Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Young Writers Vulnerable to Plagiarizing Publishers

"Don't Let David B. Boyer Touch My Story, Mommy."

"It's an entirely new phenomena," said Dr. Icky.

He tapped his index finger on the wall mounted coumpter screen indicating the picture of the crying little girl and her desperate mother you see above.  I felt a chill go down my spine as I realized the implications of what the doctor was saying.

"So, this is a documented, peer-reviewed study proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that David Boyer, the sleazy plagiarist from Vincennes, Indiana is the reason little girls all across the country are suffering PTSS?"

He nodded authoritatively.  Dr. Icky is Dean of Sociopathic studies at Vincennes, Indiana University.

"Yes," he said.  "PTSS, or Pre-plagiary Traumatic Stress Syndrome as it is sometimes known, is in fact the fear that little girls have of David Boyer touching their stories."

I wrote slowly, making sure that I  spelled PTSS properly.

"So they're afraid David Boyer will touch their writing even if he hasn't?  Why is that, doctor?"

"Ahhh, now you are thinking like a scientist," he said approvingly.

"I enjoy watching Mr. Wizard re-runs on," I said.

"Hmmmm..." he replied.  "Perhaps we need to schedule an appointment for you.  But we can get to that later.  For now, do you know why the woman in this photo is so upset?"

I looked closer.


"She learned David Boyer stole a story from a sixteen year old girl.  It shocked her.  It horrified her.  She told me her fear of Boyer's improper touching of other people's writings so affected her daughter that the little girl developed PTSS within days.  A sixteen year old girl- what kind of a man would steal the inner thoughts of a sixteen year old girl?"

I thought about it.

"Could it be linked to wearing a black trench coat and no pants near schoolyards?"  I asked.

Dr. Icky looked uncomfortable as tugged at his lab coat lapel.

"That's a creepy thought," he said finally.

"No," I said.  "A fifty-plus year old man hunched over a computer stealing stories from sixteen year old girls- now that's a really creepy thought."


Michael Offutt, Tebow Cult Initiate said...

Most people are writers for the money. Some do it because they are true artists. Whenever you do something for the get thieves. Simple as that.

Rick said...

And whenever you have thieves, the cops get called in to do something about it.

Unless you're a writer.

Then, in Indiana, a plagiarizing publisher steals works, puts them under one of his aliases, sells it all over the US and Tom Irons, Attorney General of Indiana doesn't think it's something that should be considered Consumer Fraud.

That's because it's "intellectual property," not real property.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

With all the press about this guy, where is he now?

Rick said...

He may be reading your latest book thinking he'd like to publish it with his name on it!

Seriously, Alex, this is why I keep writing about it. No government agency or department seems to have the cajones to take it to the mat. They're all afraid of getting tied up in the "writer thing."

Or, each writer could spend $10,000 on across-state lines lawsuit and get nothing in the end except a judgment against a scam publisher who then closes down and re-opens under a new name.

Again, if he was re-selling stolen bikes, why the police would whack him.

But stories- they're just "writer things."

Anonymous said...

So, Michael, are you seriously implying that people who choose to write fiction for a living are not (as you phrased it) "...true artists..." or that their work someone lacks any aesthetic merit? Just out of curiosity, whom do you classify as "...true artists..."?

-- Gary A. Braunbeck

Rick said...

One thing I know for sure, no plagiarists is an artist!

Neurotic Workaholic said...

Plagiarism is awful, especially for young writers who may not have the resources to fight for their work. My own writing has been plagiarized, even though I've never been published. But I have come across lines that I wrote for my blog show up in other people's writing; they made it seem like they had come up with the ideas themselves, which made me feel horrible and angry that they had stolen something valuable from me.

Rick said...

I'm with you on this, NA.

G. B. Miller said...

Vicious and to the point. :D

Remind me to never, repeat, never get on your bad side or cross you in any particular way.

Rick said...

G.B., I suspect we're a lot alike.