Concerned Learning Material Developers

Illegal Material – Plagiarism Rife

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    Tass Schwab

    I write this with a heavy heart and a certain amount of fury and indignation. I write this because I feel that small providers are being done in, and people like me who are independents are being held liable for extremely shoddy material. Yes, an agreement is made between the developer and the client but sometimes these developers just disappear!

    We recently were engaged by a company that wished to purchase material for a SETA. We acquired it in good faith, paid a fair amount for it too. Only to find that 80% of the Material is plagiarised straight from the internet and without any references. We now are being held liable – legally by the said company for this for damages because they unfortunately had already uploaded the material at great cost to their online system. We are a tiny company that pulls in experts when needed and there is no way that we can carry costs for legal action. This is not the first time we have dealt with extremely poor material in the last two years. There is just no integrity or ethics left!

    What has happened to the development industry? It used to be so very good? I now only purchase from two well known development companies and refuse to touch anything else.

    With hands in my hair, what can we do to stop this? Suggestions?

    I end this short, indignant, despairing rant with the following quote:

    “If I had a prayer for you, I would pray that you would get the disease called integrity. And I would pray that you would have it so contagiously it would travel around and you would follow it up with loving and demonstrate it by being that.”
    – John-Roger, DSS

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    My advice would be to make sure you have a contract in place with the content developer that states the content is their own. Then the liability is not with you but with them. We had the same issue and consulted with our lawyers.

    Nigel Shipston

    Hi Tass,
    It would appear that there is amost a syndicate out there, because I have come across the same materials from a number of sources. I have to agree with Heinrich regarding placing the liability on the developer, but it is necessary to sort out the real developers. I had to threaten the sellers with rather dire consequences on two previous occasions until they refunded the monies paid by providers, but apparently this is not a common occurrence. It would appear that too many providers basically shrug their shoulders at having wasted a whole lot of money and just move on. And believe me they don’t disappear, they simply reappear somewhere else in a different guise and carry on operating as before. This lot have been around for the better part of five years as far as I am aware.


    We have taken a strategic decision NOT to provide any material to other training providers. That is why we started to write textbooks that can be purchased through our publisher.

    Jan van Dyk

    Hi Tass, It is the developers responsability to visit the end user that will make use of the training material to ensure that the information that is in the Learning material are job relevant. They must also give the end user time to proofread the material before it is distrributed to the end user. After approval from all then payment can be done.

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