WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah complains in his Jan. 7 column:
If you or I committed plagiarism, or facilitated another’s act of plagiarism, we wouldn’t get away with it.
And that’s good. That’s right.
But if a mega-corporation like Facebook did, it would. In fact, it does.
Let me explain how.
I’m going to give you one example with all the vital details. I’m going to name names, so there’s no doubt about whether I’m speaking in theoretical terms, making stuff up or, as we say now, just creating “fake news.”
The example I’m going to provide is hardly the only instance I’ve seen on Facebook. I will tell you in advance that I have taken all the steps Facebook recommends in its processes to protect intellectual property claims with little success. That’s why I think it’s fair to say that Facebook does not really put a high priority on fighting violations of intellectual property rights for a corporation with the resources to do it right.
There’s a Facebook page under the name Atticus Howard that has a history of copying my verbatim writings and posting them without attribution, without links, without credit of any kind. I don’t know if the Facebook page is monetized by the person responsible, but I know Facebook is a super big business that is monetized in the extreme by all of its users – one way or another.
You know who else monetizes the stolen intellectual property of others? Joseph Farah.
Virtually every day of WND's existence, employees of Farah's website copies and pastes the first few paragraphs of articles from other news organizations into articles at WND. While WND links to and credits the source article, there's no evidence that WND seeks permission from or compensates the sources for its use of the article, since WND is not a member of any news or information syndicator.
In the past, Farah has insisted that WND is merely engaging in "fair use" through such practices. Still, as a copy-and-paste job done for the benefit of a private, pro-profit enterprise, the practice adds no value -- it's just straight theft, and announcing from whom it's being stolen is hardly a mitigating factor. It may not be illegal, but it is certain unethical to take another's intellectual property without permission for your own for-profit use.
Farah's criticism of being plagiarized is ironic given how WND has had issues with plagiarism over the years -- the most embarrassing example being a 2011 WND-commissioned report attacking Obama, which it claimed was conducted by "trusted Kenyan professionals" but turned out to be largely plagiarized from news articles. WND has also been a promoter of alt-right figure Jack Posobiec, who has been caught plagiarizing the work of others.
It might be possible to feel for Farah and WND over his intellectual-property issues, the thing we're feeling the most is karma.