Thursday, September 25, 2008

Plagiarism is NOT the sincerest form of flattery

Thief and Plagiarizer: Kat Ravensword

I logged into Witchvox last night, only to discover that a company called "Keeper of the Cauldron" had not only stolen our "Call to Artisans" Notice word for word, but had the audacity to post it on the same page. The only thing that was changed was the commission percentage, from 10% to 15%. Yup, that's right. Not only steal someone else's work, but charge more for doing it.
Digging into the website a little deeper, I noticed that she had also stolen our format, and the basic outline of our company. There was nothing on the site; it was all vapor-ware. No product, only theft. Lie number 2: The shop profile claimed it as a brick-and-mortar store.
After a little detective work, I found the owners Myspace page, her personal Witchvox account, education and work history.

The owner of "Keeper of the Cauldron" is a high school dropout and former Walmart employee, currently working on the loading docks for Brooks Brothers in Denver. She lives in Byers, Colorado, and goes by various names in the magical community, including Kat Warsword, Ravensword, and L.K Penn, and apparently has never had an original idea in her life.

Needless to say, I am furious. That someone claiming to be Wiccan, and claiming to follow the Wiccan Rede would turn around and stab a member of the community in the back, or attempt to, is appalling. Azzerac and I created The Craftsman's Corner to celebrate the talented members of our community, give them an inexpensive way to show and sell their wares, and provide some much needed relief from the plethora of Azure Green plastic Made-In-China crap that tends to plague metaphysical stores.

Thankfully, Witchvox deleted both the notice and her shop account after I contacted them. But the point is, why do people think that this behavior is okay? That changing two lines in a poem is enough to call it their own? That altering the color in a painting is enough to tag it with their creative license? And moreover, WHY IS PLAGIARISM SO RAMPANT IN THE OCCULT COMMUNITY?

I mean, Helena Blavatsky is well known for stealing whole chapters from other scholars for her work. I have encountered thousands of websites that quote Scott Cunningham's "Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs" word for word without the slightest citation, kudos, or mention of source material. What is even worse is that all of it is taken as holy writ. Most practitioners don't even bother to work with the oil/herb/stone or do personal experiments.
Jeananne Rose, a wonderful and groundbreaking herbalist and aromatherapist, has mentioned frequently that companies and authors have stolen her published recipies, again without citation of source, or even a thank you. I know, as she does, that spending years taking notes, doing experiments, and refining a formula only to have it stolen and reproduced in a half-assed manner is enough to make even the most mild-mannered alchemist throw her alembic. Preferably against someone's face.

I urge you to be so damn original that it hurts!



Anonymous said...

Wow, all I kept thinking is "that person is a jerk". Just sucks that people don't respect other people and their creative works.

Lodestone and Ladys Mantle said...

Cheers! thank you, I'm hoping it doesn't happen again.

Si-Jye said...

1..not a high school dropout. If people would research the people they flame. I was 1/2 a NECESSARY credit short of receiving my high school diploma. I had more than enough credit hours for the diploma. I was short a semester of HISTORY for senior year. As no schools in a 40 mile radius of my high school was offering the course thru summer school, I was not allowed to receive my high school diploma. After that I was busy working to support myself and my MOTHER. I worked past this and received my GED in 2002 and was inducted into the National Adult Education Honor Society.

2...Yes, I am a former Wal-Mart employee. A former Assistant Store Manager, no less. I served with the company for 8 years.

3..How did you find all this information about me (along with a photo)? Did you personally contact me to tell me of the issue and give me an opportunity to correct and post an apology? You must have done some intensive research. One would almost consider it stalking and invasion of privacy with the variety and range. Some people in the community prefer to keep some form of privacy for various reasons.

There, my rant done. Have a good pagan to another

Lodestone and Ladys Mantle said...

That still does not change the fact that you stole from us. That you plagiarized our writing word for word, and bumped up the percentage that a Pagan artisan would have to pay YOU.
What we set up to bolster the Pagan community and nurture its talents, you decided to steal for profit. Why any artisan would want to deal with you is beyond me; who knows what you would steal from them.

As for how I got the information, it took about twenty minutes and an internet search. Not "intensive" or hard at all. Besides, I had to find out what else of yours was stolen from my company. You aren't sorry that you did it, you are sorry because you were caught and exposed.