Living in Greece

A practical guide to moving, living, working & traveling in Greece, plus musing and misadventures from an American in Athens

Plagiarized by the Greek Consulate General

A few days ago, I found one of my articles used word-for-word on another website without permission and attribution to me as the person who researched, translated and wrote it. This is not the first time I’ve been plagiarized, and I know it won’t be the last; but it’s the first time I’ve plagiarized by a Consulate General of Greece.

That’s right — a diplomatic mission from Greece, representing Greece abroad.

Should they deny it, I can prove it belongs to me, I have screen captures with their URL and told a few people to verify what I’m stating as the truth if I’m ever accused of lying. I cannot say what country it is, but thankfully it is not my own. I also cannot say I am surprised, but I am disappointed and sickened.

What would you do?

a) Write them a professional letter and ask them to give me credit or remove it, followed by a letter from a lawyer if they don’t.

b) Write them a nasty letter and demand they remove it.

c) Name and shame them and cc: a popular newspaper in their city and country.

d) A combination of the above.

e) Ignore it.

As I lean heavily toward option ‘A,’ I’m reminded of a Slate magazine article, “Eight reasons plagiarism sucks.”

31 Comments

  Cheryl wrote @ May 5th, 2008 at 14:38

Kat, I just can’t believe how ridiculous some people can be…but then again, wait…I can. It’s unfortunate that the blame game has to always point toward the victim. I’d start with option a and then jump to option c. Then, raise your shoulders and say”Ti na kano?”
What a shame.

  Kat wrote @ May 5th, 2008 at 14:57

F – Hi again! Thanks for what you said. It does get tiring. Funny thing is, I started this site because the information being offered by commercial and government sites is wrong and/or incomplete. If they really knew what they were talking about and provided transparent information like Sweden or the UK does, there’d be no need for me to provide and update practical articles. Instead of raising themselves to a better standard, they just took my work. I appreciate your good wishes.

P – Hey, nice to meet you. It’s really been nice to have people delurk, even if the article doesn’t have a nice message. You have a point — there are people who do not understand intellectual property, copyrights and the like…and apparently too lazy to ask or even do a Google search to find out. Thanks for your comment.

M – I’ve been a good little immigrant, followed all the rules, paid my taxes, contributions and fees. I’ve taken jobs and salaries no Greek wants, I’ve done nothing but try to help people with this site regardless of nationality, and I still speak well of GR despite things I’ve experienced. Your advice to suffer quietly is interesting because I believe that’s what I’m expected to do as a non-Greek. How dare I tell the truth, instead of just bending over and taking it up the ___ !

S – Thanks Stathi mou. You’ll always be my Jack Bauer. Filakia

Maria – You make an excellent point because people who were not born here also includes repatriated Greek citizens and their children who came back to contribute (like you), not just non-Greek immigrants. It should also be pointed out that many Greek companies are leaving for countries like Bulgaria, which are in the EU, but have cheaper labor, less bureaucracy and make it easier for investors to set up shop.

The S – Their website is primarily composed of articles lifted from Ministry and KEP sites, just cut and pasted with no bother to see if it’s current or correct; some are only in Greek because they couldn’t find one in English. I believe they lifted my articles (I found it’s actually more than one) because they couldn’t find these subjects covered anywhere else (in EN or GR) or the ones that do exist are mucked in long-winded text.

Th – Thanks 🙂 We haven’t forgotten about you and G.

GANIG – Oh what a beautiful sentiment. Whether “our” language refers to Greek or English, I speak, read and write both. Seriously, I’m tired of your backhanded comments, unsolicited advice and attempts to “bait me,” especially since I’ve shown you patience and tolerance on several occasions. When you lived here, you were bitter, angry and disparaging in your comments about GR. Now that you’re in the USA (technically, my country), you’ve become nationalistic, arrogant and condescending toward me — are you mad that I made it here on my own as a “poor foreigner” and you couldn’t as a Greek?

C – I don’t have to tell you what it’s like. You have it in your face every day. As for me, I used to it 😉

  Dora wrote @ May 5th, 2008 at 15:56

The harassing poster is a typical Greek, he just loves the attention, good or bad. I give you alot of credit for what you’re doing in Greece. It takes guts and strength to put up with the BS there. Start with option “A”, then go to “C”. What else can you really do?

  The Scorpion wrote @ May 5th, 2008 at 18:07

Greeks in the USA have it made. I only wish the Greeks were as polite in daily life as the average American was. Or at a minimum, I wish that when you encounter rude behavior at a business, government office etc, that you could receive an appropriate response from Greek management personnel.

Plus, in the USA, Americans don’t have a bad thing to say about Greeks unlike our “conspiracy theory” driven anti-American counterparts here.

As one old salt tells this story: His Greek neighbor asks him (when seeing him upon his return from the USA) and says “What are they saying about us (Greeks) in the USA?” and my friend simply replies “They are trying to find you (Greece) on the map!”.

The reality is that most Americans don’t think about small countries like Greece because they have not one iota of impact on our lives. Just reality!

  Kat wrote @ May 5th, 2008 at 18:58

To All – I can feel a bad moon rising on this post, so I’m going to close comments, but I want to add some closing remarks.

This is not about an American against Greece, or Greeks knowing more than Americans, or why I haven’t done more to be apathetic and shut my immigrant pie hole…or whatever spin or blame you want to assign me. None of this has anything to do with facts, so I don’t know why discussions of late end up denigrating nationalities and me personally when all I’ve done is tell the truth. The point is, it could happen to a Canadian, Swede or Greek too.

I posted this article because the Consulate General took property that didn’t belong to them, and plagiarism is wrong. That’s it.

Thank you 🙂

  Tania wrote @ May 13th, 2008 at 11:50

Kat, not sure if this comment will make it through but I popped onto your blog for the first time in over a month and saw you’re having a rough time. Hope it all sorts out.

My experience of most diplomats (I live in a diaspora community full of them) is that they are extremely lazy and have no accountability – so the fact that they would steal your work is of no surprise to me. It was probably some ‘diplomat’ who would be classified as a low level bureaucrat except that he/she has been legitimised by ‘meson’ and by being in a High Commission/Embassy instead of pushing paper in an IKA office.

Not sure what you’ve done but I’d write a ‘legal’ letter to the High Commissioner, the Ambassador and the Foreign Affairs office (in Greece). Of course little will be done because they’ll all rush to protect their backsides (they are diplomats after all) but the paper pusher that stole your work may get their butt kicked.

What can I say about the internet really? I love it but it also brings out vicious and vindictive people – I usually take the saying ‘the best defence is offense’ because I think we should all stand up to bullies including cyber bullies.

And I can’t believe that this is the 2nd time I’m using this cheesey saying today but it works – ‘don’t let the turkeys get you down’.

Take care, Tania

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