Update: The problem posts have been removed from the SQLTechConsulting site.
I ran across a note from Brent Ozar (blog | Twitter) on Plagiarism, Inspiration, and John Dunleavy yesterday, having missed what looks like an interesting Twitter discussion since I’m halfway around the world from where I usually am. However in reading this post, and the Twitter notes, I am actually shocked at someone defending an undefendable position.
It’s like having a child put their fingers in their ears, while closing their eyes and singing “la-la-la-la” in response to a parent.
John, dude, you’re wrong. You’re not syndicating, you’re not “helping others to learn”, you’re plagiarizing content from other sites. From other writers, and passing it along as your own content. Providing a link is not enough to give credit to someone else.
You can read Brent’s post to get some of the story, and I have had emails in the past with John, requesting that my content be removed from his site. Just so that it’s clear how I feel, a few examplse below of what I think is wrong.
Here’s a post from SQL Tech Consulting:
This post is “by John” (emphasis mine) and links to a note at MSSQLTips. That’s fine, and that’s a good example of writing your own content and linking to others, though I think there ought to be some mention here of MSSQLTips.
Here’s another one:
This is also “by John”, but the content isn’t by John. This is actually content taken directly from the MS link for the download page. This is re-publication and reproduction of content, implying that it’s by John at SQL Tech Consulting.
This by someone at Microsoft, and this is a copyright violation. All the text of this post is not John’s work.
I link to articles from SQLServerCentral on other sites. I credit those sites, as shown below, only reproducing a small abstract with credit.
SQL-Server-Performance links to my content in their newsletter, and next to every title it clearly says “SQLServerCentral”, so you are aware of who the publisher is. There is no mistake. What’s more, sql-server-performance doesn’t co-mingle my content with theirs, as shown below. Unlike SSWUG, who some people believe is mis-leading readers, they only show their published articles.
SQL Tech Consulting is violating copyright in re-producing content, and the lack of a citation is plagiarism. It’s ethically wrong, and there is no defense. Not giving credit to the authors, or the publishers, is in-defensible. There’s no excuse. It’s not syndication, and as noted by many people, it’s not with permission. Even if it is, you must give credit, and note, “reprinted with permission.”
I’m not sure if SQL Tech Consulting doesn’t understand these concepts and wants to imply to current and potential customers that they have more knowledge than they have or if they just want to attract more business and think this will raise their search engine rating.
In either case, this type of behavior means it isn’t a company I’d hire.