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Hey! That Sounds A Lot Like Me!!

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October 24th, 2008

They say that imitation is the ultimate flattery but what if that imitation is blatant theft? Or in this case plagiarism? This morning I woke up to find that Bob Beck, another sales trainer has stolen my work, posted it on his site and is passing it of as his own. How did I find out?
 
It seems the problem has been rampant for a while with Bob. The first case noted was a stolen white paper that Bob was selling from his site. He has since said it’s removed from his site…others can still find it.
 
The second claim came from Dave Stein of ES Research Group who caught Bob stealing content and emails.
 
And then my case appeared. Interesting to note that Bob Beck blames an intern for the mistake. If you read his responses, he acts like a victim “my stuff is stolen too”  “that is an old website” “it was the intern” “how was I too know his work was stolen”. And my favorite “I understand have no choice but to take 100% responsibility since my name is on the white paper and one particular proposal that was written.”… Because doesn’t that sound to you like although he “understands” he doesn’t actually “believe” he should take responsibility?
 
Maybe he is telling the truth, maybe not. Here is what I know. He apologized for Dave Stein and for the trusted advisor white paper after he is outed. He promises to take the sites down on Oct 22, but as of this morning they are still up. Although my work is also mentioned to him, he does nothing about taking the article down or apologizing to me. The truth is that my article was stolen and posted on his site Nov 2006, 2 years ago, It still remains on his site, and he has done nothing to remove it or apologize to me even though its been brought to his attention by others. If he is waiting for me to out him… wish granted.
 
Today we took that matter into legal hands. A sample of the letter show casing some of the offending material is below. If it turns out he is a member of my professional association there will be an ethics violation brought against him. If he isn’t then there will be a cease and desist letter mailed because he is, on one site only, claiming to be an NSA member. It’s my IP, you – my clients pay me for my experience and expertise. And just like the patents and trademarks you own on your processes, products and services, I will protect my words.

 

This is just a sample of the article. And what I find even more ridiculous is that my article quotes Dan Kennedy. In Bob’s version, he changes the attribution and keeps the quote. So in this one example he is not only stealing from me but also Dan.
 
Ironically Bob’s book is called “Mutual Respect” he teaches “Quid Pro Quo” and claims to be a “trusted advisor” to CEO’s. I wonder how stealing and lying fits into his sales process.

It’s also ironic that in his defense, he claims to be a thought leader who writes. But then turns around and admits that interns do his writing for him. Hmmm. Am I the only one who thinks that a bit ironic?

Should this go down on my list of Top 10 Sales Lies for the Sales Hall of Shame Wiley is publishing?

We are now doing an exhaustive search of his material and contacting his partners with this information. I am sure Wiley will be interested to know if he has been stealing material they now own as the publisher of my books. They have much bigger legal pockets than any of us!

Mad as hell and not taking it any more,

Colleen

17 Responses to “Hey! That Sounds A Lot Like Me!!”

  1. Jim Dickie Says:

    Colleen,

    Thank you for posting this. I never case to be amazed on how some people in the business of marketing their own intellectual property (IP) can have so little respect for others IP. It is a pain to deal with, but when you find someone leveraging your hard work they should be called on it.

  2. Jim Klein Says:

    Collen,

    I know how you feel. I have had my content stolen word for word also. I made a post on my blog so we can get the word out. No bad deed should go unpunished.

  3. Colleen Says:

    Thanks Jim and Jim,

    It’s really frustrating. I noticed that just over the weekend Bob did take his whole blog down. Liekly becuase there were rumours that he had stolen other works as well as the ones mentioned in the post. I thins its critical we take a stand and not let people get away with this.

  4. Jill Konrath Says:

    After hearing about this, I decided I’d better investigate too. Within 15 minutes, I’d found a plagiarized article of mine, as well as one of Kelley Robertson’s.

    I just posted about it on my blog at:

    http://sellingtobigcompanies.blogs.com/selling/2008/10/outing-a-plagia.html

  5. Jonathan Farrington’s Blog » Leadership Decency – One Step in Leadership Development Says:

    [...] Dave Stein: Hey! Stop Plagiarizing My Content! Charles Green: Plagiarism, Concealment or Coincidence Colleen Francis: Hey! That Sounds a Lot Like Me!! [...]

  6. Kelley Robertson Says:

    Hi Colleen,

    Thanks to Jill Konrath, I came across two articles that I originally wrote in 2004 and they were passed off as Bob’s work (with a tiny bit of massaging). Unbelievable!!

    BTW: I love your cease and desist letter.

  7. Business Writing Info » Archive » A Painful Example of Online Plagiarism Says:

    [...] Jill Konrath, a highly respected and well-published sales professional, learned from other sales colleagues that a self-professed “Trusted Sales Adviser” had copied their content. Their posts on this subject: – Dave Stein: Hey! Stop Plagiarizing My Content! – Charles Green: Plagiarism, Concealment or Coincidence – Colleen Francis: Hey! That Sounds a Lot Like Me!! [...]

  8. Ed Bernacki Says:

    Hi
    I too have had problems with people stealing material.
    In Australia, a professional speaker took material from my website and was brought forward to the NSA’s ethics committee.
    In New Zealand, an insurance copied one of my navigator journals — about 25 pages almost word for word — including copying the cover theme “Wow! That’s a Great Idea!”
    In Canada, I have had speakers suddenly use words that sound far too familiar.

  9. marion grobb finkelstein Says:

    Colleen, I am so proud of you. I think that, as professionals, we are obliged to take a stand on blatant wrongdoings. When faced with adversity, we really show what we’re made of. You, my dear, are a steel magnolia … and I love it. Go get ‘im tiger. We’re all behind you. Not only do you fight for this particular case, you are role modelling to anyone else in a similar situation. Way to go, Colleen. You do us all proud.
    cheers,
    marion

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