A lot has been spoken on the plagiarism of other people’s works. I saw a site today while perusing the net and it has many Pdf’s on it of other people’s books. There was a contact button, so I sent an email saying:
Suggestions=Posting complete books that have been scanned into a Pdf is the same as downloading music ..The author is losing money and it violates piracy and copyright laws. It’s wrong morally and ethically
From: Pamela Meek-Hennessy
Date: 1/5/2012 11:47:04 PM
Subject: RE: DEW Contact Us
Thank you for your email. I always appreciate hearing the opinions of my readers and others. I certainly can see your point and I respect it. Please allow me to explain my thoughts on the subject briefly.
First, I do hope you took the opportunity to review the remainder of the website as a whole. You will notice that there are many, many articles written over the span of several decades. All of them, wherever possible, provide author credit, link backs to where I got the information and copyright information when attached to an article. It has never been my intention to claim credit for that which I did not create.
Secondly, you might have also noticed that some of these links are no longer viable. I have lost a great deal of information simply by keeping a favorites link and going back to find important information gone because the site is no longer maintained. That’s why I always download and link.
Thirdly you may not be aware of the sincere difficulties those of us who are both solitary AND living in a deeply religious area, such as Lynchburg, VA for myself, function under. I didn’t buy books, or jewelry or magazines or anything else because I didn’t dare. I have been shot at, physically and verbally threatened and I live daily with the knowledge that were my family to find out my religion, I would be banned from seeing them and from contact with my cousins, who I love very much. It is quite difficult to learn about my religion under those circumstances.
Fourth, when in college, I still look back in wincing pain as I remember days of ramen noodles and five solid weeks of KFC chicken because my friend next door was a manager and brought home all the chicken at the end of the day for us to eat. Ugh. Book purchases outside of textbooks were a ridiculous idea. Please note that I am not saying that copyright violations are an acceptable excuse, I am raising a point. How shall I educate the poor, the disenfranchised, without the books?
Fifth, when I finally moved to Northern VA and married an open minded man, I attended my first coven groups. We sang many wonderful songs. The HPS of the evening possessed only a few crude mimeograph copies of the lyrics, not even the musical copy. I kept those two pages for many years, but time killed my memory and I did not know how to sing them. I could not teach my coven to sing them. At long last, I learned that the lyrics came from Starhawk’s lovely albums, still available, and A Circle of Women, which was no longer published. This is among the many reasons I am so adamant about knowing and remembering who created it. There are so many things lost to us now because our American Wiccan founders, the early singers and writers, could not pass the information widely enough to survive.
My final point is this. My actions are based strictly on my own experiences as a Wiccan of 20 years. I firmly believe in the Wiccan Rede. I did not intend to harm anyone, I give you my word. Under NO circumstances did I intend to steal from anyone. My intent was and remains the goal of education for Wiccans today and to teach Wiccans of the future their past as it revolves around us and those who preceded us. Today I own a library containing many of the books I posted, and many more I have not. My coven members have always had access to it; indeed, anyone interested is welcome to what is on my shelves. But unfortunately, that is only for those local to me.
I am sure you understand the points I am making. So I will ask the question of you that I am asking of everyone this evening. It has no easy answer. If those like Starhawk, Gerald Gardner and many many others had not recognized the value of educating others BROADLY, around the world, about our religion, how would Wicca grow? How will it grow into the future? Uniquely lacking a gathering place, unsafe to announce our religion aloud even here in America, I ask you once again. How shall I educate without the books? Surely somewhere, there is compromise.
All the best,
Justification of violating the law? She apparently thinks that she must have been the only solitary in existence I too live in a southern atmosphere of GOD, church, family…Anything outside the norm of the socially accepted churches are often treated with contempt and looked at like second class citizens(and this includes, faiths that don’t preach Jesus, and yet are mainstream faiths). Like-minded individuals are few and far between, so one has to learn on their own and seek others out in other ways. That means buying books that are sold in bookstores, online. Libraries are free resources. many in larger cities carry a lot of religious/occult books. And yet many who claim to be poor do not avail themselves of it. In the modern age of technology, one can even use the Library of Congress if you wish to, but many stay on a narrow course and do not read history to go along with what they learn of magical workings. That is in my opinion, an incomplete faith/spiritual path. How do you know why things are as they are if you do not know where it came from? I also beg to differ with her about Starhawk, Gardner and others not wanting to be compensated for their knowledge. Why else did they copyright their works? They did intend it to reach others in a broad manner, but in a manner that also helped them reap the benefit of sharing that knowledge. There are still classes and meetings, but I’ve always found there to be an admission fee. To want to share is admirable, but one has to go through proper channels of use. One pays a small fee to use the material in a limited manner. If it’s just for her coven, then why would you have issues with not giving the artisan their due? She adheres to the Wiccan Rede? Then I have to say she’s done a suck ass job at doing so. “Harm none” is a broad statement, and to violate the laws of the land, the theft of research, time and energy of those who wrote those books in the first place is morally and ethically wrong. So whatever she uses to justify her continuous act of thievery, will not hold water. Sorry Hon, you’re wrong, and I’m sure if you ask those authors who’s works you post in full, they will also tell you the same.
Plagiarism is wrong on any level. whether it’s of someone’s personal blog or their published works. you steal from those who put forth the time and energy to put those thoughts out to the universe. So don’t come claiming “harm none” and still do the same shit you’ve been doing in the name of “helping others”. Fuck that. It’s an ego stroke for you to have people come and exclaim all over your ass for “sharing”. Check that mirror again and this time be honest with what you see and what your true objectives are.
If any would like to know where this site is and why the controversy, here it is: http://daughtersofearthwisdom.org/reading/ebooks.html