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Re: st: What is the proper way of modifying user-created ado-files. . .

From   Roy Wada <>
Subject   Re: st: What is the proper way of modifying user-created ado-files. . .
Date   Wed, 18 Nov 2009 09:11:18 -0800

> and imply that a suitably large portion of the credit for the program belongs to
> the original authors."

No, this is mandatory. Public domain does not imply the authorship has
been surrendered or voided. If you take something substantial, it MUST
BE CREDITED to the original author. Anyone who willingly violates this
should be subjected to any available remedy at hand, starting with
damages to their professional reputation if they have any.

Anyone who separates authors who their work without due consent is
committing plagiarism in the widest sense of the word. This has been
established for books, music, internet, and all creative outlets, with
the possible exception of parodies. Even for lay publications (such as
teenage fiction or general history), authors have been successfully
sued for taking contents without permission.

I believe this has been established in a recent court case in US
regarding one of GUI programs, I don't remember which. You absolutely
may not separate the author from one of his works without his explicit

Otherwise you will have a ripoff artist skimming ssc or whatever
sources, change the name, make superficial changes, and present
himself as the clever guy with incredible amount of ouput. We do not
let students do this in the classroom, and neither should we let a
grown man with a union card do this.

Do we know anyone amongst us who is currently presenting himself as
the prolific author of programs when in fact those programs are
clearly beyond his capacity to write? What makes some programs unique
is not the ability to write codes but the ideas and the originality
behind those codes, just as it is the case with words and the ideas
behind them.

Scratch a prolific author presenting himself as some kind of genius,
indeed presenting himself as the expert on the topic, when in fact he
is not responsible for the original content or the creativity. What
you have is a clueless guy who got carried away with copy-and-paste
schtick. After a while it becomes rather obvious who is merely
knocking off everyone's programs.

In academia, and most of us are in academia, the requirement is even
stricter. You absolutely may not take credit for other people's ideas
or work. I have even seen a few cases where the codes had been
parapharsed in the subsequently revisions rather than the giving
citation to the original author. This is a very stupid thing to do.

Lately there has been a very disturbing trend among the ssc
programmers where people are actively taking credit by EXPLICITING
PRECEEDING WORKS. This is a clear violation of several academic
standards of conduct and absolutely should not be allowed. One may not
knowingly distribute any academic work without the citation that goes
with it.

If this little pond or the sub-discipline of statistical programming
is to be treated seriously by the rest of academia, then the most
basic tennets of copyright and authorship must be honored. Otherwise
we will be just a bunch of guys copying-and-pasting each other.

Harm has been done. Take John Gallup, for example. His reputation has
been greatly damaged because of this sort of nonsense until I decided
to take it up myself. Or take my case. In the past I have been put in
awkward situations because a large number of poeple do not recognize
me as the original author. Indeed, my reputation has been harmed and
the harm would have been far greater had I not take actions to
actively defend it.

And no one should have to.

Now, my original position was to let live and live. As you may recall,
I did this. However, I have come to the conclusion that this simply
does not work. As I have mentioned before, people will stop sharing
their programs and the creatively will suffer over this. Is it my
imagination or have people stopped contributing anything really clever
lately? And why should they share anything when they know ahead of
time that their contribution will not be respected and in some cases
will be actively violated as was the case with John or perhaps with

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