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Engadget Busted Stealing Content

Ah, the wonderful world of Engadget. I always forget how unbelievably pretentious Engadget is until they decide to step in it publically. Like today when they got called out for ripping off content from another site (one which they've apparently had a spat with).

Until one of those sites breaks a story. This one is the Ubiquitous Multimedia Informator, aka Brick. got their hands on a unit and broke the story. Engadget originally posted the picture had used and linked to the site. Then, someone got a hold of the post and changed it, cropping the photo to remove the link to DapReview and no link to the original story. DapReview has some pretty damning screenshots.

Digg picked this up and the comments are off and running. Ryan Block, Peter Rojas, and Jason Calacanis all have (apparently) weighed in on the subject but all seem to be missing the point. They're saying this is a "mistake". How exactly did a posted article get revised to carefully remove all reference to the originated article. Mistake indeed.

Others claim Weblogs Inc. has done the same thing in the past (check the comments).

Seems like Jason and Co. are getting pretty good at apologizing.

Update: I didn't know how prescient the previous statement was. Jason and Ryan Block stopped by; check out the comments. Links updated.


  1. It was in fact, a mistake, one I'm not super excited to admit I made (but one that I take full accountability for). We're a small team of writers working on staggered shifts every day having to keep track of hundreds of feeds, hundreds of links, hundreds of tips. Things get mixed up and confused, and I misattributed credit on a story under a false impression. It happens. I corrected and apologized, which is the only right thing to do. Hope people can understand!

    Best, Ryan

  2. It is pretty simple... we posted the story then changed it to credit another group which we mistakenly thought had the origional story.

    We found out they didn't and we switched it back.

    When you're a large site like engadget you get 100 people claiming to be the source of a story and sometimes we make mistakes... when we do we admit the mistake and fix it.

    That's what we did here.

  3. Oh comon, a photograph that had the URL of the site from which the photo was taken, and you thought it came from a different site? Give me a break.

    When you're a large site like Engadget you have the responsibility to check the source. In this case, it looks like you did that because the original post had all the right attributions. What still stumps me is that someone went back, took the time to crop the photo, remove the attribution, and re-post the story. That's a purposeful, meaningful process.

    I appreciate you guys fanning out to comment on everyone's blog now that the story is out, but I don't buy it. I don't buy the excuse that someone (Ryan, apparently) spent what is obviously valuable time to significantly alter the article. The fact that you're now spending even more amounts of valuable time to damage control is even more telling to me.

  4. Austin here, from

    To clarify, the issue is not relevent with Engadget and ALL blogs, just some - including DAPreview. Peter and Ryan have a personal problem with us dating back to 2004, as I explained in the article.

    So, do you buy their response?

    "Ooops, we didn't really mean to do that, it was all an accident."

    OK, so, they took the time to go back and edit an article that was already published, from another author. They took the time to rewrite the credit, removing all reference to DAPreview. They took the time to edit the picture and repost it, cutting out the DAPreview logo. They did all this - for no apparent reason - and without checking a single fact?

    Keep in mind, out of the 100+ items that they credited to us before August 2005, only a handful of our images were ever watermarked. The few that were, had been originals of ours taken at CES or CeBIT... never once have we watermarked someone else's photo.

    Their explanation is ridiclous, but what else can they say? We didn't expect them to admit anything.

    Anyway... we had to call them out, it's done, and we're moving on.

    Thanks for bringing this issue to light on your blog.



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