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Plagiarism :-(
Submitted By: Ben Mottinger on Sep 19, 2002

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I hope everyone knows what this word means if you're adding routes to this site. We cannot tolerate any sort of plagiarism or the site will not exist.

I think nearly everyone understands that one of the goals of this site is to provide a resourse for climbing beta in the contributer's own words. Otherwise, what's the point of having a second opinion on a route? Just paste a whole guidebook onto the web.

Unfortunately, we had an instance of blatant plagiarism. I'll post Bernard Gillett's comment on such a route (which has been since deleted). Let's not make this a habit or the quality or plain existence of this site may no longer be.

If you're still not clear about legal matters, please read the Terms of Use for this site.


It's been said that imitation is the most sincere form of flattery (something like that), but I draw the line at plagiarism.

Compare the following passage that I wrote on page 165 of my guidebook to what you have submitted above: "This route is the lowest of the seven; it climbs the south face of Basilica and Belfry (8 bolts with continuous climbing). The thin spire on the right (the Belfry) may sprout a route in the future."

Yours is not the first route description on this site that sounds suspiciously like my writing, but it's the first I am aware of where I've been quoted verbatim. I've also had my work copied in another guidebook (I'll spare the author public embarrassment by not mentioning his name here). It is disturbing, at best, to find my prose showing up where it shouldn't, especially when someone else earns money from it (not the case here for you, (name taken out), though it's possible the owners of this site realize monetary gains for their endeavors). You also copied my guide in the other routes you submitted for the (name taken out).

It takes considerable time, skill, and financial investment to write a good book. Though I have no intention (nor interest) of pursuing any legal action, I think it's best that my intellectual property remains intact, and I'd hazard a guess that my publisher would view such plagiarism as a rather more egregious offense than I have.

Play by the rules - you may come to appreciate a well-written guidebook after being forced to describe 1300 routes in your own words. (Don't try this at home, as you'll surely come to grief after writing the phrase "right-facing dihedral" for the thousandth time).

Thanks, Bernard

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