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26 czerwca 2022

Islandzka pisarka oskarża polskich autorów o plagiat

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Islandzka pisarka Alda Sigmundsdóttir oskarża o plagiat autorów bloga Bite of Iceland, którzy wydali w 2017 roku książkę o Islandii pt. “Rekin i baran. Życie w cieniu islandzkich wulkanów”. Oskarżeni o plagiat Adam i Marta Biernat są autorami poczytnego bloga i przygotowywali się do napisania kolejnej książki.

W poście na Facebooku Aldy możemy przeczytać, że autorka już od czternastu miesięcy toczy bój z Wydawnictwem Poznańskim i z samymi autorami, którzy nie odpisują na jej wiadomości i nie odpowiadają na zarzut splagiatowania około 90% jej książki “The Little Book of the Icelanders in the Old Days” oraz fragmenty“Little book of icelanders.”

Jak możemy dowiedzieć się również z portalu lubimyczytać, na którym jest książka Rekin i Baran, Alda nie jest jedyną ofiarą plagiatu. Na liście są także dziennikarze Gazety Wyborczej oraz jeden z najpopularniejszych autorów przewodników Andrew Evans.

Autorka książki, której fragmenty zostały wykorzystane przez autorów książki “Rekin i Baran” wstawiła na swojej stronie FB oświadczenie następującej treści:

As you know, Cara and I have been doing theme weeks on this page for the past while—churches, horses, sheep, and more.

This week I want to do a theme week that is rather more personal. About something extremely important to me, that has been very emotionally (and financially) taxing, and which I have not posted about publicly until now. (Readers of my newsletter will have some idea of this already, though.)

I want to present some different angles of this theme, and to give you, my valued followers, a bit of insight into the work I do and how the independent publishing world works in general—if you will indulge me.

Essentially I want to talk about this: how I discovered that large sections—up to 90 percent—of my book The Little Book of the Icelanders in the Old Days had been appropriated and published, in direct translation or paraphrased, as part of another book, in a different language. And about how I have over the past fourteen months been trying to assert my rights and gain some justice.

The book I refer to is a Polish book called Rekin i Baran (Shark and Ram), written (supposedly) by a couple called Adam and Marta Biernat, and published by an established Polish publishing house called Wydawnictwo Poznańskie.

Adam and Marta Biernat have a popular Instagram account and Facebook page called Bite of Iceland, and write a travel blog about Iceland by the same name.

When I realized the extent to which my book had been appropriated, I contacted a lawyer. Once the legal firm had studied the two books, they strongly advised me to start legal proceedings.

Initially, the Polish publisher, Wydawnictwo Poznanskie, appeared willing to settle, and made me an offer. Then, they stopped showing any willingness to settle, and retracted their earlier offer. The authors, Adam and Marta Biernat, have stonewalled us, even to the point of not picking up their registered mail. This entire proceeding has been ongoing for over a year, and the book, Rekin i Baran, is still being sold.

The next logical step would be to sue. Yet even if I were to win (which is likely), the amount in reimbursed attorney’s fees would be far less than what I have already spent. This is even *before* a lawsuit has been filed. Even potential damages awarded would probably not cover all the costs I would incur, or even have incurred already.

I fully expect that the authors and publishers are aware of this, and are counting on me backing down because I cannot afford the legal fees.

More on all this tomorrow.