A detailed revisting.

(I apologize if this article is a little wordy. We’ll be back to normal on Monday.)

A few weeks ago I posted an article about some photobooks being Kickstarted by a college professor named “Amy Laptad”.

What was the problem with the photobooks? Plagiarism. The photos in the books were not original, but belonged to a number of different professional and semi-pro photographers on the web.

Part of this website’s goal, besides just being entertaining, is to point out Kickstarter frauds and scams to make people aware of the risks of Kickstarter-style funding models. Therefore I feel very justified in having brought this plagiarism to my reader’s attention.

Why am I revisiting this? Because Dr. Laptad has emailed me threatening legal action and challenging me to prove my claims.

So here we go!

The Disney Dream

Laptad_DisneyDream

Amy Laptad claims to have taken this photograph, but it really belongs to Christian Lambert Photography.

How do I know this?

  1. Christian Lambert Photography proudly displays it on their home page.
  2. The oldest and highest resolution version of this photograph on the net was published by Christian Lambert.
  3. Mr. Lambert has a second photograph of the same boat, taken the next day.
  4. It was taken with a Nikon D700, a camera Mr. Lambert uses for many of his photographs.
  5. It matches Mr Lambert’s style and subject matter. Mr Lambert has taken many photographs of Disney attractions, with no people in the foreground, processed with an HDR effect.

I feel confident in trusting Christian Lambert’s claim to be the original creator of this image.

The dead child’s teddy bear

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Amy Laptad claims to have taken this photograph, but it really belongs to Chelsea Tucker.

How do I know this?

  1. The oldest and highest resolution version of this photograph on the net was published by Chelsea Tucker.
  2. It was taken by a Nikon D90, a camera Ms. Tucker uses for many of her photographs.
  3. Ms Tucker has another photograph of the same bear. This less popular photograph appears nowhere but on Ms Tucker’s Flickr page.
  4. Ms Tucker has a whole series of close-up photographs taken at that same cemetery in San Antonio.

I feel confident in trusting Chelsea Tucker’s claim to be the original creator of this image.

Kudzu Ferris Wheel

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Amy Laptad claims to have taken this photograph.

…and low and behold, it does show up on her Pinterest page almost a year ago. Let’s see what she has to say about it!

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Repinned?!? Did she forget that she was secretly the real photographer that took this picture back in 2009?

Of course not. The answer is obvious. She didn’t decide that this picture was “hers” until she decided to make a book.

The real photographer is Kyle Telechan.

How do I know this?

  1. The oldest, largest, and least-cropped version of this photograph was published by Kyle Telechan.
  2. Mr. Telechan has clearly made a hobby of photographing abandoned structures.

(Unexplained anomaly: This photograph was taken with a different camera than his others.)

I feel confident in trusting Kyle Telechan’s claim to be the original creator of this image.

Where does this leave us?

It’s absolutely preposterous to suggest that all these talented photographers have conspired to to steal photographs from Amy Laptad. Especially as her own “Hobby Photographs” are not that great, and were taken with a completely different brand of camera. (A Sony DSC-HX300)

Clearly what we have here is a woman who plagiarized a bunch of photos, and then when she was caught she tried to silence the opposition with vague legal threats. (She told me she was going to “Take legal action“, “Have [my] entire site closed“, and “alert local authorities“! Whoever they are.)

You know what’s really sad here? This woman is an educator! She works for a university! (That university has asked me not to mention their name. Can you blame them?)

Any students out there who got marked off for plagiarism or cheating by Prof. Laptad have every right to be furious.

I recommend printing out this page and waving it in her face any time she brings up the subject of academic ethics.

Scam Kickstarter Project copy/pastes IndieGoGo projects


A couple of weeks ago I reported that scammers were copying Kickstarter projects and posting them verbatem on IndieGoGo and keeping the procedes.

It looks like this scam works both ways. In this case the IndieGoGo project was the real one, and the Kickstarter project was the fake!

It looks like he was able to alert Kickstarter to the problem and get the fraudulent project canceled.

(The project card to the right is for the real project.)
A post warning others of what I found just an hour ago.     I had a project hosted on Indiegogo of a case for the raspberry pi.     I have just found all my material on Kickstarters website hosted by a user pretending to be me. He claims he is from the Uk, and is taking money under my name. He even has my videos linked.     Due to the seriousness of this, and the fact that it is identity theft I intend making this viral. This could have serious impact to my name and career should the hacker fund the project, and do a run with the funds.     The project name is Raspberry Slice - it can be found archived on the Indiegogo website, and is now currently funding on Kickstarter!!!!     I have posted about it on Kickstarters Facebook page, and also reported it on their site.     This is really, really, not good enough and scary when you think about it. Their screening is obviously terrible, as is their user checks.        Brian Garvey.

Tiny Fish tank scam!

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aqua
Here’s a really tiny aquaponic garden. Stick a plant in there and it’ll supposedly be fertalized by the fish poop.

The first thing I’m sure you’ve noticed is that the “tank” part is way too small to comfortably house anything larger than a SeaMonkey. This is basically a fish killer.

However, that’s not why this is here.

Both in the text, and in the video, these guys claim to have invented this device, but not yet begun manufacturing.

Very strange. Then why can I do this?

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aqua_whole_chttp://www.promotionalgiftwholesale.com/custom-vegetable-capsules-hydroponic-plant-mini-fish-tank_592694133/
(There are a lot more. I just got bored of taking screenshots.)

He’s not an inventor at all! He’s just a reseller!

If I wanted to buy mass produced crap from some random reseller, I could go to Etsy.com! (Zing!)

But wait, there’s more!

I really wish I could take credit for this next piece of detective work, but no dice. The credit goes to this observant project commenter :
For all backers - I would be wary of this project. The project creator had another project that turned out to be a scam... I recognized his voice in the video. Just a heads up. http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/75321040/free-roll-machined-gamers-dice/comments


The comment thread on this one is great.

The project owners try to answer questions about how they’re making the dice, and quickly reveil that they don’t have the first clue how these things are made!

At one point they talk about making the silicone mold for the CNC process! (The whole point of CNC is that you don’t need molds.)

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You Save $14.01!

The Plagiarized Photobooks of Prof. Amy Laptad

Amy Laptad Presents : Curiosity Captured gives a deep and unedited look into the uniqueness that surrounds us, compiled within a limited edition photo book.

A college professor named Amy Laptad really wants to publish a book of her photographs, this is the second time she’s run this exact kickstarter after the first one tanked with zero pledges.

Amy Laptad : I find the most peculiar, outlandish and curious places, and then capture them for everyone to enjoy.
Sounds good, let’s take a look!

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Wow. A weather-worn teddy bear left at the grave of a child. That’s a very memorable image.

In fact, I do remember it!

curiosity_comparison_01

Amy Laptad didn’t take that photo at all! She totally stole that from some random lady on Flickr!

Ok, so she stole one photograph, but what about that stunning image of a Ferris wheel completely overtaken by kudzu?

The cover photo is the most important image in a Kickstarter campaign! It’s what shows up in searches and links! It’s what entices kickstarters to learn about your project!

Surely that image must belong to Amy! It would be super dishonest to steal your lead image.
Curiosity_comparison_02
Stolen again! This time from Kyle Telechan (aka “City Eyes”).

There are two other example photos in the project, and as far as I can tell they’re both original. However, they both suck. The exposure is wrong on both of them; one is too dark and the other is too bright! (And one of them is just an ordinary parking lot anyway!)

Amy Laptad : This First Edition Photo-book will include photos of curious sightings I have found along my travels.  The goal is to create a diverse set of photos that grab the viewers attention and most of all, curiosity.
I guess when she says “my travels” she means “my browsing of Flickr”

But we aren’t finished yet!

Amy Laptad -   Join me as I capture scenes within a cruise ship that are often times missed, ignored or unknown.
Last month she tried to kickstart this.
Another book of “her” photographs.

The cover image of the infamous Carnival Triumph is blatantly scanned from a book. I’m pretty sure it’s a tourists’ pamphlet for Halifax.

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Up next is this lovely shot of the Disney Dream stolen from Christian Lambert Photography

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And finally a photo of three more cruise ships ripped from the blog of Aaron Saunders.

Not one photo in this project page is hers!

How much you want to bet she didn’t ask for permission either?

Click here for an Update to this Article