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May 8, 2017

It’s Been a Long Time Since I’ve Been Plagiarized

Filed under: Main — admin @ 12:01 am

A long time ago, back when books actually sold like hell and people clamored for printed information (e.g., before Google), ripping off my books was common. It’s been 20 years.

Recently, I received an email from someone. I was unsure of its legitimacy, but the question intrigued me: “I have two C programming books. They are both the same. Which one did you write?”

Being curious, I looked up the title cited. The author, one “Harry H. Chaudhary,” is a self-proclaimed hacktivist and one of the top programmers blah-blah-blah. He’s quite a character! Out of his many books listed on Amazon, most lacked previews. One C title did. And, lo, I beheld my own text.

This guy’s book is a direct ripoff of what I wrote. Some of the programs were changed in a clumsy manner. I saw other, minor alterations. My guess is that “Harry H. Chaudhary,” or more likely some book mill overseas, downloaded an illegal copy of my text and self-published it.

I was more amused than frustrated. Seriously, books don’t sell like they used to. When someone really wants a book, they’ll buy a For Dummies title or look for a known author. They won’t buy a self-published title by an unknown author. Further, “Harry” ripped off an older version of my C programming book, one that’s pretty much out-of-print and for a programming language, out-of-date.

My agent was amused as well. Effectively, what “Harry” is doing is downloading a major motion picture and trying to sell a VHS copy. It’s a sincerely dumb business model.

The publisher has issued a “C&D” (Cease and Desist) order, which is about all they can do. I asked them to check other titles, because Mr. Chaudhary claims to have written over 100 books in the past 6 years. Some of my online friends claim that he’s been ripping off the O’Reilly books for a few years. In a way, that makes me feel honored.

Yes, it’s been a long time.


  1. I can’t remember but the name I think was from a Raymond Chandler novel can’t remember which one…

    Comment by glennp — May 9, 2017 @ 3:23 pm

  2. Again, it’s difficult to prove.

    Comment by admin — May 9, 2017 @ 3:36 pm

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