It has been brought to my attention that another running coach, Matt Johnson of Runner Academy, has plagiarized and stolen content from MTA.
You may have seen the Runner Academy podcast in iTunes sometimes recommended next to ours. When Matt Johnson first came along I thought it was strange that his podcast imitated ours so closely.
The most obvious semblance is the use of “Academy” in his name but that’s not where the imitation stops. When his show first began, the format mimicked ours with welcoming new members and shout outs in the beginning, then the feature segment, and a quick tip at the end.
Coach Jeff Gaudette at runnersconnect.net has dealt with Matt Johnson plagiarizing his strength training course. You can read about it here: Runner Academy Stealing and Plagiarizing from RunnersConnect and Why it Matters to You. Both Coach Jeff and I have confronted Matt Johnson about this but he totally denies any wrong doing.
In this post I will document examples of how Matt has stolen our training content and conclude with some thoughts about why I have decided to make this public.
Matt Johnson of Runner Academy Plagiarizing Our Content
Matt joined our Academy on March 11th 2012 and cancelled his membership a few days later. He stayed long enough to swipe our training materials and re-purpose them for his own forthcoming membership site.
His plagiarism is sometimes verbatim, other times it is a paraphrasing of Coach Angie’s words while maintaining the same basic thoughts and structure.
According to Wikipedia plagiarism is the “wrongful appropriation” and “stealing and publication” of another author’s “language, thoughts, ideas, or expressions” and the representation of them as one’s own original work.
Below are examples of where Matt has stolen Coach Angie’s language, thoughts, ideas, and expressions.
Examples of Matt Johnson’s Plagiarism
I’ve placed red boxes around similar language, thoughts, ideas, and expressions. It’s pretty easy to see that Matt downloaded Angie’s coaching notes shuffled a few words around and started selling it to his members. Compare Angie’s training lesson on “Finding Your Big Payoff Factors” with Matt’s “The Importance of Understanding Your Motivations”.
This is a short segment of the above video for quick side by side comparison. We will compare Angie’s training lesson “Finding Time to Run” with Matt’s “Finding Time to Run”.
This is another shorter video segment from the above. This shows the core of my problem with what Runner Academy has done -copying our course structure for their own membership site.
Poaching Content and Customers
These are Matt’s own comments posted in the Warrior Forum, a forum for internet marketers, gloating about what he is going to do to his competitors. Click to enlarge images.
Is Marathon Training Academy the business that Matt Johnson wants to “swift boat”, “kill”, and sink the “dagger in”?
Angie and I support any running coach who is working hard to create unique content and value in the market place. We have welcomed many running coaches on our podcast through the years. My desire is to see the running world (online and offline) remain a positive place where each runner can find tools and resources to reach their goals, and each coach is committed to maintaining high ethical practices in their coaching business.
I have been repeatedly lied to by Matt Johnson. After I broke the news on our blog about his plagiarism he camped out in the comment section and tried to do damage control. When it became obvious that people weren’t buying into his excuses he took a different tack – telling us all that he is shutting down Runner Academy for good. But everything Matt said in his comments and emails to me proved to be a total lie, a tactic to get my blog post taken down.
Addendum (January 2015)
Another podcaster shared with me that Matt Johnson has been trying to get into this podcaster’s closed member’s only Facebook Group using fake FB accounts like “Chad Hopkins” and “Matt Johns”.
That makes 4 running coaches/podcasters I’ve spoken to who have had unfortunate dealings with Matt Johnson of Runner Academy. I’m just wondering who else has dealt with this?