Sunday, May 03, 2009

An Update on the Seanie B Situation

As I continue to get emails and comments about "the Seanie B situation," I figured that I should not only provide an update on what's happening, but also clarify a few things that seem to have gotten widely misconstrued. The timeline below provides the gist of what's gone down.

April 9

A commenter on my site (Andre from Germany) asked if I happened to be collaborating with someone named Sean Olesiuk (aka "Seanie B") on his Lost recap videos because the content was essentially the same. He provided a link to Sean's YouTube channel. This piqued my curiosity, so I watched the "Whatever Happened, Happened" video and saw that Sean recited several sections word-for-word from my write-up on the same episode (which I had published several days before Sean's video went live). I then posted a question on Facebook, asking if anyone had any experience with this sort of thing or had advice about what I should do. A few intellectual property lawyers responded and shared with me more than I ever wanted to know about plagiarism and copyright infringement (Sean was guilty of both), and then gave me some suggestions for how I should proceed. They all said I should 1) contact Sean immediately, 2) start documenting the specific spots in Sean's videos where he'd used my content, and 3) file a copyright claim with YouTube.

Within two hours, I had written Sean through YouTube, explaining what was going on, informing him that I had filed a copyright claim, and asking him to take down the video in question from his multiple sites. Four hours later I sent the same message to his personal email account.

While I waited to hear back from Sean, I wrote Jon Lachonis, aka Doc Arzt of the very popular Lost fan site DocArzt & Friends. I knew he'd gone through something like this before and wanted to get his thoughts. I told him I had contacted Sean privately and was hoping that he'd just take down the video and the whole thing would be over before it began. But in case that didn't happen, Jon offered to make a side-by-side comparison clip of the content from my site and Sean's video. As both the lawyers I'd talked to and a few journalists I'm friends with had pointed me to this list of things to do if you find that your work has been plagiarized ("public humiliation" is the essence of Step Five), I told Jon to go ahead and make the video. However, we both agreed that we'd give Sean some time to respond to my messages and that Jon wouldn't post the video unless I'd given him the green light. It was Easter weekend, after all, and we figured I might not hear back from Sean for a few days.

Around 10:20 PM that same night, I got an email from Sean. Although its tone was extremely friendly, there were about twenty things in it that made my blood boil. He said he'd never heard of me or my site, that the only site he has ever referenced for his videos is Lostpedia, and that even then, he never recited anything word-for-word.


April 10

Early in the morning, YouTube removed Sean's video that I had noted in my copyright claim. Late in the afternoon, I told Jon to go ahead and post the side-by-side video he'd made. It had been 24 hours since I'd first emailed Sean, and it was clear I wasn't going to hear anything else from him, nor was he going to take down the "Whatever Happened, Happened" recap from his own site. So Jon's video was posted... and then all hell seemed to break loose. Within one hour of Jon's video going live, Sean emailed me. This time he asked if I'd tell him what parts I wanted out of his video (which was still up on his personal web site despite being yanked from YouTube) so that he could re-edit it -- pretty much the opposite of his first response. Unfortunately, his change of heart only came after the incriminating video was published and he undoubtedly was bombarded with messages about it.

Later that evening, at the same time that I was writing Sean an email telling him that I was not going to spend the time to help him pinpoint what he'd plagiarized from me (which amounted to a full 20% of the running-time of his video), he was editing the video on his own and writing me back with a link to it, as he had already re-uploaded it to YouTube. The edited video still included several lines of content from my site.

By this time, tons of people had informed me that they were certain Sean had lifted content from other Lost bloggers besides myself, most notably Vozzek69, a fellow writer for DarkUFO.


April 11

Andy (who runs DarkUFO) put me in touch with Vozzek69. Even though both of us were really not wanting to spend the bulk of our Saturday on Easter weekend documenting every place Sean plagiarized from us in his videos, that's exactly what we did. It turns out that Sean had been passing off Vozzek's words as his own all season long. As in, paragraph upon paragraph. We couldn't believe it.


April 12

The madness continued on Easter Sunday. At this point, other copyright claims had been filed with YouTube by other parties.... while on the message boards on Sean's personal web site, Sean wrote that he had already apologized to me (not true) and that he'd be making a statement about everything shortly. When I learned this, I emailed him and said that I would appreciate it if he responded directly to me first. We had not emailed since the 10th. He wrote back that afternoon with an email that finally included a true apology, and he also admitted that he had been taking content word-for-word from both my posts (for just a few episodes) and Vozzek's (since the end of season four). I cannot speak to the other parties and their claims against Sean.


April 13

The holiday weekend was over, and the situation heated up significantly as several Lost-related web sites caught wind of the drama and wrote posts about what was going on. I believe this is also the day that Sean's YouTube account was suspended because of multiple copyright infringement claims. Vozzek and I then jointly wrote Sean an email listing out a few things he could do to end this whole mess. Our main concern was that he take down the videos with our content in them from his own site and anywhere else they existed. We indicated that if he wanted to edit out our content or cite our posts everywhere he used our work, that that was also acceptable. Since Sean had already indicated that he intended to make a statement to his fans about all of this, we asked that he run that statement by us first so that we all remained on the same page. We also asked that Sean include that statement not only on his web site, but also in his next video, as the vast majority of his fans don't read his message boards.


April 14

Sean took down all of the videos with our content in them from his personal web site, and emailed us that he would be sending us a draft statement for review that night.

However, we have not heard from him since, and have sent one follow-up email to him on the 23rd which has gone unanswered.



May 3

So, there you have it. Lest the above not be clear enough, let me end with these few points:

1) Jon Lachonis didn't need to do a damn thing about this. But guess what? Despite all the awful stuff you hear in the news every day, there are still good people out there who help other people because... well, just because. Shocking, but true. Anyone who thinks Jon made the video for me to somehow get more traffic on his site does not understand that DocArzt & Friends already has more traffic than most webmasters could ever dream of. I mean, the guy wrote a book about Lost fandom -- a book which includes a description of his visit to the set for the filming of "Eggtown" and a foreword by one of Lost's producers, for God's sake. He's not exactly an unknown in the Lost community.

So if you feel like you want to do something to support me or help me in thanking Jon for making the video that went a long way in rectifying this situation, then by all means, BUY HIS BOOK (Lost Ate My Life: The Inside Story of a Fandom Like No Other). I got it when it first came out, and it's a must-read for anyone who considers him or herself a true Lost fan. And surely you can't argue with my dog -- just look at that face!


2) *I* did not shut down Sean's YouTube account. YouTube suspended Sean's YouTube account, and Sean took his videos off of his own site because he realized the seriousness of what he had done and is trying to make things right.

3) I can only speak for myself, but I'm pretty sure that no one else involved in this mess has any problem with Sean making more Lost recap videos in the future -- I certainly don't. He's obviously a talented video editor, people enjoy his work, and he's done the mature thing in removing the old videos that had copyrighted content in them. I have no doubt that any videos he makes in the future will be better than his old clips -- because he'll now say what HE really thinks.

4) Lastly, I'm sure you've all seen some of the nasty comments I've gotten about this situation. (I don't post the nastiest of them, by the way.) I'm hoping that in sharing all of the above, this ugly chapter in Lost fandom can come to a close, and that no one else will flame me, Doc, Vozzek69 OR Sean.


This post should have cleared up any remaining questions about this debacle. Thanks once more to everyone who has voiced concern and support -- you have no idea how much I appreciate it. In addition to DocArzt, I must give a special thanks to the following sites, which all mentioned this situation and had my back:

- Doc Jensen at Entertainment Weekly
- Jen and Liz at The Washington Post
- Lostpedia
- The Jay & Jack Podcast
- Zap2It's Guide to Lost
- Sledgeweb's Lost Stuff
- B-Side Blog
- SiteProNews
- Entertaining Thoughts
- Insert Witty Blog Name Here
- Social Media Explorer
- sl-LOST.com

Here's to never thinking about any of this AGAIN and instead focusing on the final three hours of a spectacular Season Five!

- e

53 comments:

PenguinJosh said...

E, thank you for the updates! :)

You are a saint to be so patient with the situation, and handled it excellently!

Josh :D

MikeNJD said...

Hey e. This is Mike from Entertaining Thoughts. Thanks for the shout-out, but it was my pleasure to draw whatever attention I could to your situation. I'm sorry there hasn't been a full resolution yet, but thanks very much for the update. Keep doin' what you do because you're the best. By the way, when Lost comes to an end, can we take a vote as to what show you start recapping next? We're going to have to have out weekly e TV fix! ;-) Hope you had a great weekend.

Thanks,
Mike

Ariel said...

E - I've been a fan almost since you started this site, and as a fellow writer, I totally support you in this situation. I appreciate the way you've written out the details, showing clearly that you handled things in a mature and professional way.

Anonymous said...

please hurry for the next recap of episode 14

Beerage said...

Thanks for getting us up to date on your side of things. Sean hasnt been active on his website for a long time and hasnt said hes sorry or anything publicly.

His site went crazy the few days after, alot of the people there side with Seanie but they are blinded by ignorance and I helped point out Seans lack of regard to other Lost fans.

So yeah keep strong E, love your work and even though I was a fan of both yours and Seanie's my opinion of him has dramatically dropped, plus he hasnt even announced anything which I believe is cowardly.

So is the copyright lawsuit going any further?

e said...

Beerage -

I never did anything with a lawsuit as Sean removed the videos from his sites. If he uses original content in the future, I doubt he'll have any problems.

- e

jb_dean said...

I can't believe that anyone would flame you over this. But I am sure happy that it's at a point where you're happy with it. I hope it just continues that way and you get the video apology that you deserve and was promised to you. :hug:

Mair said...

E - you are a stellar woman! You gave him every chance (and more) to do what's right when you could have taken him down. You only wanted to do what's right for everyone involved withOUT it getting to the point of no-return for either party. I commend you on that.

...and THANKS for reminding me we only have a few hours left to the season ::sigh:: ::pout::

xoxo mair

Beerage said...

Oh my mistake E, rumors on Seans site were that you were still pressing charges.

I'm pleased its finally been resolved although I would have liked to see a public apology by Sean.

The Doctor said...

Hi Erica.

As a supporter of sean, I Thank you very much for your side of the story. I've been following his videos for a little while now, and, until this fiasco, I didn't know your blog existed at all. After reading through it, I think you've really done a great job and will be visiting your site in future.

Hoping that Sean comes around and releases a public statement and apology.

But for now, keep writing! Eagarly waiting for Follow the Leader this week!

Fishy-Fishy-FishBisquit said...

Thank you for the detailed account :)

I fully comprehend the issue of CR infringement and can therefore understand your reaction. I am however a little shocked about this notorious point 5 that you named "public humiliation". I´m wondering if this is really an appropriate step of action to take. I completely get your point, CR infringement IS wrong and I know that it has to be made public that it is a despicable thing to do. But public humiliation leaves a bitter taste in my mouth and reminds me a little of old times and stoning adulterers, burning witches and hanging people from trees. When someone commits a crime, he gets sent to court, but he is not thrown into the mob for it to "do justice". If we did that with illegal immigrants for instance, letting them undergo legal consequences and then also public bashing, now that would give Amnesty International a feast.

I´m not saying that you´re not right in your claims. You are, there´s no discussion about that. But this guideline you linked, it really makes me wonder if there aren´t other ways of dealing with things. The internet is great, but it also provides us humans with a platform where we can be neanderthals again. And I´m definitely not saying that you are because you´ve handled the whole thing in an exceptionally fair manner and I deeply respect you for that just like I love and respect your blog. But it sometimes depends on what intention we have to do the things we do. If something´s made public in order to make oneself heard, then this is completely understandable. But if it is made public with the clear intention to summon people to later on go out an bash the accused, then to me at least it´s a whole different story. I may be too sensitive here, but it´s my opinion.

I´m definitely not out for criticizing anyone, at the very last Erika, because after all - you are the victim and all your actions have been carried out in a highly fair and ethical manner and I really wish it would always happen that way online. But this one issue I really felt the need for to point it out. Sorry if I´m causing any trouble.

I know what´s going to come now - that people are going to tell me that I´m wrong. That´s ok, it´s everyone´s opinion. Just let me be the one who - in a common rage against a common "enemy" - questions the methods used.
Fishy-Fishy-FishBisquit

Anonymous said...

Unbelievable! Your writing is engaging, and entertaining. As a fellow writer, I understand your frustration. What Seanie B did was low, and you handled it with the upmost dignity. It was good to see the Lost community come together to expose this charlatan.

e said...

Fishy-Fishy-FishBisquit -

You're of course entitled to your opinion, and I totally understand what you're saying. I'm a little confused, however, because nowhere did I say that I encouraged people to take it upon themselves to flame Sean. My form of "public humiliation" was allowing the side-by-side video to be posted... and the resulting coverage on major web sites that came as a result, which I did not ask for but appreciated.

If you read the article I linked to with the steps about what to do if you find you've been plagiarized, you'll see that the "making it public" step only comes AFTER other things tactics been unsuccessful. It's also particularly meant for ONLINE copyright infringement, because the web is somewhat of a "wild west" with this sort of thing unfortunately happening more than it should.

None of this would've been made public had Sean simply taken down the video or admitted to what he'd done when he wrote me back on April 9. Instead, he denied it, and then ALL of his videos ended up being analyzed by tons of other people, and that's when other writers found out he'd been taking their content, too.

So if I wanted my copyrighted content off of Sean's videos and he told me that he never heard of my site and wasn't going to do anything about it... what exactly should I have done at that point? Spend MY money to have a lawyer go after him? That would've been much worse for him.

Finally, in no way can posting a video showing examples of plagiarism be compared to stoning, hanging, or burning someone at the stake. That's a little dramatic, my friend.

And just remember, for every message Sean probably got about this debacle, I got one as well -- some of them said absolutely awful things, and I'd done nothing wrong?!? My point is, life's not always fair, and while I, too, wish that we didn't have to post the video, the blame for that can be placed squarely on Sean for not copping to what he'd done from the start.

And don't worry, you did make it clear in your post that you understand why I did what I did. I'm just trying to explain that Sean left us no choice but to post the video, and that I never told anyone to send him message about it afterward.

I'm sure this won't be the last case of copyright infringement online, so if you have another tactic you feel we should've tried, by all means, share it here for others to learn from.

- e

Anonymous said...

Well, now that I have the full and complete story, I think I have a better understanding of what you've been going through. I still support Seanie B. but I hope that, in the future, he will understand that he just needs to either ask your permission to cite your information or use his own thoughts. Great writing and I think I need to get that book!!

rosered2318 said...

thank you for taking the time to write this up. how you handled this whole situation is admirable and graceful. what a nightmare. i hope it's over.

Kia said...

Just wanted to let you know that I admire you for being such a Class Act ~*~*~*~

Elaine said...

Thanks for letting us know whats going on.

I'm glad this happend because before the whole incident i'd never heard of your blog and your very good at what you do. :)

I dont mean to flame but im personally shocked and disapointed in sean.

Keep up the great work :D !

Anonymous said...

i think is very sad that you went to all this s++t over some guy posting video on you tube i now people cant watch them nomore its just a tv show get over youself and i think your pissed off because he beat youto it.people was watching he's video and not READING your sad little blogs. but hey now people know were you are now and you could get some hit's on your web page lololol.very sad...... ken3ken

Blinus said...

The above comment (In content and grammar) pretty much sums up the intelligence level of Seanie B's blind supporters.

Erika, you're a class-act. Keep up the great work. :-)

Clay said...

Thank you for taking the high road in all of this. If everyone in this situation did that, we wouldn't even be talking about this.
Seanie B and his associates are young adults and they will all learn from this. This was not about revenge or hostility. It's about protecting our work.

Anonymous said...

E,

Love your writing, and think you handled this whole thing with a great amount of professionalism. Please keep up the good work.

ken3ken, buy a spell checker and learn how to use punctuation.

Aaron said...

E,

To be quite honest, I was a huge fan of Seanie B because of his informative recaps. I thought he was intelligent or amazing at analyzing an episode, but I always somewhat doubted his theories are his because of the lack of 'emotion' or 'thought' put into the theories themselves.

I'm glad this situation shed some light to the 'woman behind the curtains'(hah). And I must say, you are handling the situation quite well. I've started reading all your blogs (just completed season 5 as of 'The Variable'), and I absolutely adore your passion over the thoughts you put into the episode.

I've bookmarked your site and I'm glad justice, albeit partially, availed.

Looking forward to your future blogs,
Aaron

goatmc said...

Jon Lachonis didn't need to do a damn thing about this. But guess what? Despite all the awful stuff you hear in the news every day, there are still good people out there who help other people because... well, just because. Shocking, but true. Anyone who thinks Jon made the video for me to somehow get more traffic on his site does not understand that DocArtz & Friends already has more traffic than most webmasters could ever dream of.

Well E I got to tell you I can't dispute the fact that Jon gets a ton of traffic to his site. I have been following him since his Tailsection days. He is a great writer, marketer and theorist. Despite all that, I just have to say that I believe he is an attention whore whether he is doing it subconsciously or not I do not know. I know he always seems to have good intentions, but at the same time, as of late he will DO ANYTHING to drive up traffic on his site. And although you mentioned he has more traffic than anyone could ever dream of, he has been asking his readers to donate money to keep his site up and running as I write this. And guess what, MANY people are donating. Now I love going to Docarzt.com and all, but I couldn't help but think of how many other MUCH MORE WORTHIER causes that money could be going to to help out, (Cancer, AIDS, schools,homeless, Africa, et. al.) rather than our favorite Lost blog. I just find it to be a turnoff sometimes how Doc Arzt is always popping up in the middle of controversies and I have called him on it a few times. I am repulsed by the fact that he's asking people for money to keep his blog up and running especially considering all the hard times people across the globe are experiencing right now. I mean sure he has a great web site, but no one is going to suffer if it goes down. He also mentioned that it was a temporary financial glitch that prevented him from paying the server, but all it seems to me is that he knows the final two episodes are coming up and he would stand to lose big time money if his site isn't up and running during this critical point in Lost lore. In my opinion, he should have to suffer the consequences of poor economic management or tone down his site,(He pays $260 a month..WOW) rather than ask people for money. I'm sure there are many of us that write about Lost that just care about the show and conversing with others about it rather than caring about how much traffic or profit you're going to receive because of your opinions. I'm sure most of us can find a way to express our opinions for free or very little money, but alas that wouldn't allow us to profit from it. I fell in love with DocArzt when he was just happy to be writing and theorizing about Lost. He was giddy as a school boy back in the first couple of seasons. I couldn't wait to read his next entry, his next theory, his next great interview. Now he seems to be caught up in financial gain, popularity and scoops and he has lost that side of him that just seemed to be a giddy Lost fan like myself and so many of his fans and followers. So back to my point, I guess I just wish I could get the old Jon back that didn't care so much about traffic, popularity and profits. I wish I could say without doubt, yes this man has good intentions, but I'm not sure anymore. And it's ok to make a buck, but if in doing so, our morals are "lost", than to me it isn't worth it.

Anonymous said...

We were huge Seannie B fans. We used to watch his videos and think "Wow! How did he come up with that?"
After all of this broke and we saw the side by side videos, I felt sucker punched. I felt betrayed. I am so disappointed in him for a) stealing your work (I mean really, reading your lines point by point) and b)not coming out since and saying anything.
If it weren't for that nonsense I wouldn't have found your blog. It's great! Thank you for all you do for us Lost geeks.

Gypsy said...

Wow. What astonishing human drama. The only thing it really lacks (for me) is some kinda time-travel plot twist; like, say if Seanie B's 'lost public apology' was dug up in a time capsule from 1977. Like, if it turned out that E and V had actually been plagiarizing B from the future.
Okay. I'm totally just kidding, and thoroughly in the 'sticking his digital head on a pike as a warning to all others' camp. We don't mess around in Team Locke. (My favorite comments, incidentally, in the flame war which raged across dozens of comment threads were from the incensed Seanie B fans who were grateful that he had spared them the chore of reading.)
E, I have, and always will be, your fan; my only -very small- complaint is that you give the naysayers far to much attention around here. And the yay-sayers far too little.
But it's nothing to me because the recaps rule. I look forward to your future thoughts as we hurtle toward the end of Lost.

Anonymous said...

So in short this update is just another dig at Seanie?? Seemed the whole situation had quieted down but then here comes another dig. Im not defending Seanie B just thinks its a shame some people cant let it go

Anonymous said...

A quick (friendly) note to Blinus and Clay. I dont think generalising seanie B's ex subscribers is quite fair.

I was an avid fan of his, but never knew he was stealing ideas from other people. I think you'll find most of his supporters are professional people who work hard during the day and so appreciate him summing everything up in an easy to digest video.
I simply didnt have the time to trawl through blogs to hear ideas so him doing it for me was really quite handy. I only wish he'd admitted his plagiarism in the first place then this mess would never have happened.
E - I still consider myself a sean fan as he did make the whole lost experience better for me, but I see what he was doing was unfair. I will now come to this, and the other blogs you've mentioned for my Lost fixes!
Blinus and Clay - dont let the actions / comments of a few cause you to make unfair generalisations. Seanie B's new You Tube account has very few subscribers which I think goes to show most people are intelligent enough to see what he was doing was wrong.

j said...

e,

You handled this situation in an extremely classy and professional manner.

Keep up the great work!

AbsoluteTruth said...

Hey thanks for tellin us what was going on. We are never getting an apology from this guy I don't think. Oh well, atleast you handled it very well. Keep up the good work with the theories! =)

dappawit said...

Wow. I have read your posts on DarkUFO and I saw the post on DocArzt which revealed the plaigarism, but I've never visited your site until now. I'm glad I visited today--this was a great article. You explained the situation in such a rational, level-headed manner that I forgot I was reading it on the internet.

And from what you wrote in the post, you've done a great job handling the situation. It represents a level of maturity and common sense which is rarely found online, where similar situations descend into flame wars and other forms of name calling. As your experience shows, it is a calm, reasoned response which stands a chance at resolving disputes. A more angry response only causes the other side to turn defensive, and thus nothing gets resolved. If only your way was how everyone handled online offenses. (Heck, if only it was how I handled online offenses.)

Excellent post,
Dave

Anonymous said...

Thanks for clarifying everything. I was a big fan of Sean's vids, but it was obviously wrong for him to steal his content from other people and pass it off as his own. It sounds like he realized this in the end so that's good. We all make mistakes.

Keep up the good work! And thanks again for taking time to explain and clear this mess up once and for all!

God bless,
eric

Anonymous said...

Standup job and great post to inform all of us! Love "YOUR" work!
drallabg

Anonymous said...

Thanks for ruining Seanie B's youtube account. If you just would not have complained and just been honored to accept that your material was good enough to be in there, then things would be much better. But instead you wanted attention and you wanted to complain about something. I'm never reading your recaps or anything, because the connotation I get from this situation is that you are a complainer and look at the negative things. Good Day. Thanks a lot!!!!

Anonymous said...

"A complainer?"
You're an idiot.

Claire.is.dead.Jin.is.alive said...

Anonymous said...
Thanks for ruining Seanie B's youtube account. If you just would not have complained and just been honored to accept that your material was good enough to be in there, then things would be much better."

Ummmm no. If Seanie B had just credited his videos in the first place then nothing would have happened. Erica didn't ruin Seanie B's youtube account either - Seanie did when he violated the terms of use for youtube. (section 6D.

And i love how people accuse erika and doc artz etc of doing all this for the attention and for more traffic on their site. Standing up for the truth is not famewhoring. However stealing someone's material and then posting it on a website under your name IS. Seanie b stoel content and posted it in order to get more attention to HIS website.

Anonymous said...

I don't think opinions can be copyrighted of plagerized.
I thought it had to be researched material.
It looks like the only research was done by seanie b.
Is there a monetary loss for anyone? I doubt you could get a dollar damages even if you won a lawsuit.
All I see is sour grapes from a wannabe writer.
I had never heard of you before this, look at all the free publicity you got
He should have mentioned his sources, but he is a personable young man and I enjoyed his presentations.
I hope he has learned that there are plenty of people like you in the world that will never miss an opportunity to take a cheap shot and blame others for their failures.
You should work on the personable part.

Rami said...

Don't listen to the naysayers. I was a fan of Sean's videos but you deserve all the credit. There's nothing else to say except he did not credit you. You deserve the attention and extra traffic on your website, and I look forward to reading your recaps, Erika!

Thanks,
Rami (Rockford, IL)

Arnie said...

Erika, I have just started reading your blog and I love it. I am sorry about the whole Sean situation. I used to watch his videos without knowing how blatant his plagarism was. I hope he comes back with original videos, but in any case, for me at least, something good came out of this in that I found your blog. Thanks for your effort.

all_games said...

I have had similar problems with people taking entire blocks of word for word content from my LOST fan website at http://www.LOSTisaGame.com and posting them all over the web and claiming that it is their work or theory, etc.

Like E, my work is copyrighted. And also like E, I have had to resort to dealing with the owners of the sites when the offending individuals refused to remove the copyrighted material.

What most people don't realize is that by law, copyrights must be defended in order for them to be maintained. E not only did the right thing, but she did what was required of her by law to defend her copyrights.

mft25 said...

Erika ..Come on it is only a show why all of that? What this young man took from you? How much you lose? How much you gonna earn from your words about this show? You did invent any thing or solve the global warming problem ?are you doing a research hey scientist? Your recaps also only guessing and theories so you will sue him for mentioned your guessing and predictions? There are 1000s of lost sites and every one read and share thoughts to enjoy. This show is to enjoy us hey Einstein. So if I wrote the water is h2o then this is plagiarism? Cause I did not say who discover this ? i think you lost your way with this show and instead of having fun and enjoy the show you thought that your are astronaut or scientist or you thought you solve the pollution problem or discovered a new source of energy. Think about it carefully because abs network and lost producers can sue you with plagiarism cause who allowed you to comment on the show you do not have the show rights.

Anonymous said...

E

Hey. My name is Dave. For over two years I was a huge fan of Seanie B videos. In fact I was a fan before he was popular, and I told tons of my lost-obsessed friends to check out his videos. I was one of his biggest fans. My only complaints were that a) it took him forever to post videos, and b) i knew he was getting his theories and secrets from other sources. much of what he posted i had already read on lostpedia or darkufo or somewhere. i had never been to your site before until i found the link between him and you. in a way, i'm glad this all happened because now i will check your site regularly and you deserve the credit for many of his "theories." im sure this whole thing will bring you a whole lot more readers and viewers, for which i am glad. but i have to be honest, i'm sad about the way it all went down. he's got over 10,000 fans waiting for him to posting something, anything, and he just dissappears. i wish you guys could could settle this in a way where at least his youtube user name isnt suspended and he can give an update himself.

anyway, your recaps are great and im looking forward to the next one.

koala4christ said...

Dear Erika,

I am not sure I understand this whole problem with copyright. I understand and believe that Seanie B was in the wrong in that he should have at very least asked for your permission to use your material but am I wrong in assuming that neither you nor Seanie B get paid to do this?

I did not even know there was a whole Lost fan club or anything of the sort. I just happen to stumble upon the Seanie B videos on You Tube and watched every last one. It brought my viewing of Lost to a whole new level (this was only a month ago so before that I watched the show, speculated with my husband and that was it).

As I recall, Seanie B never once said it was his own work (but then again he never mentioned his sources either) nor did I realistically ever once think he arrived at those theories on his own. In fact I believe that the reason his videos came out so late WAS because he did research and then put it all together for the viewers (again, you have a point he could have taken the time to write down his sources in the description at the very least). If he is not gaining anything from it, how is that any different than me reading a book/article/video and then using what I learned from those in a casual conversation with my friends? I certainly do not go around in life and footnote everything I say either. Otherwise, when kids going out to play, they would have to say "Let's play hopscotch". "Oh that is a great idea". "Oh no, no, I merely suggested it but it was so and so who invented the game. I can not take full credit for this." (who even know who invented hopscotch anyway!). Or how about when I present a new family budget to my husband for example, I would have loads of footnotes referencing all my teachers who taught me how to write, do Math, my economics teacher who taught me how to do up a budget in a certain format (because the layout would be his design or from whatever source he got it from...it is not like I remember what text book we had back then and the author of that text book) or my mom who taught me how to save! Those people all deserve just as much acknowledgment because they all had their part to play it the end product.

I know I am exaggerating but the point I am trying to make is that I understand copyright laws for the purpose of protecting the original creators from their livelihood being taken away from them. However, if there is no gain for either of you, then what harm is being done? Why not just insist that he reference your website in the description so viewers could go on their own to see the length of what you (and others) had to say on the matter as well if they so chose?

I do not know either of you and I certainly do not wish to pick sides (and I won't because I know that Seanie B is in the wrong both ethically and legally). However, English is my third language so I would never read through an article about Lost (but I am sure your articles are brilliant as I skim though some of the comments made about them) so the videos are just more convenient for me. In fact, I mainly listen to the videos while I worked around the house because I did not even have time to sit and watch the videos.

Honestly, who wrote the material is not really important to me (sorry I do not even know the names of the actors so especially not who wrote the show let alone who writes the fan mail/articles/books). I am not saying what you do is unimportant because I would not be able to enjoy Lost nor any recap & secrets videos/articles if someone did not put in the work for me to enjoy it so everyone deserves credit for what they do, and I thank all those who work hard to make this fun for me. However, credit is not all there is to life, especially if there is no lose in your livelihood as a result. If that were the case, how come you do not give credit to the teachers, professors, family members, etc....who shaped you and your life to help you become the brilliant writer that you are and the critical mind that you possess that helps you analyze the show as you do? Did you seek permission from the producers of Lost to be able to reference their episode in your recap (maybe you did, I honestly do not know)? How can you claim copyright when you could not have produced this work if first, those teachers who thought you how to write and how to think critically had not contributed to forming you to be who you are? Then that does not make any work our own exclusively, but a collective effort no matter how small the part the individuals played in the process, and again, if one deserves the credit, so do the others involved in the process no matter who small the part they played. You have proof it was your own idea first, so why not be satisfied with that and just be happy you helped contribute to the whole fan experience? As a writer, if you need the credit to help you with your career, then you have the documented dates on your published blog to prove what you have done, and more so that yours came out before his if it were ever to be questioned.

As for me, I would be beaming to know someone thought my thoughts and comments were worth mentioning and using in their own work. However, if that person was gaining financially from my comments, I would like to at least be given the opportunity to be generous and not seek a share or to decide on receiving a fair share. If it was just for the fun of it...then I think it does not really matter who's name is behind the idea and certainly not worth quibbling over otherwise it takes the fun out of....well the fun.

That is my half cent's worth...

Anonymous said...

You ruined someone just because of your pride. Yeah., you're no better.
Seanie never really harmed you in any way... and you didnot stop until you destroyed him. How does it feel? And dont BS he destroyed himself. He's just a kid doing research and was doing a hell of a good job entertaining. RESEARCH my dear gives birth to the best inventions ever. You just couldn't deal with your pride could you. What happenned happened. As Lennon would have said: How do you sleep at night?

Anonymous said...

wtf

Anonymous said...

A month later... and some people still do not get it. Ah well, the majority of people do so I wont even waste my time explaining it or debating why suggesting a game of hopscotch is not even similar..... (now if u claimed to have INVENTED it..... ok i'll stop!) :)

inkyinky said...

Erica, again thanks for great recaps on the LOST season. Your blog has been the source (and well cited!) of great discussions around the lunch table at the Camp where I work . Your Blog has been spoiler free and filled with great theories and ideas that in turn lead to new to new theories and ideas that we bring up.
Being a cartoonist, I applaud your defence of the copyright notice and hope that anyone who doesn't understand the whole copyright infringement issue, hold off on the "who does it really hurt response" until they create something, or one of their kids creates something beautiful, inciteful, ORIGINAL, for monetary gain or not, and then gets ripped off like you did by someone who didn't even have the decency to ask for permission. Been there, had that done to...its a crappy feeling.

drallabg said...

E...... You da' woman! Seanie who!

katie said...

i'm pretty dumbfounded at the number of people who STILL don't seem to understand what has occurred.

no one is saying that a person has total ownership over a THEORY or IDEA about Lost. the issue here was that seanie b used something erica (and others) wrote WORD-FOR-WORD and passed it off as his own work. all he had to do was say something like, "As Erica on LongLiveLocke writes..." before using her words.

say you're in an english class and writing a paper about a book. you're totally free to mention any metaphors or parallels you see in the book, etc. but if you google other people's reviews and copy/paste them into your paper, you're looking at getting kicked out of school UNLESS YOU ADMIT AND ANNOUNCE THAT YOU GOT THAT INFORMATION - THOSE SPECIFIC *WORDS AND SENTENCES* - ELSEWHERE. you cannot misrepresent someone else's WORK as your own. erica or someone else writing a recap of an episode? their words, their WORK. you cannot just read it without acknowledging that you didn't write what you're reading (or imply that you did write it).

suggesting that you and a friend play hopscotch and the other examples i've seen here are ridiculous. have any of you gone to school at any point in your life? did you NOT learn about this at some point in middle or high school??!?

Anonymous said...

Just because you wrote it on your website doesn't mean it is copyrighted.

From a legal aspect, I would like to know UNDER WHAT AUTHORITY do you own the ideas or even the words of your website?

Also, how do you have PROPRIETY to these words.

Please post the copyright number that you own this information. That would prove your claim to copyright.

Many times the word copyright is thrown around so casually and in reality, it was never filed with the government copyright office, so is not legal at all. I guess it just sounds official.

Can you admit there were no copyright laws violated? If there were prove it by providing the copyright number.

e said...

Anonymous above:

You need to do your homework. Perhaps start with the Copyright Office of the United States' web site here:

http://www.copyright.gov/help/faq/faq-general.html#mywork

No copyright number or filing is needed for your work to be protected. Only if I *were* to file a lawsuit against Seanie would I have to file. If you read the above, then you'd know I'm not doing that as the videos are down.

You should also check out this site about Copyright myths, as you seem to be believing many of them:

http://www.templetons.com/brad/copymyths.html

- e

Anonymous said...

Hey E,

I was just on the web looking up "what happened to seanie b?" and I came across your website comments regarding this whole matter. I was following Seanie B since he first started his Lost videos and eagerly waited for each weeks recap (sometimes for a couple of weeks at a time). Yes, I was a major fan of his. After finding out that he stole your work as well as Others (pun intended), I was really upset. I've read your recaps in the meantime and they have been great! Now that this situation has had time to settle I am totally on your side. He hasn't even posted an apology to you or his fans. You were absolutely right to "humiliate" him with the side by side comparison video. He should be ashamed of not saying something sooner to everyone. Even if he acknowledges what he did in the future, it will be a waste of time for someone like me.

Wishing you the best,

Lost Fan

Anonymous said...

Thank goodness all of this is being solved. As someone who has just been a fan of people recapping the episodes, it was absolutely horrible seeing people ripping each other apart.
Thank goodness that you are putting this in the past, as I am sure Seanie B is too. Hopefully this will not have to happen again, and we all can just enjoy being LOST fanatics.
The only downside I found was that people felt the need to take sides and "flame" one another. I know that neither you or Seanie B wanted this... and hopefully the nasty messages you have been receiving are stopping. The same goes for Seanie B.
Anyways, glad things are getting better!

-Heather

Anonymous said...

Is your LOST commentary plagiarism? After all, you are essentially just regurgitating interpretations of given copy-written material. Should the writers of LOST attempt to have your blogger account pulled? That would be just as absurd as what you've done.

I think it is ridiculous that you would persecute Sean for basically, putting a variety of good LOST ideas in a great entertaining format.

People cannot own ideas, since ideas are not property. If you did not want your ideas to spread, you should have kept them to yourself. Once you share them, no longer do only you have access to them. I don't want to read your long, time consuming blog, I'd rather watch Sean's videos. I don't care where he gets his content. I don't care if you feel ripped off, or if you are merely jealous that Sean presented it better and got all the rewards. Instead of convincing people that your way of communicating these ideas was better, or 'blowing the whistle' on Sean and let the people decide, you just used brute force to get your way. It's truly a shameful, barbaric act.

Perhaps if you cared about your precious ideas so much, you should have been making the videos, or communicating them in a more engaging and accessible format. Ideas are easy. Execution is hard.

I'll leave you with a few links to anti-Intellectual Property articles and materials. Shame on you. I hope to see you apologize to Sean and the rest of us who enjoyed watching his videos.

Kevin Carson:
http://c4ss.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/intellectual-property-a-libertarian-critique.pdf

Stephan Kinsella:
http://mises.org/books/against.pdf

Roderick Long:
http://libertariannation.org/a/f31l1.html