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> Houellebecq plagarizes Wikipedia, French Scandale!
the fieryangel
post Mon 6th September 2010, 2:14pm
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The French writer Michel Houellebecq (T-H-L-K-D), known as the «Baudelaire of the supermarkets». writes very highbrow but basically unreadable novels. He will have a new novel out on September 8: La Carte et Le Territoire. The French critics says that it is very good, and it could win a literary prize.

It seems however that several sections of the novel have been lifted directly from Wikipedia.

There are three examples of passages which seem to be lifted almost word for word....And the Creative Commons license is not respected in these citations.

However, the general consensus seems to be that nobody cares and nothing will be done, other than laugh at Michel Houellebecq....

Maybe this is a good thing?
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A User
post Mon 6th September 2010, 2:54pm
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QUOTE(the fieryangel @ Tue 7th September 2010, 12:14am) *

The French writer Michel Houellebecq (T-H-L-K-D), known as the «Baudelaire of the supermarkets». writes very highbrow but basically unreadable novels. He will have a new novel out on September 8: La Carte et Le Territoire. The French critics says that it is very good, and it could win a literary prize.

It seems however that several sections of the novel have been lifted directly from Wikipedia.

There are three examples of passages which seem to be lifted almost word for word....And the Creative Commons license is not respected in these citations.

However, the general consensus seems to be that nobody cares and nothing will be done, other than laugh at Michel Houellebecq....

Maybe this is a good thing?


We've already seen a number of titles that have been mass publishing wikipedia content with and without attribution, and discussed here on WR. I just noticed the other day in my local bookstore, the "Guns N' Roses" Encyclopaedia by Mick Shea, and The "AC/DC": The Encyclopaedia by Malcolm Dome. I was astonished to open and read these encyclopedias and find they are almost word-for-word copies of what's available on wikipedia, and no mention of wikipedia in the credits. These aren't obscure journalists or publishers. Malcolm Dome and Mick Shea are well respected in the music industry. Will wikipedia act? I doubt it...
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KD Tries Again
post Tue 7th September 2010, 2:31am
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QUOTE
Plagiat ou effet de style?


I suspect he knows what he's doing (and his novels aren't unreadable).
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the fieryangel
post Mon 8th November 2010, 12:24pm
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QUOTE(KD Tries Again @ Tue 7th September 2010, 3:31am) *

QUOTE
Plagiat ou effet de style?


I suspect he knows what he's doing (and his novels aren't unreadable).


Well, this could get interesting. Houellebecq just won the Goncourt prize.

This means that this book is going to sell a LOT of copies (I did actually read this, and it is quite good. I think that he deserved to win...)

However, there is still the issue of unlicensed Wikipedia content which doesn't follow the citation rules.

....but this being Wikipedia, probably nothing will happen.
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Jon Awbrey
post Mon 8th November 2010, 1:04pm
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Wikipedia is a plagiarism machine.

Jon hrmph.gif
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NuclearWarfare
post Mon 8th November 2010, 1:24pm
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QUOTE(the fieryangel @ Mon 8th November 2010, 12:24pm) *

QUOTE(KD Tries Again @ Tue 7th September 2010, 3:31am) *

QUOTE
Plagiat ou effet de style?


I suspect he knows what he's doing (and his novels aren't unreadable).


Well, this could get interesting. Houellebecq just won the Goncourt prize.

This means that this book is going to sell a LOT of copies (I did actually read this, and it is quite good. I think that he deserved to win...)

However, there is still the issue of unlicensed Wikipedia content which doesn't follow the citation rules.

....but this being Wikipedia, probably nothing will happen.

Well, if the real copyright holders want to sue, they can. I don't know France's judicial system at all, but if the WMF or Wikimedia France were to sue, I would not be surprised if the suit were tossed out for lack of standing.

It seems that the Goncourt prize committee is the one that is really at fault here. No matter how good the book is, if it is even partially plagiarized, you really shouldn't be giving it a major prize.
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Jon Awbrey
post Mon 8th November 2010, 1:28pm
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The Wikimedia Foundation could not sue anyone for anything, much less plagiarism, of all things, without putting its whole can of worms under a microscope that it can scarcely afford to do.

But it would be fun to see them try, wouldn't it?

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Avirosa
post Mon 8th November 2010, 5:35pm
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QUOTE(NuclearWarfare @ Mon 8th November 2010, 1:24pm) *
It seems that the Goncourt prize committee is the one that is really at fault here. No matter how good the book is, if it is even partially plagiarized, you really shouldn't be giving it a major prize.


Absolutly; artistic co-option is 'evil': http://www.moma.org/collection/object.php?object_id=79809


A.virosa
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the fieryangel
post Mon 8th November 2010, 10:11pm
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QUOTE(Avirosa @ Mon 8th November 2010, 6:35pm) *

QUOTE(NuclearWarfare @ Mon 8th November 2010, 1:24pm) *
It seems that the Goncourt prize committee is the one that is really at fault here. No matter how good the book is, if it is even partially plagiarized, you really shouldn't be giving it a major prize.


Absolutly; artistic co-option is 'evil': http://www.moma.org/collection/object.php?object_id=79809


A.virosa


I'm surprised that the WMF hasn't started a "Wikipedia wins the Goncourt" campaign already...on Twitter or something....

(shh, don't tell 'em. It might give them ideas or something....)
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EricBarbour
post Mon 29th November 2010, 8:38pm
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Hardly anyone noticed this business.

Houellebecq's publisher has apparently announced its intention to sue whoever posted a PDF of the book online.

Even more interesting: the original article on slate.fr mentioning Houellebecq's snitching of Wikipedia material.

Strangely enough, various twits subsequently started a "Criticism" section on Houellebecq's BLP.
Almost as if to "punish" him for daring to "steal" from Wikipedia?


Because the news links are mostly in French, the English media hasn't really noticed it.

This post has been edited by EricBarbour: Mon 29th November 2010, 8:39pm
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GlassBeadGame
post Mon 29th November 2010, 8:47pm
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QUOTE(Jon Awbrey @ Mon 8th November 2010, 8:28am) *

The Wikimedia Foundation could not sue anyone for anything, much less plagiarism, of all things, without putting its whole can of worms under a microscope that it can scarcely afford to do.

But it would be fun to see them try, wouldn't it?

Jon hrmph.gif


They (WMF) wouldn't have any standing to sue under any free license. Probably the only person who would have standing would be the immediate predecessor under the license "chain" and they would be unlikely to have any motive to sue. Possibly some single contributor could have standing if the text used could be wholly attributed to them. It would be an excellent exercise in demonstrating the uselessness of free licenses.
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