Here's the short version of a long story: The TechCrunch50 conference is a relatively new event cohosted by blog entrepreneurs Michael Arrington and Jason Calacanis. It presents itself as an Web 2.0 counter to Chris Shipley's firmly established Demo event, which itself was created as an antidote to previous tech shows. Both TechCrunch and Demo unveil new products and companies live onstage. Demo charges companies to participate. TechCrunch does not, and claims Demo is a "payola" scheme. Got all that? Great, now you'll understand why it's a big deal that a lady you've probably never heard of claims that 1,893 words of Calacanis's guide to pitching your company "were directly lifted" from a guide she wrote for Demo ten years ago. Deb McAlister-Holland hasn't yet produced her original article nor responded to attempts to reach her, so I'm skeptical. Chris Shipley says the article predated her 12-year stewardship of Demo, and disavows the charges. Jason Calacanis, plagiarist? Come on, that would require him to give someone else the last word.
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