You guys are getting me all riled up about this Michael Moore business.
Just for a refresher: (Mine is in the order I originally presented it; Moore's is taken from here and there in his piece.)
Moore: A Liberal's Pledge to Disheartened Conservatives Me: Dear dismayed conservatives:
Moore: I, and my fellow signatories, hereby make these promises to you: Me: I hereby make these promises to you.
Moore: Should a mass murderer ever kill 3,000 people on our soil, we will devote every single resource to tracking him down and bringing him to justice. Immediately. We will protect you. Me: We will protect your lives and livelihoods.
Moore: We will always respect you for your conservative beliefs. Me: We will listen to and respect your beliefs.
Moore: We will respect your religious beliefs, even when you don't put those beliefs into practice. // We will let you marry whomever you want, even when some of us consider your behavior to be "different" or "immoral." Me: We will never try to force you to change your religion, sexual orientation, or first language.
Moore: We will never stick our nose in your bedroom or your womb. What you do there as consenting adults is your business. We will continue to count your age from the moment you were born, not the moment you were conceived. Me: We will do our best to reduce the number of abortions in our country.
Moore: We will not tolerate politicians who are corrupt and who are bought and paid for by the rich. Me: We will have no tolerance for corruption and cronyism, even in our own party.
Moore: And we promise you we will go after the corrupt politicians on our side FIRST. Me: ESPECIALLY in our own party.
Moore:We will never, ever, call you "unpatriotic" simply because you disagree with us. In fact, we encourage you to dissent and disagree with us. Me: We will never tell you that you are unpatriotic. We will never tell you that your opinion doesn't count.
Moore: When we soon bring our sons and daughters home from Iraq, we will bring your sons and daughters home, too. They deserve to live. We promise never to send your kids off to war based on either a mistake or a lie. Me: We will never waste your lives for power.
Moore: We will go after any elected leader who puts him or herself ahead of the people. Me: We will hold our leaders to a high ethical standard and when they succumb to lust for power, WE WILL HOLD THEM ACCOUNTABLE.
Moore: If we fail to do this, we need you to call us on it. Me: If we forget this, please, please, please, remind us.
Moore: You are every bit as American as we are. Me: We need you to do this. You are America as much as we are. Let's go.
I know that this will be buried in the archives in a few days but....
Just in case anyone wants to do any comparison. I am really torn as to what to do. Quite frankly, if he were to just say "I saw this list on the Web and thought I'd flesh it out a bit, thanks Witch," that'd finish the whole thing for me... but ... as it is, I'm just... nervous.
(No, I have no interest in trying to squeeze money from Moore.) Advice?
62. Has it occured to anyone that this might be news to Michael Moore? Maybe one of his
Edited on Tue Nov-14-06 08:47 PM by file83
staffers plagiarized it and is trying to take credit. I'm sure Michael Moore has a few writers helping him with stuff. I bet if you showed this to Mike, he'd get pissed off real quick, find out who plagiarized it, and fire him.
On the other hand, if it is Michael himself that plagiarized it, then it might be time to call up Keith Olbermann...just a thought!
is the Michael Moore employee who contacted me when "Stupid White Men" went into paperback. He spent 15 minutes kissing my ass and claimed it was he who had lifted my work from an email and gave it to Michael to put in his book, and that Michael had no idea that it had been my work. I thought he was full of shit and told him so.
At the end of the day, it is Michael's name that goes on these pieces -- if he chooses not to exercise the correct journalistic oversite he is damn STUPID.
Michael knows the work he put in SWM was lifted from someone else, whether he did it himself or it was done by an employee doesn't matter.
And as for firing a who was supposed to be a plagerist working for him, Schankula still works for Moore all these years later.
Reading the two side by side, I am struck by how similar they are. His HAD to be copied, to some extent, from yours.
It's crossed my mind that some sort of intern may have found yours and they "changed" it to fit his needs. He may not KNOW about it. But, that would be careless and horribly idiotic on his part. It's just kind of crazy.
I have no idea what steps to take here, and I think it's really interesting to see this come up. I don't know what could be done in order to fix this, but it makes him look less... trustworthy?
I suppose it's inevitable, really. To tell you the truth, I'm surprised nothing I've written has found its way somewhere else to be claimed by someone else (that I KNOW of). Some of my rants HAVE been borrowed, but I've always gotten credit for them.
This would bug me too...but, then again, I'm an author, which means I'm a promo whore. Taking anything I write without crediting it is stealing potential book sales. A guaranteed way to PISS me off.
He's not new to this -- The Witch has every right to ask for credit:
A San Francisco activist claims she's the originator of Michael Moore's unsourced list of dubious Bush achievements in his bestselling "Stupid White Men" By Ben Fritz
A list of 48 dubious achievements of President Bush appears in Michael Moore's bestselling "Stupid White Men," without footnotes or citations of any kind. A reader might assume that they are accumulated nuggets from Moore's own research.
But a San Francisco activist says she came up with the list, and she's not too happy about the way Moore is using it.
Kirsten Selberg contacted Spinsanity following a piece detailing the numerous errors and factual distortions in "Stupid White Men" to say she compiled that list for a wall that was displayed at the "Voters March West" that took place nearly a year ago in San Francisco, on May 19.
Still posted on the Voters March Web site, Selberg's list contains 47 of the 48 facts about Bush mentioned in Moore's book -- in the exactly the same order and with very similar wording. The only difference is that, unlike Moore, Selberg provides sources for almost all of her facts.
Representatives for Moore did not respond to requests for comment
133. Only because Moore is obsessed with the gun issue
Edited on Fri Nov-24-06 08:33 PM by benEzra
note the mention of guns not in the original The Witch's post, but discussed in the ensuing thread here.
it's included in MM's post...
just sayin, dp
To play devil's advocate, this could be because Moore is obsessed with the gun issue, and did a whole movie about it (remember BfC?)
#9, perhaps not coincidentally, is about the ONLY non-conciliatory line in the whole piece. "We're gonna take away your handguns and nonhunting-style rifles, just like you were afraid of, you gun-owning weenies."
The rest of it--the kind part--is close to Witch's. Can't say for sure it was plagiarism only because we don't know if Moore saw Witch's post. But if he DID see it, his piece was plagiarized.
... everything posted on DU is the property of DU. You might want to ask the admins. whether they gave permission for Moore to take and use postings on DU. Makes me wonder if DU might not be getting paid for this service. If DU is getting paid, I think the honorable thing to do would be to allow the copying only on the condition that the material be sourced to DU and the poster's DU handle.
I won't jump on MM's case yet, but email and ask because he could've gotten witch's blog copied and sent to him and permission given to use by whomever sent it. Witholding judgement until it is made more clear. Email him Witch, please.
17. I wrote something that was influenced by your above writing
and even I put a credit to you on the bottom and it was only a lowly livejournal posting. I would send him a copy of your work and ask him if that was where he got his inspiration. Maybe he'll fess up.
28. If you did not copyright it, is it not fair game?
Ideally you'd get credit for what you wrote, but lets say his letter WAS inspired by what you wrote. So what? The important thing is for good ideas to reach a wide audience.
I've worked hard on some articles before myself and did not copyright them. I think I've had something like this happen to me once too. The thing is, if something you say inspires someone else who can reach a wider audience, I say let them do it. The goal is for the best ideas to reach the greatest audience possible. Your writings have a better chance of changing things this way.
34. By the mere fact that she "published" this on the web
she is then protected by copyright laws. Look it up. You will see that I am correct. I have been involved in many copyright/fair use issues for years when I created web pages and later when I was an admin at a rather large one too. But, add that DU also holds a copyright, by the mere fact that she published said article on their pages, which clearly do display a copyright claim at the bottom of each page, should Moore be proved to have copied any portion of her article, he would have to make amends to not only The Witch, but also to DU administrators. Once you publish it on a server maintained by someone other than the original writer/artist, it can fall under the copyright of the owners of the site which allowed the publication.
No matter how you slice it, the post made by The Witch is her intellectual property and is protected by copyright laws.
107. U.S. copyright law is strange. We are party to the Berne Convention.
Registration of copyright refers registering the work with the US Copyright Office. As we are signatories to the Berne Convention, registration is no longer necessary for copyright protection. BUT, registration is still required to obtain statutory damages in case of infringement. There's a hair splitter for you.
As far as I can tell we're the only party to the BC that has copyright registration. Gotta keep the lawyers busy. ;)
Internet postings are a very gray area and controversial right now.
94. "MM stole from you." Wow! That's one hell of an accusation.
You, my friend, rocketed across the line that one else dared to cross. On this thread, there's been lots of hand wringing wondering about the similarities between the two letters. But you took it a step further and openly accused Moore of stealing her work.
Ballsy. Very Ballsy. Particularly when you consider that another poster on this very thread has commented that Moore expressed the very same sentiments that he gave in his letter in Moore's 2005 documentary, Divided State.
More than likely (99.9%) it was some web staffer who saw it, took the idea as his/her own, presented it to Mike, who thought it was a great idea. I seriously doubt Mike Moore is trolling DU's 'greatest' page.
At Best it's a startling coincidence; At Worst it's some dipshit webmaster.
I think your post was excellent. I remember reading it when you first posted it and thinking, "right on!" I enjoy reading your posts. I think Michael Moore probably had a similar idea. It's easily conceivable that two talented people would come up with the same good idea. I think it was a good idea executed well by both of you. I honestly don't think it looks like he ripped you off. I guess it is possible he saw your post and took inspiration from that. But, I don't see it as a total rip off. But, like I said in the other thread about this, I don't think that takes away from your post at all. You were spot on.
43. In Journalism, There's A Reason They Call It "Copy"
There's an old saying that, "You can accomplish a lot in this world if you don't have to take credit for everything."
Another old saying: "Immitation is the sincerest form of flattery."
Personally, this wouldn't faze me. But, you're certainly within your rights to follow up. Your time and attention would be probably better spent, however, writing the next piece for people to plagiarize.
Watch the documentary "This Divided State", and you will see Michael Moore give a speech near the end of the film in which he states many of the exact same things he wrote in this letter. That was filmed over two years ago.
Please do not drag Michael Moore's name through the mud, this is a big coincidence no doubt but it is not plagiarism.
But right and wrong is right and wrong. If I posted something and realized it looked verrrry similar to something someone else had done two weeks ago, I'd point it out at least.
You've hit a sore spot with me, though, because years ago I spent a year writing a fan fiction piece that was promptly stolen by another author, who kept insisting that it was all just one big coincidence. It was very painful, as unlike with this little throwaway thing, I had spent a year agonizing over it, and the little, erm, witch :eyes: would not even fess up.
60. If I had just saw your post and nothing else I would say plagiarism, but...
I really think you should watch "This Divided State" to see the promises he makes to conservatives in his speech, and you will probably be relieved to see that he most likely did not rip you off.
I admit there are some very striking similarities and if Moore did not have a prior record of saying such things I would definately suspect plagiarism, and I can certainly understand why people who do not have knowledge of his past statements are jumping on him.
I am just suggesting people get all the facts before they drag Michael Moore through the mud, because these are very serious charges and while the evidence you post certainly looks damning a look at prior history could clear things up.
As discussed in yet another thread on this same subject, the analysis is given that shows that Moore's and Witch's letters share very little in common. Over half of Witch's concepts are not addressed by Moore at all, and Moore's letter is six times longer than Witch's.
In both letters, the language being used is hardly unique to either writer. The common themes of freedom of choice (religion, sexual orientation, etc), patriotism, "we're all Americans", the war in Iraq, and Congressional ethics are not exactly rare in today's climate.
If I were in The Witch's place, I would drop the growing outrage over this, and adopt a much healthier philosophy: "It is so cool that Michael Moore had a similar idea. Great minds think alike!"
thinking that if right wingers knew better, they wouldn't be so upset because Democratic policies will benefit them, too. I bet a lot of us were thinking that on election night. I can easily see two talented writers taking that notion further and coming up with the idea to address a letter to conservatives, and that both letters would contain some similar points, since they're both talking about the same sort of principles. I think it's worth it for Witch to look into, because if MM did indeed read her post and expand on it, she deserves credit. But, until he responds, to assume that it is plagiarism and start pointing figures is jumping to conclusions.
say that an acknowledgement is enough to finish it for you. I also think that it is shortsited. If he profits from this you should too. I am also idealistic and think that if my words move someone that is in position to make a difference then my work here is done. Please just know that I have more respect for you than for him. Good luck.
then others like myself saw there was a redflag, something enough to make one go hmmmmm... when reading your OP, note the additions from MM mentioned in the DU discussion.
I feel confident that you have no ill intention towards MM but some recognition from him would be nice at least for inspiration's sake. I, for one, come here primarily knowing that i will learn something new everyday and pass along every nugget i find. Recommend the site to those i get into discussions with, knowing full well many will never find the initiative to follow up and visit. But i try. I am of the school of thought that information should be free, but cites, accreditation are de rigeuer.
Revel in the thought that you have inspired and for now let it be. What returns will be yours well deserved, what more could one ask for? You can always sleep well at nite with a clear conscience.
just my 2 pence, hoping to not receive the 'WilliamPitt Most-Incoherent-Post-O-The-Day Award' heh.
Why are people here so offended on Michael Moore's behalf? It's pretty obvious to anyone willing to look at this objectively that his "letter" is VERY similar to The Witch's. At the very least, he or one of his staffers saw it and used it as inspiration. At worst, they cribbed it entirely and changed some words around to make it look different.
Regardless of whether you believe this was just a merry coincidence - which, again, is pretty naive - or not, there is no excuse for this nasty tone in response to a DUer. She hardly calls Michael Moore any names or says anything nasty about him, so what's the reason for your hostility? And frankly, even if she had, who cares? Michael Moore is not above criticism, nor is he incapable of wrongdoing.
... but don't be discouraged at the nasty replies you've gotten on DU. Some people don't take kindly to any implication that one of their heroes is maybe a little less golden than they thought. Frankly, it's awfully damn obvious to me that Moore cribbed his letter from you, and I'm not all that surprised - I never thought he was a very trustworthy person. He's always struck me as the sort who is not above lifting and distorting pieces of information to fit into his preconceived frame.
I mean, I wouldn't sue him or anything, but I don't think you're remiss in calling this out publicly. Plagarism is beyond shady, and I don't care if Michael Moore is a DU saint - why should he be above reproach?
67. I read that on his site today and thought the same thing.
I went there knowing it was going to "sound" like something that was on DU for the past few days, but when I got there... :( x( it was clearly an act of plagiarism. I just thought you had borrowed it from somewhere else too, Witch, that's what I thought afterwards. I didn't think that you were the great mind behind those words that you are... and I apologize, b/c the only thing that made me think that was M. Moore's homepage with (basically) your post up. No joke, I'm not joking or changing the order of events. My opinion at the moment (although inflamed by the very idea perhaps) is that you are not getting intellectual credit were it is CLEARLY due.
But your letter is 150 words, compared to 900 for Moore's. The points you compared from Moore's letter to yours often have quite different context than your letter. Moore's letter was far more developed than yours and covered many more points.
It is possible that Moore may have taken inspiration from your idea, but maybe not. Many, many Democrats have been pushing for bipartisanship with great sincerity while, at the same, indicating that we're not forgetting the GOP's failings.
83. Hard to believe that much resemblance is uncanny coincidence.
I'm not saying it can't happen, but it would certainly be a case of GMTA -- very, very much alike. You at least deserve recognition for your solidarity to his stated goals if not for being the first to state them.
If you do pursue, find a way to get your message over the piles of madness he must receive daily. Otherwise, assume it was just lost, not ignored. There are already more than 12,000 signatures. I signed it with the URL to your blog and it's already pushed off the newest page. Good luck, but know that you've already made a big impact in word and deed right here.
84. first of all I would not assume he drafted it himself
I assume he has help keeping his blog up. Someone on his staff might have done the first draft. MM might never have seen your post, even if someone on his staff did. MM probably does not have time to cruise the blogs.
monkeys on a million typewriters will eventually compose the full works of William Shakespeare.
Of course this is given on an infinite timeline, and not accounting for reasonable facsimiles. Regardless, the key points you present are not wholly unique. Both works by Moore and yourself turned a negative (done to us by conservatives) into a positive. Seeing that you pulled from the same pool (republican thuggery) your attempts to turn it on them would be similar as well.
Given that, I can't say for sure that Moore did rip off your work.
I suggest reveling in the fact that you beat him to the punch, and your work is more positive, and more likely to be well-received.
Kudos on the good work, I saved it to pass along to friends ^^
I think it looks like Moore's pledge was heavily "inspired" by The Witch's post, but I think it would be hard to prove plagiarism.
Basically what the two documents have in common is the premise, the structure, and several of the ideas. The writing is very different; Moore's pledge is much more elaborate and incorporates a lot of stuff that's not in The Witch's post. The Witch's side-by-side comparison above emphasizes the similarities (of which there are plenty) by pulling out the sentences that are closest to the ones she originally posted; Moore's pledge also includes a lot of material that has to have been generated by someone else.
The similarity in terms of the points made could be a result of GMTA (after all, we all know exactly what the Republicans have done to us, and any pledge not to do the same things to them would have to include a number of the points that come up in both documents no matter who wrote it). It's the similarity in terms of premise and structure that worries me. It seems plausible to me that Moore or someone on his staff saw The Witch's post, thought a liberal pledge to conservatives was a great idea, and then came up with "their own version" of it for Moore's website.
If that's what happened, then The Witch should certainly have been credited. "Borrowing" ideas without crediting the source is plagiarism, even when there is no word-for-word copying. The fact that The Witch's post originally appeared on the Web on a public forum means nothing. If any of you have been plagiarizing stuff you see on the Web because you're under the impression that it's not protected or that stealing it isn't wrong, I advise you to stop. It is protected, and stealing it is wrong. The correct way to disseminate an idea or a post you see on the web is to credit and if possible link to the original source when you distribute or comment on it.
If this were just a GD post I would be willing to say it is an uncanny example of the collective consiousness at work and leave it at that. However, since it was featured on the DU front page right after the election, that increases the chances that someone on Moore's team spotted it and appropriated the idea.
I think it would make sense for The Witch or one of the DU admins to bring the similarities to the attention of someone at Moore's site and ask for an explanation. But I would not expect to be able to "prove" that this is plagiarism no matter what they tell you; the two documents are different enough to provide plenty of deniability. If this really IS plagiarism, that makes it in my mind especially sleazy. Without knowing what happened, though, I'm not prepared to say it is.
...for what it's worth: a few days before the '04 election, I went to a talk by Michael Moore. Among other things, he said "When we win this election and clean up the air and water, we'll let the Republicans breathe clean air and drink clean water too," "When we implement healthcare, we'll let the Republicans access it too," "When we raise the minimum wage, we'll let Republicans earn at the new rate too," etc. Very similar to what he posted on his site now, and yes, very similar to the Witch's post.
Truthfully, I read the Witch's post first, then saw Moore's, and the similarity jumped out at me immediately. At first I thought, okay, someone copied from someone here, I don't know who. Now I see, the Witch posted her list first, which certainly makes Moore's very similar version suspicious at first sight. But it should be remembered that he's been saying these things, in this format, for at least two years. It's very possible in this case that two great minds simply put down their thoughts in much the same way.
I somehow have a hard time believing that someone as public as Michael Moore would knowingly and deliberately plagerize a post on a well-known Democratic discussion board. He may not be worried about being condemned and ostracized by "the establishemnt" - which has always been something I admired about him, btw - but I can't imagine he'd want to damage his credibility among liberals and progressives. If anyone should know how quickly word spreads on the net, it should be him. Not saying plagerism isn't possible, mind you - just saying I'd be surprised, all things considered.
If it were my post, I'd give him the benefit of the doubt - but I would still e-mail him and ask about it.
117. As an old hack, who got published & wrote extensively for radio, TV and newspaper...
I'd say take it as a compliment: Realize that the Butterfly Effect is very real, especially in media: Keep flapping even harder and move on to finer spells, Witch. I'll be watching for your future OPs. Congratulations, it looks like you succeeded in actually doing some good in the world. Few can honestly claim that honor.
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