Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Agile Plagiarism

Once I wrote an article for the Scrum Alliance and it was published on scrumalliance.org on September 28, 2009 http://www.scrumalliance.org/articles/132-scrum-in-old-fashioned-software-environments. Not that I think it is the best article ever written, but I had to think about it and it took me some time to write it.

Then, more than a year later, with the date of February 15, 2011, the same article showed up on scrumedge.com, a commercial website http://blog.scrumedge.com/2011/02/scrum-in-old-fashioned-software.html. The plagiarists of scrumedge.com just copied many of the Scrum Alliance articles to their websites' blog.

I wanted to find out, how this could have happened, and I asked scrumedge.com on May 16, 2011. I got no reply.

Then I thought, perhaps ScrumAlliance, who are holding the rights on my article, have made some money with selling the article to scrumedge.com. So on May 20, 2011, I asked ScrumAlliance, whether they know that their articles are re-used. The answer from the Managing Editor of ScrumAliance.org on May 23, 2011 was:

"Thank you for bringing this matter to our attention. I can assure you they re-printed your article (and the articles of several other members) without our permission. It is against our policy to allow other sites to use our content without express written consent and proper attribution. I have contacted the company and asked them to take down our articles and will follow up with our legal department, should it become necessary."

On June 6, 2011 I once again asked scrumedge.com to explain why they mis-used my article. Again, no reply.

On September 5, 2011 I complained to ScrumAlliance, that apparently they have been less successful in this issue. On the same day I got the reply from the Managing Director of ScrumAlliance that she "will send to legal for further follow-up".

Since then another five months have passed and the articles are still on scrumedge.com.

And now I'm asking myself questions like these:

  • Is it really so easy to do self-service with information on the web?

  • Do the people of scrumedge.com have the right mindset for the agile way of working, like openness and respect?
What are your thoughts on this?

Regards
Christoph

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