Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Rant: The Ghostwriting Plague

We interrupt this would-have-been-so-fun 
"Wishlist Wednesday" post to bring you a rant.

I can stand it no longer.


I don't even know where to start. I'm just flabbergasted by this lunacy and that it's even permitted LEGALLY truly gets me.

As a freelance proofreader and creative writer (articles and so on) I am constantly coming across job postings for "Ghost Writers". It's unavoidable and my curiostiy and irritation always pushes me to click on the posts to see what outrageous sort of requests are contained within.

Before I entered the world of reading and writing professionally I assumed ghost writing was when a person who had a TON of creative ideas (but couldn't write for beans) hired a good writer and they worked together to create something.

This, in some cases, is true. Yet I was oh so ignorant of the reality that Ghostwriters are in no way acknowledged for their efforts. They are paid, yes, but they waive their rights to the work and their name is never mentioned. To the public they don't even exist. When books or works go big and the "Author" is basking in the financial and social sunshine that others worked for I wish I could send them a special balloon with the scrawling sentiments:

 "You're a big fat liar".

If you work with someone to create something (anything) that person should get credit. Period.

Does no one know what FRAUD is?  

Fraud = Deception  intended to result in personal or financial gain.

How does a person putting their name on a book that was not written by them not qualify as Fraud?! HOW?!

Ghost writing is paying someone else to do work for you.

In effect it's the same as someone saying:

"Gee. I have this incredible idea for a painting... but I can't paint. I'm actually really terrible. So, will you paint this beautiful painting for me? I'll pay you but you'll have to waive your rights to it so I can tell everyone it's mine. Sound good?"

If I were the painter I would be like: "FOOL! DEPART!"

So why why why why why are there writers out there willing to participate in this atrocity known as "Ghostwriting"?  And WHY is it that no one seems especially bothered in the book world over the existence of such tomfoolery?

People in other industries can't get away with it. (I'm including academia as an industry here.)

Anyone remember Milli Vanilli ? Yeah. Got their Grammy award taken away because apparently they weren't the ones singing the song. But, since Ghostwriting is totally cool, then howcome it wasn't okay that MV marketed themselves as awesome singers when they weren't? Especially if they paid the real singers. Geez. People are so picky!

And what about Universities kicking students out when they discover that said students have been paying someone else to write their papers? It's ghostwriting, isn't it? And since we seem to find Ghostwriting to be perfectly ethical behavior, I'm surprised a student hasn't sued a school yet for an over-the-top punishment to an otherwise totally legal thing.

In effect, TURNING IN A PAPER YOU DIDN'T WRITE is Plagiarism. So. Marketing a book as your own when you didn't write it is, well, Plagiarism.

Why is this hard to understand?

All sarcasm aside (maybe) I'll reiterate the point that other industries CAN'T get away with garbage like the above. Why? Because the awards, acknowledgements, and success is all based on FRAUD, LIES, and DECEPTION.

It is NOT. YOUR. WORK. Even if you had the idea, you didn't write it. You're a fraud. A Fake. A Charlatan!

I get that you need money, Ghostwriter. But are you really that eager to use up your creative talents for the benefit of someone else? Especially if the someone else is such a deceiving person that they would be willing to gain financial, academic, or social rewards for work that's not theirs?


And I'm against it. 

Stop. Now.

This rant was brought to you by your otherwise jovial AuggieTalk host.


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