Is this legal or plagiarism?

3 replies
Can I present a hypothetical...

Healthy dog food site puts up a sales page and cleverly advises their dog food isn't infested with tape worm. It then quotes directly from a competitors site which states 'our dog food is infested with tape worm but it helps a dog to lose weight'.

If the healthy dog food site is quoting directly from the competitors site and references the quote...Is this illegal?

If it is legal, do you have to identify the competitor if you quote word for word from their page - like 'our dog food is infested with tape worm but it helps a dog to lose weight - poor-quality-dog-food.com'.

I have noticed this scenario a bit and there is often a little one in a circle (by the way how do you get the little one?) following the quote. Do you just need to identify the source of the quote?

Thanks
#legal #plagiarism
  • Profile picture of the author Ken Leatherman
    In any matter that could create a possible legal problem, you should take it up with your attorney. Even though consulting an attorney, just to ask a few questions, could be expensive. However it may protect you from being sued for everything you have or hope to have.

    Ken
    The Old Geezer
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  • Profile picture of the author Dan C. Rinnert
    Originally Posted by snapper View Post

    Healthy dog food site puts up a sales page and cleverly advises their dog food isn't infested with tape worm. It then quotes directly from a competitors site which states 'our dog food is infested with tape worm but it helps a dog to lose weight'.

    If the healthy dog food site is quoting directly from the competitors site and references the quote...Is this illegal?
    Probably, but as Ken said, you should discuss it with an attorney.

    I would suspect that you would have to do these things: Document the quotation. Keep track of when and where you saw it. Print a copy. Take a screenshot. For something as significant as your hypothetical situation, you would probably need to take additional steps, such as checking the sites multiple times (lest the quote was because they were hacked) and perhaps getting a hold of some of their literature to establish that they are saying what they are saying.

    As for identifying the competitor, that would be another matter to discuss with an attorney. You'll note that, in a number of commercials, the brand name compares their product with the "leading brand" which they may not mention by name. But, in an extreme case such as what you described, not identifying the competitor may seen as damaging to other competitors. In other words, if XYZ Dog Food is the only one with tapeworm in their food, then you saying that "unlike our competitor, our food is tapeworm-free" might give the impression that including tapeworms in dog food is a common practice, which would harm the competitors that are not XYZ Dog Food. That's why you should really discuss this matter and your particulars with an attorney.
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  • Profile picture of the author seasoned
    In a case like this, where they say they have parasites, I would say "Believe it or not, one company EVEN says... Unlike them, we DON'T!", if I were even going to comment. Frankly, I would want to just IGNORE IT!

    There is always the danger THEY were hacked, and YOU might be hauled into court! FORGET any attorney in this matter, don't refer to them or their site.

    Like Dan said though, DOCUMENT IT FULLY, if you do ANYTHING about it!!!!!!!!!

    Steve
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