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Please Don’t Steal This Post! – Saturday Sales Tip – 2330

I want to start by thanking everybody who reads this blog regularly, not only for reading it, but for the regular stream of feedback and suggestions to improve.  I take that to heart and work hard to incorporate suggestions.  Key being that I work hard, as do other bloggers putting out a stream of original and creative content aimed at helping the sales community.  I also want to thank those other bloggers and site owners who have reposted my pieces and those of fellow content creators and given us the proper credit and attribution.  I, and as I suspect my fellow bloggers, welcome and appreciate when our work is recognized and properly credited.

So in comes, Michael J. Roman – - Time to jeer and boo the villain of out real life drama has made his entrance.  He loves other people content so much that he adopts it to be his own, and in an effort not to confuse the readers of his “blog?”, he doesn’t credit the original author, but simplifies matters by pretending and resenting the content as his own.  For Shame! While I could go on, I think you can get a greater sense of the crime by reposting two posts by two friends and sales authors who have been victimised by Michael J. Roman.  At the end of Jonathan Farrington’s and Kelley Robertson’s posts, you’ll find links to other like minded bloggers dealing with this serious problem of intellectual property theft.  So today’s Saturday Sales Tip is simple:  Don’t Steal – Don’t Take Credit For Other People’s Work - not even mine!

Please tweet, retweet and spread the word about this form of Swine Flu!

 Jonathan Farrington’s post, originally posted on JF Blogit

When Plagiarism Is NOT Flattering – Stand Up Michael J. Roman

I would like to introduce you to Michael J. Roman – Michael who? Exactly. But after today, so many more people will be familiar with that name, as it flies around the “Blogosphere” and becomes the topic of much “Twittering”

Here is how Michael describes himself:

“Michael is a POLISHED BUSINESS EXECUTIVE with a proven history of success including nearly fifteen years of successful leadership experience.

Michael is highly skilled in effective, strategic management of sales, operations, administrative, and consulting professionals in addition to full operations and profit and loss (P&L) management…..” Etc. etc. You can read more here

You may also be impressed by Michael’s “core values” particularly this one:

“Integrity – The most important of all values. Michael’s belief is that integrity is not optional, nor is it situational.”

I always feel uncomfortable when anyone considers it necessary to promote their own integrity: In my experience, one’s integrity is gauged by one’s friends/colleagues/peer groups/clients – not  by ourselves.

In the same way, when anyone begins a sentence with:

“To be perfectly/totally/completely honest with you …” It always makes me wonder if the previous communication/dialogue/discussions/conversations, have been less than honest.

Michael posts to his site virtually every day, and the articles are of a very high quality. He goes to great lengths to protect ” his” copyright:

“©Copyright 2010 Michael J. Roman. All rights reserved.
Except where specifically noted, no information within this blog may be copied, duplicated, stored in a retrieval system or reproduced in any form without the express written consent of Michael J. Roman. If you have any questions regarding this policy, please contact me at the following email address:
michael@michaeljroman.com.”

Nothing unusual about that?

Well, yes actually. Why does someone go to such lengths to spell out their copyright statement, when they have total disregard for everyone else’s?

You see, Michael doesn’t actually write his own material – he steals it from other people. He just goes and copies it from other people’s sites and claims it as his own.

On his first page alone, there are seven of my blog posts, and in total, I  found twenty!

Sometimes he leaves the title and the text wholly intact, other times he changes it to suit himself, here is an example:
I posted “So, Just What Are The Essential Leadership Qualities?”

” I have been “leading” since I was eight years old – my first soccer captaincy – and I have been leading for most of my life.”
He posts “What Are Essential Leadership Qualities” and changes the text to:

“I have been “leading” since I was twelve years old – being the lead drummer for my grammar school jazz band – and I have been leading for most of my life.”

I am not the only “victim” – several of my colleagues and friends have also had their work pirated, and to say the least, they are not impressed.
On Thursday, I took the unusual step of adding an additional copyright notice to my post – I placed this at the foot:-

“The moral right of the author, Jonathan Farrington, has been asserted. © Copyright 2010 All rights reserved. This article or any part thereof may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means electronic or mechanical including photocopying, recording, storage in an information retrieval system or otherwise, unless this notification of copyright is retained.”

But that did not deter him – he not only stole my post, he also stole my copyright notice and replaced my name with his!
If that were not enough, he has now re-published an article, which I first published on Ezine Articles on October 27th 2006 -
http://ezinearticles.com/?Understanding-The-Different-Influencing-Styles&id=340096

And claimed it as his own -
http://www.about-personal-growth.com/influencing.html

This week, I celebrated my 900th post on this blog. Each of those posts took time and effort to craft. Each of the 200 articles that I have written and published on various sites over the last four years have also required a huge investment of my time. Why have I bothered – after all, I know lots of people who write so much better than me?

You know the answer to that question.

So, what to do now?

I am going to let nature take care of itself for a few days, then I will be in contact with Michael. Or maybe he will do the decent thing and contact me first.

Michael, I understand that this is the one post that you will not want to steal and re-publish – copyright violation is serious stuff, so please do get in touch with me before my lawyers get in touch with you. This is an early appeal; the later ones will be far less polite – you know it makes sense!

I would have willingly given him all of my work to re-publish, if he had asked – as long as he placed my bio underneath them, and not his own!
I will of course keep you fully updated as events unfold.

There is a chance that by the time you get to read this, he will have taken the site down, so you can download a PDF of the front page here.

Kelley Robertson’s post  Originally posted on Fearless Selling

When Imitation is NOT the Best Form of flattery

I suspect that you have heard the expression, “Imitation is the best form of flattery.” While that’s true in many cases, there are situations when this statement does not apply.

I, like many other trainers, speakers and industry experts, write and post articles on the Internet. We include our copyright and respectfully ask that proper credit is given when someone uses this article in their publication.

However, over the years I have encountered many people who have taken my articles and published them in magazines, newsletter, and blog and then had the audacity to claim them as their own. As much as I dislike it, I take action to ensure these unscrupulous individual’s either remove my copyrighted material or add the proper credit and issue an apology.

Well, here’s the latest plagiarist to rip off my intellectual capital. I would like to introduce you to Michael J. Roman. Here is how Michael describes himself:

“Michael is a POLISHED BUSINESS EXECUTIVE with a proven history of success including nearly fifteen years of successful leadership experience. Michael is highly skilled in effective, strategic management of sales, operations, administrative, and consulting professionals in addition to full operations and profit and loss (P&L) management…..”

Michael’s core values include:

“Integrity – The most important of all values. Michael’s belief is that integrity is not optional, nor is it situational.”

Michael posts to his site virtually every day and the articles are of a very high quality so he goes to great lengths to protect “his” copyright:

“©Copyright 2010 Michael J. Roman. All rights reserved.  Except where specifically noted, no information within this blog may be copied, duplicated, stored in a retrieval system or reproduced in any form without the express written consent of Michael J. Roman. If you have any questions regarding this policy, please contact me at the following email address:
michael@michaeljroman.com.”

Needless to say, when it was brought to my attention that Michael may have posted some of my articles on his blog I checked it out immediately. Fortunately, only one of my articles was posted here but it was still enough to rile me up.

I have written and published about 500 articles since starting my business in 2002 and each of these required a significant investment of my time. To have someone else publish my material under their name and take credit for my efforts cannot go unchecked.

I am not the only “victim” – several of my colleagues and friends have also had their work pirated, and to say the least, they are not impressed. My good friend Jonathan Farrington discovered 20 of his articles on Michael’s site.

So, what’s next?

I plan to contact Michael directly and politely ask him to remove my article or give it proper credit. I know several other authors are planning to do the same in addition to making their readers aware of his less-than-ethical behaviour.

If you want to help you can:
1. Retweet this post to your followers.

2. Send an email to Michael and express your concern with his unethical behaviour.

3. Contact any author, trainer, speaker, expert in your network and let them know about this plagiarist.

4. Blog about this unethical behaviour.

I guess what really bothers me about this whole thing is that I would be more than willing to let this guy use my articles on his blog if he just had the decency to ask and give proper credit.

Other posts you can read and support in this cause:

Skip Anderson:  The Scourge of the Blogosphere: Plagiarism and Michael J. Roman

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