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Anorak | Plagiarism is nothing new in this brave new digital world

Plagiarism is nothing new in this brave new digital world

by | 30th, March 2013

THE Washington DC-based website Brightest Young Things   has removed  all of its content for an audit. Why? Because Logan Donaldson, the site’s managing editor plagiarized whole sections of a 13,000-word music guide  from other publications.” The article, “BYT Music Guide Spring/Summer Season 2013” , has been updated. It now reads:

All original words by: Svetlana Legetic, Shauna Alexander, Ross Bonaime, Logan Donaldson Marcus Dowling, Bryce Rudow, Alyssa Moody, Bri Younger & Shelly Bell

Ed Note: This post has been updated to include only original content produced by BYT writers. Thank you for reading and your patience.

BYT founder Svetlana Legetic is aghast and agog:

“There’s absolutely no excuses, for this. It’s a ginormous article. He was the one saddled with the music guide. We obviously don’t copy and paste from press releases. But you run out of ways to describe a new band and it gets to be 2 a.m. I’m not going to let him [Donaldson] go. He produces a lot of great original content. I’m not going to have him resign.”

Can it be prevented from happening again?

“We don’t have the system in place to check every sentence in a 13,000-word article. It’s kind of an honor system, and it failed. Questions will obviously now be asked.”

One way to prevent it happening might be review the staff. One day later, a BYT statement duly informs us:

The staff member responsible for this and possibly some other content mis-appropriations is no longer working with us, effective today, March 27th

The only questions that needs asking is why didn’t he just attribute the sources? Why make an article that long if it is a burden no-one wants?

In this day and age a simple cut and paste in the search box can reveal where else those words have appeared. The cheating was spotted by  NPR intern  Emily White. One example of the cheating was a section on a band called Wavves ( via ).

The 2009 story in Interview magazine:

While most of his friends back in San Diego are busy smoking weed, playing video games, skateboarding, and complaining of boredom, 22-year-old Nathan Williams is busy writing and singing songs about smoking weed, playing video games, skateboarding, and being bored. It’s an irony not lost on the boyish-looking Southern California native, who, these days, is better known by the musical nom de plume Wavves.

Donaldson’s words on Wavves (via):

While most of his friends back in San Diego are busy smoking weed, playing video games, skateboarding, and complaining of boredom, 22-year-old Nathan Williams is busy writing and singing songs about smoking weed, playing video games, skateboarding, and being bored. It’s an irony not lost on the boyish-looking Southern California native, who, these days, is better known by the musical nom de plume Wavves.We’re under the assumption that it might be warm in April, the perfect time to get into the mood for sunny music.

Will Sommer cites another example:

Australian website Novel’s  words on Julio Bashmore:

One of the freshest talents coming out of Bristol, Julio Bashmore is such a master of the ins and outs of American house that he gives the impression that he was born there. His output over the past year or so has flitted around the edges, never quite moving in a straight line, roping new styles and sounds onto house foundations with an always playful, deft touch. The funky strut of Um Bongo’s Revenge, the old school piano on Jack Got Macked, Footsteppin’s rich, elastic, 2-step accented, grooves.

Donaldson:

Julio Bashmore’s output over the past year or so has flitted around the edges, never quite moving in a straight line, roping new styles and sounds onto house foundations with an always playful, deft touch. The funky strut of “Um Bongo’s Revenge,” the old school piano on “Jack Got Macked,” “Footsteppin’s” rich, elastic, 2-step accented, grooves. You weren’t in a club last year unless you heard his brilliant crossover pop-dance hit “Au Seve.”

Marissa Cetin investigated further. She found more uncanny similarities between the site’s picks and the work of other writers. And that’s another thing. Aren’t they still your picks,

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Posted: 30th, March 2013 | In: Music Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink