‘Hacker’ plagiarising content – Smarthouse

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4Square Media, the owners of SmartHouse magazine, has said that a hacker was trying to discredit the company by plagiarising content under the owner’s account, David Richards. The announcement came a few hours before a lengthy segment about the plagiarised content on the ABC’s Media Watch program.

“As the CEO of 4Square Media we believe that there has been a systematic attempt to discredit 4Square Media by an individual or individuals who have gained illegal access to our content engine,” Mr. Richards wrote on his site.

The so-called hackings, which was discovered by a month ago, were said to be started two years ago. Media Watch has identified 10 articles.

4Square Media has said in its explanation that it has, since 2003, content licensing agreements with “several global publishing groups including Future Media from London, VNU Media from Europe, EH Publishing in the USA who are publishers of CE Pro, Electronic House etc.”

The problem is, however, that all these agreements are no longer current. TWICE Magazine has that it has been copying content for at least a year.

“Smarthouse continuously takes our stories and either reprints them verbatim or does a very slight re-write to give the story an Australian angle. What Smarthouse does not do is give TWICE any credit for the original reporting.” Editor Doug Olenick said in an e-mail to Media Watch. “I’ve emailed its editor several times asking them to stop this practice.”

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