As part of my continual improvement philosophy I’m always on the lookout for new information about stretching, flexibility and sports injury management.
Some time ago I came across a shin splints treatment eBook that promised to stop shin splints forever. I read through the sales material and decided to come back later to get a copy of the eBook.
As I left the site I was offered a $10 discount if I purchased right there and then, so I whipped out my credit card and paid the grand total of $17 for this “Scientifically Proven Shin Splints Treatment Method” (Authors claim, not mine).
I eagerly downloaded my new purchase and opened the eBook to find a whole 21 pages. 5 of which were the cover, a title page, a disclaimer page, a welcome message page and a thank you page. Leaving only 16 pages of actual information. Hmmm…
Anyway, I started reading through the eBook and got a few pages into it, when I thought to myself… “This looks familiar!”
I flicked through the next few pages and I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. There, right in front of me, in someone else’s work, was my own content.
The author had taken my work, copied it word-for-word, sentence-for-sentence, paragraph-for-paragraph, and was claiming it as his own. He had even taken my own personal stories and used them as his own.
Plus, this was information that I give away for free. And here he was, plagiarizing my content, putting it into a product, claiming it as his own, and charging people money for it. I was furious!
Unfortunately, it wasn’t the first time this has happened. In fact, it happens so regularly that I now have a “flat-fee” worked out with my attorney for handling this sort of thing. So I called him up, gave him all the details, and handed it over to him.
My attorney tracked the author down, which wasn’t easy by the way, because the name on his website and eBook isn’t his real name (Surprise! Surprise!). He then served him a cease and desist notice at 5pm on Friday afternoon.
Why 5pm on Friday afternoon you may wonder? Well, as my attorney explained, their offices close at 5pm on Friday and don’t reopen till Monday morning, so that gives him something to think about over the weekend. My attorney is a lot meaner than I am.
Sure enough; 9am Monday morning my attorney gets a call from the author blubbering apologies and claiming that… “there must have been a mix up in the editorial department.” He then assured my attorney that the plagiarized material had been removed and the eBook re-written.
As part of the cease and desist, the author had to submit a copy of the updated eBook so I could confirm that my content had been removed. Which it was.
But here’s the main point… When he removed my content and re-wrote the eBook in his own words he messed up the treatment advice. In other words; he’s now recommending treatments that will make your shin splints worse, not better.
And that’s the lesson. Most people offering advice on the internet about sports injuries have no idea what they’re talking about. They’re simply copying and pasting other peoples stuff and trying to make out that they’re some sort of expert. When pushed to actually think for themselves they don’t have the knowledge, experience or expertise to offer the right advice.
Be very careful who you listen to on the internet. In the meantime, stay healthy, beware the scam artists, and God bless.
The Stretch Coach
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