pla ·gia ·rism /ËˆpleÉªdÊ’É™ËŒrÉªzÉ™m, -dÊ’iÉ™ËŒrÉªz-/ [pley-juh-riz-uhm, -jee-uh-riz-] ““noun 1. the unauthorized use or close imitation of the language and thoughts of another author and the representation of them as one’s own original work.
You know, I write this with some ambivalence, because I’m always glad to see that the result of many, many hours of scouring North Korea on Google Earth, of poring through scholarly reports, and of cross-checking clues has brought much-needed attention to the horrors of North Korea’s prison camps. Attracting that kind of attention to this story is the whole purpose of all of the work I did to research and publish this information. Maybe I shouldn’t be complaining that major news sites would want to steal my work.
Of course, the readers of this Daily Telegraph photo essay might learn a great deal more if they could see the images in the context in which I published them, along with the text and video clips with which they’re presented. And perhaps because I’ve never seen dime one from all of the hard work I put into this, it angers me to see my work published below slick banner ads from airlines, sports promotions, or advocacy groups with big budgets … without any attribution whatsoever.
Compare and contrast. Screen grabs from the Telegraph on the left; my original images on the right. Click any image for full size, and you’ll see that the altitudes match down to the foot, and that the coordinates match down to the thousandth of a degree:
The Chosun Ilbo, which cites the Telegraph’s photo essay, but had no way of knowing what the Telegraph’s original source was. I don’t blame them. And again, I’m glad to see these images in front of more eyes. I can’t tell you how many hours I’ve spent wondering who these people were and what ever became of them. Now, others will wonder, too, which means that I’ve accomplished something here.
In the next image, you can still see my distinctive yellow arrow placemarks on the screen grab from the Telegraph, and the caption for the image is copied verbatim from this page.
The Telegraph’s caption:
Labour-rehabilitation camps, or kyo-hwa-so, are usually built in a penitentiary style with perimeter walls and guard towers, and hold populations of up to 10,000 political prisoners, economic criminals, and ordinary criminals
Labor-rehabilitation camps, or kyo-hwa-so, are usually built in a penitentiary style with perimeter walls and guard towers, and hold populations of up to 10,000 political prisoners, economic criminals, and ordinary criminals.
To be clear, I am accusing the Telegraph of stealing images and text directly from this website and republishing them on its own website for commercial use, without my permission, and without attribution. As of the time of publication of this post, there’s no link or attribution at the Telegraph’s site. That is something no ethical journalist would do.
I’ll let Curtis speak for himself, but the Telegraph appears to have borrowed liberally from his research, too. “Research” is the operative word here. I don’t claim any rights over the satellite imagery; it’s the analysis that’s my intellectual property, without which you might not know what you’re looking at.
Really — if the Telegraph had just bothered to ask me for permission, I would have gladly given them permission to republish, asking only for attribution in return. I’m not in this for the money. The Telegraph can keep the ad revenue, or better yet, let me designate a charity to receive it. All would be forgiven.
So is a little attribution so much to ask?
Update, June 3, 2010:
The Daily Telegraph is now crediting OFK for the four images in question, and even added some nice links. I want to publicly thank the Telegraph for doing the right thing, crediting this site, and for taking the extra step of inserting the links and the complimentary words.
Above all, I want to thank them for showing interest in Camp 22 at all, and informing its readers about atrocities that are paradoxically both massive in scale and widely ignored.