When Plagiarism is NOT Flattering

June 6th, 2010

When Plagiarism Is NOT Flattering

 The following blog is from a friend of my from TOP Sales Experts, a group of International consultants in Sales and Sales Management.  His subject matter is important to us all, I know, I have actually attended a conference and heard other speakers using my content and PPT slides that resemble mine.  The internet can be so easy to simply “copy”  and use others expertise.   Ken Thoreson



I would like to introduce you to Michael J. Roman – Michael who? Exactly. But after today, I suspect so many more people will be familiar with that name, as it flies around the “Blogosphere” and becomes the topic of much “Twittering”

Here is how Michael describes himself:

Michael is a POLISHED BUSINESS EXECUTIVE with a proven history of success including nearly fifteen years of successful leadership experience.

Michael is highly skilled in effective, strategic management of sales, operations, administrative, and consulting professionals in addition to full operations and profit and loss (P&L) management…..” Etc. etc. You can read more here

You may also be impressed by Michael’s “core values” particularly this one:

“Integrity – The most important of all values. Michael’s belief is that integrity is not optional, nor is it situational.”

Michael posts to his site virtually every day, and the articles are of a very high quality -he goes to great lengths to protect “his” copyright:

“©Copyright 2010 Michael J. Roman. All rights reserved.
Except where specifically noted, no information within this blog may be copied, duplicated, stored in a retrieval system or reproduced in any form without the express written consent of Michael J. Roman. If you have any questions regarding this policy, please contact me at the following email address
: michael@michaeljroman.com.”

Nothing unusual about that? Well, yes actually. Why does someone go to such lengths to spell out their copyright statement, when they have total disregard for everyone else’s?

You see, Michael doesn’t actually write his own material – he steals it from other people. He just goes and copies it from other people’s sites and claims it as his own.

On his first page alone, there are seven of my blog posts, and in total, I found twenty!

Sometimes he leaves the title and the text wholly intact, other times he changes it to suit himself, here is an example:

I posted “So, Just What Are The Essential Leadership Qualities?”

“I have been “leading” since I was eight years old – my first soccer captaincy – and I have been leading for most of my life.”

He posts “What Are Essential Leadership Qualities” and changes the text to:

“I have been “leading” since I was twelve years old – being the lead drummer for my grammar school jazz band – and I have been leading for most of my life.”

I am not the only “victim” – several of my colleagues and friends have also had their work pirated, and to say the least, they are not impressed.

On Thursday, I took the unusual step of adding an additional copyright notice to my post – I placed this at the foot –

The moral right of the author, Jonathan Farrington, has been asserted. © Copyright 2010 All rights reserved.
This article or any part thereof may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means electronic or mechanical including photocopying, recording, storage in an information retrieval system or otherwise, unless this notification of copyright is retained

But that did not deter him – he not only stole my post, he also stole my copyright notice and replaced my name with his!

If that were not enough, he has now re-published an article, which I first published on Ezine Articles on October 27th 2006 –

And claimed it as his own –

This week, I celebrated my 900th post on this blog. Each of those posts took time and effort to craft. Each of the 200 articles that I have written and published on various sites over the last four years has also required a huge investment of my time. Why have I bothered – after all, I know lots of people who write so much better than me?

You know the answer to that question.

So, what to do now? I am going to let nature take care of itself for a few days, and then I will be in contact with Michael. Or maybe he will do the decent thing and contact me first.

I would have willingly given him all of my work to re-publish, if he had asked – as long as he placed my bio underneath them, and not his own!

I will of course keep you fully updated as events unfold.

There is a chance that by the time you get to read this, he will have taken the site down, so you can download a PDF of the front page here.

This entry was posted on Sunday, June 6th, 2010 at 6:45 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

9 Responses to “When Plagiarism is NOT Flattering”

  1. Leon Says:

    Stealing content is not acceptable. It is a bit disappointing however to discover that Jonathan invested so much effort writing his post “BEFORE” he contacted the alleged offender. Is it not possible that this person hired an outside company to generate his content, which is not unheard of, and did not know where that content was coming from? Doesn’t it make sense to get the facts “FIRST”? Stealing content is not acceptable. Jumping to conclusions is ignorant.

  2. dan boehm Says:


    Back in February I attended a marketing conference and a topic similar to this was brought up and discussed. Essentially the speaker said that today those of us that write content for our websites, email messages and blogs are publishers and therefore our content should be protected. It is not flattering when a customer or reseller “borrows” your content as their own. Of course the problem with challenging a customer or reseller that borrows content is the potential for losing future business. Each of us must decide for themselves what they want to protect and what they do not care if it is protected or not.

    Thanks and I enjoy your blogs!

  3. Jonathan Farrington's Blog » Michael J. Roman; Plagiarism; the Apology; Final Thoughts Says:

    […] Ken Thoreson: “When Plagiarism Is NOT Flattering” […]

  4. David Davel Says:

    Brilliant effort on your blog. The beauty of the Web is the amount of information and ideas that are readily available with a few key strokes. Not being able to prevent conversion of that material by another person is one of the Web’s biggest downfalls. Using the Web, as you did, to expose the unethical actions of another is a good start to a remedy for the loss you’ve experienced. The concern I have is what is available to you and other creators of content that have your work product misappropriated? In the more 25 years I’ve been in publishing, I’ve found very few government agencies interested in enforcing any laws regarding copyright. In most cases they suggest civil litigation as a remedy. This course takes years and in that time the amount of business lost to an unethical competitor can never be calculated. Your blog was a good start but there needs to be changes in the laws to prevent conversion of material from becoming rampant … if it’s not already.

  5. kenthoreson Says:

    thank you and I hope we can build on the issues that are important… will be in Wis over the July 4th. weekend.

  6. kenthoreson Says:

    Everyone must step up to solve this problem.

    All the best.

  7. kenthoreson Says:

    Thank you very much.. sharing IP is always a challenge, but if we can help the overall good, good things will happen.

  8. Would You Trust This Man? Would You Trust His Company? | Partners in EXCELLENCE Blog -- Making A Difference Says:

    […] Ken Thoreson: “When Plagiarism Is NOT Flattering” […]

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