Virginia Quarterly Review blogger Waldo Jaquith has dug up passages from Wired editor-in-chief Chris Anderson’s new book, “Free,” in which Anderson pulls chunks of text from Wikipedia entries, without attribution.
In addition to the allegations of plagiarism, it also seems like Anderson didn’t fact check some of the info pulled from the Web, as Jaquith explains: “Transcription errors are present in most of the quotes and citations within this Wikipedia entry, a result of contributors making mistakes while entering information from nineteenth-century newspaper articles. Those errors have been reproduced verbatim in ‘Free’.”
refuted given an explanation for the plagiarism, saying that the publishing of the book was rushed and the mistakes came about because of the elimination of footnotes. But that doesn’t stop this whole situation from being incredibly ironic — especially because “Free” is a book about how companies can make money from giving away some products for free.
“It’s sort of like if Abbie Hoffman had claimed after the fact that he actually meant to suggest that people buy his book, but a last-minute publishing error led to some erroneous cover copy.”