Unethical Virtual Assistants: Philippines Call Center

Imagine my surprise to see an article I wrote in 2004 that is well-known throughout our industry published in a release with another person’s name in the byline.

Here is a PDF of the screenshot of the release submitted by one “Johnny Law” from Philippines Call Center which contains just about 100% verbatim content from my article, “How to Succeed in the Virtual Assistant Industry:” http://www.virtualassistantnetworking.com/infringements/OfficeWire/120909InfringingRelease.pdf

Here is the original link (article has since been removed): http://www.officialwire.com/main.php?action=posted_news&rid=50855&catid=93

Here is my original article: http://www.virtualassistantnetworking.com/howtosucceed.htm

I tell ya, these Philippine agencies are quickly making a very bad name for themselves in our industry. And it’s too bad because it hurts the reputations of whatever honest, ethical, legitimate Philippines agencies may be out there.

Unfortunately, I’ve seen so many of them stealing other peoples’ content, committing all kinds of infringements and engaging in unethical practices that I don’t trust a single one of them.

I’ve emailed Official Wire and asked for the release to be removed. Hopefully they will honor the request expediently. We shall see. In the meantime, know that the Philippine agency responsible for posting my content is dishonest and unethical. If they engage in unlawful acts such as this, they are not to be trusted in any manner and should be avoided.

UPDATE 12/9/09: I heard back from the Official Wire site owner, Greg Smith. His comment: “Contact the author.” Um, I AM the author. I wonder if this Greg Smith is familiar with the DMCA? He is as liable for publishing unauthorized copyrighted content as the Philippine agency who submitted it and his site can be taken down. Why do these people need to make it so hard? Why can’t they just be honest? I swear.

If I were you, you may want to also avoid Office Wire. I’m not familiar with them, but on closer inspection, it appears that the site may even be one of those spam/scam sites. Most legitimate sites like this will remove infringing content without too much hassle once it is brought to their attention. You have to wonder why one would choose to favor a dishonest company over the rightful owner and author of the stolen content.

UPDATE 12/10/09: Well, this Greg Smith was a total and utter a-hole. Seriously. Which again leads me to believe that his “press release” site is some kind of front for other intentions. In an email exchange, it turns out he is in the U.K. and seemed to believe he was outside of any kind of copyright governances whatsoever. He flat out refused to remove the release and it became quite obvious he has a huge chip on his shoulder about Americans, stating that “you Americans think you rule the world.” So I asked him, since I’m always curious about how on earth some peoples’ minds work, what does being American have to do with expecting people to be honorable and ethical? I asked him why he would choose to cater to a dishonest company that submitted a plagiarized release over the actual author’s request when he could simply remove it? It’s his site after all. He had no response other than some circular argument that he didn’t have to remove it and to contact the author.

With some help from the awesome plagiarism removal expert Jonathan Bailey of Plagiarism Today, we found that OfficeWire.com is hosted by a U.S. company and thus subject to DMCA provisions. I emailed them today and they very quickly took action and the offending release has now been removed from the site. Easy peasy and also saving my IP attorney dollars for more important matters.

One Response

  1. This is disgusting and one of the things us aspiring VA’s always wonder about as I used to worry when I posted my CV how many copycats are out there. I always say Danielle, ‘you cannot control what people are going to say about your reputation however you can take care of your character’ so the proof is in the pudding, your brand. People will soon sniff out the bull-shitter from the confident person who knows what they are doing. I guess there is nothing you can do about this copycat?????? Or is there. Is it worth bothering about????? I don’t know. Have a great day further

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