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“Well, if it’s on the internet it’s up for grabs. You can’t copyright anything on the internet”

This is A) wrong, B) immaterial when it comes to the simple courtesy of attribution, which has been in place since the Pleistocene, C) retarded.

Retrocrush – which IS cool, though calling itself the “world’s finest pop culture website” might be a bit hyperbolic – is at the center of the story. Site editor Robert Berry writes:

    On 11/20/03, I published an article on my website retroCRUSH.com called “The Worst Sex Scenes Ever: A Look At The Most Unsexy Sex Scenes”. This pretty self-explanatory feature included my own write ups on 10 scenes from film history with commentary throughout.

    On 12/30/03, The UK tabloid “The Daily Star” printed the same feature, with the same movies I used (even failing to omit a joke entry for the film Deliverance that I also included in my feature). Instead of crediting my site, however, they credited a seemingly fictitious American magazine named FILM. Not only did they highlight the films I mentioned, but they lifted three separate quotes from my article and attributed them to FILM magazine readers who responded to a (apparently non-existent) poll.

    ….To me, it seems obvious that a writer at The Daily Star saw my story, created a phony poll and feature from a non-existent magazine called FILM to use as a reference source, and used my quotes as reader comments in their feature. But it gets worse…

    The World Entertainment News Newtwork (WENN), picked up this story and put it on their newswire service and now numerous newspapers (both online and print) have run the story on their own. In all of the examples I’ve found, this non existent FILM magazine is cited as the source material instead of me or my site. I spoke with the news desk of WENN, and they told me the source of their story was 12/30/03 edition of “The Daily Star”.

    On 1/05/04 I spoke with a the News Editor of “The Daily Star” named Kieran Saunders and what he told me takes the cake.

    He said, “Well, if it’s on the internet it’s up for grabs. You can’t copyright anything on the internet.” I told him that was untrue and he then refused to speak with me further, and said all future communication needed to be sent to their legal contact, Steven Bacon in London. I even tried to call back an hour later to speak with the actual author of the piece, and Saunders answered the phone, stating, “I told you never to call here again, speak to our legal group” before ending the call.

    As of this writing, there’s been at least 30 news organizations that have run this article, so the uncredited dilution of my work is pretty extensive….

This would piss me off no end – good luck getting the word out, Robert.

About Eric Olsen

Career media professional and serial entrepreneur Eric Olsen flung himself into the paranormal world in 2012, creating the America's Most Haunted brand and co-authoring the award-winning America's Most Haunted book, published by Berkley/Penguin in Sept, 2014. Olsen is co-host of the nationally syndicated broadcast and Internet radio talk show After Hours AM; his entertaining and informative America's Most Haunted website and social media outlets are must-reads: [email protected], Facebook.com/amhaunted, Pinterest America's Most Haunted. Olsen is also guitarist/singer for popular and wildly eclectic Cleveland cover band The Props.

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