Writer Guy Ovadia of MoneyMade will Plagiarize Your Work
Do you remember way back in college near the end of the semester another student you’d never really spoken to before because he seems like a slacker suddenly befriended you? Let’s name him Guy Ovadia for this parable.
It’s nearing the end of the semester and you’d created a term paper and have spent dozens of hours researching, writing and responding to criticisms about it. Guy Ovadia wants to know what you put together. He says he needs some ideas for his own paper.
So, since you are a nice fellow and willing to help a guy out (pardon the pun), you agree to talk to him and for the next exhausting hour he peppers you with questions asking how it works, where your information came from and he needs you to explain the whole thing him.
To your dismay a week later, the guy turns in a watered down version of your term paper and copied your sources and ideas and didn’t even give you any credit for helping him. Yeah, that must have been this guy in college, Guy Ovadia because that’s basically what he did to me with one of my publications.
So let me explain.
The effort I have put into this 7,000 word behemoth of an article that criticizes a particularly large crypto project is immense. I’ve spent months researching, collating information, writing, re-writing and responding to comments.
I’ve spent dozens of hours scouring over Reddit and Twitter threads searching for interesting material to include in the article. Furthermore I have spent many hours scouring over the project code to analyze the smart contract code and using Etherscan to perform chain analysis in tracking funds.
I’ve pretty much covered everything there is to cover on the project, and as a result of my comprehensive hard work, its a top 3 ranked article for that crypto project. Naturally anyone looking to write something about it comes across my article when they conduct their first search.
This “journalist” Guy Ovadia contacts me to ask about my article. Apparently his attention span wasn’t vast enough to actually sit down and comprehend everything I have put together. I understand, it’s long.
The request seemed innocent enough so I responded with a quote. Instead he wanted to have a longer conversation.
“My expertise will help him articulate” really meant do his research for him. But I didn’t know his intentions at the time and he seemed nice enough so I took some time out of my Sunday and setup a Zoom meeting to chat with him.
We spent an hour on that call and it was clear to me that I was going to be his only research source as he was peppering me with questions the entire time and didn’t have a good grasp on the project himself.
On the call he was also asking for personal information like my full name, where I worked, which university I went to and if I had a Linkedin profile to share with him. Now mind you, this article I wrote has upset quite a few people who support the project that I criticize and they engage in cyber bullying and online harassment, so I wasn’t about to start sharing a bunch of personal information, especially when it was within the realm of possibility that the person who contacted me had the sole purpose of Doxing me under the guise of an interview.
Furthermore, my employer has a prohibition in place about speaking to the press and using their name, since they want all media inquiries to go through official press channels. Anyway, my analysis speaks for itself and is verifiable since I linked to sources and readers can follow along. Having a fancy title or fancy university doesn’t make the article any more factual than it already is.
A couple of weeks goes by and I hadn’t heard anything back from him so I conducted a search and saw that his article had already been published. To my dismay, he basically took all the sources, information I collected, analysis and things we spoke about on the meeting and put it in his own words and published the article as his own. There’s not a single citation or link thrown in my direction giving me credit for either my article or the hour I generously gave to him to help him out.
What kind of assh*Ie do you have to be to do something like that? There are some articles out there that have copy and pasted sections of my article in a half assed attempt to create some content, but Guy Ovadia distilled all the major points that I handed to him on a silver platter and presented the whole collection as his own. Not only are citations the journalistic thing to do, which he should know having a degree in journalism, but its also just common courtesy for me being the major source for his article.
When I bring in ideas that come from others, I’ll make a comment and then provide links to the original publication so that readers can see for themselves. I don’t just copy the idea, and the graphs and then pretend the idea was all mine like Guy Ovadia did.
There is a misunderstanding of copyright infringement for a lot of people. Some think that it has to be an exact copy to apply and if they just write everything in their own words then they are safe, but that is not actually true. Singular ideas on their own are not subject to copyright, however, the copyright standard is substantial similarity for when you present a collection of cohesive ideas.
Guy Ovadia basically attempted to create a super watered down copy of what I wrote making it substantially similar.
Let’s look at some examples and then you decide:
Commentary That Scammers Go For Name Recognition
Copy of Bonuses
I conducted my own original code review of the open source contract code and posted screen shots of my findings. Guy Ovadia just tells you what I found, without attribution.
I added a link to a Reddit post showing that there was an unnatural distribution of the tokens. I mention the main point and link to it so that readers can go read the original analysis with the graphs.
Guy Ovadia just copies two points from the Reddit source and copies the images without a link to the original.
This was my original analysis that I spent a few hours investigating. I have not seen a single person mention this before Guy Ovadia copied me.
I run through a cache of shady advertisements that I collected from a variety of sources and specifically mention the Economist, taxis, buses, and advertising screens in NYC.
I also mention the Ledger hack and link to a variety of original sources where people pictured what they received.
Yup, those points end up in Guy’s article too.
Careful Language and Rebuttals
One of the major points I make throughout my article and also reiterated several times on the call with Guy Ovadia is that the project founder is very skilled with semantics and crafty language in an attempt to get around legal requirements.
So naturally Guy Ovadia makes the same points in his article.
Not exactly the same wording but the same content and its obvious he clicked on my sourced links for his information. To his credit he has a couple more sentences about the founder’s past like what county in Florida he’s from. Good thing I linked directly to the founder’s own blog so he could find this additional irrelevant information and add it to his article.
What Did I Want?
All I asked from him was a link to my original chain analysis or a reference for providing the foundation for his article. He only had to spend an hour going through the sources I placed in my article that took me dozens of hours to put together. A simple link with a “read more” or here’s what Ryan found, “thanks to Ryan for educating me for an hour on this crypto project” would have made me happy. A link costs nothing, but would mean a lot to me to get credit for my work and SEO.
My request for credit was refused and he passed the buck to the editor saying that they don’t link to external articles “unless the entire piece is built around that source material” or offer exclusive information. Umm, what do you think? I pushed back, “since your research was primarily my article and my conversation with you.” To which he replied:
There we go with the request for personal information again. And he further acknowledges my original material, but then passes the buck again.
It was clear to me that Guy Ovadia just wanted to pretend that he never read my article and that he didn’t copy most of the main ideas from my article for his own. “Oh its out of my hands because its already published and doesn’t meet their editorial policy.”
I tried to appeal to his journalistic side about citations and references and made reference to the standard of substantially similar copyright infringement, and asked to speak with his editor, Elizabeth (Liz) Aldrich.
I don’t know exactly what he said to her, but aside from her also wanting to Dox me, her main point was “I do not see any information in our HEX article that is original to you or your content. All of it has been traced to primary sources, and those primary sources (the Reddit post, the Excel sheet, the chain analysis, etc) are all anonymous and public, hence why there’s no attribution in the text.”
Apparently my original chain analysis information isn’t worthy of a link because anyone can go to a blockchain explorer and verify what I found by clicking on the links that I placed directly in my article.
It’s as if Galileo shouldn’t get credit for being the first person to make observations about the heavens because he didn’t invent the telescope and Guy can go buy one today and make the same observations. Guy now becomes the primary source about space observations and takes all the credit.
Oh yeah, and remember the date that Guy Ovadia and I first spoke, Jan 9? The same exact day, my name starts circulating around the toxic Hex community.
What a crazy coincidence?!?! Guy Ovadia apparently has absolutely no journalistic integrity whatsoever.
So that’s what you are dealing with. If you are interviewed by Guy Ovadia, Elizabeth Aldrich or another MoneyMade writer, you won’t get any credit for your contribution and they have a policy of doxing you.