand for four years and I refuse to take the cowardly way out, my blogs will go on and on just like a Celine Dion song. In fact I will task my children to continuing them after I die if they want my money.

I am sorely disappointed in the people who are leaving rash and vile comments on the blogs involved. I am aghast that people are sending them hateful emails and harassing them. If you have done either of these things know that you have lost my respect.

For someone who has made no talk about or was involved directly with this issue I have been accused of a lot of things. Please know that I do not condone or support any of the behavior listed below or any of the comments in support of this behavior (even those that my friends and family have made with or without my knowledge).

I hope that we can all discuss plagiarism and ways to effectively not do so, even accidentally and learn from this travesty. If any of you want to speak privately my email is info@bookalicio.us. I will be glad to answer any questions you may have about the issue.

I apologize if my silence has made you think less of me, or if it has made you think I am sympathetic to a cause. That is simply not the truth.

9 Responses so far

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    It’s such a shame to see the effect this has had on our community. I’m so sorry it’s resulted in you having you clarify your standpoint.

  2. Gravatar

    Pam – We have remained completely silent on this matter as to avoid the drama. This is the first time I have commented on this at all and I want you to know that we completely understand your reticence. We appreciate that you have taken the time to process the things that have happened before addressing them publicly. Something that I don’t feel you were in any way required to do to begin with. This entire debacle has been embarassing to the YA blogging community in so many ways but there have been a few bloggers that have truly stood out as showing true professionalism and class when it came to this. And I will say this – you stood out on top. Thank you for being the professional that you are and not feeding the drama.

  3. Gravatar

    After being quite late in the game, I discovered the debacle yesterday. I am MUCH more appalled by the responses(on both sides) than I am of the initial problem.

    How these “adults” have behaved is terrible and sad, and once again proves how scary the internet can be. People hide in their little rooms, safely hidden away in their houses, and from behind their computers they somehow find the RIGHT to bully and belittle complete strangers. The situation is out-of-hand and completely baffling. When you have a voice, an online presence that reaches many, you have to use that voice wisely, and ALWAYS for good.

    This post has earned you even MORE of my respect, though you were already one of my favorite people to follow because of your blatant honesty. I applaud you for this statement/manifesto and I am blown away by how maturely you can respond without name-calling or choosing sides. People should take note.

  4. Gravatar

    Well I for one never thought your silence meant that you condoned anyone’s behavior or reviled it. Sometimes staying quiet until the issue has been fully discussed to get the best possible and most complete view of the situation is best. But even if you chose not to share your thoughts on this matter I would never have judged you either way.

    And whether you are deemed a thought leader or not the reality is there are people who love hearing your thoughts on industry-related subjects – controversial or otherwise. I’m one of those people.

    I’m glad you’re sharing your thoughts even though I’m sorry you felt pushed to do so and had to bring this situation to your blog.

    The fact is you are a well-respected voice in the community whether or not everyone agrees with your stance at all times.

    From the day I discovered your blog – which had to be within a week of me starting mine…maybe two – I always looked to your blog and reviews as setting the example of how I wanted to my blog to be.

    Your frankness and candor – are you on the wrong faction? – are qualities of yours I have always admired even if I am totally intimidated by you!

    But thank you for speaking out about your beliefs for the community even if you don’t want to bring the drama to your blog.

    And oh, I freaking love this: “I will task my children to continuing them after I die if they want my money.”

    Bahahahaha!

  5. Gravatar

    To be honest, I’m not certain if the recent uproar I’m thinking of, which I checked out for roughly 2 minutes before checking out on the whole mess, is the one that you’re speaking of.

    But well…it’s a mess. One I don’t want to be involved in, because I have enough things that require my attention. Of course, I’m not a YA blogger, just a writer, so no one involved probably cares what my opinion is. ;)

    If someone does, it’s the same as Pam’s, and shame on anyone who could somehow conclude her opinion would be otherwise just because she chose not participate in that mess.

  6. Gravatar

    Pam,

    I’m with you in your sentiments. I am not a YA blogger, but I am a book blogger who often reviews YA material.

    I was equally horrified by both the accusations and, ultimately, by the discovery that the accusations proved true. It is perhaps even more painful and disturbing (and scary) that the main blogger involved is so well-known and generally well-respected – I’ve been a subscriber of her blog and Twitter feed for a long time.

    Still, I too have been mum on the issue, aside from an acknowledgment of the problem on Twitter, as well as a comment on the sadness I felt over it. Our little world is rapidly growing, and we will constantly have to fight to prove our purpose and our ability to the established industry.

    Like you, I couldn’t help but post some thoughts today on what book blogging means to me, although my inspiration came from another source. I touched very briefly on the plagiarism issue but, for the most part, I believe this is something we all know, without question, to be wrong – so I felt no need to belabour the point.

    Thanks for the words and thanks for not giving up – let’s stay in this together.

  7. Gravatar

    Like you, I have remained quiet about the issue. I have made one or two comments on blogs, but that were not directly related to the plagiarism. I’ve mostly been a lurker.

    My blog is relatively new (since Dec. 2011), although I have been writing reviews for two well known blogs since 2009. As someone who still is not known for my own blog, I have felt I should stay out of the mix.

    However, I’m upset if others are getting on you for not saying anything. They have the right to say what they will, and you have the right to say silent if you wish. I don’t know how much more anyone can really say about the plagiarism. I have nothing new to add. My view is simple: plagiarizing is WRONG. No matter how “innocent” some might think her actions were. But it is also wrong to bully someone, even if they have engaged in bad behavior that affects a whole community. The hash tag and the threat to take away the IMM meme is simply awful under any circumstances.

  8. Gravatar

    Good post. That was nice of you to share your thoughts with everyone. I read tons YA books, thus I also read alot of the YA blogs. Personally I don’t believe one persons actions should effect an entire community. Though this whole thing is unfortunate, it will pass. I’m glad that your going to keep on blogging! Take care.

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