Sunday, 22 August 2010

PPP blog blues

Updatd re Sun/PPP/Google translation
Lost in translation?

The blogger sphere is abuzz over Toronto Sun sports stories allegedly containing a blog's translated quotes without attribution.

Pension Plan Puppets, a Toronto Maple Leafs blog, accuses Dave Fuller of lifting quotes it spent time to have translated to English without crediting the blog.

The gist, as we see it, is rather than use language translation software, the PPP blogger had a real live translator sit down to translate the quotes verbatim.

And, the blogger says, those same translated quotes appeared in the Sun sans PPP credit.

Does that constitute plagiarism?

Check out PPP's arguments here and decide for yourself. Plus a copy comparison page here.

If guilty as charged, we'd call it lazy and inconsiderate, but plagiarism? That's a stretch.


  1. If guilty as charged, he is sadly not alone. "Borrowing" intellectual property is a growing and disturbing trend amongst Canadian newspaper columnists/reporters.

    Sadder still is that owners and management don't care. I think the only thing these people read are balance sheets. Now, that's pride in product for you.

  2. Does this blog site subscribe to AP and Getty, or are all the photos just "borrowed" from AP and Getty? Just asking....

  3. Anonymous - I assume that comment is directed at me. Yes, we do have a subscription to AP and Getty through SB Nation so every picture is used with the proper rights.

    Unlike the translated quotes that Dave Fuller lifted from the site.

  4. @Pension Plan Puppets re: AP and Getty subscriptions: Bravo! Glad to hear it. Too many sites, including major newspapers and TV networks, just swipe photos and think that printing a credit line solves everything.

  5. Anonymous, I agree with you fully. Too many websites, newspapers, and TV networks just swipe material and think that printing a credit line solves everything. However, sometimes a credit line is all that is needed.

    More disturbing though is the fact some main stream media outlets don't even bother printing a credit line at all when they do something like say, copy and paste a translation from another site without referencing it. It's odd then that other outlets like TSN and Yahoo! take the time to give proper credit to their sources though.

    Also an open question to the Toronto Sun blog poster here, regarding the line "If guilty as charged, we'd call it lazy and inconsiderate, but plagiarism? That's a stretch." I think it's more than lazy and inconsiderate, but that's just my humble opinion.

    Let's say that I do agree with you though to play devil's advocate, my question to you is, do you make a habit of employing lazy and inconsiderate writers then? Writers that blatantly steal the work of others to 'earn' the pay of the Toronto Sun? Do you also want the Toronto Sun to be known as an organization that supports "lazy and inconsiderate" employees caught in dishonest practices, and also refuses to acknowledge how "inconsiderate" their actions are? An organization that feels not need to rectify, recompense, or even apologize for such unprofessional actions?

    By the Toronto Sun's response or lack thereof to date regarding this issue, there is little doubt as to what your stance would appear to be. There is also little doubt as to what conclusions the public can draw from such a stance.

  6. I’m very interested to see how far you can take this. It’s through the work of people like you (I mean this in a good way) that new precedents are set. The MSM is literally figuring this out as they go along, and if you let things like this go, then it only exacerbates the situation. There are certainly nuances because this was about translated quotes and not an out-and-out lifting of a post, but you are absolutely right to make a stand.