Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Three Most Notorious Cases of Plagiarism

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Not everyone is inspired, and this is why when it comes to racking the brains many people take the easy way out and opt to just copy what they need. There have been cases when many authors became a little more than inspired and resorted to blatant plagiarism.

Let’s look at the three most notorious cases of plagiarism in the publishing industry:

Rand Paul’s book, Government Bullies
When we talk about plagiarism, the latest case that comes to the mind is of Rand Paul. The famous Kentucky Senator wrote Government Bullies which maybe should’ve gotten him an award, but that didn’t happen. However, the book DID make him famous, primarily because it was copied from the 2003 Heritage Foundation case study. With 1,318 words copied and pasted into his book, the senator probably didn’t know that plagiarism is really easy to catch these days.

Alex Haley’s book, Roots
I’m sure we all remember the case of Alex Haley’s Roots, which won a Pulitzer Prize. Although Haley said that he did a lot of research into his own ancestors, it was later learned that the book was actually copied from The African by Harold Courlander. What followed was a high profile lawsuit that was won by Courlander. It was not just a notorious case of plagiarism, but also the Pulitzer Prize winning book was not non-fiction, or even well-researched for that matter.

Doris Kearns Goodwin’s The Fitzgeralds and the Kennedys

You might think that Haley was probably the only Pulitzer Prize winning author who landed in the plagiarism soup, but you would be wrong. Doris Kearns Goodwins (yes, the same writer who won the Pulitzer in 1995), wrote a book called The Fitzgeralds and the Kennedys. As anyone would assume, a book written by an award winning author would be genuine. However, the book was copied from several sources. This led people to believe that her Pulitzer Prize winning book No Ordinary Time might also be a plagiarized copy.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Worst Countries in eBook Piracy

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E-books have revolutionized the publishing world. They are easy to carry, have a global reach, and for some, can be easily pirated. Yes, as publishers, agents, and writers; we are aware of the scenario, but we cannot do much about it. What we can do, however, is learn more about it, so we have compiled a list of the countries that are the most notorious for e-book piracy.

Russia is a major player when it comes to e-book piracy. Although the e-book market has almost doubled since 2012, piracy is still on the rise. According to Eksmo, the largest publishing house of Russia, almost 95% of all downloaded e-books are pirated. This amount costs almost $120M to the e-book industry. The problem is so severe that a state agency launched a media campaign to encourage readers to buy books instead of pirating them. More than 70% of e-books published in Russia are from local authors. This means that piracy can be harmful to the country’s own resources.

According to a Dutch research company, Gfk, only 10% of the e-books downloaded in the Netherlands are actually paid for. A large section of the book-loving audience there prefers to share them with their friends or simply download them from torrent sites. And this behavior is not even illegal in the country. While uploading these books is illegal, downloading them is not. This might be a reason why the Netherlands is big in e-book piracy.

There are many book lovers in the United States, but not all of them are willing to pay for what they enjoy. As a result, the industry has lost $3B in the country. If we take an average, for each e-book published, almost 10,000 copies are downloaded for free. Some popular genres among pirates are technology and science, making such books lose as much as $1M in sales.