What to do…?

So, a friend of mine living in the UK sent me this link. It’s a story about video games and violence. In particular, it’s about whether or not the argument that video games truly promote violence. There are a couple of problems with the piece.

The first is an obvious one for me but probably less so for anyone else: the byline is "Andrew Parsons/PA Archive/PA Photos". Now, I know there are a couple of other Andrew Parsons in the world, but not another one that’s a journalist. And not only that, a journalist with an interest in video games and helping parents understand that the hype may be just that. (Oh and to be clear – I haven’t written for MSN or PA so this was a very interesting turn of events indeed).

The second issue came to the fore once I started reading the article itself. About half of it is recognisable as stuff I have either written or is so close to stuff I have written that it’s a poor rework job to make it appear different. I use certain ways of phrasing sentences that drive some people mad and I can recognise them easily – this article has several of those and I find it an unlikely possibility that someone else would have the very same peculiarity.

Right, so you may be thinking, someone found an old article of yours and has simply re-published it without your permission. If this was the case, I would be frustrated for just a single reason – plagiarism/copyright infringement.

However, it’s worse than that because the other half of the piece – intermingled with the stuff that I recognise – is most certainly not mine and I don’t know if I agree with the posited scenarios and arguments. This makes the issue even more of a concern for me because people may read the article and consider it in its entirety to be my own beliefs and opinion [remember, it has my name on the byline].

What’s interesting personally, is that this has caused me more consternation than the potential copyright infringement – that people I respect might read what is written and think of me in a different light based on a false assumption!

Heck – I make enough mistakes on my own, ruffle enough feathers and put enough people offside that I don’t need any help from well-wishers!

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4 Responses to What to do…?

  1. Mitch says:

    So have you tried to contact anyone over at MSN yet?

  2. Jenny says:

    Hi Andrew,
    Just to clear up one point in relation to the byline Andrew Parsons/PA Archive/PA Photos.  This is a picture credit, rather than a credit for the wording.  MSN will have licensed the picture from PA Photos to illustrate the article you are referring to. 
    Unfortunately, this means that you may have difficulty finding out who wrote / plagiarised some of your wording.  Good luck in your search though!
    Jenny Teasdale
    Marketing Manager
    PA Photos

  3. Andrew says:

    Hi Jenny,
    Thank you so much for taking the time to respond in this way. I was scratching my head trying to figure out what PA was, so you\’ve helped enormously. I can send an answer to my friend in the UK to let him know that it\’s not PA\’s doing (he used to do PR for Xbox here in Oz and now does it for Xbox in the UK so he was confused as well).
    Thanks again

  4. Jenny says:

    No problem at all.  Happy to help.

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