The Toronto Sun: Classy

For those of you who don't know Elie Aintabi he's a Habs fan that PPP and I jaw at on Twitter a lot. Aside from his obvious handicap he's a solid guy who was nice enough to forward me an email exchange between himself and James Wallace of the Toronto Sun:

From: James Wallace
To: Elie Aintabi

Plagiarism is a serious charge but it’s not clear from your email whether you grasp the concept as it applies to journalism. Since you haven’t told me which specific paragraphs give you trouble, I’ll respond generally.

Fuller credited the source magazine (
Czech hockey magazine Hokej) for the quotes used in our article. While he read the translated article first on the pensionplanpuppets website, he checked the original article and quotes thorough Google Translate. Attributing quotes to another source is not plagiarism.

We gather information from a variety of sources, including blogs, tweet, etc. Newspapers are not websites. We don’t credit links.  The Czech magazine and it’s writer are the originating source of the news and thus deserve credit - not you or your website.

I hope this clarifies things.

To be clear I agree with Mr. Wallace's principle of not crediting links. Had we simply linked to a Czech hockey magazine's article and Mr. Fuller seen that article and expanded on it I would not expect our site to be credited. This isn't what happened however.The Sun used our translation for their own benefit and Mr. Wallace is doing as much damage control as he can.

From: Elie Aintabi
To: James Wallace

As I may point our sir, "Plagiarism, is defined in dictionaries as "the wrongful appropriation, close imitation, or purloining and publication, of another author's language, thoughts, ideas, or expressions, and the representation of them as one's own original work."", as the translated works would fall under the category of

a) close imitation [...] of the following

a. publication

b. expressions

and he knowingly and intentionally represented them as his own work for gain, profitable or otherwise.

It is for these reasons that you should properly accredit, cite and apologize to the original author(s) to maintain the integrity which took your years to build, yet is taking you a shorter amount of time to ruin.

I would particularly point out these two paragraphs

Here is a translated quotation from Kaberle from PPP:

"The problem is his health. He suffered a concussion last season and there is the possibility of a similar blow to his head and it could even end up as finishing his hockey career. In this regard, such a trade for Toronto would have been very risky, " said Kaberle senior. "

And here is the quotation from the Sun article:

"The problem is his health. He suffered a concussion last season and there is the possibility of a similar blow to his head and it could even end up as finishing his hockey career. In this regard, such a trade for Toronto would have been very risky, " said Kaberle senior.

This is the core issue: the Sun didn't discover this article through our site and do their own translation - they knowingly copied our translation word for word and are callous enough to call out people emailing them saying they don't understand plagiarism.

This is an open question for Mr. Wallace and Mr. Fuller: Wouldn't it have been easier to just credit where you got this?

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