Dark Side to pay up after plagiarising fans' reviews

A
long-running horror movie magazine has been forced to offer internet
film reviewers freelance backpay after it admitted an unnamed
contributor had lifted copy off fan websites.

Fans of horror and
fantasy films claim independent title The Dark Side has plagiarised
thousands of words of their reviews and articles, most of which were
originally published on the writers’ own websites and messageboards.

The
Dark Side has blamed a nowsacked freelance writer for the articles, and
offered to pay its normal freelance rates to anyone who can prove their
copy was used without their permission.

US-based freelance Mirek
Lipinski said he believed more than 100 articles had been taken from
websites without payment or authorisation, including his own work.

He said: “A chance stopover at Tower’s magazine section had me spotting the latest issue of The Dark Side.

“As I started reading a review, I began to notice familiar phrases and sentence structures. “As
I read on, it became obvious: the reviewer had copied chunks of my
introduction to the Wallace krimis [film genre], found in my site, and
had used this material without authorisation from me or without credit.”

He
said the editor of The Dark Side, Allen Bryce, had offered him payment
and the possibility of a job as a writer on the magazine in future.

Some
of the reviews also appeared in Highbury’s DVD World magazine, which is
contracted out to Bryce’s publishing company, Stray Cat.

Bryce said: “We have had a problem recently with one writer who is no longer working for us.

“We’ve said [to people who feel their work has been plagiarised] to send us the details and we’ll look into it and we’ll pay.

“All material from now on in Dark Side and DVD World is going to be vetted five times over.”

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