The Last Big Thing from Apple!

 By Shamus Mar 4, 2010 112 comments

Here’s a comic I wrote a month ago.

Here is a joke that appeared on Begeek.fr, this week.

Look, I don’t claim to own a joke. The internet is one big remix tape of ideas, feeding and looping back on itself. That’s what’s beautiful about it. It’s completely possible that begeek.fr saw the joke I wrote and thought it could be done better. Arguably, that’s what happened. The Begeek.fr version of the joke was picked up on the Consumerist and Gizmodo, as well as showing up on Digg in a big way.

But I don’t think it’s unreasonable to at least expect a link back. A hat tip. A “here is where the joke came from”. (And if begeek.fr wanted to maintain Plausible deniability – which they totally could have pulled off with a joke this simple – they shouldn’t have done a straight copy & paste of the third panel, which I photoshopped myself.)

But cut & pasting my work and then basically re-telling the joke I wrote with small modifications and then passing it off as an original idea is a jerk move. I would have loved to have a little sip of that massive Digg, Gizmodo, and Consumerist traffic. I work hard to draw attention to my stuff and build an audience, and breaks like that never come as often as I’d like. I think a small link is just a matter of basic courtesy, honesty, and manners. Particularly when the traffic starts pouring in. It wouldn’t have hurt begeek.fr at all to say where the joke came from or what it was based on. It’s not like I’m asking for money. Just a few bytes of HTML and some basic decency.

(And don’t bother, now. It’s too late.)

Update: begeek.fr left a comment below indicating that the image was sent to them via email. Can’t really prove them wrong, so the matter is settled. I think they could have dodged this by just saying it came in email.

Sigh. That’s the way it goes sometimes.

Well, I’m off to make my next bit of entertainment. Maybe this one will hit the big time…

A Hundred!12112 comments. Quick! Add another to see if this message changes!


  1. Burning says:

    You may not own the joke, but recycling it without attribution is plagiarism, not an illegal act but widely recognized as an unethical one. Furthermore, the panel the used was part of your copyrighted work, so even if they can’t steal the joke, they pirated your effort. Which makes the move also illegal and consequently stupid on their part.

    Jerk move is letting them off lightly. I admire your restraint.

    • Meredith says:

      I agree. Blatantly stealing your actual image is crossing the line in a big way. You have every right to ask them to replace it with something of their own making. It may not matter much at this point, but I’d do it just in principle. At least they’d know you caught them.

    • Moriarty says:

      Doesn’t the escapist have lawers for this kind of thing? the original image had “copyright 2010 the escapist” at it’s bottom.

      Altough I have to admit I don’t know what copyright actually means

      • krellen says:

        Strictly speaking, it means “Rights to copy this thing”. So if it says “copyright 2010 the Escapist”, it is saying “in 2010, The Escapist claims all rights to copy this work.” The date is important because copyrights aren’t retroactive, so if someone created the same or similar thing in 2009, their copyright comes first.

    • (LK) says:

      Fair Use exemptions make this example kind of a bad case to take up.

      Sure it’s technically a derivative with no value added to the original and therefore probably not protected, but what an arse it would be to prove that.

      Plus, they’re in a different country. That’s the real catch right there. Nobody in the US is going to find it worth their time to prosecute someone in France unless it’s a really obvious, really profitable case.

      • krellen says:

        Not even I can see any merit in a “Fair Use” argument here. It’s just not there. It’s the same exact joke, the same exact set up, with a slightly modified punch line. It’s like claiming “to REACH the other side” is a “Fair Use” change to the chicken and the road joke.

      • Daedalist says:

        That being said, France is really pro copyright (or their government is, anyway) so you should be able to find a sympathetic judge in their jurisdiction ;-)

  2. Zethavn says:

    The important thing is that WE know where it came from.
    I had never actually been to their site until you linked it…

    Z

  3. chabuhi says:

    They owe you a nod at least.

  4. Sheer_Falacy says:

    Clearly you should put some DRM on future Stolen Pixels comics to prevent them being, well, stolen. Make the images phone home every 30 seconds!

  5. Broc says:

    At first I thought that he just had the same idea as you but then I realized that he used your work directly to do his joke, which to me is shameful.

    I don’t suggest you sue him but stealing is stealing. I don’t get the people that do this. How can you take pride in what you do when you leech on someone else’s work?

    A mention of you would have been the bare minimum. Traffic on the web is money.

    • acronix says:

      Pride comes from recognition of what you do. If there´s no recognition, there´s no pride. This guys just didn´t know how to get it. Telling them “You stole this idea from here! Check the dates!” would only make them take more proud, because they called the attention of the person they stole from.

      On the other hand, everyone in that site ignored gallantly the comment in which someone points to Shamus´ comic, so it looks like they all don´t care if it was stolen. Or they don´t know english.

  6. datarat says:

    Holy crap, I didn’t know Carlos Mencia was French!

  7. Hugo Riley says:

    People who like that joke would probably like your other jokes too and want to follow your work. Now you don’t get your deserved credit and traffic and people who saw the joke on this French site are at lose because they don’t know for whole series of jokes. Everybody is at loss.

    I came to your site through your Terrain project article. If somebody just reposted that on their blog without any credit to you, I would have miss DMOTR and that would really be a shame.

  8. WCG says:

    Don’t worry, I’ll link to you sometime from my own blog. Heck, I probably get one or two visitors a day (including myself, of course).

    Seriously, this is just wrong. There’s no two ways about that. Even stealing your image?

    Well, the fact is that you do a great job. People like this steal your work not just because they’re lazy and unimaginative, but because you’re not. Think of this as recognition. Certainly, we who regularly come here recognize your talents.

  9. Judiah says:

    Bah.. that sucks.. and yeah copy and pasting the third image is a big dickish move. Obviously the concept itself is pretty well obvious.. and could conceivably be independently obtained… but to steal your photoshop.. that’s just harsh.

  10. Al Shiney says:

    The only thing I can think of is a quotation from Johnny Dangerously. “This is fargin war!” And we all know what happens when war is declared on … oh never mind, you can all make the leap without me actually insulting an entire nation on Shamus’ blog. ;-)

  11. Ciennas says:

    On both the Consumerist and the Be Geek sites, someone has mentioned your comic in the comments within ten spaces.

    Neither have been acknowleged, as far as I can tell.

    Yeah, I find that extremely irritating.

    Mayhaps you would find better results emailing the Consumerist staff. They should post a correction (time/date stamps for the win!) and Be Geek gets publically shamed for theft of resources.

    The email address of the article poster is ben@consumerist.com

    Good Luck Shamus

    • Teldurn says:

      I would love to see what comes of this, if Shamus decided to go ahead and go this route.

      While I fully agree with everyone that what they did is wrong, and for them to change anything is “too little, too late”, I think not doing anything but complaining about it is probably worse.

    • Alleyoop says:

      Dang, I saw this and knew it was familiar. :(

      I agree with Ciennas, a headsup email from you and an Escapist rep to both of those sites (and BeGeek too) that you’re the originator of the 3rd panel (at the very least) is in order, for no other reason than to get the record straight. If the Escapist owns the copyright they could get hardcase and send a DMCA takedown notice to BeGeek, but that can also open a large can of worms and headache. Spreading the word of their lack of courtesy might be more effective in the long run.

      I’m glad to see you retain a positive outlook on the benefits of a mixtape culture, but you’re right, sometimes attribution is all that’s needed to smooth the way and BeGeek failed there. Shame on them.

      • krellen says:

        I’m not sure the DMCA really applies, as BeGeek is French and the DMCA is not international law.

        However, this is not a derivative work, nor a parody – it’s an outright repetition, and thus standard copyright laws do apply. Which is better, because standard copyright is far more legitimate than the DMCA.

        • (LK) says:

          A fair use defense would leak like a colander but that’s not the point, really. It’s like with a SLAPP lawsuit, except from the defendant’s side. The point isn’t to win. The point is to waste enough time and money at trial the plaintiff knows it’s not worth their effort to let it go to court at all.

          Web-comic plagiarism is definitely not worth the effort IMO and I’m sure Shamus wouldn’t even want to bother if the person responsible did so from the US and not foreign soil. Lawsuits are nasty dickish last-resort wastes of money, nobody likes filing them.

          Of course, my area of study is chemistry, not law… so my opinions are definitely the “take with a grain of NaCl” sort.

    • LintMan says:

      I haven’t read the Consumerist in quite a while, but as Ciennas said, I think the staff/editors there might be inclined to post a “correction” or something if you email them the facts. At least, they used to be. Recycling your joke is one thing, but stealing one of your own images while they do it is way beyond the pale.

  12. GoodApprentice says:

    Ya, I’d try to talk with whoever’s in charge at that website, let them know what sort of nonsense is going on.

    We got your back Shamus!

  13. Factoid says:

    Uncool. It always pisses me off when someone makes something awesome and then some other dude comes along, tweaks it or rips it off blatantly and THAT’s the one that goes viral.

    Prime example: Look up “Canon Rock” on Youtube. It’s an amazing arrangement of Pachelbel’s Canon in D Major done with an electric guitar. The guy who created the arrangement is called JerryC, and he’s got a couple million views now, but the one that went viral and has over 70 million is a blatant ripoff by a guy named FunTwo, which originally had NO attribution in it. I think now he at least mentions JerryC as the original in the description, but no link.

  14. Sam says:

    Retracted due to being a muppet

    • Shamus says:

      That’s the best version yet. The last panel was brilliant.

      I don’t deny it’s an obvious joke. If begeek.fr hasn’t obviously included my photoshop in frame 3 I’d just have assumed this was another case of multiple people coming up with the same joke.

    • Mantergeistmann says:

      Sure, the joke is obvious. The main point is that Begeek.fr used the exact same third panel, which Shamus ‘shopped himself.

      Edit: Ah, sniped by Shamus.

      • Yep, its been said, but I want to throw in my concurrence: telling the same joke is okay (although in this case it was a little TOO close to home anyway, methinks), but outright stealing the panel crosses way over the line.

        Is there anything you can/plan to do as a reaction to this, other than just making us aware of it, Shamus?

  15. scragar says:

    The original is copyrighted work, they have broken copyright obviously.

    There are few defences to copyright theft, permission and fair use most obviously.

    They did not ask you, and give no track back either, which would normally come as part of such an agreement.

    So they must be claiming fair use, right?
    The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
    No dice there, they have adverts on their site, they make money from it, there is no education or clearly artistic merit drawn from the changes.
    The nature of the copyrighted work;
    No dice here either, The work is fictional and producing a new image is more than possible.
    The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole;
    They used 3/4 of your comic without editing, that’s substantial.
    The effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.
    By not linking to you instead it costs The Escapist money, I’m sure The Escapist would love a bit of extra traffic.

    • Lambach says:

      I think mostly they are claiming to be french and (U.S.) copyright law does not automatically extend to france.

      • Blackbird71 says:

        But there is a such thing as international copyright law; it’s something that countries agree to enforce. Otherwise anything produced in France (or any other participating country) could be freely copied and reproduce here in the U.S., and vice versa. It’s in both nations’ best interest to protect each other’s works.

  16. I would argue that we don’t really need 5000 Digg users flooding the comments.

    • Zeta Kai says:

      But as stated above, on the internet, traffic = money. If Shamus got his proper props with a mention & a link, those 5,000 diggs would produce a substantial spike in his web traffic. He could then charge advertisers more for having a busier site, thereby making himself more money & being able to support his family better, yadda, yadda, yadda. And oftentimes, traffic that comes is traffic that stays. I first came here because of DMoTR, lost the link, & then months later saw the procedural city. That got me to stay. Now I check the site twice a day. Of the 5,000 potential diggs, maybe 500 or fewer people would come back for more, but any traffic is good traffic when your livelihood depends on your website.

  17. Kritheon says:

    What they did is weak and not right in the least bit. Before posting they should have showed you the strip and asked if it was OK to post as long as they gave a link back or something in that manor.

    You give the public so much for free that I would hate to see things like this discourage you in your future endeavors to give us what we crave.

    Come on Internet, play nice.

  18. Yoann says:

    I would not offense you, but the image we published is not yours. For proof, I learned the existence of your website by seeing the link you sent to us..
    We find the information, we publish and we quote sources.
    For the iPad, we received an email from our reader, and we also put a link to the site of this reader.

    • Passerby says:

      As a defense this has to be one of the weakest I have seen. What, the proof that the picture used isn’t Shamus’ is that you didn’t know of his website before today?

    • Shamus says:

      Thanks for the reply. Updated the original post.

    • (LK) says:

      The source copied the third image in the comic. It was not theirs. The source plagiarized. They do not deserve the credit.

      La source copié la troisième image de la bande dessinée. Ce n’était pas la leur. La source plagié. Ils ne méritent pas le crédit.

    • Frederick Beuttler says:

      Well, i think what he’s getting at is that the comic wasn’t original to begeek.fr, it was itself user-submitted. So, the blame would lie therefore not with begeek, or even perhaps France, but with that pirate of a poor Photoshop artist who submitted it to begeek in the first place.
      I’ve got your back, France. This may be the first and last time, though.

    • Noumenon says:

      Yoann, you could have put the image into Tineye Reverse Image search (http://www.tineye.com) and found its original source for crediting.

      • ClearWater says:

        That’s a cool site! I’ve bookmarked it.

        Unfortunately in this case it shows 17 pages of links to News sites talking about Apple’s iPhone or iPad and no link to either the Escapist or Begeek. Maybe if you edit the image to just look for the third frame…

        Edit: nope, even that just gives me a Russian site. Did Shamus steal it from them? ;)

  19. (LK) says:

    Message dispatched to the party who plaigarized, in both english and machine-translated French.

    Any fluent speakers, feel free to corner the fellow responsible for this at http://blogmotion.fr/

    Use the contact form, and ask them to reveal that they copied the material directly and then claimed credit?

  20. eri says:

    This is why I am extremely nervous about posting any of my own work online. I have actually had several of my artworks stolen and posted on other web sites and message boards (I’ve also had people pose as me in order to damage my reputation), and I do not intend for it to happen again. While there is risk in sharing anything with anyone, the Internet heightens it simply because of its anonymous nature.

    Unfortunately there is very little we can do about this sort of thing on the Internet. Whether or not this is a legitimate case of the web site ripping you off or just a particular fan who wanted to take credit where it wasn’t due, the fact is that the damage has been done, and with the fast pace of the Web, even if something could be done to remedy the situation, it would fall on deaf ears. You produce some really great things, Shamus; hopefully this doesn’t happen again.

  21. Blackbird71 says:

    Well, we may not be able to get the idiots over at BeGeek or their source to admit any wrongdoing, but at the very least, we can head this off at the past. I’ve sent emails to the authors and tiplines at both The Consumerist and Gizmodo to inform them of this situation, and I suggest that anyone else interested in this matter do so as well. Be respectful; after all, these sites had no way of knowing the source wasn’t legit. At the very least, we can get Shamus some notice and hopefully generate some of the traffic that the plagarist scum didn’t care to share.

    Also, if anyone notices this comic repeated elsewhere, let us know so we can contact them as well. :)

  22. Amarsir says:

    Well you did Tweet just 4 days ago that you want to remain obscure. Perhaps they read that and didn’t pick up the sarcasm.

  23. They could at least update the original post with a little note saying “original idea: Shamus Young (insert link to original comic here)”. Can their software not update old posts or something?

  24. John Lopez says:

    Doesn’t look like the other site took you seriously: the comment from the other site owner says that *you* stole the image the e-mail author and they put *you* on notice for the infringement:

    “I would not offense you, but the image we published is not yours. For proof, I learned the existence of your website by seeing the link you sent to us..
    We find the information, we publish and we quote sources.
    For the iPad, we received an email from our reader, and we also put a link to the site of this reader.

    The blog author has been advised http://www.shamusyoung.com/twentysidedtale/?p=7371&cpage=1#comment-146440

    • Shamus says:

      Is that really what their site says? I don’t read French.

      If it is, then they are dishonorable weasels and further discussion is pointless.

      “Oh you stole this comic from some anonymous source we refuse to name and then posted it a month before they sent it to us.”

      If that really is what they claim, then it is beyond laughable.

      • krellen says:

        That particular quoted comment is in English. It’s essentially the same thing he posted here, with a link-back to said comment.

      • (LK) says:

        The poster either wrote that with non-fluent english or machine translated that statement, so the meaning is probably unclear. That is the exact message they posted, however, as they posted it themself in english. It seems they’re saying that they received that image submission via email and as a result they simply credited the person who submitted it. Any more meaning than that would be speculative because of the language barrier.

        I guess you could explain the matter better with a fluent interpreter, otherwise the language barrier makes the details awkward to communicate.

        • SolkaTruesilver says:

          On the other hand, people here aren’t helping matter by writing things in english with a blatant machine translation that doesn’t meant anything.

          You need somebody fluent in both language. I nominate myself.

          Shamus, their excuse don’t hold up for a second, you know it. Nor do their declaration about “This image isn’t yours”. Merely posting on each other’s forum won’t really solve matters, and you are getting your good worked stole for the first time. You sure you want to let this go?

          (and even if it’s drama.. well, it’s still publicity to the Escapist)

      • neothoron says:

        They posted verbatim the same defense on their comments on their site than they did on the comments here.

        However, they simply didn’t bother to reply anymore to the multiple comments that said “Shamus published that joke 1 month before you, and the third panel is clearly copy/pasted”.

        On comment #7, the link to stolen pixels was deleted.

        On comment #258 (a tweet) there is the interesting following tidbit:
        “Rien, notre image http://bit.ly/aqIdwI semble avoir été copié chez eux et ils nous prennent pour cible”
        Which means “Nothing, our image seems to have been copied from/on their website and they are targeting us.”
        One interesting thing about that comment is that it could go either way. One could easily understand that you are the plagiarist or that you are plagiarized.

        Giving them the benefit of doubt (I know it’s a stretch, but assuming malice when ignorance suffices is rarely a good thing), here’s how I guess it went:
        - Email-Plagiarist (EP) has the idea in his mind (don’t care how the idea got in his mind in the first place)
        - EP photoshops the last image with quite a bit of talent.
        - EP is lazy and does not bother with the third image even though that image’s quality is noticeably worse.
        - EP sends the rendered image to begeek.fr.
        - Begeek.fr probably receive ten (or many more) emails suggesting articles to them, and they find that one good and publish it.

        - A week later, begeek receives some flak about the image having been published earlier on theescapist.
        - Either because they are pissed at your reaction (let’s face it, they’re not going to take kindly to public accusations of plagiarism), or because they have come too far to be willing to acknowledge what happened, they defend themselves by saying “we got it by email, so back off”.

        I think that the main reason that the joke took off on their site rather than on the escapist is because they made the joke at the right place. The community on the escapist is less sensitive to things Apple, and less connected to twitter. (If someone wants it, I can tell a Chinese tale about being at the right place at the right time).

        Bottom line: sucks, but now they are quite unlikely to behave differently. As we are. I don’t believe that doing anything more would be worth it.

  25. Zerai says:

    Heh, reading the first 2 lines, I though that this post was about how Apple we’re actually making a bigger model.

    I suppose that’s for next year.

  26. Kdansky says:

    Not only do they blatantly steal your comic, no, they also come here and insult you for plagiarizing them? Now THAT is poor sportsmanship. I’m ashamed of living in a neighbouring country.

  27. Zaghadka says:

    Going by the copyright statement, you are a gun-for-hire for The Escapist. It’s not your copyright. It’s up to their legal department to do something about it.

    Sorry, but you didn’t retain the rights. You should have seen how pissed off Letterman was when NBC told him he couldn’t use any of the footage from “Late Night,” or even the name.

    Total dick move by the Begeek.fr people, btw. I sympathize. I hope they get sued. Talk to Russ about it.

    • D says:

      As far as I understand, the issue is not whether the copyright is Shamus’ or the Escapist’s. The issue is that it’s sure as hell NOT owned by Beefgreek or whatever their site is called. :)

    • Didacsoy says:

      Well, though Shamus *might* not own copyrights on his work as a freelance, he does have authoring rights (like recognition and the such) which are non-transferrable. The point here is that the person who created something didn’t get the credit for it. At best this is a case of incompetence on begeek.fr’s part for not asking the sumbitter of the mysterious e-mail whether the work was his (or hers) or not prior to publishing. At worst this is a blatant case of IP theft AND a poor job at smuggling the blame.

      I, for one, support Shamus wholeheartedly on this: sources must be cited AND (and this is a big and) verified. A cool comic should come out of this. Go team Rabid-Shamus-Fans!

  28. Guy says:

    It seems the other website is claiming that because they got the comic from someone else, but didn’t know it was plagiarized, then that means it is in fact not plagiarized? What stupid logic. And what did they have to lose by being gracious? If they got it from someone else, it’s not like they plagiarized. But they are publishing plagiarized material, and then denying there’s any problem, which doesn’t make them look good.

    Off topic: Re: the other website’s comments: hang on, is Twitter integrated into blog commenting now? If that’s what I’m seeing, oh calamity…

  29. Klay F. says:

    Reading the comments over on Be geek: Holy Crap Shamus! You have an army at your disposal!

  30. Eric says:

    Work, what work?

  31. Blake says:

    Wait you mean those images were photoshopped!?
    I’d just assumed you’d visited those future press conferences just to give us a heads up.

  32. Galen says:

    If nothing else you know now that you have enough fans to storm the capitol.

  33. Cuthalion says:

    Why would you want to storm the French capitol?

  34. D says:

    As someone said above: claiming an email is from a reader is not citing a source. Irresponsible French Site needs to take their stolen work down, issue a formal apology, and make financial reparations.

  35. B.J. says:

    I’m sure they figured that as a french site Shamus would never see it. I mean, it’s not like it’s just one big internet all interconnected together or anything.

  36. DaMunky89 says:

    *ahem* And now to be the PHL dork.

    Saying that “I have no proof and you do not have proof. I am honest, I do not ask you to believe me …” is an appeal to ignorance. See: informal arguments, logical fallacies

  37. Volatar says:

    The thieving site has now started editing out the urls to the original comic from the comments.

    This is blatant theft Shamus. Do not drop this. Hang them by their throats as an example.

  38. Jeff says:

    What jackasses. Still, it’s kind of funny that your Stolen Pixels were stolen.

    Your copyright may have been violated, but you still have puns.

    • Volatar says:

      Its not actually copyrighted under Shamus Young, its copyrighted under The Escapist. They REALLY ARE violating copyright, and someone other than Shamus – The Escapist – has every right to care.

  39. KT says:

    Thats, pretty disgusting, and their responce tells me they knew they were stealing a joke but didn’t expect to get found out.

    They are slime that deserve no further thought or business.

  40. I still don’t understand why they haven’t put a link to your original comic or to this post by you with a bit of explanation if they aren’t taking down the previous comic.

    I’ve commented as such on their site. Also, I’ve saved the image itself on my drive so if it’s taken down and you can’t get a hold of it (for posterity and comparison, let me know).

  41. scarbunny says:

    Interestingly when ever I try and access the site from my work machine I get the following error from our Trend Micro protection thingy.

    Page Blocked

    URL: http://www.begeek.fr/levolution-de-lipad-en-2012-et-2014-8398
    Rating: Dangerous
    Threat details:Verified fraudulent page or threat source.

    Something I have never seen before even though I visit a lot of different sites.

  42. Manny says:

    Realized that posting this as a reply somewhere in the middle of this page is not the best way to get it noticed:

    I contacted blogmotion.fr which is the site linked to as the source on begeek.fr in the line “thanks Xhark” – he’s the e-mailer. I got quite quickly a (friendly and polite) response from Xhark himself, saying that the image was not his but that he found it on twitpic. All he did was send this url to begeek: http://twitpic.com/155x4m

    Xhark does not find it correct that blogmotion is given as the source. The first sentence of his reply commenting on the whole issue was actually (translation) “yup, that’s why I always cite my sources”.

    If anyone wants to contact the twitpic author (korean), I recommend not to start with harsh accusations. He might just be another link in the chain leading to the actual thief.

  43. Blackbird71 says:

    As an update, the Consumerist site has added this line next to the comic:

    Apparently the original of this comic was done by a guy named Shamus Young and some person modified it and emailed the result to BeGeek without crediting Shamus. Shame. Shame. Shame.

    The text also contains a link to your original Escapist comic. Way to go, Consumerist!

    Still wating on Gizmodo.

  44. Johannes says:

    Shamus, I liked your joke more. Slightly, perhaps, but more nonetheless.

  45. Richard says:

    Why didn’t you credit Paul Sakuma who took image used in the second frame? It wouldn’t have hurt you at all to say where the image came from or what it was based on.

    (And don’t bother, now. It’s too late.)

    • Blackbird71 says:

      Now youre just being absurd, and I can only assume it is for the intent of causing trouble. There is a huge difference in using images that are in the public domain as source material for creating original work, and in the direct plagarization and unauthorized use of copyrighted work.

  46. Dev Null says:

    But wait; there’s more

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Can you imagine having Darth Vader as your <i>father</i>?

You can make things bold like this:
I'm <b>very</b> glad Darth Vader isn't my father.

You can make links like this:
I'm reading about <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darth_Vader">Darth Vader</a> on Wikipedia!