If you want to read my trip reports which are all 100% my content, head to the Trip Reports page!
I use Google Analytics to track the traffic that comes to my site. It not only tells me how many people come to my site every month but also tells me what they’re reading and how they got here. Every once in a while I notice some articles I wrote back in October 2014 get some attention. Those articles were about a [bad word] named Derek Low who wrote an article about the cool trip he took in Singapore Airlines Suites Class.
I’m not going to link to his story because he doesn’t deserve the hits, but his article was well-written and had great pictures on it. How sad it was when I recognized some of the paragraphs and a few of the pictures.
He stole 5 paragraphs and 2 images from my articles.
When I realized it back then I was extremely angry and fired off an email to Derek, explaining in very small words that copying an entire paragraph and changing 2-3 words is still plagiarism and demanding him to remove my content at once. To be fair, I also complimented him on a great story that was rightly getting a lot of media attention. His response? Silence. Never heard back from him. He eventually removed my two pictures and replaced some more words of my paragraphs when I threatened to sue Medium.com, who hosted the article for him when his personal website’s bandwidth was exhausted.
He then courageously blocked me on Twitter. And still hasn’t responded to my emails. So I did what anyone would do: went to Reddit’s r/Singapore subreddit and got them on his case. What resulted was a pretty thorough beating in Singapore media (verified by coworkers in my company’s Singapore office):
Once I saw all of the press the situation received I told myself it was probably all that was going to happen. It also spurred me to fly Singapore Suites again to tell the story the way I wanted to, which you can read here.
Why am I writing about this today, more than two years after all the controversy?
It appears someone has taken screenshots of Derek’s article and posted them to imgur, where it has quickly made it to the top of the board (meaning it’s really popular). A few commenters there brought up the plagiarism and linked to this article on my blog, which is how I found out (that article normally doesn’t get much traffic these days).
So, how did I respond? I contacted imgur and informed them that the post was lifting copyrighted material.
I’ve long felt that the depth of your convictions can most accurately be measured by the degree to which you stand up for the rights of people with whom you completely disagree, and that’s what I’m doing here. As much as I am still angry at Derek for stealing my work, his copyrighted works still deserve to be defended.
So Derek, I’m still waiting on you to respond to my email and apologize for what you did, but I hope that notification helps.