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One of my worst nightmares come true...my 9/11 poem being used for commercial purposes... Options · View
DirtyMartini
Posted: Monday, September 30, 2013 7:47:26 PM

Rank: Purveyor of Poetry & Porn

Joined: 10/19/2009
Posts: 5,849
Location: Right here on Lush Stories..., United States
People who are not writers often wonder why I tend to be rather vigilante about people using my 9/11 poem without giving proper credit...I always make it a point to tell people the correct thing to do is give proper credit, so the world doesn't think it's some anonymous poem...not that poems, or stories ever write themselves...though the general public sometimes appears to think they do...the reason I get annoyed when people post it without crediting me, and it happens way too often...like a recent Facebook post with over 900 shares, is certainly not that I wish to deny its use to the world...hardly...but rather people thinking it is somehow in the public domain leads to situations like what I'm facing at the moment...and I realize I may be preaching to the choir here...

Anyway, yesterday I became aware of someone taking my poem, rearranging it, adding a few lines...and posting it on a site claiming they wrote it...I informed the site owners, and they were very responsive...a good thing...

Saleh Gadi <salgadi@gmail.com>
10:23 PM (16 hours ago)

to me
Sear Mr. Jankowski,

We really apologize for the error, and we thank you for bringing thie
to our attention. We take such unethical violations very seriously and
we would remove the moment we discover the violation even if you
didn't ask.

We have removed the the entire content that included the plagiarized
poem. And we have banned the person who did that from ever posting
anything at awate.com .

We have been put in such precarious situation and we apologize for that.

Thank you

Saleh Johar
Miriam Was Here ... so were the human traffickers
Visit: www.miriamwashere.com


All this would be fine...except when I checked the link where it was posted...read the comments, as they are still there...

Calendar Featuring Eritrean’s Political Prisoners
http://awate.com/calendar-featuring-eritreans-political-prisoners/

Yes...you read that right...there are 3000 calenders printed up with the poem credited to Bereket Yohannes...not a good thing...I got this note earlier, apparently they want to talk...

On your 9-11 poem
Inbox
x


Ghezae Hagos <ghezae_hagos@yahoo.com>
9:38 AM (7 hours ago)



to me, Bereket, Bereket

Dear Mr. Jankowski,

My name is Ghezae Hagos and I can be contacted at 204-293-xxxx.

I am writing this message in respect to your 9-11 tribute poem that my friend Mr. Bereket Yohannes has used in remembrance of Eritrean victims, posted in awate.com . We really apologize for this and we would like to contact you about it.

You can send us your phone contact address, or you can call me at the aforementioned number.

All the best,
Ghezae Hagos


I don't believe the publishers were aware of any wrongdoing...Bereket was solely at fault, I believe...the question is how should I proceed from here? I need to take the high road, obviously...should I insist all the calenders be destroyed? Or, should I let them be sold with a sticker explaining the situation, and financial comp...

I just became aware of all this earlier tonight...haven't talked to an attorney or anything...just thinking about this is enough to drive a guy to drink, not that it takes much btw...this is really the type of mess I would rather avoid at all costs...

And here's screen shots of everything...had the foresight to take screen shots of the original post btw...it shows here in three parts...




And the screen shots of the comments...which are still visible at that link btw...for now, anyway...




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DirtyMartini
Posted: Monday, September 30, 2013 10:33:18 PM

Rank: Purveyor of Poetry & Porn

Joined: 10/19/2009
Posts: 5,849
Location: Right here on Lush Stories..., United States
And the saga continues...someone in Canada just sent me these links btw...

Canada taking steps to expel Eritrean diplomat, Baird says – Incl Bereket Yohannes’s intv with CTV News
http://assenna.com/canada-taking-steps-to-expel-eritrean-diplomat-baird-says-incl-bereket-yohanness-intv-with-ctv-news/comment-page-1/

And a picture of the plagiarizer himself...

Refugee hopes to raise awareness of Eritrean plight
http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/our-communities/herald/Refugee-hopes-to-raise-awareness-of-Eritrean-plight-102887499.html



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sprite
Posted: Tuesday, October 01, 2013 7:19:43 AM

Rank: Her Royal Spriteness
Moderator

Joined: 6/18/2010
Posts: 17,240
Location: My Tower, United States
holy crap... well... if you spin this right, Alan, it could be great publicity for you... not sure if i'm being serious or trying to be funny, there - and yeah, i know this isn't funny or fun for you. Big Hugs

Live, love, laugh.
Dancing_Doll
Posted: Tuesday, October 01, 2013 8:58:10 AM

Rank: Alpha Blonde
Moderator

Joined: 2/17/2010
Posts: 6,680
Location: Your dirty fantasy
Wow, that's truly awful, Alan! :(

Re whether to leave it in the calendar - I guess it depends on what they're willing to do and also whether you want yourself and your poem associated with that cause in the first place. Given that it is altered to give meaning to an event it wasn't intended to be about affects the integrity of the poem as well.

On the other hand - technically it could also just mean more publicity which isn't necessarily a bad thing as long as you're being given credit. Re $-compensation - if the poem is meant to be used as a charity fund-raiser type thing, it's a bit of a stickier situation I think.

I guess I don't really have very good advice. I don't know enough about the cause they're promoting and where the calendar profits are/were supposed to go. If it's small scale and for charity, I would feel bad about asking for the calendars to be destroyed all because of one dumbass. Personally I would probably opt for the sticker.

Ruthie
Posted: Tuesday, October 01, 2013 2:43:36 PM

Rank: Story Verifier
Moderator

Joined: 10/21/2010
Posts: 2,752
Location: United States
I'd hate it if someone else was using something I'd written to enrich themselves without at least giving me a share of the money. Conversely, my biggest literary dream is to have a poem of mine used to illustrate toenail fungus.
DirtyMartini
Posted: Wednesday, October 02, 2013 3:15:57 PM

Rank: Purveyor of Poetry & Porn

Joined: 10/19/2009
Posts: 5,849
Location: Right here on Lush Stories..., United States
Ruthie wrote:
Conversely, my biggest literary dream is to have a poem of mine used to illustrate toenail fungus.


Yeah, that toenail fungus ad sticking out right there is so very special...dontknow

Anyway...this whole thing actually has a happy ending...the whole thing is annoying, I shouldn't really have to deal with crap like this, but it all came to a satisfactory resolution...

Here is what I wrote back to Ghezae...


Alan Jankowski <exakta66@gmail.com>
Oct 1 (1 day ago)

to Ghezae
Hey Ghezae...I had thought that this issue was resolved when the poem was removed from Awate. but it seems there's the matter of the 3000 calenders that have been printed...I'm not quite certain how to address that issue at the moment...in the meantime, I've taken screen shots of everything and posted them...
http://www.storiesspace.com/forum/yaf_postst1322_One-of-my-worst-nightmares-come-truemy-911-poem-being-used-for-commercial-purposes.aspx

I haven't really consulted with my attorney...I'd really prefer to have to avoid that route, and come up with an amicable solution, as I believe you would as well...it would seem to me, that there can only be two ways at this point to proceed...either all the printed calenders are destroyed, or some sort of sticker, or additional printing be added with an explanation, along with some financial compensation...

I'm trying to find out from some others who may have been in similar situations...I will get back to you though, and I think you can see that those would be the only reasonable solutions...

I do believe that Bereket is the guilty party, and it's perfectly reasonable that neither you or Awate were aware of his wrongdoing...still, a wrongdoing has been done, and a reasonable solution must be found...

Regards.
Alan W. Jankowski


And this is what he wrote me back yesterday...I can live with this...like I said, I shouldn't really have to go through this crap though, and the reason I took all these screen shots and created these forum posts is to cover my bases...essentially, I prepared for the worst...

Ghezae Hagos
11:25 AM (19 hours ago)

to sal, salgadi, Getu, semere42, me, Bereket
Dear Alan,

Thank you for your understanding. It means a lot to us.

We had decided to remove the poem entirely and put photos of prisoners instead. That will effectively solve the problem. It is very good timing as the calendars were yet to be distributed.

Please allow me to give you a bit background about this project. We are members of an advocacy group called Eritrean Youth Solidarity for Change- North America. We have chapters in many US and Canadian cities. Our members are volunteers. Our objective is to raise awareness about the gross human rights violations that exist in Eritrea. Eritrea currently has one of the most repressive regimes in the world today.

http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/eritrea-rampant-repression-20-years-after-independence-2013-05-09

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/09/eritrea-10000-political-prisoners_n_3243933.html

The calendars were part of the campaign to increase awareness of the human rights violations and to honor the prisoners of conscience. We have covered the expenses out of our pockets and there is no financial remuneration or benefits associated with the calendars. Neither Bereket Yohannes nor the project managers will get any financial benefits. If any, we will definitely incur costs, but we expect that. The reason I am mentioning this because we want to you to have a clear idea of what we are doing.

Dear Alan, we thank you for your understanding and support. We are glad we nip this incident in the bud. We apologize for any mental anguish, unnecessary distractions we may have caused you.

We wish you greater success in your artistic and personal endeavours.

All the best,
Ghezae Hagos for Eritrean Youth Solidarity for Change- North America



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sprite
Posted: Wednesday, October 02, 2013 3:20:51 PM

Rank: Her Royal Spriteness
Moderator

Joined: 6/18/2010
Posts: 17,240
Location: My Tower, United States
YAY! Big Hugs

Live, love, laugh.
Frank
Posted: Wednesday, October 02, 2013 4:59:07 PM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 11/16/2011
Posts: 11,659
Location: Pleasure dome, United Kingdom

toast

Of all our inventions for mass communication, pictures still speak the most universally understood language.

Walt Disney

DirtyMartini
Posted: Sunday, September 14, 2014 10:17:14 AM

Rank: Purveyor of Poetry & Porn

Joined: 10/19/2009
Posts: 5,849
Location: Right here on Lush Stories..., United States
Well...it looks like the thieving bastards lied to me...came across this last night, while doing a search for my 9/11 poem...

Assena Calender - September 2014
http://assenna.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/Aster_2014-Cal.-main-cover.pdf

My next step is to contact the Attorney General's office in Canada, since that's where the parties responsible are located...and I believe it could be a criminal matter as well...

On a more happy note, while searching...I did find some more nice stuff...like my poem being read at a 9/11 ceremony sponsored by New York state Sen. Marty Golden, so that was rather nice, especially since it is in NYC...note the correction at the bottom...they originally had me as "Frank Jankowski"...but after a comment, tweet, message to the site, and a phone call...they finally fixed that...

Hundreds gather on 69th St. pier to remember 9/11 victims
http://www.brooklyneagle.com/articles/2014/9/12/hundreds-gather-69th-st-pier-remember-911-victims

It was read at a junior college in West Texas...

SWTJC - 9/11 Ceremony
http://www.swtjc.edu/newsletter.php?id=916

At a women's club in Connecticut...

Woman’s Club of Greenwich Honor Those Who Sacrificed on 9/11
http://www.greenwichfreepress.com/around-town/giving/womans-club-of-greenwich-honor-those-who-sacrificed-on-911-22663/

It got Tweeted by a Human Rights organization to over 21k followers...which I thought was pretty cool...note the cool picture...

Human Rights - We Shall Never Forget
https://twitter.com/HumanRtsV/status/509820499363254272

And a lot of little stuff...including one politician running for senate down in North Carolina...

Krawiec NC Senate - We Shall Never Forget
http://www.joyceforsenate.com/index.php?p=article&nid=32

A ton of people using it, or parts of it, on Facebook and the like without giving proper credit...including an Army Base for a wreath laying ceremony...but, what ya gonna do?








You know you want it, you know you need it bad...get it now on Amazon.com...
Lush Erotica, an Anthology of Award Winning Sex Stories

BDSMBarbieDoll
Posted: Sunday, September 14, 2014 3:39:35 PM

Rank: BDSM Barbie Doll

Joined: 11/14/2013
Posts: 4,279
Location: United States
I'm sorry to hear this Alan...

I think your lawyer needs to mail them some letters or maybe a cease and desist letter.

Hope you get it straightened out.



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