Should I Be Honored or Offended?

This post is more than 2 years old.

So, like every other red-blooded American, I am extremely egotistical and have an intense need to know what others think of me. (Or maybe it's just me. ;) To help track that, I use RSSWatcher to monitor FullAsAGoog for the keyword, "Camden." Yesterday this hit came in:

So - it is my entire article - with a new intro paragraph - reprinted in full. Even some of the comments are copied over.

Now - Sys-Con does aggregate my blog. You can see that here. But am I crazy to think that reprinting the entire article from my blog is just... um.... wrong? Especially since we both have Google Ads on our sites. Or should I just get over it? (FYI, I have pinged Simon Horwith on this.)

Raymond Camden's Picture

About Raymond Camden

Raymond is a senior developer evangelist for Adobe. He focuses on document services, JavaScript, and enterprise cat demos. If you like this article, please consider visiting my Amazon Wishlist or donating via PayPal to show your support. You can even buy me a coffee!

Lafayette, LA

Archived Comments

Comment 1 by Scott Slone posted on 10/19/2005 at 10:02 AM

I would be concerned if only for this statement at the bottom of your re-purposed article:
Published Oct. 16, 2005 — Reads 239
Copyright © 2005 SYS-CON Media. All Rights Reserved.

There maybe a disclaimer elseware on the site that the content contributors own thier own content, but seeing this makes me think that you wrote it for Sys-Con.

Comment 2 by thinman posted on 10/19/2005 at 10:06 AM

Dude, unlike some blathering, blogging, idiots, you actually pack value into your publishings. The value-add seems worthy of more than an honorable mention, although you get ample credit for your work (cfdj isn't passing your work off as exclusively theirs). Since you're noted as being an editor of cfdj, is there some sense of entitlement that cfdj may feel due to your close working relationship? Whatever the case, at the east, a "reprinted with permission" is due, once said permission hs been sought and granted. Or am I wrong? You could offer a CC limited use license for folks wanting to re-print your work, or maybe even a more strict intellectual property protection of your content and mindshare that would force folks to have to license your work if they want to leverage your content in their site(s). Maybe not, who knows? I know I've just had one-too-many caffeinated soda pops tonite, so disregard the rambled; it's the cola talkin. You rock, dude.

Comment 3 by tof posted on 10/19/2005 at 1:47 PM

I think you should be more honored than anything else. I't a bit annoying to see your shit copied, I admit... But really in that article, it's obvious that it's your material in the first place. Ah well... In any case, at the end of the day you're more famous and make more money than that dude. (and me, <cfevil output='deepVoice'>But that's gonna change HAHAHAHA!</cfevil>)

Comment 4 by Scott Stroz posted on 10/19/2005 at 3:44 PM

I would be honored that they thought my material was worth reproducing, but offened if they used a picture fo some other guy...who is that? ;-)

Comment 5 by Gus posted on 10/19/2005 at 3:59 PM


You should not be honored or offended... you should be incensed!

Sys-Con Media is a for profit publishing company, and they have blatantly stolen your copyrighted material.

In fact, Sys-Con Media has violated it's own terms of service by stealing your copyright!

This is directly from Sys-Con Media's terms of service for it's blog aggregator:
Unless stated otherwise for specific services, Member will retain copyright ownership and all related rights for information he or publishes through or otherwise enters into services. Member will not use the Service for CHAIN LETTER, JUNK MAIL, SPAMMING or any use of distribution lists to any person who has not given specific permission to be included in such a process. Any ADVERTISEMENT or blogs used SOLEY for LINKING TO ANOTHER SITE must be PREMIUM. Sites that do not comply with be AUTOMATICALLY REMOVED

I would demand that the article be removed and an apology made for this unethical behavior.

Comment 6 by Alex Sherwood posted on 10/19/2005 at 4:03 PM

It clearly looks like you wrote the article for their publication. Showing your pic and byline reinforces that it was an "assignment" article rather than a reprint.

I'm sure their intentions were good, albeit maybe a bit to presumptive.

Either way, GREAT ARTICLE!

Comment 7 by Jeff posted on 10/19/2005 at 4:47 PM

I'd be offended; but I'm particular about such things.

Technically, they are in violation of your copyright. Unfortunately, you never registered the copyright, so your legal (and financial) recourse is lower. But, it's currently at 369 reads... so, I bet (theoretically) you could make nice pile for violation of your copyright.
Of course, whether its worth your while or not is open to discussion.

On the other hand, you're a tech editor for the magazine, right? I'd re-read your contract w/ them, you may already have signed away all your rights.


Comment 8 by Ken Wilson posted on 10/19/2005 at 4:47 PM

I'd wager they didn't intend harm in your case. Likely just a programmer getting carried away with what he can automate.

However, given Sys-Con's serious ethical lapse on issues related to the SCO v IBM case, I'd hold their feet to the fire to publicly explain their actions.


Comment 9 by Dave Hill posted on 10/19/2005 at 5:49 PM

The developer who asked is me...!

Comment 10 by Wayne Graham posted on 10/19/2005 at 5:57 PM

I've been doing a lot of copyright research for some digital projects we've been starting...even without a copyright notice on your blog, it is still copyrighted at the moment of inception. Placing that content in the "CFDJ Stories" as being developed for CFDJ (and they now claim it under their copyright). In fact, you may want to contact a lawyer... beyond the unethical editorial practice, they are actually stealing intellectual property; and as someone who makes income from authoring books, republishing your material (something not expressly meant for journal/magazine publication) without your express written consent jeopardizes part of your livelyhood. Have you talked to Simon about it?

Comment 11 by Christopher Wigginton posted on 10/19/2005 at 6:00 PM


While they certainly could have asked you first and paid you for it, they didn't. I honestly think you should contact a lawyer about this (and make sure you grab a pdf copy of the article before they yank it).


Comment 12 by rd posted on 10/19/2005 at 6:06 PM

Lawyers... bleh... if lawyers get involved they are the only ones that will prosper. I would check your contract with them, like someone said above, they may have the right to do this. Either way its shady, and not very above board. Although, I would imagine it was an oversite on someones part, as it seems CFDJ has been run by the seat of its pants in the past.

Comment 13 by Leif posted on 10/19/2005 at 6:22 PM

Wow. I can't imagine anyone thinking "Go ahead and publish that. Ray won't care."

The article says that you are the co-technical editor for the magazine. Does that give them some special rights to anything you publish on your blog? I think not.

Even thought it appears that you have a prior relationship with these guys, it still smells a bit fishy. I hope they have a good explaination.

Comment 14 by John Dowdell posted on 10/19/2005 at 6:33 PM

I've had similar things happen in the past, and chalked it up to "well, I put it out there, and didn't restrict it, so, whatever."

But yesterday I was checking Google News under search term "macromedia", and came across a similar literal republishing of something I wrote this week:

I'm flattered that they found that piece useful enough to spread further. But... how come the copy makes Google News, and the original author doesn't? What's up with *that*!? ;-)


Comment 15 by Stephen posted on 10/19/2005 at 6:47 PM

Ray -
(1) Check any contracts you have with them and see if they somehow have access to material that you don't submit

but the sad thing here is some belief that the publication of the feed is in some way seen as a right to republish your work ad hominim (sp).

It's the view that by putting out a feed, that you've relenquished any rights, and that they are free to use it as they will.

My understanding is they are generating revenue and value (value = reson to read and interact with their publication, even if they didn't have revenue associated) for their publication on material that has not been liscenced.

I would require them to pull the article now. Their action is just dirty.

Comment 16 by David Fekke posted on 10/21/2005 at 9:05 PM


I would be pissed. I would not have been as bad if they at least asked permission first. By the way, I clicked on all of your adsence links.

David Fekke.

Comment 17 by Mark Holton posted on 10/21/2005 at 11:34 PM

It is definitely wrong, and I have seen it happen to a couple of my post as well. Ethically, I believe it is right to post a LINK to someone's content, not the content itself. I'm glad you raised this issue. I will likely post on my blog about it as well. Thanks.

Comment 18 by charlie arehart posted on 10/23/2005 at 7:11 AM

I notice that as of Saturday evening, the page does not offer the complete article but rather a single paragraph introducing it and a note that:

"The full blog entry [hyperlinked] is well worth looking at and CFDJ heartily recommends it."

Ray, is this different from what it was when you (and the rest commenting above) observed it? Does it perhaps represent a change they did? Have they changed all such posts this way?

If so, then I'd think what they've done (in this form) to be not so bad at all. As it appears now, it looks more like any other blog entry that points to another, and since they may drive lots of folks to your ad-revenue-generating blog, that would seem a good thing. :-)

Still, I realize that since it's a magazine, some may still feel it not really the same as "one blog pointing to another". But it definitely seems less a worry than it did originally, right? Or is even this link as it is what you and others were referring to? If so, then I just don't quite see the concern. (I am myself no longer involved with sys-con other than as an occasional writer, so I had no connection with and wasn't even aware of this

Comment 19 by Raymond Camden posted on 10/23/2005 at 5:07 PM

Charlie, it definitely changed. When I first blogged this, it was a word for word copy of the blog entry, with a new intro written on top. I definitely would _not_ bitch about a simple link. ;)

Comment 20 by rippededitor posted on 4/4/2006 at 5:12 AM

Well, I am currently in the process of gettin our content removed by this company. They are ripping off 2 news items per week that we write internally. When I talked to a rep from there, a senior editor, he basically told me that they hire people from india to scour the web and copy verbatium stories they find and deem are ress releases.

I do not see it as something to be honored by at all, we spend hard earned time and money to write original content that we then monitize...we do not write for them.