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David Richards Exposed as Plagiarist, Claims “Hackers” Did It

From the Australian Broadcasting
Corporation’s “Media Watch” (original here)

The leading plagiarist in technology media, SmartHouse’s David Richards, has been exposed on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s “Media Watch” program for the fraud he is.

In a story broadcast Monday, Richards’ plagiarism of numerous technology stories (including my own) was highlighted as a “Phantom of the Internet.”

What? No forthright accusation of plagiarism?

Richards, of course, claims he didn’t do it. Instead, “hackers” got into his site, he says.

An investigation by 4Squatre Media has revealed that over a period of more than 24 months the content engine used to supply stories to web sites such as SmartHouse, SmartHouse News, ChannelNews and Smart Office has been illegally accessed and in several cases content changed. Code has also been hacked.

Please note that Richards DID mis-spell the name of his own company “4Squatre Media” — really professional, right? (And I’ve got the PDF saved for when he changes it and claims I lied.)

Beyond the absurdity of his excuse, here’s why there’s no chance it is true.

Richards claims he was “alerted” to the “hacker’s posts” (my quotes, not his) in early February. That’s impossible.

I have an email from Richards dated 12/19/2007, when he claims to have removed a story he stole from CE Pro written by Lee Distad.


Richards, not surprisingly, had not removed the article when he said he did. It took another email to him and his staff to get it down.

So, if you’re the publisher of a Web site, wouldn’t you be curious if a story showed up online that you hadn’t published? I know I would be.

Richards is a hack job. His excuse is pathetic, and his arrogance is even worse.

It Gets Weirder: Did He Submit the Story to Digg?

richards-digg.jpgA commenter on my original story pointed me to the YouTube video below, which was uploaded by … “DavidRichardsAU.”

His profile says he’s 47 years old and located in Australia.

What? How bizarre is that?

The story is also on Digg, where it was submitted by “davidrichards,” “A 52 year-old male from Sydney, Australia (AU) who joined Digg on March 3rd, 2008.”

I don’t know if this is him or not, but the image on his profile looks a LOT like the one I could find online.

Would he seriously try and promote his own plagiarism? (It totally could be him, especially considering the spelling of “plagiarizm.”)

That’s just weird.

The Media Watch Video

Check out the Media Watch video here.


  1. Anonymous

    The depths of David’s sociopathy know no bounds. I would not be in the least surprised if he submitted these stories to get hits on his site. To paraphrase Oscar Wilde, any traffic is good traffic for David.

    And might I add that you should pity his staff, they have no control over David’s behaviour, which has gotten increasingly worse over the years.

    I hope there is a resolution to this issue for once and all as he is a major embarrassment to the IT journalism industry in Australia.

  2. StefW

    Yep Jason, it will just keep getting weirder as long as he has to think up a new lie… oops i mean excuse to cover the last lie… oops – there i go again – must be a hacker in my machine trying to change what I type.
    Yes it is his mug in the picture above, although he needs to get some surgery if he thinks he could pass for 47…
    Check out the first entry in the mediawatch message board at I think that is reakky (sic) from Richards as well… like you say – weird

  3. The Fake David Richards

    Yes Jason, that was me who posted the MediaWatch clip onto YouTube and also submitted it to Digg. But I am The Fake David Richards, not the real one.

    Following his prime-time expose on national TV, which thanks to the Internet has been seen and enjoyed by everyone who has ever dealt with this slimy scumbag, the real David Richards has been keeping a very low profile of late.

    Except that the day after the TV show aired he was on the telephone to everyone in the business spinning his lame ‘I was hacked’ story. No-one believes that sorry tale except (maybe) Richards himself.

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