Tag Archives: plagiarism

The Sincerest Form of Asshattery

Dear GM/Officers/Guildmates,

Unfortunately, I have to step down from raiding with you guys. Due to my job/family/health/upcoming prison sentence I just don’t have the free time to commit to raiding 9 hours a week with you guys anymore.

Hopefully if the situation changes I could come back to raid with you in the future. Otherwise, I may try to look for a 1-night a week guild or maybe set up a GDKP run at some point.

Thank you for the great guild and raid experiences I’ve had here, I’ve learned a lot from you guys. I have had an amazing time raiding with you all and I wish you nothing but the best in Mists.

This is a nice, respectful way to tell your guild you’re leaving them. Real life happens, everyone understands that.

But you know what people are less understanding of? Lies.

You know what makes people angry? When they respond to your goodbye post with understanding, sympathetic messages and wish you all the best with your busy schedule that no longer allows you to raid 3 times a week then find that you are now the GM of a new raiding guild.

Anger levels reach a fever pitch when they find out that the ‘new’ guild you’ve started is a complete knock-off of the guild you just left.

You can probably guess that this post was inspired by real, and very recent events. We had a raider announce that he was stepping down from raiding due to not having the time to raid anymore. Two days later he was the GM of a new guild, with a guild website set up that completely plagiarized all of Apotheosis’ policies and application posts. The raid times are exactly the same, the pitch he uses to recruit people on the forums is almost exactly the same, the guild application is an exact copy.

All he had to do was tell us “You know, I really want to be in charge of my own guild, so I’m going to try to start one up for Mists” and this whole situation and all the rotten feelings everyone now has towards him could have been avoided. Saying you’re too busy to raid then magically having enough free time to run a guild makes you look like an asshole. Of course, the fact that he lied and then copied all of our forum content means that ship has sailed.

I don’t want to give this asshole’s new guild any free advertising, so I will not be linking to them. I will also not mention the guild by name, instead I will use a pseudonym. I will call this guild Uranus.

Let’s take a look at some examples of how Uranus has completely ripped off Apotheosis, shall we? (All these screenshots were taken from their guild forums this morning, I’ve just changed the proper names to protect the not-at-all-innocent).

Uranus’ application preamble:

Then there’s the guild application itself:

This is Apotheosis’s application. Go take a look, I’ll wait.

It’s the exact same thing! Right down to our personality-testing question 19 – the image and question have both been copied. Even the line: “Remember that good grammar, spelling and humo(u)r are a plus.” Is copied. The (u) in humour is a play on the fact that Kurn (any many others in Apoth) is Canadian, and we put ‘u’s in everything. This guy is most definitely not a Canadian, so he just looks like an asshole by leaving this in.

He’s not only stolen the exact text from many of our posts, but also our plan for raiding at the beginning of Mists:

And this is what our Mists raid leader posted about our raid plan a number of weeks ago: (can’t link to this one as it’s in part of our forums only visible to members).

So, good job, Uranus. Nice raiding plan you’ve mapped out for your guild there. So happy for you that you were able to copy all of our forum content before we banned your pathetic ass.

This is one of my favourite bits of copy/pasting fail from the Uranus forums:

Try a global search and replace next time, asshole. This is Apotheosis’ reapplication policy. Perhaps I should be thanking this guy for looking out for us in this post, because we definitely do not want his sloppy seconds applying to us if they don’t make the cut in Uranus.

Then there are some of the guild policies:

And here are Apotheosis’ guild policies. I actually have to applaud him here, as policies 2 and 3 are not direct copies of our policies. Similar, but not the same. He may have even written that whole PVP part himself (or stolen it from another guild, who knows).

But let’s look a little closer at number 1.

Uranus:

1) Be respectful of others. Due to our goal to maintain a respectful atmosphere, we expect all players to be polite in all communcation channels of the game. This applies to guildmates as well as trade/general chat. We want to show that Uranus is full of good people.

While profanity in moderation is fine, there is a limit. Some of our guildmates have children who can listen in and even participate to some extent. Please think about things before they are said.

Apotheosis:

1) Be respectful of others. Be polite and considerate of your guildmates, and people in the game in general. You represent the guild, show others through your behaviour that Apotheosis is full of good people. Be proud of being part of Apotheosis and be proud of what your guild is like. In short, don’t be a jerk.

This includes guild chat. While moderate use of profanity is fine, there should be no comments or jokes that target a minority group. Examples of unacceptable behaviour include (but are not limited to): racial slurs, use of stereotypes or insults used against a social or religious minority and casual use of the word “rape”. This includes using the word “gay” in the pejorative.

I think it speaks volumes about this person’s character that he blatantly copied so many of our policies word-for-word, but he took the time to remove the bits from our rules about not using racial slurs, stereotypes or the words “gay” or “rape.”

I could go and talk about how he’s stolen more content from our Who We Are post, and our Guild Ranks, and even copied some of Kurn’s responses to applicants word-for-word, but I think I’ve spent enough time on this. And Kurn will likely go into them more when she gets home and has some time to channel her disgust into a blog post. 🙂

They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but I say that’s bullshit. In this case, imitation is the sincerest form of laziness, dishonesty and theft.

To be honest, I’m not even all that angry at this person. I love a competition and I’m going to enjoy how the real Apotheosis is going to wipe the floor with his copycat guild in raiding progression and quality of guild members.

Game on.