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Don Smith, Steve Saunders And John Hulme.


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That would be fine if you sold the book as steve saunders life story and riding tips from Don Smiths earlier work in the 1970s ?? How many people who bought it new they were buying earlier work ?

I don't think that people wouldn't by a book "from" Steve Saunders if there are mention riding techniques that still exits for decades and haven't changed.

I personal would give a high valuate to whom would mentioned this, this would show - at least to me- that the writer really took care about the theme because he combined it with previous statements which are still up to date.

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Just for the record, today would have been Don's 77th birthday. This year, in October, saw the 10th anniversary of his passing away also. I am sure he is watching with interest. Happy Birthday Dad. Love from your children Amanda, Karen and Paul and partners plus your 5 grandsons..x x

Hi team dr,

You probably won't remember me - but I counted your Dad as one of my friends, so I thought you might like a copy of a photograph of him taken some while ago by Barry Robinson, chatting to another old mate, Peter Gaunt.

All the best for 2015,

Deryk Wylde


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Yes, of course, it's often useful when writing an article to quote from a previous authoritative source but there's a vast difference between quoting a few lines with an attribution to the original author and the apparent wholesale plagiarism of this case.

Apart from collaborating with him on the original book, I was a close friend of Don and, knowing him that well, am surprised at the suggestion that he would have given permission for his work to be copied in this fashion with no mention of the original book or author........


So in the book there are not only some sentences or a paragraph copied, instead whole article?

I don't have the book from Steve Saunders ...

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Hi everybody and Deryk

'The internet is a wonderful tool, but it opens up access opportunities without, sadly, responsibilities'

- Deryk, the original plagiarism was on hard copy, not the internet, it was the internet that exposed the fraud.

Hope you are not arguing against the internet.

'there is a new generation of alleged 'authors' who know that the copyright laws are all bar toothless,

- coupled to a generation of 'journalists' who have never worked for the old time editors and learned their real trade'

I was trying to say as much when I described it as 'the lazy school of journalism'.

Anyway, I would agree with most of the sentiments expressed and interested to read what Graham F. has to say on the matter, and agree it that it would be unlikely that copyright would be given away -- or accepted, without written permission.



Edited by sparks2
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Hi sparks2,

And All the Best for 2015.

I most certainly am not arguing against the internet, I was trying to emphasise the point that in earlier times in order to publish in hard copy there was the filter of the publishing house and editors, who knew their trade and, by and large, kept plagiarism to a sensibly controlled, but definitely legal, level. On t'interweb that filter no longer exists. One merely has to be able to type - and often spell atrociously - and totally ignore the norms of punctuation.

Subsequently even the hard copy publishing business has taken a hard knock and these days there are often companies with expensive printing presses they would prefer to see in action who are willing to take virtually any offering, knock it into shape in the pre-press department and print it at very low cost, so even hard copy magazines and books are no longer the reliable sources they once were - and as for the current crop of magazines I am definitely underwhelmed...........

For my own part I still believe the only honest way to proceed is to publish to the best of your belief and ability, then be prepared to have a readily available section, up front and in bold easy to read print, waiting for 'ERRORS and OMISSIONS'.

I have done just that in all my magazines and books and found that it unearthed a very welcome treasure trove of information when someone who you knew to be a well respected figure in the sport wanted to pick up the 'phone and say: "Deryk, it wasn't quite like that - you see, the lower sub-assembly castings kept failing, so we had to try a different..........."

Equally, when I have misunderstood something I have no hesitation of saying SORRY up front and for all to see. Pity that is no longer the modern way............



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Hi team dr,

You probably won't remember me - but I counted your Dad as one of my friends, so I thought you might like a copy of a photograph of him taken some while ago by Barry Robinson, chatting to another old mate, Peter Gaunt.

All the best for 2015,

Deryk Wylde[/quote

Cheers Deryk

Edited by team dr
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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi everybody, again,

I have been away for a while, and have just read the last few comments on this thread.

It is gratifying to hear from the man who actually wrote the words that have been plagiarised, welcome Deryk Wylde, and to get some background on the true situation regarding who retains the copyright to Don and Deryk's work.

It is also heartening to know that Don Smith's heirs are aware of the outrageous carryings- on surrounding the wholesale lifting of text from Don and Deryk's book. Welcome team DR.

it remains to be seen if John Hulme takes the right course of action.

To reply to Kickit - I contacted Steve Saunders about this whole sorry affair right at the beginning. he rather shrugged the whole thing off and I have heard nothing since.

To reply to P.Scrauber - it is not just a sentence or two, it is whole paragraphs, verbatim, with no attribution, footnotes or quotation marks, and no mention of Don Smith or Deryk Wylde

in the thank- you section.

I must say, I too would have been happy to have bought a book "by Steve Saunders, ghosted by John Hulme, with expert riding tips from Don Smith's earlier work " but the book in question is not presented, or advertised like that.

In defence of the book, the chapter on Steve Saunders' career is worth the purchase price alone, he remains, in my estimation, one of the greatest of British trials riders, but to have this type of cynical and cheap pilfering and credit taking foisted on oneself with a stonewall of silence in reply to my original, quite legitimate queries as to how the text in question appeared with no credit to the original author, got my back up.

I am in danger of coming across as a disgruntled punter, I know, but really the money has nothing to do with it, as I have said before, it is the principal of the thing and, as Deryk says, the speed with which the wrong is righted that count more than silence and a hope that it will all go away.

It seems, from reading the replies, that there are several people who care about Don Smith and his work.

More power to them.


Joe Henderson.

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Hi team dr,

I have been labouring under a misapprehension.

My apologies to Deryk & Graham. I got the name of the original writer wrong, finger trouble or just an honest mistake, who knows?

My unreserved apologies, again, to all concerned.



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  • 1 year later...

Deryk's totally correct of course but the problem is that whilst deliberate intellectual property theft has obviously taken place, for damages to be awarded in a successful prosecution the plaintiff would have to show that the theft caused fiscal harm.


As the book I wrote with Don is no longer in print,it would be difficult to demonstrate how the theft had harmed the copyright holder.


Think we just all have to take note that it was a shameful theft perpetrated by an author who either didn't have the ability to create his own work or was too lazy to do so.


Congratulations to the original poster here who has given us all an insight into the ethics of those involved



Graham Forsdyke 



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Hi Everybody, and in particular, John Hulme and Steve Saunders.

Can you imagine my delight on opening my copy of issue 14 of Classic Trial the other month to see, on page 6, an apology by John Hulme for breaching copyright whilst publishing unattributed photographs?

It is a simple insertion and shows just how easy it can be to admit your wrongdoings and strive to do as much as possible to put things right, well after the fact, as all these matter usually are.

John Hulme's rather puling explanation that he knew nothing about the photos and it was someone else's fault does somewhat devalue the apology, but I suppose we must take what comfort we can from his slow realisation that he can go some way towards putting things right after all.

I also note that John Hulme's attribution lists at the beginning of his articles have grown in length and seem to be a genuine attempt on his part to rightly credit all the original copyright holders of the material he includes in said articles. Jolly good effort and well done, at last.

Following on from this, I saw a copy of what seems to be a new edition or reprint of the Youmee's Steve Saunders book on trials.

On opening the volume, I discovered, somewhat to my dismay,that the chapters on machine control and hazard riding still contain he pilfered tracts from Don Smith and Graham Forsdyke's original work.

There are still lines and collections of words from Don and Graham's book that appear in the text of Saunder's book. I would have thought that a simple erratum leaf inserted in the front of the reprint, if indeed that is what it is, would have gone some way towards sorting this mess.

It is a pity that after my preliminary enquiries John felt that he could ignore me, sweep the whole thing under the carpet and that I would just go away, and it is also a pity that Steve Saunders got carried along in the whole mess, he seems an affable sort of chap and I imagine he was pretty much ignorant of the ramifications.

It is also a pity that subsequent to my further enquiries John Hulme chose to adopt the position of feeling intimidated and threatened by my quite legitimate questions about what was going on and felt the need to, in turn, threaten me with legal action if I did not desist from discussing his actions and the subsequent reactions on the open forum of Trials Central, and, in a quite staggering example of the pot calling the kettle black, cite a fairly nebulous copyright clause included at the bottom of his email missives and admonish me for making a mistake!

I suppose, of course, that I can expect another snotty email as soon as this is read!

I stick to my guns on raising the matter on an open forum, after other avenues of enquiry turned into cul-de-sacs, because my postings helped to initiate a discussion about the deception.

All in all, despite the unpleasantness and noses put out of joint, and disgruntled emails, I have quite enjoyed raising the ugly subject.......I will keep my two copies of the offending Saunders book, my copy of issue 14 of Classic Trial and my copy of Graham Forsdyke and Don Smiths earlier work, "The Complete Book Of Motorcycle Trials"( the original source of the stolen text)side by side on my bookshelf as a reminder to strive to do the right thing

Regards to all,

Joe Henderson.

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  • 2 years later...

Zombie Thread Warning!

Funny old world innit....

My first trials book i purchased, new was the Steve Saunders book a couple of years ago. Decent enough read.

A couple of weeks ago i received 3 books i purchased from Ebay. I missed the Sammy Miller book ( i was'nt going over 30 GBP, it went for 37 quid + P&P).

The new Dougie Lampkin book, new, still not finished it.

Don Morley's Trials - A Riders Guide, S/H. Still not finished it, but looks interesting with good period photos.

And, drum roll......., yep,

 Don Smith's book which i have nearly finished, S/H. Excellent read, great photos of the time, and yes, i was thinking, this is strange, i've read this before.......... somewhere.....

Re, the op and this thread, i concur completely - simply outrageous.

Small world. Or, funny old world, innit?

Edited by thai-ty
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On 06/11/2014 at 3:16 AM, henderpump said:

Hi everybody,

You must forgive me for bringing this subject up but I think it is a valid query, so I ask you all to bear with me.

A while ago I bought a copy of Steve Saunders' book 'A complete guide to motorcycle trials On trial, my life in motorcycle trials'.

For one reason and another I did not have a good look at it until quite recently.

On reading chapter 7 "how to ride' I had a feeling of de ja vu.

On delving further into the text a lot of the content seemed familiar and I got out my copy of the publication entitled "Ride it! the complete book of motorcycle trials by Don Smith".

I was surprised and puzzled to find that whole swaths of chapter 9 "Riding the hazards" had been reproduced verbatim in Steve's book.

I was expecting there to be an acknowledgement of the original author somewhere within the pages or in the "Finally, thank you' afterword at the end of Saunder's book but I could find no mention of the original author and, on further investigation I found that the publishers claim copyright for the Saunders book with no acknowledgement of Don Smith's material or the original publishers of the material.

I contacted Steve Saunders about my concerns and, apart from saying that he was going to contact his publishers and that he did not know anything about material being taken from Don Smith's book and that he had never set eyes on a copy, he dismissed my rather tongue in cheek enquiry about a refund if I returned the book as " I do not feel this to be appropriate" ( That was me told then, ) and I have heard nothing more from him.

I also contacted Don Smith's publishers and had an acknowledgement of my email and not much further.

I then contacted John Hulme and got a short note back saying he noted my comments and that he now considered communication closed on the subject! I emailed him back saying that wasnt going to work and asking him directly how it was that whole passages had been lifted from Don Smith's book to appear under his publishing company's copyright in Steve Saunder's book. Nothing heard!

Don Smiths book is out of copyright so they are probably clear on that score.

There remains the concern about an author and publisher claiming someone else's work as their own.

Anyone else find this sort of thing distasteful?


Joe Henderson.

Ah Plagerism the sincerest form of flattery ?‍?

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