Yesterday, TTAG commentator ScottH scraped material off the calguns.net site and presented it here as his own work. I elevated his comment to a post: ScottH: Woolard v. Sheridan Not Such a Big Win. Early this morning I received an email from the commentator revealing his copyright infringement. I’ve taken the article off-line until and unless I receive permission from its author. Meanwhile, I apologize to the material’s originator, the Calguns forum and TTAG’s Armed Intelligentsia, who generated detailed and thoughtful comments underneath the post. Rest assured that TTAG takes matters of copyright seriously; ScottH has been banned from posting. If there’s an ever an issue with copyright, please ping guntruth@me.com. Again, my apologies for this unwitting and regrettable breach of our standard editorial policy.

Update: TTAG has since received permission from the author to post the original calguns.net content, so the post has been restored.

26 Responses to TTAG Apology to CalGuns Forum

  1. Glad you addressed this quickly and forthrightly, Robert. Plagiarism can be toxic for blogs such as this because getting credibility in the first place is so difficult.

  2. Good job Robert. I thought that looked awful familiar, and just figured it was same person posting under different user names. I didnt agree with the poster’s take on the ruling, but appreciate that everyone has a point of view.

    This reminds me that its time to hit the tip jar, in thanks for the really good job Calguns has been doing both educating gun owners on the careful strategic approach to building step by step on case law, and executing on them, in order to win our 2A freedoms.

    • Just to be clear: TTAG has made mistakes in the past. When copyright infringements were brought to our attention, we acted immediately to rectify the situation. We apologized publicly to clear the air.

      Given the volume of the material that we post, and the number of writers who post here, we could well make unintentional mistakes in the future. (Ya think?) We will continue to do whatever we can to put things right as quickly as possible.

      This does not change TTAG’s commenting policy: no flaming the website, its authors or fellow commentators. Persistent violators will be banned.

  3. I would like to reiterate my comment from the previous entry with the plagiarized post: it would only help TTAG if posts commenting on the substance and impact of constitutional, statutory, or case law were only made by people who had been vetted by the management.

    The law on firearms is twisted and complicated enough without having to fight through posts of people who, frankly, do not know what they are talking about.

    • Once again, Adam, you are flaming the website. This is your last warning. Once more and you will be permanently banned.

    • In the same way that a constitutional concealed carry permitting process involves inherent dangers, publishing a multitude of writers—with a low barrier-to-entry for new writers—generates editorial risks. I prefer to take those risks than not, so that as many voices as possible can be heard. (Including those who do not agree with me or each other.) My offer stands: anyone who wants to write for this site can ping me at guntruth@me.com.

  4. Hate to be off topic, but, does anyone know what the gun in the lower leftmost corner of the CRIME SCENE image is?

  5. Copyright is ridiculous. Intellectual monopoly (like copyright and patent) is pure evil and hampers innovation and the forward march of technological progress.

    Do I think it is untoward and sketchy when someone tries to pass off another’s work as his own? Sure. Does my objection have anything at all to do with “copyright”? Nope. Two completely different issues.

  6. Trying to wrangle the number of writers you have and the number of stories posted on given day isn’t easy. Yes TTAG has been “caught” before, but as long as the site makes a sincere effort to police itself as they’ve done here, i have no objections.

  7. Calling this plagiarism would be a valid point if the author (Goldrush) hadn’t freely given permission to both Scott and Robert. He did, so no crime has been committed here other than drama needlessly created.

    Robert received the following email from ScottH before his post was elevated to an independent entry of its own.

    “Would rather not use my real name as a byline. And to be honest, its not my thoughts so I’d rather not take a lot of credit for it. Might even be better as anon.”

    ScottH posted this ‘time stamped email’ as a screen pic on a forum I read. That led me here. To me this implies he’s just passing the information along for discussion. I’m curious Robert, according to ScottH, this ‘lifted’ post was initially buried here within the ‘winning’ thread. Is it true you elevated it to an article on its own after receiving his email and fully knowing the above quote?

    I would take it that blog posts are not generally monitored. But the validity of published articles are the obligation of the blog owner. Man up Robert and take some responsibility. You knew by the email that this wasn’t his own writing yet you published it anyway. You’re being a little self righteous, when at least part of the blame goes to you.

    Do yourself a favor and change the title of the article itself (replacing ScottH with Goldrush). Give Goldrush credit for the information and hold yourself responsible.

    • I have changed the title of the post as you suggested. The email you’re talking about was sent to me after I’d republished the comment. There was another email acknowledging my plan and, thus, granting me permission before that.

      As for the general point—should I receive permission before making a comment into a post—I’m thinking no. All I’m doing is moving a post from one part of the site to the other. By submitting a comment, the author has tacitly agreed for that comment to appear on TTAG. Where it appears is not a significant change to that.

      Your thoughts?

      • The email you’re talking about was sent to me after I’d republished the comment. There was another email acknowledging my plan and, thus, granting me permission before that.

        By the time stamps this would appear incorrect (unless you were posting this as a separate article before ScottH responded. The above email quoted is the 1st response to you.

        Anyway, this is simply not my fight to fight. I take it you have set policies and have fired authors in the past for similar situations. Or you are inconsistent which is none of my business. Either way, its good you corrected the article’s citation. Even flawed work should be attributed to the right person

  8. Unless it is a signed article, as far as I am concerned a blog post by an anonymous author on a publicly accessible website is not within the scope of the copywrite law and is fair game for republication. Goldrush. by the way is just a CalGuns poster, not a paid commentator. And this is what at least one CalGuns poster thinks of this site: “It’s TTAG. Pretty much everything you read there is either plagiarized, or the furthest thing from the truth.”
    (No, it is not my comment. I am an invisible reader, not a member at Cal
    Guns.)

  9. Question to Robert…
    So if Scott has put in the first line that this article was written by so and so, go here to see the original content then it would have been ok? And or also in conjunction with sighting he received permission from the writer to re post, which I have seen you guys do many times.

    To that end good move on reacting quickly, gaining permission and taking care of business. I know CalGuns and other groups all post a lot of stuff, and I would figure proper protocol when followed would allow all of us to share content. To that end if there is a source group, i.e. callguns, the second amendment foundation etc that we pull information from it might be a good idea for to get some sort of contract or at least agreement as it were that we may use content off your site, you can do the same from us, just site it properly and give credit to the writer.
    Nothing wrong with that..
    I was going to email you to find out what happened but this explains it.
    As far as the video he gets the irresponsible gun owner of the day period!

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