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Rat Sues Corn! Rather, rat accuses corn of thought-theft! Or something!

Note: I will be updating this post with, er, updates as I get them…

We’ve had our fair share of plagarists, and even one or two accidental plagarists (see Rats in the Corn Again, Paw!), but we’ve now rolled around to the other side of the field: one of our community has been accused of plagarism! And slander! Or something!

The best summary of what’s going on came from Geoff Hitten (@SQLCraftsman) on Twitter:

Company thinks it can copyright concepts in training sessions. Wrote letters to PASS and Adam. Getting public flogging now.

The longer version is this: Adam Machanic (blog, twitter) - author, MVP, community blogger, speaker and teacher, gave a presentation at PASS Summit last week titled “Query Tuning Mastery: Zen and the Art of Workspace Memory”. Great session by the way, Adam!

The company in question, SQL Workshops (TopSQL and SQLWorkshops on Twitter, blog) emailed Adam and PASS beforehand – based, apparently, on his abstract – to claim that his session contained copyrighted material of theirs…specifically, “concepts we explored and published in 2010 via technical webcasts*”.

Hands up: Who sees a problem with the concept of copywritten concepts?  No, not products…concepts.  Everyone?  Yeah, me too.  Now, hands up again: Same thing, but the concepts cover SQL Server, a product created and owned by MICROSOFT, which has the (c) and ™ on every single thing any of its employees ever dreamed about.  Would any of you like to claim copyright on THOSE concepts?

One of Adam’s Twitter comments:

Apparently my ABSTRACT on a similar topic to that which @topsql teaches is enough to call that IP theft! #sqlpass

What’s more, SQL Workshops has their metaphorical panties in a wad – and asked for compensation -because Adam said negative things about some webcasts:

…you made a series of libelous statements concerning the webcasts that we published partnering with PASS in 2010.

I still hope we can find a solution. [Referring back to an earlier request for compensation.]*

So here’s what we’re gonna do: We’re gonna make lots and lots and lots of fun of this whole situation (done!!), and then we’re gonna calm down and see how things shake out. I’ve written SQL Workshops, in generic form, to see if they’d like to give their side of the story before Friday’s DBAs@Midnight webshow (live at 11pm CST, at http://webshow.MidnightDBA.com) .  I can say with all honesty that I can’t WAIT to see what happens next.

Accusations: PITA for the accused, pure entertainment for the rest of us.

Happy days,
Jen McCown

P.S. Brent, it’s great that we know what to do when we’re plagarized…how bout an article that tells us what to do WHEN we plagarize?

 *Quotes from SQL Workshops emails. Thank you, anonymous and public contributors!!


Posted by Jason Brimhall on 19 October 2011

I will have to tune in Friday.  Sounds like a wad of crap.  Tough for Adam.  I am curious to see the other side of the story - doesn't hold water IMHO.

Posted by Jen McCown on 19 October 2011


Actually Adam doesn't seem all that phased by it. We're all sort of dumbfounded, of course, but that's about it.  I've been told there will be a response today/tonight, so I expect I'll be updating this blog in the very near future.

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