UPDATE 2 Letter from Scholastic via their Facebook page:
Message from the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers
Hoy a las 11:51
It has been brought to our attention, and we have confirmed, that a high school student from Oregon submitted to The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards a painting that she now acknowledges was copied from another artist, Wenqing Yan. The student has apologized to the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, and her National Gold Medal and American Visions Award have been revoked. She is no longer considered a Scholastic Award winner. The work will not appear in our publications and the painting was removed from our online galleries. Contrary to information posted online by commenters on various sites, this student received no monetary prize from our program.
Plagiarism is antithetical to the core values of The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, and as an organization, we take a tough stand on plagiarism. We work closely with parents and teachers to help students understand the ethical and legal implications of plagiarism. Because of the number of submissions we receive, it is impossible for us to absolutely verify the originality of each entry, but we consider this to have been an isolated episode. Students who submit to the awards are required to sign a consent form that confirms the originality of their work. In addition, our guidelines clearly state that “[by] applying to The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, each student undertakes to (a) present original work that (i) has been created by her or himself and (ii) does not infringe upon the intellectual property rights of any other individual or entity…” We share our fans’ concern over this matter and take such issues very seriously. The student is well aware of the seriousness of this issue and has expressed her deep regret.
We encourage concerned observers to remember that the student involved has acknowledged that she has made a mistake, and to think about the effects that statements posted online may have. We also encourage parents to talk to their children about cyber-bullying and to read available resources on safe social networking on the Federal Trade Commission’s website at http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/tech/tec13.shtm.
We will shortly be announcing another student who will be honored with the American Visions Award for 2010.
So, fortunately (and after a lot of mails and journals in different sites about the case and a massive internet protest) justice was served
UPDATE Today via Facebook, Scholastic claimed that they are looking into the issue seriously now. All we can say is we hope it’s true this time.
Wenqing Yang, a.k.a. Yuumei is a 19 years old chinese illustrator residing in the United States, well-know in artist social network deviantART being a very active member since 2003.
Some days ago she found this:
One of her oldest works, named “Selfish” got plagiarized by Kasey Bowman, a 18 years old student, winning 2 Gold Medals awards on Scholastic Alliance for Young Artist and Writers contest. She not only copied the drawing almost exactly how it is, but she also copied the poem that Yuumei wrote herself.
The original here, made in 2006 when Yummei was 15 years old:
This shouldn’t be a big problem. She can just contact them to get the awards revoked… Well wrong. The organization is making things impossible for Yuumei deleting their contact info and covering up Kasey Bowman’s case.
Extract of Yuumei’s dairy:
Sad thing is, that’s not the real problem…
I actually found out about this art theft on April 6th and e-mailed the Scholastic people at [email protected] about the issue with all the info required on the the “COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT CLAIM NOTICE AND PROCEDURE”, but I did not receive a reply. I was too busy with studying and research essays to look into why, but now I do know and it’s really pissing me off. If you check their current Terms of Service page [link] , you’ll see they’ve changed the copyright infringement procedure to “do not send such notice to our e-mail address”, instead we must mail to the address or fax them (without providing a fax #). They also added a statement saying they can change the procedure anytime they want without prior announcement.
I will be writing a mail to them…ONCE THEY PUT UP A PROPER ADDRESS TO MAIL TO!
This is what they have on the site:
Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, Inc.
557 Broadway – Room ______
New York, NY 10012″
Room??? So we’re not suppose to e-mail, there’s no fax # and the address is incomplete?
Why am I so angry? Let’s see, the Scholastic Alliance for Young Artists and Writers is the leading organization in helping young artists getting noticed, yet they take copyright infringement issues so lightly. I know for a fact that the person who informed me about art theft also contacted the the Scholastic people; she told me that even her AP art teacher and fellow classmates wrote to them about the unfairness of the competition. Yet we were all ignored because the plagiarized drawing is still on their site and people are still noting me about the issue.
If you want to read the complete the journal follow this link.
Selfish deviation in Yuumei’s gallery.
Scholastic Alliance for Young Artist and Writers main website.
Scholastic Alliance for Young Artist and Writers e-mail: [email protected]
Kasey’s deviantART account.
Scholastic Alliance for Young Artist and Writers Facebook page.
South Albany High School, Kasey’s school.
News articles about Kasey’s “work”: