Name and shame: 'online marketing expert' is outed on Twitter for plagiarism

By: Rory MccGwire

Date: 18 April 2012

It’s not difficult to find where one’s own content is posted on the internet. As well as using special software, you can simply search for a complete title or a sentence and Google will often locate it for you.

So back in 2010 it was not hard for us to find that Nigel Copley was ripping off more than 60 items from our Marketing Donut content, posting it on his blog as if it was his own. What a simple way to garner praise for his up-to-the-minute insights and thorough understanding of all things internet marketing. Just for good measure, he sold advertising next to our content.

I seem to remember that it was not easy to track him down, as he worked for someone else back then... but we eventually managed to find him. It’s all there in our CRM history, a short trail of phone calls (usually unreturned) and then emails. We got him to acknowledge what he had done. Then we politely asked him to do three things: remove the content, put a link to Marketing Donut from his website, and post 20 Donut-content-related tweets from his (then) @MarketingGuy account. A fair compensation for all that plagiarism, we felt.

But Nigel disagreed. I remember our phone call well. It was the voice rather than his actual words “What are you going to do about it?” that rankled. We both knew that I had no easy way to make him take the content down. So he simply ignored us after that. And we ignored him. Back then the internet allowed him to be an almost invisible person - shame his use of our content wasn't.

Fast forward to March 2012, and then again to today, when our checks were showing that the plagiarised material was still on Nigel’s blog. But lots had changed. Nigel was not invisible at all, quite the opposite. He was active on Twitter as @Marketing_Guy and had his own company, Caroco Marketing, in Solihull.

Every day is busy in my life as a publisher, but the time had come to do something about Nigel Copley. The tweets below tell their own story.

The lesson is obvious. In business, reputation is everything. We all understand that life as a small business is tough, and some people are going to need to cut some corners, but in my opinion Nigel had gone way beyond that. Quite simply, he thought he could get away with passing off another person’s content as his own. But in 2012, when we are all connected and we all have a voice, you can’t behave like that and expect to get away with it anymore.

Am I taking some kind of legal risk here myself? I don’t think so. I organised formal witnesses to the plagiarism back in 2010 and loads of others witnessed it today, as you’ll see below. I have used legally dangerous words like plagiarism and ripoff, but they happen to be factually correct. Any other risk for me? I don’t think I’m contravening Nigel’s human rights, but we’ll have to see…

Thanks to all the people who helped us to make Nigel Copley remove the plagiarised (there I go again) content. There were too many tweets to include them all, but most of you will find yourself in the timeline below.

And thank you, Nigel, for finally removing the content from your blog.

Rory

 

Here are all the tweets in a timeline. N.B. As you'll see, Nigel took down the plagiarised content this afternoon, so all the "Compare this..." links will now take you to a Nigel Copley website without all the content from Marketing Donut (which had been republished word for word, images and all).  Nigel's four tweets are in blue.

29 March

RoryMccGwire:  @Marketing_Guy please remove the (unlicensed) Marketing Donut content "posted by Marketing Guy" on your blog http://bit.ly/H0rXuV #ripoff

Timsargent:   @RoryMccGwire Hate that, when someone rips your content off. Had it done both in text AND video. #ripoff

RoryMccGwire:   @timsargent Yes we spoke to him and asked him to remove it long ago but he clearly felt that there was nothing we could do about it

RoryMccGwire:   @Marketing_Guy @CarocoMarketing plse remove the (unlicensed) Marketing Donut content "posted by Marketing Guy"http://bit.ly/H0rXuV #ripoff

17 April

RoryMccGwire:   @Marketing_Guy @CarocoMarketing plse remove the (unlicensed) Marketing Donut content "posted by Marketing Guy"http://bit.ly/H0rXuV #ripoff

MarketingDonut:    RT @RoryMccGwire: @Marketing_Guy @CarocoMarketing plse remove the (unlicensed) Marketing Donut content "posted by Marketing Guy" http://t.co/RIG4pikm #ripoff

ClaireKerr:   RT @RoryMccGwire: @Marketing_Guy @CarocoMarketing plse remove the (unlicensed) Marketing Donut content http://t.co/ErkKocXl #ripoff

RoryMccGwire:   @sarahcheal please ask (your friend?) @Marketing_Guy to respond to us about #ripoff. Ironically he just posted a blog re online reputations

Sarahcheal:   hi @RoryMccGwire not sure what you mean? @sarahcheal please ask (your friend?) @Marketing_Guy to respond to us about #ripoff.

18 April

RoryMccGwire:   @sarahcheal it is purely that we noticed you congratulating @Marketing_Guy ...who is somewhat reticent about talking to us about our content

Marketing_Guy:    @RoryMccGwire not reticent, we've had this discussion

RoryMccGwire:   @Marketing_Guy  Yes we had the discussion and you decided not to remove the riped off content as there was nothing we could do about it...

RoryMccGwire:   @Marketing_Guy and you can carry on pretending that you wrote that stuff but we will carry on telling people about it

Marketing_Guy:    @RoryMccGwire if you'd like to discuss via proper channels then feel free, I'm sure you're resourceful enough to find my contact details

StartUpDonut:   Uh oh. The Twitter chat 's begun between @RoryMccGwire and the person who ripped off our content & posted it as his own marketing insights

MarketingDonut:   Uh oh. The Twitter chat 's begun between @RoryMccGwire and the person who ripped off our content & posted it as his own marketing insights

MarketingDonut:   RT @Marketing_Guy and you can carry on pretending that you wrote that stuff but we will carry on telling people about it

StartUpDonut:    RT @Marketing_Guy and you can carry on pretending that you wrote that stuff but we will carry on telling people about it

Platinumshore:   @StartUpDonut @RoryMccGwire http://t.co/c52vblzG is useful for 'content nicking' (link backs would be nice of course).

TheEnergyBadger:   Saw an interesting convo on Twitter this morning. @RoryMccGwire picked up that @Marketing_Guy is copying @MarketingDonut. #PlagiarisingGuy

JamieWetLeisure:   RT @rorymccgwire: @Marketing_Guy and you can carry on pretending that you wrote that stuff but we will carry on telling people about it

TheEnergyBadger:   @RoryMccGwire Saw his post 'what is your online reputation like?' - "Oh, it's great! Er, until people realised it wasn't my own work." #Oops

RoryMccGwire:   @TheEnergyBadger all VERY ironic. He plagiarised our content on online marketing and reaped praise for it. Dumb or what?

Millyandpip:    RT @Marketing_Guy and you can carry on pretending that you wrote that stuff but we will carry on telling people about it

SoophiaLS:   @MarketingDonut @RoryMccGwire Oh tut tut - there are limits!

RoryMccGwire:   This is what plagiarism looks like. Compare this http://t.co/MBoUviWe to this http://t.co/vbceeUUJ Ditto his other content. #ripoff

StartUpDonut:   RT @RoryMccGwire This is what plagiarism looks like. Compare this http://t.co/MBoUviWe to this http://t.co/vbceeUUJ Ditto his other content. #ripoff

RPerceptions:   RT @RoryMccGwire This is what plagiarism looks like. Compare this http://t.co/MBoUviWe to this http://t.co/vbceeUUJ Ditto his other content. #ripoff

Tutor2u:   RT @RoryMccGwire This is what plagiarism looks like. Compare this http://t.co/MBoUviWe to this http://t.co/vbceeUUJ Ditto his other content. #ripoff

KiranFarmah:   @RoryMccGwire He clearly has nothing original to write about.

Helpdesk_info:   @RoryMccGwire What is the difference? Just kidding...blatant #ripoff CC @StartUpDonut

Safe_Collects:   @RoryMccGwire That's just shocking! #ripoff

Cheapaccounting:   RT @rorymccgwire: This is what plagiarism looks like. Compare this http://t.co/HgT8HltX to this http://t.co/kiMkcCVU #ripoff // disgusting!

Akronsound:   @RoryMccGwire really sad indeed. He didn't even bother to change the picture lol

Cheapaccounting:   RT @rorymccgwire: Compare this http://t.co/HgT8HltX to this http://t.co/kiMkcCVU . #ripoff // this is appalling & unprofessional behaviour

Akronsound:   Another example of "experts" RT @RoryMccGwire: This is what plagiarism looks like. Compare http://t.co/sSCxxIT7 with http://t.co/GoxdBvbc

Allbeanscounted:   RT @cheapaccounting: RT @rorymccgwire: This is what plagiarism looks like. Compare http://t.co/nSiFpDva and http://t.co/g3S5pM6f #ripoff

Allbeanscounted:   @cheapaccounting @rorymccgwire That's awful. How bloomin' rude!

Kenfrost: @cheapaccounting @rorymccgwire copley's name rings a bell, why?

smmguide: RT @cheapaccounting: RT @RoryMccGwire: This is what plagiarism looks like. Compare this http://t.co/HgT8HltX to this...

RalliSolicitors:   The Ralli Daily is out! http://t.co/qR5murGD ▸ Top stories today via @apil @rorymccgwire

J_Tawton: @RoryMccGwire @Marketing_Guy Why not publish the discussion Rory? It'd be pertinent reading for Donut readers.

Cheapaccounting: Plagiarism - Compare this http://t.co/HgT8HltX to this http://t.co/kiMkcCVU Do you think this is acceptable YES / NO cc @RoryMccGwire

Cheapaccounting:   @allbeanscounted @RoryMccGwire rude and illegal but so expensive to enforce. I've had that many copiers!

Cheapaccounting:   @ken_frost @RoryMccGwire you tell us? Dig into that old memory bank

Marketing_Guy:   @RoryMccGwire not pretending, simply pulled your feed into a personal blog because it made good reading.

Ken_frost:   @cheapaccounting @RoryMccGwire definitely familiar with the name..don't know why tho..hmmm..

Allbeanscounted:   @cheapaccounting @RoryMccGwire Yep. I hope someone gives him beef in his emailplace though!

Cheapaccounting:   @allbeanscounted @RoryMccGwire I so wish I knew what that meant :-) Oh to be young again xxx

Cheapaccounting:   @ken_frost @RoryMccGwire that so does not help Ken!

James_E_P:   @cheapaccounting @rorymccgwire That is not even subtle or discreet.....

Ken_frost:   @cheapaccounting @RoryMccGwire Sorry....I have looked through my email contacts etc I can't find him. I will shout if I remember

Xloubellxx:   @RoryMccGwire which came first? one dated, one not.

Gilliemillie:   @RoryMccGwire Same picture too .... sooo lazy and sooo bad!

Xloubellxx:   @Marketing_Guy @RoryMccGwire this is only lifting content without consent or acknowledging origin. why wd you not want yr content spread?

Sarahcheal:   @RoryMccGwire I was just congratulating him on their new offices up here.

Hudsonaccountants:   RT @cheapaccounting: Compare this http://t.co/JME04tJF to this http://t.co/ABIvYvVt @RoryMccGwire

Cheapaccounting:   @james_e_p @RoryMccGwire agreed

Timstannage:   @RoryMccGwire what a great way to destroy your personal brand by not having original thought or ideas why would you use such a business??

Marketing_Guy:   @RoryMccGwire @MarketingDonut - I've taken the blog down, happy?

Spinlessplates:   @gilliemillie @rorymccgwire Blimey he took it down quick enough. Didn't even get a chance to see!

Cheapaccounting:   RT @marketing_guy: @RoryMccGwire @MarketingDonut - I've taken the blog down, happy? // well done plagiarism does not pay

 

THEN LOTS OF RTs of:

@RoryMccGwire: This is what plagiarism looks like. Compare this http://t.co/HgT8HltX to this...

StartUpDonut:   RT @Marketing_Guy: @RoryMccGwire @MarketingDonut - I've taken the blog down, happy? >>The Power of Social Media! Thanks everybody!

MarketingDonut:   RT @Marketing_Guy: @RoryMccGwire @MarketingDonut - I've taken the blog down, happy? >>The Power of Social Media! Thanks everybody!

LawDonut:   RT @Marketing_Guy: @RoryMccGwire @MarketingDonut - I've taken the blog down, happy? >>The Power of Social Media! Thanks everybody!

Akronsound:   @Marketing_Guy @RoryMccGwire @MarketingDonut It's not about being happy about it. It is his content and should have never been placed there

Jn_Norris:   @RoryMccGwire We have similar problems with people lifting content from @freelanceadvice. Disgraceful behaviour.

Jn_Norris:   @RoryMccGwire Wonder if @Marketing_Guy includes "publish unattributed content from other sites" in his marketing consultancy work?

RoryMccGwire:   RT @RalliSolicitors: The Ralli Daily is out! http://t.co/u3ZgemLM ▸ Top stories @rorymccgwire >>Thanks Ralli! Plagiarism shown side by side

MarketingDonut:   RT @RalliSolicitors: The Ralli Daily is out! http://t.co/5C2aDPNV ▸ Top stories @rorymccgwire >>Thanks Ralli! Plagiarism shown side by side

Ralli Daily{{}}

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