Spanish magazine/web site engaged in theft of WSWS material

By the Editorial Board
7 January 2004

The World Socialist Web Site has demanded that the monthly magazine and web site Amanecer del Nuevo Siglo, published in Madrid, Spain, immediately cease its practice of lifting large extracts from articles posted on the WSWS without authorization or attribution and republishing them as its own.

Amanecer has systematically copied this material, which is copyrighted, translating it into Spanish and attributing some of it to its own “editorial staff” (redacción), while publishing other stolen material under false bylines.

The WSWS was only recently alerted to this theft of its material by a Spanish-speaking reader who recognized an article on the Amanecer web site—presented as the work of one of its “journalists”—as a word-for-word translation of an article that first appeared in English on the WSWS.

A review of the magazine’s web site [http://www.revistaamanecer.com/index.htm] revealed that this was by no means an isolated incident. The publication has stolen scores, if not hundreds, of articles over the course of the last 20 months, with material taken directly from the WSWS constituting up to half the contents of some editions of the monthly magazine.

This copied material has been used for financial gain, published in a magazine that is sold and includes paid advertising. The web site also solicits advertising.

In its letter to Amanecer [see WSWS letter to Spanish web site] the World Socialist Web Site stated:

“Such copying activity is politically bankrupt and dishonest. It is also in naked violation of Spanish and international copyright law. The legal term ‘Internet piracy’ applies with full force to your activities.

“Apart from whatever financial gain the publishers of Amanecer del Nuevo Siglo may derive, it is clear that you are stealing the intellectual work of others in order to enhance your own reputation and claim for yourselves a political analysis that is not your own. If this is the case, it raises the obvious question of what political outlook you are concealing behind the one that you have misappropriated.”

The scale of Amanecer’s copying activity can be judged from its December issue, which includes an editorial “Ocultar los féretros” that is copied directly from the WSWS article “White House bans news coverage of coffins returning from Iraq” written by Bill Vann and published October 23.

Another principal article, “La trama del 11-S (III): Vigilando a los terroristas”, is taken almost in its entirety from the second part of a series on the September 11 attacks written by Patrick Martin and published by the WSWS in January, 2002: “Was the US government alerted to September 11 attack? Part 2: Watching the hijackers”.

The same December 2003 edition includes unattributed translations of at least seven other WSWS articles on subjects ranging from US profiteering in Iraq and Israeli human rights abuses in the occupied territories to child trafficking in eastern Europe and the growing demand on food banks in Canada.

The WSWS regularly receives requests to reprint its material and generally allows such use of its articles by reputable and progressive publications, provided the articles are properly attributed.

In the case of Amanecer del Nuevo Siglo, no such request has ever been made, and the publication has deliberately misrepresented the source of the articles it has published.

The following are other articles from the December edition of Amanecer that were taken from the WSWS and misrepresented as the magazine’s own work. Every issue of the magazine published in 2002 and 2003 includes a similar amount of misappropriated material.

1. “Tráfico de niños en el Este de Europa

Taken from:

Child trafficking in eastern Europe: A trade in human misery

2. “La política de defensa europea agrava las tensiones entre Europa y EEUU

Taken from:

Washington warns EU over NATO unity

3. “Las compañías norteamericanas y la reconstrucción de Iraq

Taken from:

UN estimate for rebuilding Iraq half that of Bush’s—where’s the money going?

4. “La demolición de casas, un crimen contra la humanidad

Taken from:

UN report details Israel’s Human Rights abuses in Occupied Territories

5. “California sufre los peores incendios de su historia

Taken from:

California wildfires raise social questions

6. “Freno al ALCA en Miami

Attributed to “Pablo Garcia” and taken from:

“Free trade lite” deal papers over US-Latin American conflict

7. “Aumenta el uso de los “bancos de alimentos” en Canadá

Attributed to “Juan A. Riosalido” and taken from:

Canada: Food bank use continues to rise

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