One of the GREAT things about using ACTIVE RAIN is the ability to RE-BLOG well written posts and provide that as a resouce for people that consistently READ YOUR BLOG.
Last week I though I was doing just that, when I read, and RE-BLOGGED a post by MATTHEW DE FEDE from Coldwell Residential Brokerage in Clifton, NJ.
I liked what I read, as the article gave valuable tips on buying a foreclosure, and because I am in the business of selling REO properties in Wisconsin, I like to educate buyers on how to buy my listings. Unfortunately it appears that the material was not the intellectual property of Mr. DeFede at all, but a WORD FOR WORD copy and paste of an article posted 1 day before from a man named Karim El Sheikh. It looks as though Mr Sheikh is a gifted writer with many good posts, and I will be adding his RSS Feed to my company FACEBOOK page because it will add value to my customers. I will also be seeking his permission to re-blog his content (of course giving credit to the original source which is proper blogging etiquette as well as the legal and ethical way to disseminate that information.
Soon after I RE-Blogged Mr De Fede's fraudulent post, (Giving CREDIT to Mr De Fede for work he had not done) I received an email from a Good Samaritan on the Active Rain network who informed me of the offense. I researched the claim and found that it appears to be true and that Mr El Sheikh from Boca Raton, FL. I also found that the resource Mr Sheikh published he article on is a great source for industry related articles. The web site is www.RealEstateProArticles.com and has a policy enabling members to RE-PUBLISH the posts of OTHER members as long as credit is given to the original author. Here is a direct quote of that policy:
- By submitting your articles to RealEstateProArticles.com, you grant others the right to publish your articles - Other RealEstateProArticles.com users have the right to publish your articles on their websites, in their newsletters or ezines, and more as long as the article is left in the original state. This includes the resource box which provides you credit as the author of the content.
So I did a little more digging and RE-REVIEWED the post my Mr De Fede of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage and found that Mr. DeFede is NOT listed as an author ANYWHERE on the RealEstateProArticles.com site.
I did leave a comment of Mr De Fede's wall with a link to the original post, but he chose to delete it and disable commenting on the post, rather than take a more honest approach and edit his initial post, perhaps providing the same information but with permission.
So, here's my question. Does the Code of Ethics have any provision that pertains to the subject of plagerism? I would be curious to know.
I will be RE-POSTING the ORIGINAL ARTICLE with proper credit to the proper source.