Dec 092007
 

Mulley has an interesting post over here.

The guys at Value Ireland were trawling through the Internet, as one does, when they noticed an incredible coincidence.

What? What was the coincidence?

Well, back in 2004, they wrote a piece about getting value when buying home insurance. Then they came across a piece from the Independent in 2007. Now, if I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes, I wouldn’t have believed the coincidences, but to make it easier, I’ve put the quotes side by side for you. Judge for yourself.

Value Ireland (2004) Independent.ie (2007)
If you are able, it is an idea to pay your full insurance premium in one lump sum rather than through monthly repayments. This can save you money as some companies may charge you a rate of interest … If you are able, it is an idea to pay your full insurance premium in one lump sum rather than through monthly repayments. This can save you money as some companies may charge you a rate of interest.

Isn’t that incredible? Isn’t it just amazing that Value Ireland could write these words in 2004, and by an astounding psychic fluke, the Independent journalist just happened to write exactly the same thing three years later?

But wait! What’s this?

Value Ireland (2004) Independent.ie (2007)
Some companies provide discounts if you hold more than one insurance policy with them. So if you already have car or life insurance with a single company, ask for a quote for your home insurance, and ask if they can offer you any discount … … some companies provide discounts if you hold more than one insurance policy with them. So if you already have car or life insurance with a single company, ask for a quote for your home insurance, and ask if they can offer you any discount.

Surely not! This is astonishing.

And another:

Value Ireland (2004) Independent.ie (2007)
Always keep an eye out for special offers that may be offered at various times by different insurance companies. For example, look out for money back guarantees … This can assure you that you’re not being stung. Always keep an eye out for special offers that may be offered at various times by different insurance companies. For example, look out for money-back guarantees. This can assure you that you’re not being stung.

Oh for God’s sake, the mind is boggling. Can you believe there’s more?

Value Ireland (2004) Independent.ie (2007)
You could bring down your premium costs by volunteering to pay more of an excess towards the cost of each claim. Only do this if you can afford to do so however. You could bring down your premium costs by volunteering to pay more of an excess towards the cost of each claim. Only do this if you can afford to do so, however.

Isn’t that just an astounding coincidence? What are we to conclude?

You could say that the Independent stole the copyright on this material, or you could decide it’s all a terrible mistake. Now, personally I don’t know if the Independent stole copyright material from a blogger. In fact, I’d say Value Ireland somehow guessed what the Indo was going to write three years in the future, wouldn’t you?

After all, this is the newspaper that thinks bloggers are of no value, so it couldn’t be possible that they stole material from a blogger, now could it?

And then, just when you don’t know what to think, here comes that damned plagiarist, Derfen making light of the whole thing, damn him!

I wonder if the other Irish papers think this is plagiarism?

Let’s ask them.

What do you reckon, guys? Is this plagiarism by the Independent, or did Value Ireland somehow see into the future?

UPDATE

The plot (as they say) thickens.

In the comments, we have Value Ireland revealing that they informed the Independent of the cut-and-paste operation, and in fairness to the Indo they took the article down.

Great.

What did this magnificent organ do next?

They promptly republished it, under a new title. Now there’s ethics for you.

The we had Jonathan Bailey of Plagiarism Today, commenting as follows:

That has to be the most unprofessional thing I’ve heard of. Any reputation the Independent had in my mind (which really wasn’t that much to start with) is gone now.

I might have to look into this deeper.

Indeed.

Value Ireland came back with this:

I wrote to the journalist in question requesting credit for this, and any other work that was used from Value Ireland. I have no problems with anyone using anything from the site, as long as reference and credit is provided.

Obviously, there was no response from said journalist and in the course of writing my original post last week discovered that the original article had been taken down, and republished under a different file name.

So there you have it. These are the standards we’ve come to expect from the Irish Beano Independent.


Previously:The Ace Internet Marketing scandal


Related:Plagiarism Today

Twenty

Green Ink

That Friday Feeling

  24 Responses to “The Independent: Plagiarism or Coincidence? You Decide”

Comments (17) Pingbacks (7)
  1.  

    That’s outrageous. I hope Value Ireland confronts them head on about this. Wasn’t it the Independent that plagiarised fmc about a year ago?

  2.  

    Top tips to make sure you get a bargain

    Why pay royalties when you can copy it for free

  3.  

    In all fairness Charlie Weston has never been the smartest cookie in the jar But to be so smug as to expect to get away with such an obvious Copy and Paste the question must be raised as to just what his Editor is being paid for. This is a very serious charge and it would seem that he has been caught out in a lie. Not so much his lie but that of the Independent who published him in good faith. He was paid for using the work of others and it would seem that the facts hold up to both a grep and a wget. Bloggers United in the war against stupidity.

  4.  

    Rahood: I am a techno-moron. What, pray tell, are a grep and a wget?

  5.  

    search and download. Sorry my bad

  6.  

    But the guys running the Indo back end know just what I ment by it. Shame on them for not speaking up.

  7.  

    Looking at the two works side by side like that, it definitely strikes me as a case of plagiarism. However, looking at the copycat site, it appears to be more a case of sloppy journalism than what one would usually go after on legal grounds.

    If I were with Value, I’d contact the editors at the Independent immediately and request that the piece be taken down and that the reporters other work be examined closely.

    Who knows what else he lifted?

  8.  

    I think the fella at the Independent has a career as a ghost writer for school assignments. A lot of money in that I hear.

  9.  

    Jonathan Bailey – The Independent did take down their original version of that article once I linked to it back in March in my original post. Instead of leaving it down, they just renamed the page and republished.

  10.  

    ValueIreland: Can you be more specific?

    Are you saying that you alerted them to a possible instance of plagiarism and they removed the article that might have constituted plagiarism, but then re-published it under a different name?

    That’s very significant, because the first time, there might have been an honest mistake by the paper, and the journalist might have been responsible. If they did it again, having been alerted to the problem, it would have been a deliberate decision by the company.

  11.  

    I agree with Bock. The first time around the Indo could argue an innocent mistake that they’d fixed by taking the article down and slapping a journalist and a sub-editor for being naughty boys and/or girls.

    Republishing it without crediting you after they’d been informed that the article might be in breach of your copyright puts them in a different temperature of water all together as regards copyright.

  12.  

    Not the first time they’ve ripped off a blogger either

    http://twentymajor.net/2007/04/08/sunday-indo-journalist-plagiarises-irish-blogger/

  13.  

    valueireland: That has to be the most unprofessional thing I’ve heard of. Any reputation the Independent had in my mind (which really wasn’t that much to start with) is gone now.

    I might have to look into this deeper…

  14.  

    I can confirm the above. I wrote to the journalist in question requesting credit for this, and any other work that was used from Value Ireland. I have no problems with anyone using anything from the site, as long as reference and credit is provided.

    Obviously, there was no response from said journalist and in the course of writing my original post last week discovered that the original article had been taken down, and republished under a different file name.

  15.  

    Great post, thanks for the info

  16.  

    Fuck off you spamming prick. Which spamming prick are you — Alastair Kay or Brian kay?

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