A guest essay this morning from Steve Gillis, co-founder and publisher at Dzanc Books, and author of a trio of novels and a short story collection, with another collection due out in 2010.
Many of you by now have
probably heard that Chris Anderson, Editor at WIRED, admitted to
plagiarizing - a fancy word for stealing - vast amounts of text from Wikipedia
- no less - which was then inserted as text into his book: Free: The
Future of a Radical Price. My response? ENOUGH!! This sort of fraud
has happened one too many times. How can a writer do this? How can
someone simply lift another source of material and claim it as their
own work product? What sort of man does these things? Anderson's
excuses are not worth the time to repeat here. They are at best weak and
at worst psychotic. http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/06/24/chris-anderson-apologizes-for-plagiarizing-wikipedia/?scp=1&sq=chris%20anderson&st=cse
Are we not as artists, educators, parents and writers, editors and
readers, better than this? Are we supposed to simply turn a blind eye
- again - and ignore this as yet another example of the way of the
world today? Have we fallen so low and lazy as to treat this incident
as nothing but entertainment to talk about and then forget?
If Anderson is not fired, if we as a united group of writers and readers are not outraged enough to stand up and demand Anderson be held accountable for his actions which insult the very fabric of our industry then shame on us for allowing this latest incident to pass as simply something to be chatted about for a day. The problem is bigger than Anderson. This is not the first time such a crime – yes crime – and fraud has happened, and if we are apathetic and complacent, it will not be the last. Anderson quite simply must go. If he is not held accountable, we are all lost.
Some other places online to read about this: