Thursday, May 21, 2015

Should I be flattered or annoyed that somebody rewrote one of my articles?

On May 19 of last year, I wrote an article for Bleacher Report entitled The Top 10 NBA Draft Lottery Steals of All Time.  It was a captivating and unique story idea that to the best of my knowledge hadn't been covered previously.  For that reason, over 100,000 people read it.

Two days ago (also May 19), another B/R writer published a new article with the identical title: "The Top 10 NBA Draft Lottery Steals of All Time."

That's mine on the left, the ripoff on the right.

What does this mean and what should I do?  Has my intellectual property been stolen?  It's not plagiarism or anything--the list is very similar (because I got it right the first time), but the text is completely different.  However, the title and idea are obviously exactly the same.

Should I just be flattered that my article was a concept worthy of somebody rewriting it a year later?  Should I be annoyed that the new one doesn't give me credit for the idea?  Shouldn't somebody have contacted me ahead of time?  I don't feel good about it.  Who knows what the rules are though, the internet is like the Wild West.


  1. Apologies in advance -- I may ramble a bit here:

    Though I don't know him personally, Favale used to be a semi-regular guest on my friend Kwame's radio show. I figured him to be a pretty straight shooter.
    It's possible that this is coincidental -- perhaps a project he'd had on the back-burner for a while, maybe an assignment?
    There were a couple of times when I thought one of my pieces had been "re-worked" by an FC. I was equal parts offended and flattered, but way too new to B/R and all this to kick up any sand. (If something similar had gone down at school or when I was calling youth ball regularly, though, I imagine there'd have been some discussion.)
    Like I said, Dan's a good guy (and he's been at B/R for a good while), so a good-natured, "What's up, dude?" could prove informative.

    Re. do's and dont's: I think it's like the NFL -- make it up as you go. I once asked B/R's NBA editor for some guidance on using pictures for my pieces. He told me (a) just acknowledge where I'd found it and (b) never use anything from Sports Illustrated.

    1. Thanks for your thoughts Abacus! I'm guessing an editor somewhere liked my idea last year, made note, and assigned it as a topic this year. There's no way it's a coincidence with the same title, but there's a good chance it's not Dan's fault either. I sent him a couple tweets, but he hasn't responded. I'll try again I guess.


Back to homepage