UPDATE, 11:40 am: I spoke with a representative of Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic who apologized for the oversight. This kind of stuff happens, and CSN is usually pretty good at attribution, so we consider the matter closed. The original post follows.
This isn’t a hockey story, so feel free to skip over this one.
On Monday morning we published a partial translation of an interview by the Russian news agency ITAR-TASS. In that interview, Alex Ovechkin discusses the departure of Mikhail Grabovski and his feelings about Adam Oates’ dismissal from the Capitals. Our own Igor Kleyner translated from the original Russian, and Ian Oland provided the introduction. I did a sloppy proofread on the piece, which will become relevant in a moment.
On Monday night, reader Alison let me know that CSN might have used our translation on their SportsTalk Live show. That would have been very exciting for us if only CSN had attributed us. They did not.
That’s not very nice. And then, to see for myself, I had to watch Brian Mitchell, which makes it even worse.
CSN’s Rob Carlin read the translation aloud during the show’s Starting Five segment.
Here’s the graphic CSN used for the translation:
CSN appropriately cites ITAR-TASS. They do not cite RMNB or Igor Kleyner for the translation, ostensibly passing off the work as their own. That is plagiarism.
We can be certain that the translation is from RMNB. They are identical in content and mechanics, including the sentence fragment that we interpreted to be its own sentence (“more than just a player and a coach”) and the missing comma after the introductory phrase that I should have caught before we published (“Maybe at some point in time”). CSN clearly used Igor’s work and failed to properly credit him.
A simple “Translation by Igor Kleyner/RMNB” would have been fine. But noooo. And, again, they made me watch Brian Mitchell to verify this, which is just mean.
I kinda get it. This isn’t a novel problem. And our website sounds silly to say on television. Then again, the initialism “RMNB” isn’t any more silly than “ITAR-TASS.” And while I can appreciate that producers are busy people (evidenced by the “ofseason” typo in the graphic above), it’s neither difficult nor shameful to acknowledge you got your content from a blog.
I haven’t spoken with Igor about this, but I’m pretty sure he’s not upset. He’s probably occupied with his wife having a baby at some point in the next day (Поздравляю!). Ian doesn’t seem peeved either. Maybe I’m only cranky because I had to watch Brian Mitchell talk about LeBron James for 10 minutes before I could confirm this.
Just for the sake of reference: all original content on RMNB is licensed under a Creative Commons license. Just check out the footer. We retain some rights, but you can go nuts sharing, copying, and remixing our stuff as long as you attribute us and don’t re-sell it.
Also, if anyone out there wants to hire us as segment producers or on-air talent for a regional sports network, we’ve got some hot takes about Brooks Orpik that you’re gonna love.
Russian Machine Never Breaks is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
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