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Thursday, September 15, 2005

Noted NYC Personal Trainer Plagiarizes My Blog

I was surfing around the Internet during my research for upcoming articles for my blog tonight and came across the official fitness blog for New York City personal trainer Joe DiAngelo. Now here's a man who should know just a little something about health and fitness!

According to his web site, DiAngelo has been "one of New York's most sought after fitness experts and personal trainers" because of the "amazing results" he has helped people achieve through his weight training techniques. In fact, he has been a very successful athlete himself and helped train many celebrity clients who have been a part of the entertainment industry.

So, why would a guy with such credentials like this with ample ability to write about anything he wants regarding health and nutrition blatantly plagiarize my writings at my "Livin' La Vida Low-Carb" blog?

In this blog post from September 1, 2005, DiAngelo shared information with his readers about the pain-relieving benefits of consuming olive oil in a post entitled "Olive oil as pain killer. Food as medicine." The first three-fourths of his post provided a recount of the news story that ran around that time about this subject. However, look at what he posted as HIS final paragraph in the blog entry and tell me if this doesn't sound vaguely familiar to my regular readers:

This is outstanding news for those of us who are livin' la vida low-carb. Guess how many carbs are in olive oil? ZERO! None. Zippo. If you haven't already been cooking with this great and healthy oil, then you have been missing out on a tasty way to make your meals that much better. If you are a low-fat dieter, then you can't enjoy the benefits of olive oil. That's too bad! Of course, you could start livin' la vida low-carb like most everyone else enjoying successful weight loss and weight maintenance so you can eat a lot better tasting foods than you ever will on that low-fat diet of yours.

Now who else do you know that uses the phrase "livin' la vida low-carb" in their blog posts like that besides Jimmy Moore? :-)

For comparison purposes, here is a link to my original blog post from August 31, 2005 (one day prior to DiAngelo's post at his blog) where that above quote came from. If you look in the tenth paragraph of my post entitled "Carb-Free Olive Oil Relieves Aches And Pains," then you will see the exact same words that DiAngelo implies are his by not attributing them to anyone but himself.

You might be wondering if I am mad that DiAngelo would take my material from this blog and use it on his blog. Absolutely not! Actually, I appreciate any fellow blogger or person with a web site who wants to quote or link to articles from this blog. I am flattered that people are interested in sharing my writings with others in their circle of influence to help them with their low-carb lifestyle.

But what I do have a problem with is someone taking my writing and claiming it to be their own as DiAngelo has done. Did he do this on purpose? I would suspect that he did not and simply wanted to make the point that I made in my blog post at his blog. However, it is only common courtesy that if you are going to use material that has been posted by another blogger at their blog that you at least reference where you got the information from by being so kind as to mention the original author and/or provide a link to that author's web site where it came from. That's not too much to ask, is it?

Just to be fair, DiAngelo is not the first person to do this with my blog posts and I suspect he won't be the last either. But for the sake the integrity of materials posted on blogs if you see something that was written on another blog that you would like to reference on your blog, then please make sure you give the proper credit to the person who originally wrote it. That is the right and decent thing to do.

Send Joe DiAngelo an e-mail and ask him to please remember to cite his sources when he uses materials that are not his own.

9-17-05 UPDATE: Because so many people brought it to his attention, Joe DiAngelo removed the full paragraph he had taken from my blog and replaced it with the following:

This is a great news for all people who live Livin' La Vida Low-Carb Lifestyle. You can read more about olive oil's health benefits.

I appreciate him doing that, but would not have minded if he quoted from my blog as long as he provided a link and/or a mention of who the original author was. At least he did the right thing by removing it. Although his English could certainly use some help! :-)

9-18-05 UPDATE: Well, Mr. DiAngelo decided to share with me his thoughts today about his plagiarism of my words in this comment which is indicative of the kind of person that would do something like this and have no regrets:

You like drama don't you?

What you think that you use only Livin' La Vida Low-Carb? Who gave you the right to post my picture? And to tell that I stole the paragraph from you? Same you did , you stole my picture. Thats a copyright of me.

It is just a blog. And in the blog you use different sources. It is not an article or a book. It is just a blog. But I see what type of person you are. People take from my blog pictures and articles and I never say anything. Because I am a better person than you are. I do not make a big drama about it.

Instead of making a drama about this, better use your energy to do something more productive. Nobody sent me an email, only you did!!! Now you are attackimg my english too. Maybe instead of attacking people for no reason, you should go to treadmill and loose that gut, so you can say you are sensationally skinny. You can loose your nasty attitude too.


Other than the multiple spelling, grammatical, and formatting errors in the above comments, I'd be happy to address each of the issues he brings up.

First, I have never said that I am the only one who should be allowed to use the phrase "Livin' La Vida Low-Carb." In fact, that little ditty was used long before I even lost weight and is not the issue here. The issue is that the paragraph that Mr. DiAngelo stole from my blog was not written by him. It was written by me and, thus, should have been credited to me in his blog post.

Second, the picture of Mr. DiAngelo was found in Google images and a link to his blog was included for people to go see who he is and what he is about. That same courtesy was not extended to me by Mr. DiAngelo when he took what I had written and passed it off as his own words. There is a very clear distinction between what he did with my writing and what I did with his photo. I provided a link to his blog, but he didn't do the same to my blog.

Third, I sincerely doubt that people take any of the articles posted on Mr. DiAngelo's blog because most of them are just blurbs from news reports without any real commentary from DiAngelo himself. I would think someone who is posting columns would at least check to make sure that the words they are typing at least make some kind of sense. You have the right to post whatever you want on your blog, but people will understand your message better if what you write makes sense.

Fourth, as for being more "productive" with my energy and time, I do plenty to take care of myself. How else could I have lost 180 pounds and gotten my body into the best shape it has ever been in without working hard to get there? I have more work to do, but I don't need to be lectured by anyone about going to the gym to "loose my gut" (shouldn't that be "tighten?").

Finally, I don't think I am the one with the "nasty attitude" based on your reaction to my comments about your plagiarizing my writings. I simply pointed something out that needed to be addressed and I appreciate that you have corrected your error at your blog. As I stated before, I don't have a problem with you using the comments from my blog at your blog.

All I ask is that a simple reference to the original author and/or a link to the source of that information be provided to uphold the integrity of your postings. Otherwise, you create the impression that you were the author of something that you were not. I make no apologies for bringing this to your attention and would have hoped you would respond in a more professional manner as a respected businessman in the fitness industry.

As per your request, I will remove your picture from this blog post. I'm intrigued that Mr. DiAngelo would resort to throwing such a temper tantrum at his blog by posting this blog post on Saturday. Tell me something -- what in the world does the subject of that post have to do with "Livin' La Vida Low-Carb?" :-~

Watch out everyone, I think we've got a live one here!

4 Comments:

Blogger Connie said...

Well, this is interesting... I suspect it was by accident... I like to think the best of people!

Perhaps you aren't the first to use the phrase, "LivinLaVidaLowCarb"? I don't know. Perhaps you could look into that.

But you are absolutely right that people should properly credit people in their blogs! Like I do with you and you do with me!!!
And which I will continue to do!

Connie
www.SugarShockBlog.com

9/16/2005 11:19 AM  
Blogger Jimmy Moore said...

I'm not the FIRST to use "livin' la vida low-carb," but I'm arguably the one who uses it the most since it is the name of my blog. :-) But this guy took an entire paragraph from my blog and used it as his own. That was wrong without even providing a link. THANKS for your thoughts, Connie.

9/16/2005 11:52 AM  
Blogger Melting Mama said...

Hehehe, Jimmy, I don't think I'd copy and paste from *his site, though, he could kick my arse. :-)

-B

9/16/2005 7:55 PM  
Blogger Joe DiAngelo said...

You like drama don't you?
What you think that you use only Livin' La Vida Low-Carb?
Who gave you the right to post my picture? And to tell that I stole the paragraph from you? Same you did , you stole my picture. Thats a copyright of me.
It is just a blog. And in the blog you use different sources. It is not an article or a book. It is just a blog. But I see what type of person you are. People take from my blog pictures and articles and I never say anything. Because I am a better person than you are. I do not make a big drama about it. Instead of making a drama about this, better use your energy to do something more productive. Nobody sent me an email, only you did!!! Now you are attackimg my english too. Maybe instead of attacking people for no reason, you should go to treadmill and loose that gut, so you can say you are sensationally skinny. You can loose your nasty attitude too.

9/18/2005 10:33 AM  

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