Web pages stolen and uploaded to Scribd: what to do

In checking out the new Amazon book service, I recently looked at its competitors, including Scribd. I had looked at Scribd years ago when it seemed to be mostly bad term papers uploaded in impossible formats.  Now it has real books.

When I looked up “naturalism in american literature” to see what criticism might be available, what should pop up but my page at the American Literature/Literary Movements site–but without my name attached.

If you’ve used my site, you know that the Naturalism page is one of the earliest things on the site (1998, give or take), although I’ve updated it. I wrote it and put it on the web for people to use. That’s why it’s there.

Real page:


But stealing the content of the page without attribution and charging people to look at something I intended to be free on the web is really irritating–and also just plain wrong.

Stolen page: http://www.scribd.com/doc/201675150/Naturalism-in-American-Literature

Fortunately, you can report the DMCA violation to Scribd using this form:


It took me a little while to find the reporting link, so I’m posting it here in case it will help someone else with the same problem. We’ll see if anything happens once the false page is reported.

Posting academic papers to your own site or academia.edu

I’ve recently posted some older articles to academia.edu and to my own site. This is something for which the copyright issues can still be a little murky.

Elsevier made news last year when it sent takedown notices to scholars who had posted materials on academia.edu. I noticed that several senior scholars in the humanities had posted very recent journal articles to academia.edu, however.

  • Some journals will not permit you to have the articles on your site without the payment of an open access fee, which, when I’ve checked it out, is often $3,000+ for a single article.  That may be fine for the sciences, where grants can be had, but it’s an impossible fee for the humanities.
  • Other journals will permit you to have an older article at your own site but not at academia.edu.
  • Some allow you a “pre-refereed” version but not a version after it has been refereed and set in type. This seems to mean that you can post your manuscript, but since it will not have citable page numbers, your readers will still have to go to the journal site to read and cite your work.
  • Others allow a “pre-print” version set in type.
  • If a journal is published by a press that participates in Digital Commons, as the University of Nebraska Press does, then articles older than the most recent issue are freely available but have to reside at that site.

A useful site in this regard is Sherpa/Romeo at http://www.sherpa.ac.uk/romeo/search.php, which will tell you the policies of the journal. You can also contact the journal editors directly and get permission, of course, which is what I did with the Legacy articles.

It seems to me that anything that gets the word out on a book of essays or an article in a journal, especially if the article was published more than 2 years ago, would be beneficial for the journal or book as well as those who want to cite the work.


News at the Author Society sites

I haven’t been posting much news here, but there’s news at the author society sites:

Stephen Crane in the News: THE RED AND THE SCARLET: The hectic career of Stephen Crane. BY CALEB CRAIN

Donna Campbell:

Caleb Crain’s sketch of Stephen Crane’s life at The New Yorker.

Originally posted on The Stephen Crane Society:

From The New Yorker:
The hectic career of Stephen Crane.
JUNE 30, 2014

Early readers of “The Red Badge of Courage” assumed that its author was a war veteran.

Early readers of “The Red Badge of Courage” assumed that its author was a war veteran.

In Stephen Crane’s novel “Maggie” (1893), it’s impossible to pinpoint the moment when the title character is first set on the path to prostitution. Maybe it happens when her brother’s friend Pete tells her that her figure is “outa sight.” Maybe it happens a little later, when her job making shirt collars on an assembly line begins to seem dreary. Is it a mistake when she lets Pete take her to a music hall? What about when she lets him spirit her away from her rage-filled mother, who has collapsed on the kitchen floor after a bender? Women in the neighborhood gossip, and a practiced flirt steals Pete away—perhaps they are instrumental. Or…

View original 32 more words

Civil War hero Robert Smalls

Robert Smalls (crop)From the Washington Post, a story about Civil War hero Robert Smalls: http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/civil-war-hero-robert-smalls-seized-the-opportunity-to-be-free/2012/02/23/gIQAcGBtmR_story.html?tid=pm_pop

Smalls became skilled at working on ships, eventually advancing to the position of pilot. In 1861, he was hired to work on a steamer called the Planter, which was used to transport cotton to ships headed to Europe. But once the Civil War started, the Confederates seized it for use as an armed transport vessel.

Smalls knew how to navigate. He knew that the white crew trusted him. He had his eye on freedom, and all he needed was an opportunity.

* * *

“They were going to seize the ship,” said Lawrence Guyot, a black-history expert in Washington. “It was dangerous. It was daring. It was unprecedented. And when they accomplished it, it was used to demonstrate that blacks could be brave and strategic in pulling off military maneuvers. Because of what happened on the Planter, Abraham Lincoln decided to let African Americans join the fight in the Civil War.”