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Sunday, June 10, 2007

The Thief Speaks, Still A Wanker

That thieving Voncigars came out to speak, quite a bit in fact, on a rambling email to me (two now in fact), a comment on Chez Pim, a comment on Food Blog S'cool, and an 'editorial' note appended to the post he stole from me on his blog –all of them apologetic sounding, and quite indignant at that. Yet in none of them did he take responsibility or admit culpability for the theft he'd himself committed.

I mean, does this sound like a sincere apology to you?

"We have published a post (Paco Meralgo) using original pictures/content from "Chez Pim" without properly crediting "Chez Pim" for these. We do apologize for that to "Chez Pim" and its readers. We have removed the pictures and added an adequate editors-comment to the respective post. We hope that this matter can be concluded that way and would ask everybody to abstain from leaving vulgar and obscene, anonymous comments on our site. Again, we do apologize.

Daniel/editor VONCIGARS"

This is hardly a mea culpa. He made it sound as if this all happened inadvertently, and somehow not with a deliberate intent to steal. And what's with the royal we anyway? Bullocks. He knew exactly what he was doing, and he's not sorry about anything but having been caught. Pathetic. Really.

It is even more outrageous when you look at the content of his post after he had edited it and removed my pictures.* Let me show you two original passages from Chez Pim and two passages that are still on his blog after he had "immediately corrected this situation."

First this one from Chez Pim..

"Paco Meralgo is a tapas bar in a town full of tapas bars, Barcelona. With a roster of names like Pinotxo and Quim in the Boqueria market and the world famous –you either love it or hate it- Cal Pep, just to name a few, it's easy for yet another tapas bar to get lost in the fray. Paco Meralgo distinguish themselves with not only good tapas fares –easy enough to find in this town- but by opening every day of the week. Now that's something you don't find every day. Ha ha –I'm just so full of puns today. Even more amazing is that they somehow manage to have fresh seafoods even on Sundays and Mondays. Never mind what that Bourdain told you. It's really quite safe to eat seafood at Paco Meralgo even on those days."

compare to this on the thief's blog..

"The worlds capitol for Tapas (according to me!) is Barcelona. With a roster of iconic Tapas places in Barcelona, like Pinotxo and Quim in the Boqueria market and the world famous Cal Pep, just to name a few--it is hard for any Tapas bar to get above the radar. Paco Meralgo distinguish themselves with sensational Tapas fares and they are open every day of the week. That is almost unheard of in Spain. Even more amazing is that Paco Meralgo manages to offer fresh seafoods even on Sundays and Mondays. The quality at Paco Meralgo's so superior that it is really safe to eat raw seafood at Paco Meralgo."

and another paragraph from Chez Pim..

"What did we eat there? Well, the thing not to miss is the salt cod salad Esqueixada, served in the simple and traditional manner, with chopped tomatoes, a few olives, and dressed with good olive oil. There was also the Pa amb Tomàquet, the ubiquitous Catalan bread rubbed with tomato, which was particularly good here. We also had plump oysters –yes, yes, on a Monday- and juicy Razor clams. Being a lover of all things fried, I really enjoyed the fried artichokes –trimmed, sliced crosswise to look something like vegan crabs and fried in olive oil- and the tempura fried Calçot (kal-sot), a milder, sweeter variety of spring onions. The fried Calçot was served with a great big bowl full of Romesco sauce. We also had some good Chipirones, little baby squids, and yummy Padron peppers."

compare that passage to this one from the thief's blog..

"What to eat when there? Well, the thing not to miss is the salt cod salad Esqueixada, served with tomato, olives and olive oil. They also offer a delicious Pa amb Tomàquet--a Catalan bread rubbed with tomato. From their raw bar get plump oysters and the juiciest Razor clams you'll ever have. For lovers of all things fried; go for the fried artichokes and the tempura-style fried Calçot, a milder, sweeter variety of spring onions. The fried Calçot is served with a nice bowl of Romanesco sauce. Also do not miss out on the Chipirones, little baby squids with delicious pardon peppers. There is simply too much good options to mention."

What say you?
What say me?
What a wanker!
And one who evidently doesn't know a Romesco from a Romanesco.

Besides what he took from me, I've also told you about the photo he stole from Clement and the wine tasting note he took from Cellartracker. All that stuff is -amazingly enough- hardly the corpus of this whole affair. In fact, it's merely the tip of the iceberg. In his single post on breakfast around the world which he claimed to have "made the effort to summarize the few great spots that [he has] found, whilst traveling around [the world]", he freely helped himself to the texts -in most cases verbatim- from Frommer's, Fodor's, AOL City Guides, The Independent (London), Carlson Travels, the Biltmore hotel's site, 10best.com, thisisthelife.com, and a site called The World's Best Bars sponsored by a whisky company. I could go on to show you how he's also stolen from the Robb Report or a wine seller's site, or many others, but I just don't have that kind of time.

Oh, yes, and as Carol of Paris Breakfasts pointed out, Voncigar's May 10th post on WD50 contains photos he's taken from me too. In fact, every single one of them is mine. Unbelievable.

The world of food blogging is a congenial one. We are friendly and mostly helpful to each other, and no one wants to disturb the peace. These thieves are taking advantage of that goodwill. They are counting on the fact that most bloggers -when discovering these hideous incidents- would just shake their head incredulously and perhaps fire off an indignant email to the offending party, then just leave it at that, feeling powerless to correct the situation, or too bashful to make a public stink, or perhaps not wanting to drive any traffic to the thieving blogs. That's probably why these thieving bastards are getting away with it. I'm not going to let it happen here.

Clearly, stealing from me was hardly his first time; together we –that's you and me, and you- might just make it his last. Check out his archives, and if you see that he's stolen from you too, call him on it, shame him in public, and report his ass. Pardon my French.

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* He removed the Paco Meralgo photos he stole from me off that post, and replaced them by freshly stolen photos from god knows where, since there is still no photo credit and seeing that his sorry behind has never seen the inside of that tapas bar, or even Barcelona, probably.

(Christine of Chez Christine identified one of the new photos as hers.)

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Note to thief: You are still obviously unclear on the concept of fair use of other people's contents or photographs. Let me try and clue you in; your edited post (get PDF here) is still plagiarism whereas this post on Slash Food, referring to exactly the same Paco Meralgo post on Chez Pim, and even using a photo from that post, is an entirely fair use.

And, yes, my Creative Commons license allows people a certain liberty on the contents of Chez Pim -I believe in a sharing web- but the main key to that license is ATTRIBUTION, ATTRIBUTION, ATTRIBUTION. It's all simple enough, really. Either you are pretending you didn't get it or you are an imbecile. Either way it does not look good on you.

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Here is another good post on what to do when someone steals your content by Cybele of Candy Blog.

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