Did Skechers BOBS Steal from TOMS?

We have been discussing the many facets of creative inspiration versus creative theft and outright theft. My wife and I recently found ourselves face to face with what seemed to us like blatant thievery and I had to bring it to your attention so that you don’t buy the stolen ideas over the original one.

We were walking down Broadway toward Whole Foods to get some nourishing food for our little man when I happened to notice a display of shoes in a shoe store window. I am a fan of vegan accessories including shoes although I try to live as frugally as I can to put aside money for Chaim’s university funding. I was excited because I recognized the shoes from a distance — they were TOMS shoes, a brilliant vegan brand that not only makes simple yet attractive shoes but donates a pair of shoes to a child in need of a pair of shoes. (This is usually in a third world country.)

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Theft By Starbucks

Five years ago, Janna was tutoring one of our ASL students at a Starbucks in New York City’s Greenwich Village.  Starbucks is a great place to meet and learn because they’re everywhere and nicely appointed.  Starbucks, we quickly discovered, is also dangerous.

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Cornell in Crisis

Cornell University
is in trouble. A laptop was stolen containing 22,546 social security
numbers of students — half were alumni — and 22,731 social security
numbers for faculty and staff, including 4,284 retirees.

files on the computer containing the names and social security numbers
were not encrypted and the laptop was left in a physically unsecure
environment, which violates University policy, according to Simeon Moss
’73, director of Cornell University Press Relations.

said that the data on the laptop contained “no other sensitive data
elements” besides names and social security numbers and the University
is “confident” that it has identified everyone whose data was on the

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What Good is Plagium?

Plagium is a new web service that tracks “Plagiarisms” using the Yahoo! Search API.  I tried Plagium this morning and I was disappointed in its lack of helpful returns and I was disappointed because I always love catching content thieves.  

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The Piracy Speaks

My article yesterday on content theft has sparked some keen conversation here and in my email stream.  One reader — “Robert William King” … I put his name in quotes because he refused to sign in using OpenID to leave a comment confirming his identification — sent me an email that appears to defend the behavior of the pirates stealing my content and I share his thoughts with you now…

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How to Fight Content Theft

I spent my Memorial Day tracking down the jerk who took my hardcopy book — Picture Yourself Learning Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard — and scanned it into a .PDF file for easy downloading on his website.  There are few people who believe this sort of behavior is content theft — but let me assure you what was done to my book is a violation of International Copyright Law, it is pirating — and in giving away something for free that my publisher paid me to write and paid to have distributed as a hardcopy book — only ruins the book publishing economy in its core.  That means fewer books will be published and fewer authors will want to write books that can so easily be stolen.  Here’s a screenshot of the page for my book from the pirate site.  The .PDF file size description was the dead giveaway that this site was not selling my hardcopy book.

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To Cheat to Learn

As we are watched and surveilled by those around us — is cheating in plan sight a clever plan against the purpose of the Panopticon — or do we need to pretend online “study aids” are really helpful to the soul and not deceitful against the mind?
Is Cramster.com a “community of learning” or is it just a chance to cheat better in class at $9.95 a month for access to all the answers?

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