Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

February 2, 2016

Plagiarizers Privilege: The Death of Journalism

By Brenda Norrell
Censored News
Dutch translation by Alice Holemans, NAIS at:

This week many websites seized our content without permission. It only takes a minute to e-mail for permission to use our content. It only takes a minute to be courteous, and to do the right thing. It only takes that minute to abide by copyright law.

With total disregard of the copyright notices on Censored News, many websites seized our content in blatant acts of 'plagiarizers privilege.'

Those stealing our content without simply asking permission include The Free Thought Project and Counter Current News. Of the many who seized our content, not one asked for permission.

The Free Thought Project has refused to comply with two copyright violation notices and continues to profiteer by using our article without permission. The Free Thought Project seized our content for profiteering. It illegally placed our article on a web page with a large amount of advertising to profit from it. The article is 'Navajo water more polluted than Flint's.'

Censored News has no ads, revenues, salaries or grants and forbids the content from being used on web pages with advertising or for commercial purposes. Censored News has published writers for 10 years without pay.

Nativeamericanpress(org) also violated our copyright and used the content for profiteering with advertising.

Meanwhile, in Indian Country, the collapse of journalism began when the casino industry took control of the national news. Plagiarism, rewrites and copy and paste became the standards at Indian Country Today, Indianz and other national 'Native' news websites.

Indian Country Today owners are extremely wealthy. There is no need for the owners to rely on plagiarism. However, in 2006, ten years ago, the newspaper began firing staff reporters, who actually went out on news stories, and began relying on stay-at-home plagiarizers and re-writers. Their scheme was to plagiarize or rewrite others hard work, without ever leaving their homes. They sometimes add a quick phone call to disguise the crime, and often use stolen copyrighted photos to make it appear the reporter was present.

The real crime is that there are hard working reporters and activists who make sacrifices to go out and report the truth. They take the risks, do the work and put in the time. They usually pay for the expensive travel out of their own pockets.

The plagiarizers -- the reporters and their editors -- are sitting home. They are opportunists who seize the content for their paychecks or glory.

These plagiarizers proliferate on Facebook. Facebook is now home to vast media mills stealing content for profit. They seize the content illegally, post it with advertising for profit, or use AdSense for secret revenues.

We are asking our readers to be vanguards of truth and honesty.

Those who sacrifice to report the truth should not be the playthings of the profiteers.

The article that was plagiarized for profit, "Navajo water more polluted than Flint's," was first published at Censored News. I also wrote this expanded article for Narco News, where I am a columnist. The article at Narco News appeared on Google News.
Copyright Censored News

Brenda Norrell has been a news reporter in Indian country for 34 years. During the 18 years that she lived on the Navajo Nation, she was a reporter for Navajo Times and stringer for AP and USA Today. After serving as a longtime staff reporter for Indian Country Today, she was censored and terminated in 2006. Censored News was created as a platform for the voices of grassroots Indigenous Peoples and human rights activists. Now in its 10th year, Censored News has no advertising, salaries, grants or revenues. Norrell has traveled with the Zapatistas through Mexico and provided live coverage, with Govinda from Earthcycles, from Bolivia and across the western United States. The live coverage included the live five-month Long Talk Radio on the Longest Walk 2 northern route across America in 2008. The Leonard Peltier and Boarding School Tribunals in Green Bay, Wisconsin, were also covered live. 


Alice said...

Thank you Brenda,
Like Censored News is the NAIS Gazet without Ads or revenues.
The NAIS Gazet is an activist site. All expences are paid out of our own pockets.
De revenues from the NAIS-shop go in full to Leonard Peltiers'struggle for Clemency!
We all know how Facebook enables plagiarism. It's a curse we have to live with.
There are -tig armchair- activists who, often without knowing, boycott the real actions out on the streets.
That's an ongoing frustration for real activists.
We are proud to know you!
In solidarity
The NAIS Gazet

Censored News, publisher Brenda Norrell said...

Thank you Alice Holemans for all of your Dutch translations of Censored News articles and your efforts for justice in Europe! Brenda, publisher, Censored News

Julian Real said...

Thank you for calling this out, Brenda. At this point, I look solely to your site for reliable, responsible news about anti-Indian politics and practices. And I always credit you, thank you, and link back to you when I reference your work!

wendy davis said...

I hope you would comment under those articles who appropriated your work without asking permission, Brenda. When I looked the other day, I didn't see that you had.

Censored News, publisher Brenda Norrell said...

Thank you for commenting Wendy. The publisher of Narco News and I have been in direct contact with the publisher of 'The Free Thought Project' which created the freefall of plagiarism for profit of our work. The Free Thought Project seized our content without permission and placed it on a website with a large amount of advertising. From there, a large number of websites seized this plagiarism. The matter involves possible litigation by various parties against the plagiarizers for profit, so further details have not been made public. However, be assured that the matter is being dealt with. Thanks again for commenting. Best, Brenda