Friday, October 15, 2010

An Open Letter to the Plagiarist

Time to Man Up or What?

Please read the following and tell me what you think the plagiarist David Boyer a.k.a. David Byron etc, can do to make things right with everyone he's wronged in the creative community.  For an update of what's happening on this matter, go to the writer with the sharpest pen on the web- The Rusty Nail.  And don't forget to vote using the poll to your right.  Because if you don't, David Boyer will. 


David Boyer/ David Byron etc, etc, wrote me an email today where he said he'd met my demands and can't understand why I keep up my "one-man terror tirade" against him.  Aside from the fact that he plagiarized my story and those of other writers who have come forward as well as doing the same to graphic artists, he sounds upset that a victim of his bad behavior would get upset.  Imagine that.

Originally I'd asked Dave to confess, apologize, and provide me with a complete list of his aliases so everyone could see if they'd been plagiarized by him.  If he did this, I was willing to post all of that, and allow him his second chance. 

He didn't do that.  But today he said he did.  Here's what I wrote him back:


"Unfortunately, your 'confession' was done under the name of an alias with all sorts of confidentiality boiler plate attached (which, by the way, isn't worth anything). And you didn't provide the complete listing of your aliases I demanded. So- no go.

"As for the rest of the input from your 'lawyer,' David, watch and learn.

"Or, maybe just send me a complete, real confession this time also listing all of your plagiaries, including an individual apology to each of those artists and writers you hurt. And a promise, with a solid timeline, for correcting all those volumes out there that incorrectly attribute our (all of us you've plagiarized) work to you. Of course, if you don't hold to it, that would be bad.

"It's not just me anymore. The volume of people sending me evidence is filling my Inbox. They want to go forward as a group. You've heard of class action, right? You've hurt a lot of people. And they want it very public.

"So you might want to try it one more time, this time with feeling, losing the capitalizations and underlines and providing a complete, real confession and apology.

"Confession and repentance will give you your life back and you could move forward into the light.


PS, I will, of course, if I don't hear back from you by tonight, be posting this letter on my blog for group input."
Okay, here I am encouraging him again to send me a confession- under his own name, with no confidentiality non-disclosure bs attached, an apology, and a complete list of his aliases and plagiaries against all of us. 
I'm not so much interested in revenge- I'm interested in bringing this whole thing into the light so that each writer and/or artist can decide for themselves what sort of action we should pursue, together or singly. 
David's self-focused pattern has been to talk down abusively to writers who question his actions and demand that they keep everything private.  Too late for that now. 
In the dark is where bad things squirm.  Come out into the light, David.  Own up so you can move on.
MySpace Tracker


Charles Gramlich said...

Not sure he can make it right. But he can vow to start over from step one and try to work his way back into the good graces of those he's harmed. Not easy to do for sure.

Rick said...

Yep, I'm with you, Charles. But let's see what he comes forward with as his first step.

Christina said...

The guy stole other people's work and put his name on it. I don't think there is any grace for him to rebuild. And why keep it in the dark? So he can victimize other writers? You're doing the right thing by letting other writers know what's going on and to make sure he doesn't have their work too.

Rick said...

The one thing about his patterns that bothers me is that when questioned by a long laundry list of writers who have contacted me is that his pattern hasn't changed to date.

When questioned or challenged he goes on the attack, talking down to the writer, belittling them at first, then attacking them personally. He shouts GROW UP (uses all capitals to show he's talking loudly), tells one writer she's fat, etc. Classic bully behavior.

Except writers have more spine than to back down. After all, we're used to editor rejections- but we won't put up with editor plagiary.

the walking man said...

I wonder if all the attention is more a help than a hinderance? Though it is nice to watch worms wiggle in this sort of circumstance.

Rick said...

Hey,Walking Man! Mid-next week or so we'll be searching out your poetry to see if anyone' stolen it and selling it under their name, too. Just a heads up. You write so powerfully that you're probably a target.

And his pattern has been to demand that any writer keep his plagiary just "between the two of them" to "handle it privately" so that no one else finds out. He especially preys on new writers, since anyone with a little experience will kick back at him.

Which is why we have to expose him and others like him so that younger, newer writers won't cower and keep quiet about his business dealings.

Everything in the open. If we can't get it in politics, we damned well better get it in writing!

Mike Brendan said...

I doubt he'll man up. He'll just go into hiding like any other Nitwit in the writing world, make a new alias and try again. Luckily these guys never learn from their mistakes, so he'll be found out again and again, and more rapidly with each iteration.

Rick said...

That alias thing bothers me, Mike, because I know you're right on the money. It's what he's always done. I know people can change, but it's hard, hard work and hiding and coming back with a new pretend name is just easier for serial plagiarists.

So between the hard and easy, unless someone is really committed to change, they take the easy way nine times out of ten.

Then again, if he doesn't there's a lot more coming his way.

JR's Thumbprints said...

Take it from me (a convict teacher): THIS ASSHOLE IS NOT GOING TO CHANGE! I see this kind of behavior behind prison walls all the time--make the victim feel sorry for you, if not, then become verbally abuses. He needs to be shut down period. No more internet links. No connections to printed anthologies either. He should be working at a fast food restaurant, paying back all those he has harmed.

Rick said...

Make no mistake about it, JR, if you ever run for president, I'm voting for you!

Lisa Morton said...

The good news is that Dave seems to employ the same modus operandi over and over; look, for example, at how quickly the "Leo Wolfe" disguise was shredded.

By making his methods public, Rick, you're helping to make it more difficult for him to operate under ANY name. Of course there will always be vulnerable newbies for him to prey on under new aliases, but it's going to be harder for him in the future.

Rick said...

I never thought of it that way, Lisa. So next posting I'll publicly go into his methods, and what techniques we've been using to track down his predatory behavior.

What's really weird is many of this plagiarists operate together as ennablers. Originally I'd submitting the story "Electrocuting the Clowns" to a Cemetary Dance offspring at

That was the only time I'd submitted it to anyone except Elder Signs Press, who actually contracted for the story. So I'm wondering how the plagiarist got his hands on it in the first place. Was he a slush reader for Chiascuro (, or did someone there email it to him, or did he simply see my anthology and manually copy the story down?

So it's the "rings" of plagiarists out there that we're looking into now, as well as how they get their hands on the work.

Did I tell you some them are having immigrants translate short fiction into other languages and selling our stories into other countries? Wait til you hear the details about that.

Maybe David knows a lot about a lot of things going on out there and is afraid to talk.

Natasha Fondren said...

I find this perplexing. How did he manage and in what world did he think it was okay to do this? That's what I don't understand.

ANNA-LYS said...

Kleptomaniacs are known to steal
without personal or economic need

Paranoiacs can also be persecuted
a stalker can make him executed

A person with lots of persona's has real identity-problem, and might see the other as an object and by that as an extension of oneself. If Iron Dave think he is You Rick, then it is his subjective truth that he wrote Your story. (Surrealism: Dali: Paranoiac-critical method: Phantom objects.)

My Concrete Idea (short story):
Stop treating this Iron(ic) Dave as one whole integrated Self, and as if he can understand the feelings of others (inter-subjectivity) that has been hurt. With no sense of intersubjectivity he can only feel egocentric senses of that others hurt him. This guy need the ward, and he will probably continue "being-the-others" and repeat his MO.

It is not worth the effort You put into it, my friend ... to change a person that has not become ONE person is beyond reach IF You shall have time to write.

Just make sure that everyone knows that You are the author of Your stories!!

(( with Löv ))

Travis Cody said...

I don't think he can make the past right, and he doesn't really seem to be interested in making the future admitting to all of the plagiarism, and by not doing it ever again.

He's a thief. As such, he's trying to get away with as minimal punishment as he can. That only sets him up to go back to stealing the work of other writers under one of those aliases he won't reveal.

I applaud and support the continued efforts of you and the writing community to bring public condemnation to the actions of this thief.

Rick said...

I'm so glad you dropped by, Travis. You've voiced all of our concerns so well. Next posting I'm going to post our suggestions for keeping our work safe from plagiarists, because it's not just this guy out there, there's others for sure and some are facilitating them. More on this when we have the evidence.

Rick said...

ANNA-LYS, what you said was really profound. Are you suggesting that he actually might believe he wrote these stories because he thinks of other writers as projections of himself? If that's so, you're right- anyone believing that "needs the ward."

Rick said...

Natasha, after reading ANNA-LYS's comments, it might be that he thinks its all right to plagiarize because he really is that person. That's way weird for my head.

Jon said...

A blog
A FaceBook
A quarter page ad in Writer's Digest? Priceless.

That would be shining some serious light in his dark little place.

Seriously. Find out the cost and I'll contribute toward it.

Rick said...

I always knew I liked you, Jon. What a great idea!

Nevine said...

Rick, I have not checked my blog in a few days (I have been extremely busy) and I came to it this morning to find a disturbing comment that went issues you're having with plagiarism. I'm sorry I missed this whole thing; my blogging has been erratic, to say the least, over the past few weeks. And I'm so sorry you were put through this. Needless to say, there are people who do this sort of thing on a regular basis. I would say it even becomes addictive for them. They do it and get away with it and do it and get away with it. And then they think they can just keep doing it.

I do google my name and the names of the short pieces I put on my blog. I also google excerpts from my writing. These are not pieces that I would submit to publications, but still, I pored hours of work into them and would hate to see them "stolen". I've also been cautious about sending in my work for review to unknown or small online publications, or even regular publications. Those "editors" are not anyone I know. Any person can set up an online magazine and call himself an editor. Who can you trust, anymore?

I hope you come to a satisfactory resolution to your issue, Rick.


Rick said...

I'm so glad you check to see if you're online work has been plagiarized by using search engines, Nevine. You're a wonderfully gifted writer and it would really make me angry to think anyone else was claiming it as their own.

And just by getting people like Boyer into the public eye, I'm already getting some satisfaction. The writer behind Rusty Nail was way ahead of me on this, but I'm so glad to help him and some others finish the job.

Also, Activision really, really hates it when someone steals their work, so their lawyers will be calling on Boyer soon.

And there's a lot more, Nevine. :)

Mike Brendan said...

Like many in the Legion of Nitwits, he'll never change his ways. His M.O. will be a repeating pattern easily identified and called out, and that's something I've seen before. However, that case is just a lousy liar (although he was scamming editors by selling First Rights to multiple people for the same story) -- "Tin Foil" Dave is by far more malignant and needs to be shut down.

Rick said...

I'm glad you brought that up, Mike. This guy is a case that goes beyond the normal scam. His abusive language to writers, his bizarre capitalizations and underlines and tough guy talk. Especially his "THEY DON'T KNOW WHO THEY'RE FUCKING WITH" schtick. Al Pacino can pull it off. Boyer- no.

By the way, I'm actively looking for copies of another story he claims as his own- "The First Cut is the Deepest"- so we can see if it's stolen, too. I really want to track that down. Can anyone help?

ANNA-LYS said...

I found this about "The First Cut is The Deepest" by Sharnique Middleton at ebook ficton, if it can be of any help.

Rick said...

ANNA-LYS, you're like the Sherlock Holmes of the web! We're looking into it right now. Thanks again.

ANNA-LYS said...

@ home I go by the name:
Sherlotta S. Freud :-D

Kathryn Magendie said...

Oh dear! I haven't been by here in a while (and it isn't just you, dear friend, it's everyone's blog - I try to blog walk on Sundays!) I don't know what has happened, although I get the gist of it from reading your post!

Kathryn Magendie said...

PS - Rick - is this person someone I, and my co-editor, should be on the look out for in our submissions to our Rose & Thorn? I read the latest Rusty Nail post and it sounds as if he may be sending other writer's work as his own submissions? or am I reading this correctly? Dang.

Rick said...

Hello Kathryn- I'd definitely be on the lookout for him either under his alias "David Byron." But he has several other aliases we've detailed in the earlier posts.

Rick said...

And yes, Kathryn, you're reading it correctly. He's a plagiarist extraordinaire.

RHFay said...

>>"Next posting I'm going to post our suggestions for keeping our work safe from plagiarists..."<<

I'm looking forward to that. Sounds like it could be useful info for all writers out there. When you do post it, I'll post links to the entry on my own blogs, twitter, Facebook, and the like.

ANNA-LYS said...

Hej Rick,
Hope You have had a lovely Sunday

I also found the crime novel "First Cut is the Deepest" on Amazon by Martin Edwards (June 2000).

Here is the link

Rick said...

You are personally making at a lovely, Sunday, ANNA-LYS! Thank you, and have a beautiful week.

ANNA-LYS said...

I am glad if I can be of any help for You, in this intellectual rape of You.

Found an earlier source (1999)
Review; Martin Edward's
First Cut is the Deepest

Roger n' Out
from Your Swedish Net Sniffer

mafarivar said...

Hey Rick: I basically agree with JR, and a few others that this person will not change. This is someone who is purely egocentric, who adopts a persona that permits him to successfully manipulate others. When he gets away with it, he laughs at them and calls them stupid suckers. He sees negotiation and appeals to change for the better as weakness in the other person and therefore feels that by attacking he can cause them to back down. The implied and veiled threat (especially the idea that he might be unstable and has nothing to lose is the ace up his sleeve) which he counts on to get others to back down too. He's the kind of sociopath that will eat your unfinished sandwich, and swindle old ladies out of their fortune, and make them feel guilty they didn't give him more. This kind of comment from me, really pisses him off, though he would never admit it. I would just prosecute him vigorously, I would especially get him to part with all the money he has swindled by doing this and probably other bad things. He's really quite pathetic, that's why I voted that he will confess and not mean it, it's all a game of manipulation. Have fun.

Phil Smith said...

I'd say Dave was pathetic, but that's a waste of good pathos.

Rick said...

Hello, Michel! Coming from you, that about nails him down.

Rick said...

My sympathy for this clown has dipped below zero, Phil.

Lana Gramlich said...

I don't think you're going to get a full confession, unfortunately. That'd be like asking someone to stand up in the middle of millions of people and proclaiming, "I'm a total douche!" People will do just about anything to avoid such a thing.
I just hope he gets his. Freaking dirtbag.

Rick said...

Hey, think about this, Lana- if a thousand other people are standing up saying he's a douche, we really don't need him to do it.


Demon Hunter said...

Thanks for letting us know, Rick. And sorry that happened to you. Geez. >:/

Rick said...

Hey, I'm glad you came by Demon Hunter- I've missed you.

Anonymous said...

Hey Rick, I've come from Glynis's blog. Thanks for all the info, hope everything works out well for you!

Rick said...

Hi Ema. More coming!

Leigh Russell said...

I think you're being very restrained here. I'd want revenge. Big time.