If you aren’t familiar with Doug Gordon’s past incident with plagiarism, here is the link to the post from last July. The tl;dr summary is that last summer it was discovered that Doug Gordon was not only plagiarizing tweets and Facebook statuses but also blog posts and his biography in various places on the internet including Facebook, Twitter and his websites.
Since the last post went live, Doug (and Jasmine) both were taken off of the speaking rosters at WPPI. Doug did end up speaking at WPPI at the tradeshow in Nikon’s booth - he was recently named an ambassador of the brand. However, outside of his own speaking tour Doug has not been speaking on many national platforms. When the roster for Shutterfest was announced quite a few photographers expressed their displeasure of seeing Doug’s name among the list and a conversation started on Missy MWAC/Lynn Cartia’s Facebook page (same person, she had to change her name due to Facebook rules). During the discussion, it was discovered that Doug’s new workshop bio was also plagiarized. In referencing internet caches, it appears that his workshop website underwent a redesign this year and the “All About Us” blurb went live in March/April of 2014.
Update 06/23/2014 @ 8:00PM
Per Sal Cincotta, Doug has been removed from the lineup for Shutterfest and as a contributor to his magazine.
Update 07/09/2014 @ 5:00PM
Not long after the above was revealed, the All About Us bio disappeared from Doug’s workshop page and was replaced with the same bio that is on his Nikon ambassador’s page which was written by SIR Marketing (the original All About Us was not).
Doug told Gary Fong that the above bio was originally part of the plagiarism that was brought to light last year and it was missed when cleaning up his website. The problem with this reasoning is that I captured the bio last year as it was plagiarized, it just wasn’t the same bio. This is the “penguin” bio that he also had on his Facebook profiles and pages and is still out there on at least one of Doug’s profiles online. Here it is again so you do not have to go back to the original post. The “SIR inspired” bio was not on the page at that time.
Gary took the above information back to Doug and also chatted with SIR Marketing. Here is the email I have from both (with permission to publish). Tl;dr: Steve from SIR Marketing was hired by Doug to write his current bio which also appears on his Nikon Ambassador profile. He did not write, nor did Doug have permission to use, the bio that was in use until yesterday that plagiarized SIR’s own about page.
“Hi everybody. I came to Doug Gordon’s defense after hearing so much about the circumstances behind what had happened with his stealing intellectual property. I spoke to him this morning, and in the same vein, he rigorously maintained that he didn’t do anything wrong. (He still does).
I’ve known him professionally for years, and I know he is not an articulate writer, and that he has had people write his copy. I’d say 99% of the professional world does this. That’s not the issue. The issue is that in 7/13 he told me a very valid explanation of the awkward situation he was in, where the ‘intern’ lifted material from the internet, and that it was a very personal matter. I believed him, asked him if this was his word of honor, and he said it was. I also reiterated that if he lied to me, I’d find out about it, and I would not stick up for him any longer.
This morning I posted again, after speaking with him, that he did not do it. I was bombarded with evidence from the internet archives that he in fact did steal again. That puts me in an awkward place, because I asked him repeatedly to be straight with me. He said he has never lied to me or stolen ever in his life. And I believed him.
Today I made a few phone calls to check up on his representations. Most notably, I spoke to Stephen Rosenbaum from SIR Marketing. Stephen confirmed that Doug stole the content from SIR’s “about us” page, that he had no permission to do so, and that what Doug did was wrong. Stephen did write the bio for the Nikon website, but was not compensated for it, nor has Doug ever hired SIR as an agency. Stephen is very concerned about the negative fallout that SIR has received from this, and I concur that SIR has done nothing wrong.
I can say this without fear of actionable libel or slander. Doug Gordon has repeatedly lied to me, and has stolen from others. I was sticking up for him because of the story he shared with me from the past, but I doubt that anything Doug says is true.
You can share/post/ republish this as you wish. I am not going to get involved into contacting Nikon about this information, but the buying public should be aware of this as should Nikon. I am contacting Sal as I consider Sal a friend of mine, and Sal is a very, very dedicated professional concerned about the good of our industry.
Lastly, here is the email I received from SIR and Stephen Rosenbaum and I have permission to publish it. I think it puts the nail on the coffin, so to speak.
I am very angry and upset that I have been misled by Doug Gordon. This isn’t about mob mentality – it’s about what is good for our industry, what is good for the buying public, and what is right vs. wrong. Doug Gordon has pleaded for forgiveness, and gave his word that he didn’t do it in the past, and he wouldn’t do it again. He was caught, again, lying and stealing.
Here is Stephen Rosenbaum’s letter. P.S. I asked Doug to please come clean with me, and tell me the truth about this issue. He insisted that he has never lied or stolen at any time.
As you requested, I hope this will shed light on the mystery/controversy regarding Doug Gordon that apparently unfolded on the Facebook page of Lynn Cartia, last night.
Earlier this year, photographer and educator Doug Gordon asked to hire me to write an up-to-date, professional biography for him, that he could use for marketing/promotional purposes.
Please note that Doug is not – and was not – a client of my Public Relations Agency (S.I.R. Marketing Communications, Inc.). Nonetheless, I agreed to write his bio and I waved any Fee out of friendship and as a personal favor to Doug – whom I’ve known for many years as a knowledgeable, experienced and passionate professional photographer and educator.
Incidentally, writing executive bios is a service we provide to our clients, as needed. However, when we do so we never seek nor do we expect to receive authorship credits. Nonetheless, on his website Doug chose to credit us for writing his bio, which was an unnecessary, but pleasant surprise to me.
Also appearing on the Facebook message thread were various other comments surrounding the similarity between my Agency’s “About Us” (http://www.sironline.com/about.htm) website page (which we wrote and published on my Agency’s website more than a decade ago) and a similar statement that was published on Doug Gordon’s website. I’m sorry but I can’t explain anything about that because neither my Agency nor I had any involvement with, or knowledge of that modified material, which appeared on Doug’s site.
Finally, as you may know I’ve spent the bulk of my career in and around photography and the imaging industry. My reputation, and by extension – my Agency’s reputation remains important to me and it is an integral part of the original and creative work we do for our clients. To that end, I hope this helps to clear up any confusion that might exist regarding the scope of our recent work on behalf of Doug Gordon.
It’s crazy really that this even has to be a topic of conversation AGAIN but here we are.