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December 7, 2012
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Is this plagiarism or Private Label Right content, and is there any way to tell?

:iconmoonbeams:
Moonbeams Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2012
An old acquaintance of mine is running their own private ebook publishing/selling website, and so far every book I have come across has been a copy and paste job from another private source on the internet. All I had to do was type the first two sentences of the chapter into Google, and the story/novel came up on another personal blog or fiction writing website, often times from years earlier. One book actually still had the person's email at the opening of the first chapter (poor editing/formatting job). Another book was a classic erotica story, and when I Googled it, it was actually being sold (under the original author's name) on the same site as the newer ebook for less. It also had a strict copyright warning. All of their "books" are essentially like this. Only names of characters have been changed (in some instances).

Since the people have admitted to using PLR services before in their updates (and I know some people will sell their work), it is hard for me to tell if these stories were bought with full attribution licenses or if they are outright plagiarized. Many of the "articles" and "blogs" that they write and post to their site (alluding to the fact that they wrote them themselves) have also turned out to be copy/paste jobs. I am really not sure what to think here. If these stories are plagiarized, I would potentially like to notify the original authors. But I don't want to act prematurely, and ruin their business when it is just starting out either (if it turns out I am wrong).
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:iconmattiello:
Mattiello Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2012  Professional Writer
If there is any type of plagiarism in a book (a few sentences perhaps) and they are not cited properly, then it is plagiarism. If an "author" is using another author's work in any way, then the "author" has to have written and signed permission. Ebook version or print, it's the same. If saw what you saw, then I'd summarily contact the publishers of the original work and report it. If the "author" has acquired written and signed permission, then there's nothing to worry about. If not, then you will have helped to make sure that the original author retained the copyright of his/her labor.
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:iconneomerlin:
neomerlin Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2012  Student Writer
As everybody else has said, contact the authors. There is no reason not to.
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:icondamonwakes:
DamonWakes Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2012   Writer
Definitely contact the authors. If this site is dodgy, they'll be glad you told them. If it's not, I can't imagine they'd be annoyed about your concern.

That said, the fact that some character names have been changed sounds extremely suspicious. If you had the rights to use that content, I can't imagine why you'd want to do that.
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
You need to contact the authors. One, they may have given permission and two, if they haven't then a takedown request and any necessary legal stuff needs to be done through them anyway.
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:iconvglory:
vglory Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2012
It sounds to my like it is probably out of copyright material (there is a plague of this in epublishing). But attributing it to a different author is misleading.

If there are any living authors of the material is is more likely to be deliberate plagiarism or material scraped of the internet without regard to copyright status.
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:iconmoonbeams:
Moonbeams Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2012
I know at least two of them are still living. The stories seem to have been lifted directly from the website (with only names changed). The erotica stuff is a bunch of stories written in the 60s and 70s. I found the site where they seem to have been pulled as well. I suppose it doesn't hurt to contact the site owners themselves. If it is legit they will either let me know or decide for themselves.
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:iconvglory:
vglory Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2012
If this is someone you know it might be better to ask them about it before dropping them in it. Not that they shouldn't be dropped in it.
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:iconpinkymccoversong:
PinkyMcCoversong Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2012  Professional Writer
I would contact the authors. This just sounds super sketchy!
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:iconwitwitch:
witwitch Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2012  Student Writer
Have you notified the original authors?
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:iconmoonbeams:
Moonbeams Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2012
I haven't yet. I guess in a way I feel like I'm sticking my nose where it doesn't belong, so to speak. I suppose I want to be sure before I stir any trouble for the people starting their business.
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