This has crossed a bunch of blogs over the past 24 hours, not to mention Twitter, but I thought I'd mention it here in case a few people haven't been made aware yet. This blog post from Angel Zapata explains how a writer is ripping off other writers (Aaron Polson is one of the "other writers" and also talks about the experience here).
Basically, some shithead is plagiarizing other works online -- taking paragraphs and lines from other stories -- and making it his own.
Apparently, this asshole even went so far as to try to rip off Stephen King's "The Boogeyman." Supposedly "King's people" have been notified about this, but I'm sure this is far from a top priority for them -- and no doubt not the first time this has happened.
Mostly this case seems to be sequestered to the online horror small press sector, but it's worth keeping in mind that this shit happens all the time in any genre community, and the only way to police it is for everyone to stay vigilant.
And how does one go about stopping this?
Well, there's the rub. Being online makes everyone anonymous. This dirtbag could be living next door to me for all I know (though according to one bio he lives in the UK and is -- get this -- a law student). Suffice it to say, the name he's been using -- a pseudonym -- will very quickly be on the radar of every editor in the horror small press and beyond and he will be, as they say, blacklisted.
Until, of course, he picks a new pseudonym and starts the cycle all over again.
Now, on a brighter note, the online writing and reading community Fictionaut has gone live to the public. If you like social interaction, and you like writers and readers, then you probably want to check it out. Keep in mind that while it's open to the public to see, you must be a member to interact. Luckily, I currently have 3 invites for anybody who would be interested. If so, say something to that effect in the comments section and I'll contact you.