Did The Tidewater ASIS
Chapter in Virginia Commit Plagiarism and Infringe on my Copyright?
Read the below information and
then ask these questions
of Jim Evans - VP,
Finance & Administration and Chief Financial Officer – ASIS
International. Perhaps consider sending your comments to the entire
ASIS International Board of Directors.
Send me an email and I
will gladly send you all of their email addresses.
1. Why has the ASIS "investigation"
taken over 4 months so far, first stating that they did nothing
wrong, then offering a very poorly written and blatantly one sided
settlement proposal? (see below)
Why does ASIS
(and organization that is dedicated to protecting government secrets
and intellectual assets) present itself as an organization that
appears to condone violations of copyright law and outright plagiarism
as well as ASIS Ethics Standards by its members, staff and
3. Why has ASIS
not taken any action or investigated the
"ethical" aspect of this issue - that two of its chapter
officers were directly involved in obvious VERBATIM plagiarism and copyright
infringement of another person's work?
One would think that "a
prestigious group such as ASIS International would stand behind
ethics and make a concerted stand against plagiarism and the lifting
of an other's work in such an overt manner. Ethics has got to be
one of the basic tenants of the foremost security-oriented
organization that protects customer and government secrets, and
overlooks the assets of a large portion of the world."
(Direct quote from an email written by an ASIS Regional vice
ASIS International still show that Tidewater was the
2008 Website of the Year winner , even after Tidewater has
admitted to plagiarism. Are there two sets of standards?SEE
Here are the facts:
My company was selected by the officers of ASIS San Francisco Bay
Area Chapter to create a new website for SFASIS.org
Dec 1~2, 2004
The copyrighted website that I created for SFASIS.org is published
on the World Wide Web. It contains dozens of pages and thousands of
words, written specifically by me for the exclusive use of SFASIS.
Between January 26, 2005
and February 14, 2005
Archive.org, a well respected and independent “nonprofit
organization dedicated to building and maintaining a free and openly
accessible online digital library, including an archive of the World
Wide Web” takes its first digital time capsule snapshot of the new
SFASIS.org website, thereby establishing a record of first
publication of the SFASIS.org site. All of its dozens of pages and
thousands of words are forever recorded in its “snapshots of the
World Wide Web.”
Archive.org continued to take periodic snapshots of the SFASIS.org
website from that time forward.
October 2, 2006
Archive.org takes its
snapshot of asistidewater.org for 2006. That snapshot, and those
prior to that date, reveal a “plain-Jane” website, very simple
design, with minimal information and text on it. There is no
resemblance to any of the materials on the SFASIS site. Although
there are sections related to officers, job placement, sponsors and
sponsor information, the text is completely different than that of
Archive.org takes a snapshot of the new asistidewater.org website.
That site is virtually a mirror representation of the SFASIS.org
site. Tidewater’s new site now has dozens of pages, and on each of
them, paragraph after paragraph of text that is identical to that of
the SFASIS site – with one exception: all references to SFASIS have
been changed to refer to Tidewater. The navigation structure is
virtually the same as SFASIS’s and the terminology used in the
navigation is identical to what I created for SFASIS. There are
sections related to FAQ’s, and a number of forms that are identical
in text and layout as well as structure.
for example these pages for yourself & decide:
Navigation - SFASIS on top, Tidewater on bottom
Copyright and Privacy - note how on the Tidewater site they
forgot to remove one instance of SFASIS - could this be the smoking
Sitemap - word
for word, section for section
Support - again, word for word
May 1, 2009
While doing research for SFASIS, I discover the Tidewater site and
see that my copyrighted material has been used illegally and that
Tidewater has copied / plagiarized virtually the entire contents of
the SFASIS site for its own use and benefit. I immediately create
an electronic archive of the site, and make printed copies of all of
the pages. Additionally, I review every other ASIS Chapter website
listed on the ASIS International site and determine that on first
glance, it does not appear that any other chapter used any material,
wording, forms, navigation or layout from the SFASIS site. Finally,
I determine that Tidewater was awarded the Website of the Year award
for 2008, which I assumed was because of the new site they created
the year before using copyrighted material.
May 4, 2009
I sent “cease and desist” letters (by email and surface mail)
ASIS Tidewater Chapter officers Mr Leo and Mr Deans (click
to read the letter). I asked for a
letter of apology, restitution for the use of my thoughts and
materials and demanded a response within 10 days. Online
return receipts indicated that the emails were opened and read. USPS
Return Receipts were later received with the signature of Shawn
May 6, 2009
I sent a
Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) take-down notice to the
web hosting company – html.com – who, as prescribed by law, removed
the offending website from the Internet.
September 11, 2009 At Mr
Evan's request for a phone conversation, I called him. We had a very
long conversation, where we discussed all aspects of the issue. At
the end of the conversation we came to the following understanding
and both agreed to these 4 points, and these points only:
will issue a formal written apology to me.
has / will admitted to ASIS that they used materials that were not
theirs (copyright infringement and plagiarism) and that they did not
have permission to use.
will relinquish their 2008 Website of the Year Award.
For item #1,
please ensure that Tidewater's formal apology includes that they
infringed / used my material, which they knew was not theirs to use,
and that they did not have or seek permission to use it, and that
they understand that in doing so, they know I was "wronged".
Essentially - they need to admit to me the same things they are
admitting to you. I would like to have a copy of the letter that
they send to ASIS as well, please
4. Once all
these things are done, I will indicate in writing that that I will
not pursue any further legal / civil action against them.
September 16, 2009 Mr
Evans sent me an email with an attached
proposed settlement. He asked that I sign it and send it back to
him, and he would notify both chapters that a formal settlement has
been made and that the matter was closed. When I read the
proposed settlement, red flags went up immediately. It contained
a confidentiality clause and a very broadly written release of
liability clause, none of which were a part of any discussions
(written or oral) between Mr Evans my myself.
I replied back to Mr Evans that I
saw a number of problem areas in the proposed settlement and that I
would have to have my attorney review it. Mr Evans replied to me in
the ASIS San Francisco Chapter is not a party to this agreement or
this controversy, then the confidentiality clause should remain in
the agreement. The ASIS San Francisco Chapter may know the general
terms, but they should not be privy to the specific terms in the
agreement and the apology letter.
As for the admission
itself, I believe that ASIS Tidewater should acknowledge that it
used materials that it did not own. I can phrase the language in the
agreement as follows:
"ASIS Tidewater shall issue a written letter
of apology to Mr. Dourov. Such written letter of apology shall be
issued within thirty (30) days of the effective date of this
Agreement. In the written letter of apology, ASIS Tidewater shall
include language: (1) acknowledging that the Web Site contained
material that ASIS Tidewater did not own or had permission to use;
and (2)apologizing for the use of this material, to the extent such
material was owned by Mr. Dourov and/or Utkaduck."
2009 I sent an email to Mr Evans stating
"I found your version to be one sided and containing
clauses to which I did not previously agree to. Nowhere in our emails or verbal discussions did we talk
about nor agree on any type of confidentiality or non-disclosure
period - and certainly not one that was in perpetuity. Additionally, we found that
the release of liability was too broadly written.
I look forward to
closing this matter sooner than later. I'm sure that you will agree
that this embarrassment to the Association should be put to rest."
October 8, 2009 Mr
Evans sent me an email with
proposed settlement. In his email to me he wrote:
"ASIS legal council, the ASIS Tidewater
Chapter and I have reviewed your significant changes to the original
draft settlement agreement. As a reminder, the original draft
agreement was created based on the results of the verbal phone
conversation between you and me. Attached is a revised version of
the original agreement which is as far as we are willing to go with
October 13, 2009 I replied to Mr
Evans indicating "In
our phone conversation I NEVER agreed to ANY form of
confidentiality, nor did I agree to the overly broad "release"
statement that you have inserted into the settlement. I only stated
and agreed to drop any further action against Tidewater.
However, as a sign of good faith, fairness
and equity, I am willing to keep the apology letter confidential for
two years as indicated in both my proposal and your latest one.
There are two areas of concern that need to
be addressed by ASIS:
1. In paragraph 4, insert the word "only"
just before "until September 30, 2011." In the same paragraph, the
wording of the allowable disclosure as worded can be misinterpreted
on who infringed upon whom. It must clearly state that the claim was
settled to my satisfaction, and that it was my content that was
infringed. Hence wording must be changed to "Claimants reserve the
right to discuss or otherwise disseminate to any third party at all
times the fact that an unnamed “large international organization”
settled to Claimants’ satisfaction a claim of copyright infringement
of Claimants’ website materials."
2. The scope of the "release" in paragraph 5
needs to be narrower in terms of (1) parties and (2) content
covered. This can be resolved one of two ways: (1) if the “release”
is limited to ASIS Tidewater, then I can agree to a general release
that covers all causes of action that I have or may have had with
ASIS Tidewater up to present (2) if the “release” includes all of
ASIS, then I must have a much narrower scope of the release – it
should only be “relating to ASIS Tidewater’s use of Claimants’
intellectual property without Claimants’ consent”.
I look forward to reviewing your revised
settlement by the close of business on Friday, October 16, 2009."
On October 15, 2009 Mr Evans replied
with the following comments "ASIS legal
counsel and I reviewed your latest comments as indicated below in
this email, and I want to let you know that we do not accept any
additional changes to the last version of the agreement. Again as
stated in my last email to you, this is as far as we are willing to
go with the agreement. The agreement you have in-hand has been
signed by ASIS International and the ASIS Tidewater Chapter. By
Monday, October 19, 2009 please let me know if you will sign the
agreement or not. If you sign the agreement, then please return the
executed copy to me electronically by the end of that day."
Sometime in mid to late December,
2009, ASIS changed the
2008 Website of the Year awards to show that there was no winner
in the Group 4 category - it finally seems that ASIS agrees
that the Tidewater Chapter clearly plagiarised my material and
violated copyright law.
Reader, What do YOU think?
Send me an email with your thoughts
Virginia ASIS Tidewater Chapter
Tidewater virginia, Tidewater, VA ASIS chapter Tidewater