Email to PASS

Email to PASS on Clarification about Possible Plagiarism

(Wikipedia) “Plagiarism is defined in dictionaries as the ‘wrongful appropriation,’ ‘close imitation,’ or ‘purloining and publication’ of another author’s ‘language, thoughts, ideas, or expressions,’ and the representation of them as one’s own original work, but the notion remains problematic with nebulous boundaries [...] Plagiarism is not a crime per se but is disapproved more on the grounds of moral offence, and cases of plagiarism can involve liability for copyright infringement.”

@MladenPrajdic (!/MladenPrajdic/status/126397092603232256):
@AdamMachanic I’ve been to Ramesh’s precon here in Slovenia where he covered same stuff as you and it was good! But to sue! Wtf?
@SQLWorkshops (!/SQLWorkshops/status/126769568646569985):
@MladenPrajdic nice feedback, Slovenian precon was similar to webcasts, BTW we never threatened to sue for plagiarism
@AdamMachanic (!/AdamMachanic/status/126397381364297728):
@MladenPrajdic well I didn’t attend his precon. And I watched only enough of his videos to see the inane rants about Quest.

In the entire conversation with Adam Machanic and PASS we enquired about clarification on possible plagiarism, not about copyright infringement and never threatened to sue.

SQL Workshops noticed one spotlight session abstract that partially resembled webcasts published in 2010. That session was called “Query Tuning Mastery: Zen and the Art of Workspace Memory (AD-500-S)”

After reading Brent Ozar’s blog about Plagiarism, SQL Workshops contacted the speaker, Adam Machanic. There was no claim of IP or copyright over topic or concepts, just a simple question about clarification on possible plagiarism, whether he would cover also content from the webcasts. We know Adam Machanic watched our webcasts (and commented on it in April 2010). SQL Workshops tweeted to Adam Machanic:

@TopSQL (!/TopSQL/status/114232767751000064):
@AdamMachanic Hi, I read #sqlpass “Query Tuning Mastery”, found it interesting. Will you also cover concepts from ?

@AdamMachanic (!/AdamMachanic/status/114295918534197248):
@TopSQL couldn’t say. I haven’t sat through any of his training.

@TopSQL (!/TopSQL/status/114313425332617216):
@AdamMachanic I was referring to the concepts presented in 3 webcasts that you watched and commented on in 2010 #sqlpass

@AdamMachanic (!/AdamMachanic/status/114317521993203712):
@TopSQL You mean the videos where he was ranting about a mysterious character called Mr. JLR? You paid attention to the content?!? Wow.

@AdamMachanic (!/AdamMachanic/status/114319989149929472):
@TopSQL just read your profile. Are you Mr. JLR? Those rants are hilarious.

Since we did not get any answer from Adam Machanic SQL Workshops emailed PASS, following Brent Ozar’s advice (Plagiarism Article) on contacting the organizer of the conference.

On Sep 30, 2011 Carmen wrote:
Subject: Clarification about Possible Plagiarism
Dear Summit Organizers,

First of all I would like to thank you for organizing such an interesting Summit this year. Many good sessions with established and also new speakers have caught my attention.

However, I have noticed one spotlight session abstract that partially resembles concepts we explored and published in 2010 via technical webcasts. That session is called “Query Tuning Mastery: Zen and the Art of Workspace Memory (AD-500-S)”

I contacted Adam Machanic, the speaker who also viewed our webcasts last year and commented on them in Twitter, asked him if he will also cover concepts from those webcasts ( in his upcoming session.

Instead of giving me an answer he replied that he never sat through any of our trainings. When I reminded him of the webcasts he still did not answer and started asking me other questions back.

I am coming to you with the request to help in this matter. Surely SQL Pass also has an interest in maintaining the intellectual property of individuals and companies and does not want to support any plagiarism.

All I want at this stage is to help me get a clear answer from the speaker whether or not our concepts will be part of his presentation.

I am sure that with your, the conference organizer’s, assistance we can resolve this matter objectively and gracefully.

Thank you very much and best regards,

Some of Adam Machanic’s Tweets:
@AdamMachanic (!/AdamMachanic/status/126365450635448321):
Discovered that a training company is making threats to everyone who dares present on the same topics they do. #sqlpass #thisisNOTcommunity
@AdamMachanic (!/AdamMachanic/status/126376059804454913):
RT @PaulRandal Seriously? @topsql wrote threatening letters to other trainers to try to stop them presenting at #sqlpass? -> Indeed.
@AdamMachanic (!/AdamMachanic/status/126376718754783232):
. @PaulRandal Apparently my ABSTRACT on a similar topic to that which @topsql teaches is enough to call that IP theft! #sqlpass
@AdamMachanic (!/AdamMachanic/status/126377086888849408):
. @PaulRandal And @topsql had the gall to make this claim, not to me personally, but rather directly to the #sqlpass board.

SQL Workshops did not write threatening letters to any one to try to stop them presenting at PASS. SQL Workshops did not accuse Adam Machanic of IP theft but wanted clarification on possible plagiarism. Before asking PASS SQL Workshops contacted Adam Machanic by twitter, but got no answer.

@sqlagentman (!/sqlagentman/status/126404424087257088):
@DBArgenis all of SQL Bloggers should do a post on memory spills tomorrow. Copy all content from @adammachanic ‘s blog? (For added irony)
@AdamMachanic (!/AdamMachanic/status/126404627968167936):
@sqlagentman @DBArgenis I wouldn’t recommend it. I won’t sue you. I’ll kick your ass.

@AdamMachanic (!/AdamMachanic/status/126380904565313536):
@PaulRandal how can someone think that just because they’ve published on a certain topic is a guarantee that someone else has read it?

SQL Workshops knows Adam Machanic watched the freely downloadable webcasts and commented.

@NikoNeugebauer (!/NikoNeugebauer/status/126390898824192000):
@AdamMachanic @paulrandal I have had enough contact with them, I know that Ramesh a kind of protective of anything he does.Maybe I can help?
@AdamMachanic (!/AdamMachanic/status/126391531828551680):
@NikoNeugebauer yeah, you can tell them to slither back into their cave if they don’t want total fallout at this point (cc @PaulRandal)
@AdamMachanic (!/AdamMachanic/status/126392834818453504):
@NikoNeugebauer @paulrandal it’s certainly not your fault! Just a very warped mindset, trying to “claim” a SQL Server feature.
@AdamMachanic (!/AdamMachanic/status/126393380589682688):
@NikoNeugebauer @paulrandal oh, I take it VERY personally when someone writes to the PASS BOD and asks to get me banned from the show.
@AdamMachanic (!/AdamMachanic/status/126392013062012928):
@NikoNeugebauer @PaulRandal this behavior is some of the most unprofessional I’ve ever heard of in my entire career to date

SQL Workshops did not claim copyright on any SQL Server feature, our entire conversation was about clarification of possible plagiarism. SQL Workshops did not ask PASS to ban anyone, either. If Adam Machanic had answered our question when we asked him in twitter it would not have been necessary to involve PASS at all. His decision not to answer made things unnecessarily complicated.