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Plagiarism exists …

… even in the homeschooling world

Recently plagiarism has had the literary world abuzz. The Writer Unboxed has several posts concerning the plagiarism scandal of a well-known romance author. Plagiarism is alive and well. Even in the homeschooling world.

Deborah Markus, author and publisher of Secular Homeschooling Magazine, wrote The Bitter Homeschooler’s Wish List. So many of us identified with Deborah’s wish list and the URL to her site was a very popular forward on the homeschool email lists last fall. Obviously, it was so popular that another homeschooling family decided to post it on their website as if were their own, without asking Deborah’s permission. And when Deborah contacted them about it, they essentially told her to go pound salt, as it was one of their bigger moneymaking articles. Deborah wrote about this on her blog post I’d Rather Be Hated Than Used.

They do say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but flattery does not give anyone the right to publish someone else’s material on their website and reap financial rewards for doing so. The fact that it is another homeschooling family doing so makes the stab doubly painful.

I have articles on many websites other than my own and was pleased to give permission for my writings to appear on those sites, always with the condition that there is a link back to my LeapingFromTheBox website. I was pleased, though, because the site owner asked in advance! And if I had said no, I assume they would not have posted up the article.

Plagiarism is very difficult to fight, even with copyright laws. She might have a legal case in that the offenders are making money from her material. She should definitely contact the offender’s hosting company and complain there.

Is there a way to turn Deborah’s experience into an ultimately positive one? Even though I have not subscribed to a homeschooling magazine in several years, I just subscribed to the Secular Homeschooling Magazine for one year. And I definitely now have her blog on my daily reading list. My positive action for the day!

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