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Piracy and Plagiarism in Chess

We just found this notable blog entry by chess author Lubomir Kavalek at the  Huffington Post. He talks straightforward about plagiarism in the chess world, naming names – an excellent article which calls to mind some observations from our own experience.

In the role of publisher, ChessCentral has produced many fine print books and e-books found in our catalog. Unfortunately, each passing year exposes more web sites that choose to sell, share or give away our copyright protected property, our books and articles. Recently we found an eBay seller with over 100 chess books from many publishers, all scanned and placed on CD and ready to ship. When contacted he claimed some “obvious right” based on his work of scanning. A generous interpretation of the law!

Other portals frequently offer chess book downloads that are copy protected. To the credit of Chess.com, for example, once an infraction is brought to their attention they remove it immediately from the site. But many outlaw domains remain silent and await enforcement. Most chess book publishers could keep a cadre of copyright lawyers busy.

Another area often pirated is chess software. In fact, many “warez” sites frequently appear in searches for popular software products before listings from legimate chess shops. We’ve even seen Google ads hawking illegally obtained chess software. If weeks of programming must be added to protect software from theft, the price goes up and honest consumers pay.

Mr. Kavalek suggests that most victims of piracy don’t talk about it, and so the author has spoken out for them. The intellectual pirate is a thief who forces everyone to suffer equally at the cash register.

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