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Dan Beattie Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member02 Aug 2011 10:21 a.m. PST

George Street, The Army of Austria-Hungary, 1798-1814 was published by Partizan Press this year. I just received my copy.

The title is a misnomer. The book is only a study of the uniforms and organization. It contains no new information or evidence of original research. Worse than that, it is mostly plagiarized from W.J. Rawkins, The Austro-Hungarian Army, 1805- 1814. Rawkins' book was written, I believe, in the late 1970's and was a marvel of material that was difficult to obtain, and with few errors. It was meaty and very complete in its coverage of uniforms. My edition was done by Anschluss Publishing and is copyrighted 1991.

Whole sections, paragraphs, and sentences follow Rawkins word for word. This book is for the most part is a re-issue of Rawkins under somebody else's name. Familiar illustrations, by Ottenfeld and others are scattered through the text without connection to the sections that they support. Three illustrations of uniforms by Bob Marrion and eight color paintings of flags by Lesley Prince are new to me. Four of the flags match the ones in the Osprey book on Napoleonic flags. Of course there are no footnotes. Rawkins' book is of course not listed in the cursory and obviously padded, brief bibliography.

Aren't editors supposed to catch plagiarism? I recommend that buyers avoid this dishonest book.

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP02 Aug 2011 10:30 a.m. PST

Is Rawkins book still available?

How do you know the copyright holders didn't give (or sell) Street permission to lift his text?

I don't have a dog in this fight and don't have the knowledge to make a meaningful contribution to most Napoleoonic era posts, but without having contacted Street (Is he alive?)and the respective publishers/copyright holders, I think you have rushed to judgment and condemned a book and an author without being armed with all of the facts. You may be right. You may also be wrong.

aecurtis Fezian Inactive Member02 Aug 2011 10:35 a.m. PST

"Is Rawkins book still available?"

That's not relevant.

If as Dan says, "Whole sections, paragraphs, and sentences follow Rawkins word for word," yet Rawkins is not cited--permission or not--then what you have here is not a "smoking gun", but rather an exploding powder magazine.


Regrebnelle Inactive Member02 Aug 2011 11:06 a.m. PST

Thanks for the warning. I've not read the Rawkins book, but I was looking at Street's book. I'll have to look into it more before I would make a purchase. I can't stand plagiarism. It's one thing to be inspired by someone elses work to the point that you want to try and better it. It is entirely another to rip off whole sections of text.


79thPA Supporting Member of TMP02 Aug 2011 11:20 a.m. PST

Let me make myself a little more clear. It is relevant if the book is OOP and the publishers did not want to release a second edition, but instead decided to give permission for someone else to use passages in their own book.

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP02 Aug 2011 11:32 a.m. PST

Don't know if the last comment in this thread helps, hurts or makes no dif.

TMP link

Connard Sage Inactive Member02 Aug 2011 11:33 a.m. PST

It is relevant if the book is OOP and the publishers did not want to release second edition, but instead decided to give permission for someone else to use passages in their own book.

In which case, why didn't the copyright owners give away the entire text for re-publication?

Why didn't the author/publishers of the Street book acknowledge the Rawkins text that was used?

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Inactive Member02 Aug 2011 11:33 a.m. PST

I haven't been in contact with Dave Ryan since he was in Southend, but I think the situation is that he owns Raider Games now, who had the rights to various series. So, I would think he is giving himself the copyright! The flag plates should be the same – the flags haven't changed since the 1970s!

aecurtis Fezian Inactive Member02 Aug 2011 11:50 a.m. PST

As indicated in this thread, the Napoleonic Association Web site had PDFs of all the Rawkins booklets available online:

TMP link

And if you check various fora, you can find people asking for and offering to provide said PDFs as recently as last month.

Hard to stop determined thieves.

My Rawkins booklets are Raider Games era (correction: most of mine were published by Rawkins; a few are from Anschluss). If the copyright passed with the publisher, rather than remained with the author (counter to the Berne Convention and EU directives), then it is still inappropriate to copy sections without attribution.


xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Inactive Member02 Aug 2011 12:01 p.m. PST

The PDFs are not there now and I would suggest you moderate your language as you are clearly not in command of the full facts.

Copyrights can be assigned as the owner wishes – for example, Osprey authors hand their right to the company and when Rothenberg was reprinted, Batsford handed over their rights costfree. Rawkins was a publisher himself, so the rights probably were in the company. Osprey lifted bits of various MAAs and put them into a book by Chris McNab – it was the work of myself and others in fact – he did no new work. To have it by rawkisn when he had given up the rights long ago and there was editing and new artwork would be silly.

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP02 Aug 2011 12:03 p.m. PST

Connard Sage--If we knew that we wouldn't be here.

aecurtis--agreed that it is inappropriate to copy without attribution.

Without hearing the defense, I'm not ready to jump on the "this guy is a thief" bandwagon.

aecurtis Fezian Inactive Member02 Aug 2011 12:17 p.m. PST

It appears from Bill's comments that Rawkins was asserting his rights as late as last year.


xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Inactive Member02 Aug 2011 12:19 p.m. PST

Sometimes I wonder why I bother

TMP link

aecurtis Fezian Inactive Member02 Aug 2011 12:19 p.m. PST

And I direct you to this thread:



aecurtis Fezian Inactive Member02 Aug 2011 12:20 p.m. PST

I had already read the News discussion thread. Now look at the cover:

TMP link


xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Inactive Member02 Aug 2011 12:38 p.m. PST

Armchair General says nothing. Indeed, if you are disputing copyright, who gave the NA the right to put them (they are not there now) and the right to anyone on AG to pass them on?

Indeed, here is McNab's book link
albeit he is listed as "editor", but some of that work is still mine.

Without looking at the new version, I would not know, but here is a seller of the Anschluss version, saying it is 24pp in A5 (albeit smaller print) whereas this is 72pp. I had the original Rawkins version (most of it is Ottenfeld like the Ospreys) and I seem to recall, it was about 40pp in stapled A4. Given that Partizan/Caliver now own Anschluss and that PDFs of this book were kicking around, I doubt there is any great issue here.

Incidentally, Caliver have a copy of my MAA299 for 20!

aecurtis Fezian Inactive Member02 Aug 2011 1:43 p.m. PST

For the comprehension-challenged:

- Rawkins published his own booklets; they were subsequently published by Anschluss. However, in the absence of information regarding the agreement for Anschluss or any others to continue their publication, that line of discussion stops there.

- The Napoleonic Association offered PDF copies on their Web site. Bill Gray's post informs us that the author asserted his rights regarding his copyright. The PDFs have subsequently been removed. That in turn suggests that the proper copyright holder had *not* allowed their posting as PDFs. If PDF copies are still circulating, that seems to be a violation of the author's rights. And I see nothing wrong with calling that "theft", as when unauthorized copies of anyone's work are circulated.

- Dan is best positioned to tell us if the Caliver copy that he recieved provides any sort of attribution to Rawlins's original text. His initial post suggests not; neither does Dan indicate dual authorship. If Rawkins is not credited as an author, and if there is no note to indicate that the book is based on his previous work (revised, augmented, etc.), and portions of his text are copied without proper citation, then that is plagiarism.

- It does not matter that the more naive sort of author may surrender his rights in a contract. It does not matter that one author employed by a copyright holder duplicates text from another work, even if that employer holds the copyright. The duplication of material without proper credit is plagiarism, pure and simple. And the marketing of duplicated material without a clear statement that it has been published before is at best a disservice to the customer.


Dan Beattie Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member02 Aug 2011 1:55 p.m. PST

The word "Rawkins" is not in the Street "book."

Sparker Inactive Member02 Aug 2011 2:42 p.m. PST

To have it by rawkisn when he had given up the rights long ago and there was editing and new artwork would be silly.

Utter rot. A brief acknowledgement that the original text was authored by Rawkins would be the honest thing to do, and indeed vital for further historiographical research.

Gazzola02 Aug 2011 2:48 p.m. PST

Dan Beattie

As the purchaser of this book, could you not write/contact George Street and/or the present publisher, asking why Rawkins' name was not mentioned? It all may be prefectly legal and above board and hopefully, George Street and/or Partizan Press can provide the answer.

But it would be extremely sad if the present author and publisher have used the work and research of another author, without their permission and without even a mention. Let us hope they have not stooped so low in order to make a profit. If it is, then as concerned customers, wargamers and Napoleonic enthusiasts, we should all seriously consider boycotting their publications.

aecurtis Fezian Inactive Member02 Aug 2011 4:21 p.m. PST

>>> The word "Rawkins" is not in the Street "book."

Thanks, Dan. I inferred as much from your initial post, but best to be sure.

>>> Utter rot. A brief acknowledgement that the original text was authored by Rawkins would be the honest thing to do, and indeed vital for further historiographical research.



Personal logo 20thmaine Supporting Member of TMP02 Aug 2011 4:29 p.m. PST

There can be quite legal reuse of text if the copyright ownership was sold at the time of publication of the original book. We need to see that contract to be sure if this is plagarism or perfectly legal reuse of text owned by the publisher.

MWright Inactive Member03 Aug 2011 2:10 a.m. PST

Nappies …. sigh

Gazzola03 Aug 2011 2:23 a.m. PST


Plagarism is disliked and certainly not legal in all forms of creative areas, not just in the Napoleonic field. And it is quite right for someone who has done all the research, writing up, making contacts etc, to be able to take legal action against those who prefer to steal and let others do the work for them, but want the credit and certainly the profit any sales might make.

However, in this case, nothing has yet been proved, legalwise, as far as I'm aware, and hopefully, it is all above board.

But only a fool or a thief who steals other people's work would not be concerned over such matters.

XV Brigada Inactive Member03 Aug 2011 2:55 a.m. PST

The issue of simply copying something and presenting it as one's own work is a separate issue from breach of copyright is it not? I do admit to not knowing much about these things from a technical/legal standpoint.

I would have thought that the real issue for TMPers was whether the Rawkin's material was any good and the fact of the matter IMHO is that a lot of it is not.


xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Inactive Member03 Aug 2011 3:20 a.m. PST

The bug is back!

Copying another's work and presenting it as your own without acknowledgement is plagarism, which is just a descriptive word. Copyright is a legal term, protecting the right of the author to exploit his work financially for a period of time (and the publisher to exploit their input). It is thus the interference with the capability to earn from the work to breach copyright.

None of us know the copyright situation here, so I suggest a few people moderate their language.

However, overall, Bill is right – Rawkins lifted his material from Ottenfeld, so there is no original work in it beyond the actual translation and much of it has been subsequently superceded. Ottenfeld is out of copyright.

Gazzola03 Aug 2011 1:33 p.m. PST

XV Brigada

No, it is not just a matter of if the work is good enough! If someone is using someone else's work and passing it off as their own, or without acknowledgement of who the work really belonged to, that is not only stealing another author's work and effort, but also deceiving the customer.

If the work is good, you might end up buying another title from the same thief, who may have lifted the work of another author. I can't see decent people accepting that, can you?

Gazzola03 Aug 2011 1:43 p.m. PST


Of course there is a difference between copyright and plagarism. It is not illegal or wrong for one author to write or create something that matches the idea of another author. It happens all the time in the creative world of drama, novels, poetry, etc. But if the words are the same, then it is not acceptable.

In this case, only the author and publisher can throw a light on if one author's work has been lifted or perhaps if acknowledgement of the original author had been left out by mistake.

Bill Rawkins Inactive Member10 Oct 2013 3:13 p.m. PST

As the subject of the debate I think that I should add a few words.

Firstly, all of the 'Armies and Uniforms of the Napoleonic Wars' series that I authored and published in the 1970s and 1980s have been out of print since 1985 but all remain under copyright.

At no time has licence or permission been isued to any person to reprint (inc. the 1990s pirate copies), or publish any part of the text or illustrations. I am well aware of a number of 'issues' with some more recently published books and these are being discussed with the author and publisher at this time.

As a piece of good news, the whole series are about to be re-published in printable e-book format, starting with 'The Army of Sweden 1802-1814 (available now) and The Army of the Duchy of Warsaw 1807-1814 which will be available later in October 2013.

Copies can be obtained from our website
link or from e-bay UK.

Bill Rawkins
The History Book Man

Gazzola20 Oct 2013 6:13 a.m. PST

Bill Rawkins

If you do get to publish the 'paper collections edition', please let us know.

HappyHussar14 Apr 2018 10:48 a.m. PST

I have been purchasing the E-Books from Bill's site. Wonderful to have these again!

I currently have purchased 12 of the books and am about to buy the book on the Army of Northern Italy.

Thanks again, Bill!

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