Paper pays blogger $500 after lifting his story

A blogger confronted a newspaper publisher and told him: “You can see in the newspaper, the very first line — and throughout the majority of it — is taken word for word off of my website. You even copied the headline, the subtitles, and you even copied the typos that I’ve corrected on my website.”

* How to assert copyright over your work when it’s been plagiarized


Central Michigan Life editor-in-chief Aaron McMann complained about using one of his stories without permission, then gave the station props “for holding itself accountable.” || A note to our users

UPDATE: McMann tells Romenesko readers:

Here is my story that was lifted by WXYZ-TV, the ABC affiliate in Detroit.

I did not notice it until Thursday AM, at least 12 hours after the station published it on its website, It was at that point I tweeted the link and got a response almost immediately from Seth Myers, new media director at the station.


He pulled it from the website immediately and apologized. A few hours later I got another DM from him, this time asking for my phone number. We chatted for about 5 minutes, he explained that was not how the station usually operates, they had contacted the person who composed the post, got HR involved, etc.

A few hours later, I received a call from Tim Dye, the station’s news director. He gave me the same spiel as Seth.

Unfortunately I did not grab a screenshot of the post, but it was almost verbatim. I did notice a few words were moved around in the second paragraph, it was quite clear the story was lifted. No one argued with me about that.

Late Friday afternoon (after 5 p.m.), I received another DM from Seth Myers at WXYZ alerting me to a post the station had put up on its website. In it, the station admitted its mistake, acknowledged the post had been taken by “CM Life” (no first reference to Central Michigan Life, our proper name, or actual link to the story) and it had “taken steps to correct the mistake.” I have now noticed the post has been taken down. [I’ve posted a cached version — Romenesko]