Pagans Against Plagiarism; a potted history.

International gathering of pagan authors, artists and supporting members dedicated to stamping out copyright theft and plagiarism within the Pagan community at large, through education and frank discussion.

In this note, I shall be writing about the founding of this group, the history of how the founding members came together, it’s aims and achievements. I shall endeavour to show what the group is about, and what it is not. All from my personal perspective. But first, a trip down memory lane… well, a digital lane.

Many years ago, the internet was a free for all regarding copyright. It was so new, there were no laws to govern it. Wild and free, everyone shared information. But a few found this an unhappy state of affairs; the mailing lists I belonged to became increasingly uneasy with the sharing of knowledge; it became messy – members would C&P whole realms of info, and quite naturally, other members would ask questions about it. They were curious, of course, and wished for further information, but when the poster couldn’t answer any questions, (because, lets face it, they had only C&P’d the info,) they would become defensive, and in some cases, leave the mailing list. I found this to be interesting, and quickly came to see that providing a source link back to the C&P’d info, was not only honourable, but very handy for further research. So that practice was quickly adopted.
Fast forward to Facebook in the early years, and my practice of citing sources still remained. Then I had some of my photo’s stolen, and posted off Facebook, along with my descriptions onto a forum – no permission was asked, but the person who stole them, had the cheek to tell me – I was mortified! By now, there were laws to govern the internet, including copyright; so I quickly filed my first DMCA, and low and behold my photo’s were removed. I had a nice apology from the forum owner, and moved on.
There’s an old saying about doing things ethically; you make enemies if your doing something right… I must have been, as I found I had a stalker – people familiar with this page, and the group – so graphic details need not be given; I *assume* you know who I mean.
Serial plagiarist, stalker and well… I don’t need to say any more. It’s still going on, some ten years later.
The good thing to come of this episode was, is, the friendships made – we came together because she was stalking us, and why was she doing that? Because we had outed her as a copyright thief. Someone said, we should make a group – so we did.
We quickly attracted creative people, artists, authors, bloggers, and so on, all of whom it seemed had, at one time or another had their works stolen by others, and some who just joined for the support – others joined to make trouble, which is inevitable. It became clear, that many people did not know anything about copyright, and we were quick to help.
The one rule we find of great importance, which seems topical in these days of fake news, was the rule of proof. We require proof in the form of links and screen captures if a member cried copyright theft. Then we can give the advice to contact the owner of the copyright, as only they can file the DMCA to have the content removed.
Some sites, as we found, are better than others at acting on DMCAs… others are useless.
The down side of all this is the gossip and fake news which has been spun around PaPs. Something I wish to put to bed here.
  • We are not, nor have we, ever been a vigilante group. Yes, members may point out copyright laws, but we do not tell them to do it. We do not go around looking for trouble. Why would we? Life’s too short and as spiritual people, how would that be right? Which leads onto the next point I wish to make
  • Outside of the group, all members are responsible for their own actions. Within the group, they are too. But we admins are responsible for the contents of the group and admin it with this in mind. There seems to be (still) the false impression that members act for the group – they don’t. We do not ‘gang’ up and attack, which leads me onto yet another false hood.
  • The group is not a conglomerate of thugs or bullies. We aim to support and inform within the group, with frank discussion. Once again, members are responsible for their own actions outside of the group. We have many famous names, who have been members for years, some since the groups conception.
  • Within the group, we the admin team, seek to create a group of like minded folk; which we like to think we do – the occasional troll will, and does get through, but there is never any name calling nor bullying – just frank truth, and a lot of tongue in cheek humour. We very rarely have to reprimand anyone, as the group seems to be a good place to be. Yes we have rules, but so does every other group on FB.
  • We do not target any one individual. We do share info on possible copyright theft for other member to check.
  • We do invite our detractors to join us, and see what we actually do. Very few take us up on this, preferring instead to spread gossip and fake news about us. Which leads to all sorts of misunderstandings – those that do join us, quickly see we are not a bunch of tossers, and stay to support us. They join expecting WWIII or a huge witch War and find quite the opposite.
So cordially invite you to join us, and see what the group is all about – for yourself. You might be disappointed, if you’ve been reading the gossip and fake news about us, to find we are just another group of like minded people chatting away and having fun. 🙂
Note: this was originally published on the blogs FB page, and is reproduced here in full.
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