Imagine my surprise on waking up this morning and discovering this tweet.
— Jacob Morgan (@jacobm) January 24, 2016
I first I thought it was a mistake, or somehow Mr. Morgan had forgotten to properly credit me for my work. ( Editor’s note: the original article appears to display placeholders only; you can view a PDF version here. ) I thought to myself this would be easily fixed – just ask him to credit me and it should be easily solved. With very few exceptions, that turned not-so-well for the supposed-authors, many discrepancies in the past few years have been solved this way.
This is a popular chart, for some reason.
Then I remembered, back in 2009-2010 we had the same problem, with the same chart. Back then he also did the same, took my chart (the same one) and added his copyright to it and claimed it to be his.
Back then it could’ve been a misundertanding: I was getting started, was short of funds (I think we call it broke now, but I digress) and was trying to help Mr. Morgan get started in the world of CRM (and back then SCRM). He offered to have his designer improve the graphic quality of my chart (which was the same, and it was derived from my short — well, not so much — series on Social CRM, check out part 2.1).
I agreed, but when I got the results from his designer had both our copyrights in it (he worked as chess media back then). We talked (it wasn’t short) and I explained to Mr. Morgan that intellectual property is not simply about putting nice colors and better pictures to an idea, but rather about the idea itself. Eventually he agreed, but not before damaging his reputation in the SCRM/CRM/Enterprise Software communities… which to this day continues to haunt him.
We had a set of private conversations about it that time. Next time it almost happened we had a very long strong-worded conversation about it. He blocked me on Twitter, I blocked him, and we have not talked since (we crossed paths in conferences, I hold no grudges, we shared some meals, we chatted – but never worked together or collaborated again).
The same thing happened with other people, his standing with virtually anyone in the Independent Analysts groups is poor – at best. He is thought of as a copyright thief (one of the worse possible problems to have when you try to make your living as an “thought leader” and generator of ideas).
I thought for a while about this, I wrote an email to Forbes providing them with prior publication of the same model, asked them to take it down and to remove him from their ranks. I will pursue it further within other publications as well. I am not spiteful – but when you find someone that cannot understand what he does wrong – even after several people tell him and document for him its wrong — something has to be done.
Jacob Morgan, you have to stop stealing ideas and pass them as yours.
- How to Avoid Copyright Infringement (legalzoom.com)
- Attribution is Important, and Easy (linkedin.com)
(Cross-posted @ thinkJar)