Update: Corazza Apologizes

Four days ago, on the sixth of August, the Kevin Corazza controversy came to something of a head when Corazza apologized in a comment to the ongoing Flickr thread about his cease and desist.

The apology came after several days of dramatic attention being drawn to the issue, attention that resulted in dozens of other claims of plagiarism against Corazza coming to light, claims that encompassed nearly every photograph posted under Corazza's name. By the time the firestorm was done, Corazza's site had been taken down, his Flickr account had been closed and he had virtually disappeared from the Web.

The controversy caused a great deal out rage and resulted in calls for people to spam his email address and post his personal information online. In the end, cooler heads seemed to prevail as two commenters, jakerome and Johnny Blood, called for people to take the "high road". Personally, I agree with them thoroughly.

In the end though, the situation carries with it many different lessons for both plagiarists and for their victims.

First, if you happen to be a victim of plagiarism, it truly is better to handle things as face to face as possible. It saves time, energy and can prevent major blow ups. Even though things have worked out well for the victim, Kris Krug, they easily could have gone the other way, especially if Corazza's other work had been legitimate. Furthermore, with the harassment and other actions taken on Krug's behalf, there is at least a possibility that Corazza could file other claims, perhaps even criminal charges, against the people he victimized.

Finally, if you do happen to be a plagiarist, stopping is probably in your best interest. For all of the talk about the Web tolerating plagiarism, the outrage and anger that this incident brought forth proves that many still equate plagiarism with the lie and the theft that it is.

However, if you refuse to stop, there is one piece of advice. When, not if, but when you get caught, don't attempt to file a cease and desist against your victim. It only digs the hole deeper. It's best to admit defeat and slink away.

Otherwise, the story might even wind up on the front page of Digg…

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