I suppose I should be flattered. My writing is so “award winning, witty and talented” (said me, to myself) that it’s been copied, pasted and palmed off as belonging to someone else. What fun!
A while ago, loyal reader, you may remember I bent over backwards for your entertainment, attempting to do some acro-yoga.
My teacher, graceful and strong as she was, taught me how to fly. I wrote about it here and also in Yoga Magazine, because I am an amazing feature writer for magazines as well as an amazing blogger, and modest to boot.
Anna, my teacher, continues to teach in and around London. She pops up all over the UK at festivals and events, teaching other enthusiastic bendy types like me how to channel that bendability into some wild shapes that you didn’t even know were possible. Before I met Anna, the bendiest thing I could do was double joint my elbow while my unwilling audience were a bit sick in their mouths. Now I can do reverse namaskars and dhanurasana. Namaste that, yoga bunnies.
Anna has not, as far as she is aware of her own geographical movements, gone to India to teach the “Editor in Chief” of All About Bharat, Asmita Pratap, how to bend it like Beckham.
However, in August 2014, The editor-in-chief of All About Bharat reported that: “Despite longing for the aura of calm and the sculptured, toned arms yoga experts have in spades, l’ve never become an accomplished yogi.”
In the March 2014 edition of Yoga Magazine, the Editor-In-Chief of Lunacy of Ink reported that: “Despite longing for the aura of calm and the sculptured, toned arms yoga experts have in spades, l’ve never become an accomplished yogi.”
Whoa! That similarity is uncanny isn’t it? I must meet this Asmita Pratap – our minds work in such identical ways that we were surely separated at birth! Either that or she has lifted my piece, not quite verbatim as it’s a little shorter than mine, but so close to the original material that she could hardly be rewarded for trying to spruce up her theft.
Naughty, isn’t it? Isn’t yoga practised by the sort of people whose bodies are supposed to be temples, their limbs svelte from all the Downward Dogs. Since when did plagiarism become a yoga move?
Plagiarism is the “wrongful appropriation” and “stealing and publication” of another author’s “language, thoughts, ideas, or expressions” and the representation of them as one’s own original work. (I should point out that I copied and pasted that definition from Google. Don’t want you thinking I plagiarised the definition of plagiarism.)
The ‘Editor in Chief’ should really know better. This isn’t a junior reporter. This is a top dog. Charmingly, the website responsible for publishing my work under someone else’s name has a footer that reads: © 2014 All About Bharat – I’m pretty sure it’s © 2014 Someone Else
I have written to the email address on the website, as has Anna, my acro-yoga teacher, who found the mysterious work of pilfering in the first place and alerted me to it. I’ve informed them that I’m on to them and that they can either remove my feature, or pay me £250 for it, which, should they cough up, Anna and I will spend on new yoga leggings. Yeggings?
In print media, there are rules and everyone abides by them and everyone gets paid, credits go where credits are due, and we all bumble along just fine.
The internet is full of worm holes and dark corners. Find something you like, palm it off as your own and who’d ever know? India is thousands of miles away – they probably thought we’d never stumble across their website. But if the internet has one thing going for it, it’s that it has a canny knack of crossing oceans.
Actually, the internet has two things going for it. Because it has pictures of cats sitting in cardboard boxes marked “Only dickheads sit in this box.”
I’m flattered that my piece was so “award winning, witty and talented” that it has been plagiarised. I feel like I’ve really made it as a writer now. I had better let some lazy students know my words are now available for the taking, should they wish to hand in some essays on my usual fodder of disaster baking, disaster gardening or avoiding children.