My.BarackObama.com, according to this authority, is an official website of Obama For America, Barack Obama's presidential campaign. This blog on My.BarackObama.com published, in its entirety, this article from The Pennsylvania Progressive. The article neither links to my original nor attributes the opening paragraphs, my original work, to me or The Pennsylvania Progressive. This is called plagiarism. It also constitutes copyright infringement. I gave no one permission to republish this article. I thought the letter from Tammi Hetherington was significant and an important story amidst the discussion about the Bosnian sniper fire controversy. If I'd known then what I know now I would not have published the letter.
I contacted the press office of the Obama campaign through my contact Matt Lehrich two days ago about this violation and the article still is posted on My.BarackObama.com. They are aware of the legal violation and have yet to respond in any way.
An intermediary contacted me with Tammi's letter and asked if I was interested in the story. Reading her words I was immediately taken with the significance of offense taken by a soldier who was serving at Tuzla at the time. I telephoned Tammi and interviewed her before writing my article. I was told I was competing for the story with Politico.com. I wrote my story about her letter in conjunction with a press call earlier that day with Major General Walter Stewart and wove his comments into the article as an explanation about valor theft. Before publishing the article I sent it to Tammi's intermediary (who, aside from a supporter's blog at the Obama website which anyone can do), did not seem connected with the Obama campaign.
They liked my article and gave me the story. I thought I had an exclusive. I told them when it would publish and programmed my software to publish the article. Now it seems they also gave MY article and MY words to other bloggers. I have found my entire article on other blogs published without any attribution or permission. Once Tammi gave this story to me and it was published on this blog it became my intellectual property. This blog is clearly marked, on the masthead, as being copyrighted.
I began contacting some of these bloggers Wednesday now that I have more time on my hands and asking that they remove the article for copyright violations. One such blogger took offense and emailed me that he published it with permission. I gave no one permission. I certainly would not have given anyone permission to use my very own words without attribution. That constitutes plagiarism. When bloggers do use other people's words as fair use, they are supposed to blockquote them so readers understand what words have been used from the copyrighted material. Many of these bloggers failed to do this.
I was interested as to why and now I'm beginning to realize that Tammi, or someone close to her, gave my article to other bloggers. They did not notify me they were giving my work to other writers to use without my permission or without attribution. One such person is part of a network called Obama Rapid Response.
The fact the Obama campaign was notified that a violation was on their website and their refusal to deal with this matter seems to mean they are condoning this plagiarism. Why would Obama For America condone copyright violation and plagiarism on their official campaign website?
Update: Saturday: I have now found another of my copyrighted articles published in full, without permission, on My.BarackObama.com. The more time I spend searching for my copyrighted work on the official Obama websites the more violations I discover. As of today they still reside, in violation of law, on these websites. Looks like I need a copyright lawyer. Anyone know of one?
The more I look the more I find. What part of "copyright" and "all rights reserved" don't Obama bloggers comprehend? My articles are all over this website in spite of the fact no one requested permission. They are here, here, here, here, here, and heaven only knows how many more. Basically four of my articles have been republished all over My.BarackObama.com and another is so heavily taken it goes well beyond "fair use." It appears one Obama blogger took these four articles and copied and pasted them all to various sections of the Obama campaign website. No one noticed this and called him on it until now?
Update: Sunday, April 20:This is an issue because it goes to honor, a theme heavy in these articles and the message these Obama supporters are using to bash Hillary by stealing my work. Doing this takes traffic from my website and, therefore, costs me income. Advertising rates are based on historical traffic so these illegal actions stole site traffic that otherwise would have come here to read the full articles. Because they were published in their entireties elsewhere readers didn't have to come to this blog and create our traffic and revenues.
My.BarackObama has no integrity. Five days after the campaign was informed of these transgressions the articles remain on their website.