Puppets and Stuff

General Stuff => Open Discussion => Topic started by: Na on August 19, 2011, 11:45:45 am



Title: You may be a victim...
Post by: Na on August 19, 2011, 11:45:45 am
I'd love to say that was just an attention-getting title in order to get you to look at something more mundane... however it's not.

I've been battling with eHow.com for a while as they have contributors who have been blatantly plagiarising my work. You can read about it in detail here:
http://www.puppetsinmelbourne.com.au/blog.php/2011/08/20/open-letter-to-ehow-com-stop-plagiarising-my-content

The stuff that's important to you guys though is that tonight I spent several hours on eHow's website going through a lot of puppetry-related articles. And I'm shocked to say that a number of friends from P&S and elsewhere may have also had their work - text and/or images - ripped off with no attribution.

Please pass on the info: a number of their contributors also visit here by the looks of their 'resource' links, so perhaps we can get some attention.

I'm making a very loud attempt at getting eHow's attention, as they've ignored me in the past. If you're on Facebook, Twitter, or any other website, pass the info on.

I know it sounds petty, but they have literally re-written and copied many many of my articles that I've spent a lot of time writing: and this stuff cuts into my income (thank goodness most of the patterns are behind a pay-wall) along with my potential ability to work as a writer since I'd have arguments with people over whether or not that line on my CV really should be there (and it should).

More than that, eHow's contributors may be infringing on other people's rights, such as puppeteers who post images of things they sell and don't want anyone else using.

Thanks!


Title: Re: You may be a victim...
Post by: MsPuppet on August 19, 2011, 01:07:38 pm
Thanks Na.  I've often wondered how ehow does what they do. They also do it in many other areas, cake decorating, children's ministry, etc. Others do it too.  I am astounded at how many of the same cake decorating clips I see all over the internet.  Obviously they are helping themselves to whatever they find, with no thought about what they are doing.

Is there a way to keep images/info from being cut and pasted from one site to another (remember I am not tech savy).

T


Title: Re: You may be a victim...
Post by: Shawn Sorrell on August 19, 2011, 07:29:56 pm
There is a way to keep your images from being what is called "hot linked", but there is nothing really keeping folks from downloading (they do that when the look at your page) images and then uploading them to another server and useing them. Hot Linking is when they actually use the images on your own server and show them in another site. That can be stopped and is really not that hard to do. If you happen to have a hosting company that has cPanel they even make it pretty easy to do. :)

I really doubt that ehow is going to do anything. I reviewed quite a bit of the content on puppetry and the authors seem to know just how much they have to change things to get around copyright laws. Quite frankly I found most the content on the site lacking in any true details of any use. Emily and Paul are about the only ones I saw that had real content and there stuff was actually migrated over from the old Expert Village site when ehow took over it I think. The drawback is that since ehow is a bigger site it is going to get a higher page rank by Google which means that more then likely someone searching is going to end up there instead of someplace like Na's site or here where the content is good. I guess when you see one of these articles you could always leave comments directing folks to better sites with more content but that almost feels like dropping to their level or spammer tactics.


Title: Re: You may be a victim...
Post by: Na on August 20, 2011, 01:03:17 am
Thanks Na.  I've often wondered how ehow does what they do. They also do it in many other areas, cake decorating, children's ministry, etc. Others do it too.  I am astounded at how many of the same cake decorating clips I see all over the internet.  Obviously they are helping themselves to whatever they find, with no thought about what they are doing.

Is there a way to keep images/info from being cut and pasted from one site to another (remember I am not tech savy).

T

eHow is like Youtube: entirely reliant on members contributing content. You get paid (probably based on a percentage of advertising fees) per article - Youtube obviously doesn't pay people, but the idea is to rely on other people to write your content for you. I would think they have special relationships with Paul Louis, etc, whereby that person gets a higher fee for producing more high quality content. This brings in more visitors, and encourages people who wouldn't otherwise to get involved. What it means is they pay less staff; writing content is expensive.

Sites like this are less about quality content and more about churning out content. The more content and visitors there are, the more they can seek investment and advertising.

To be honest, it's not so much their staff to blame as it is that their contributors are not professional writers in most cases and do not know or care about copyrights. As such, the majority of what these sites have is crap content; but then, their income model (see above) doesn't rely on quality just quantity.


Title: Re: You may be a victim...
Post by: Na on August 20, 2011, 01:12:51 am
I really doubt that ehow is going to do anything. I reviewed quite a bit of the content on puppetry and the authors seem to know just how much they have to change things to get around copyright laws. Quite frankly I found most the content on the site lacking in any true details of any use.

I quite agree; but then, I'm making an effort to put the pressure on them publically. I have left comments on the site about plagiarism, which is hooked up to my Facebook account. I've tweeted them about my above blog post, as well as tweeted as many eHow staff as I could find, and have had it retweeted by a couple of people already. My email was cc'd not just to their support staff but to as many other eHow emails as I could find.

And I'll keep making noise until I get a decent response. (I have a "response received, someone will contact you" standard reply in my email this morning) I'm looking at finding someone who writes about online companies, as I have a couple of connections there too.

As for getting around things, yes some of the content is borderline. *But* my marionette tutorial is quite clearly and obviously plagiarised and on that one alone even a non-lawyer could see who is in the right. If nothing else happens, I will be contacting a local arts law center for some advice on how to put more pressure on them.

Quote
Emily and Paul are about the only ones I saw that had real content and there stuff was actually migrated over from the old Expert Village site when ehow took over it I think. The drawback is that since ehow is a bigger site it is going to get a higher page rank by Google which means that more then likely someone searching is going to end up there instead of someplace like Na's site or here where the content is good. I guess when you see one of these articles you could always leave comments directing folks to better sites with more content but that almost feels like dropping to their level or spammer tactics.

Actually I have found that since my initial complaints, most of the resources and referral links have been to good sites (here or to other well-known puppetry sites). I don't think leaving comments does anything. No one who is interested in learning about puppetry - which, let's face it, are mostly going to be parents/teachers/hobbyists - are going to take notice and all they want is a 1-2-3 paint by numbers tutorial. Which they find at eHow.

What we really need is for eHow to actually follow the terms and conditions provided by them and to police this more stringently. I am reasonable enough to realise that things will fall through the cracks as the site/contributors is so large: but when something is reported and they don't do anything about it is when I get annoyed.


Title: Re: You may be a victim...
Post by: Na on August 20, 2011, 07:58:31 am
Just wanted to add this:
http://www.plagiarismtoday.com

An excellent resource for info on plagiarism, copyrights and how to tackle them on the net. I thought someone here might find it useful.


Title: Re: You may be a victim...
Post by: Na on July 19, 2012, 03:08:50 am
Open letter to puppeteers (if someone could post it on Puppethub I'd be eternally grateful):


I thought I'd start sending this message out. I've had a long-standing problem with eHow whereby they've been plagiarising my work. Although they've taken most of the articles down, some still remain.

However, I regularly check their site for new articles, and I continue to find puppeteeer's work plagiarised. Here's just one example:
http://www.ehow.com/how_7696038_make-puppet-costume.html (http://www.ehow.com/how_7696038_make-puppet-costume.html)

Please do visit the site and check: they often steal photos (some quite well known, from Bread and Butter), plagiarise content, and in general have been extremely difficult to deal with in regards to removing content. Which is why I'm sending out the message to puppeteers. They are arguably quite respectful when it comes to hiring puppeteers to do work for them, but I have never ever had an actual response from my emails to them. I've even tried round-about ways of getting anyone to talk to me about it.

So if you see your work there, please, do help combat the plagiarism. There is a HUGE difference between using your work as a resource and copying it outright - and they tend to do more of the former than the latter.

Also, if people aren't aware, the site is a "for hire" submission engine. They do not have a content staff so much as they have freelance "writers" who are pretty much people with no/any experience in writing. The idea is not to provide useful information based on their experience or knowledge, it is to provide content using keywords to attract visitors and earn advertising money. Suffice to say that your work is being stolen because the people writing the articles simply google for info and grab whatever they can find in order to make their money.

(With apologies to the various puppeteers I've already chatted to about this and who work for Ehow. You guys obviously create your own stuff, and I only take issue with the non-puppeteer-for-hire writers; and of course the editorial staff who continue to allow this issue to fester)


Title: Re: You may be a victim...
Post by: Shawn Sorrell on July 19, 2012, 05:58:32 am
And if you would like to see where they got the idea for that nifty puppet costume making technique you can see it here http://www.puppetpub.com/costumebook.pdf (http://www.puppetpub.com/costumebook.pdf) along with many other helpful ideas.


Title: Re: You may be a victim...
Post by: Na on July 19, 2012, 06:03:51 am
And if you would like to see where they got the idea for that nifty puppet costume making technique you can see it here [url]http://www.puppetpub.com/costumebook.pdf[/url] ([url]http://www.puppetpub.com/costumebook.pdf[/url]) along with many other helpful ideas.


Yep, all of it was fairly obviously plagiarised from Puppetpub - I've already sent an email to her letting her know it was used. For such a well-written and obviously laborious book to write, Christy shouldn't have her stuff ab/used like that.

One of the reasons why eHow pisses me off is that it's quite clearly bad writers - I may source info and used certain things as inspiration, but I've never, not once, not even for some freelance work, taken other people's stuff and "rewritten" it. It makes writers appear lazy and stupid. And willing to write on any topic no matter their level of knowledge, just for a few bucks.


Title: Re: You may be a victim...
Post by: Rikka on July 19, 2012, 09:08:06 am
Would it help to put logos/ watermarks in the pics and texts? I mean, they can hardly steal anything that specificly refers to a non-eHow- page. I guess you could never stop highjackers- even if you stopped one, another one would spring up, and stop a download is out of the question, as Shawn pointed out. Have any of you media highlords an idea to make content safe by pointing at somebodys own website? I mean: firstly everybody would know that it was stolen from another page and might rather want to look there. Secoundly that would not really be PR if the word got around- which it probably would far quicker if everybody could see it. You think that could be done?


Title: Re: You may be a victim...
Post by: Shawn Sorrell on July 19, 2012, 09:16:25 am
Watermarking images can work ok.  You might notice that Na does that with her images.  There really is no way to watermark text.  This is really hard to stop. These folks are reading the text on your site then typing it into other sites.  There is no real way to detect that so you can't point folks to your site when that happens. Now something you could do if the site has comments like e.how is add a comment telling folks where they could find the full information.  The thing about that is the comments are so far down the page it is unlikely anyone would see them. :(


Title: Re: You may be a victim...
Post by: Rikka on July 19, 2012, 09:56:52 am
I thought (maybe stupidly so) that one could make a very big watermark over the page on which the text is printed (okay, that would take some work: Maybe taking GIMP or such, putting the watermark on a page and the text on top of that. So you'd also have the text as image, not as text, so copy- paste would not do the job- and would get the watermark, too.) Do you think that could work? Okay, quick editing of text is impossible then...


Title: Re: You may be a victim...
Post by: Shawn Sorrell on July 19, 2012, 12:20:17 pm
No I don't think that would work. :) 


Title: Re: You may be a victim...
Post by: Rikka on July 19, 2012, 01:37:31 pm
Shame... ;)


Title: Re: You may be a victim...
Post by: Na on July 19, 2012, 11:09:49 pm
Would it help to put logos/ watermarks in the pics and texts? I mean, they can hardly steal anything that specificly refers to a non-eHow- page. I guess you could never stop highjackers- even if you stopped one, another one would spring up, and stop a download is out of the question, as Shawn pointed out. Have any of you media highlords an idea to make content safe by pointing at somebodys own website? I mean: firstly everybody would know that it was stolen from another page and might rather want to look there. Secoundly that would not really be PR if the word got around- which it probably would far quicker if everybody could see it. You think that could be done?

Yes and no. eHow writers are aware enough that they tend to plagiarise by "rewrites" - that is, they won't copy word-for-word, but they will rewrite your text so it's not an exact copy but is still stealing the majority of the work. There's a fine line to tread, and so some can be considered outright copies even if they're not word-for-word same.

For instance, your sentence "would it help to put logos/watermarks in the pics and texts?" can be rewritten to "should it be an assistance to put watermarks over the pictures and texts?" ... One doesn't require a lot of imagination to see it's been copied, even if the words aren't exactly the same.

So yes, they're smart enough not to use photos that have been watermarked. However, the fact that they use images that are clearly copyrighted (or at least likely not to be public domain/creative commons) suggests that they only care about *looking* like they're not copying. The issue with the photos is somewhat easier to rectify because it's a matter of getting people to watermark their images.

But it doesn't prevent the overall issue which is they rewrite texts. (You can't watermark text anyway, unless you want it to be unreadable) The issue is that the writers are usually just people who want to earn a bit of cash and they get paid so little per article, it's easier to rewrite than to read a book, study a subject, and then write about it.

The second issue is to "point to the website". eHow does indeed list a bunch of websites as "resources" and "references". They have done this with articles that were plagiarised (see above link to one). Getting them to only reference an article goes back to the writers: there is little editorial oversight and a writer can be you, me or your 70-year-old grandma for all they care. If it makes sense and fits their guidelines, they're not going to check every single link referenced to make sure it's not plagiarised. (This I can somewhat understand because it's hard to police a lot of content being churned every day. It takes more manpower to double-check everything than it would to right)

The other half of that is that the people visiting sites like eHow don't care about the validity of the information or where it came from. They want quick answers and they want it now and you'll find a surprising amount of people on the net don't give a flying *** about copyrights; and in fact, most people don't care if they break copyright laws either.

The third issue is PR. I've tried tweeting and getting the message out on Facebook. eHow themselves don't care. The wider blogosphere already know that the site is a content farm and the quality is crap; but that's really only people who read about online technology news. Again, the wider public don't care.

There are two parts to this: forcing their freelance "writers" to understand and respect copyrights; and getting the wider public to care.

The reason why I'm making this public to puppeteers is to get *them* to police their own stuff. I can't legally complain about plagiarism when the articles don't steal my stuff but take someone else's. The more puppeteers who know about this, the more they can put their own pressure on the site. If you have photos, watermark them. If you have patterns/tutorials/whatever, copyright them.

eHow writers, and similar, are more likely to steal from you if you have no obvious copyright policy, watermarks, etc. It doesn't stop them, but I've found that since I've been complaining heavily, they've been somewhat leaving my stuff alone. They may not have responded to me in any manner whatsoever, but they've been smart enough to back off a bit.

But that's just me... they're still stealing from other people.


Title: Re: You may be a victim...
Post by: Na on July 19, 2012, 11:14:22 pm
Watermarking images can work ok.  You might notice that Na does that with her images.  There really is no way to watermark text.  This is really hard to stop. These folks are reading the text on your site then typing it into other sites.  There is no real way to detect that so you can't point folks to your site when that happens. Now something you could do if the site has comments like e.how is add a comment telling folks where they could find the full information.  The thing about that is the comments are so far down the page it is unlikely anyone would see them. :(

The thing is that watermarking doesn't actually prevent stealing. It does slightly discourage it, but I've found my watermarked images on other people's sites (I mean, sites I have nothing to do with). People will steal whatever they think they can get away with. So you have to police your work - and one of the ways you can do that is by sending a DMCA (cease and desist, although DMCA is for American websites/web hosts only... you can probably send similar emails/letters to others too) to have the stuff removed. If they're just spammers it's not likely to do much, but I've been successful in having stuff removed from some other sites: including one certain *puppetry* website.

As for leaving comments: I've left comments on articles which were plagiarised on eHow. Not only do I get a bare minimum response from the staff, but I've even had them removed. Puppetry is such a niche subject and people are only really looking for the tutorial, so I'm not surprised if no one from the public is even aware that the comments are there.



Title: Re: You may be a victim...
Post by: Na on July 19, 2012, 11:18:47 pm
I thought (maybe stupidly so) that one could make a very big watermark over the page on which the text is printed (okay, that would take some work: Maybe taking GIMP or such, putting the watermark on a page and the text on top of that. So you'd also have the text as image, not as text, so copy- paste would not do the job- and would get the watermark, too.) Do you think that could work? Okay, quick editing of text is impossible then...

That wouldn't work mainly because of two things: you can still download the image, with the text in it. (Yeah it takes longer to translate text out of an image, but it can still be done)

The other is that you make your site completely unreadable for anyone who uses a text reader - visually disabled people - and bad for SEO. Google, etc can't read text in an image, so basically your site would be practically blank for their purposes, and this drops your site off results pages.

Again, the issue is not "how can I stop people from stealing", it's "how can I educate people so they respect my work". Two different approaches, with two different outcomes. The first makes you do all the work with the stealer do nothing, the second makes the other person the criminal and you do very little work.


Title: Re: You may be a victim...
Post by: Rikka on July 19, 2012, 11:58:13 pm
I don't think it could be done. The "ordinary Joe" will not respect work. They hardly respect the work of high rated professional artist, so why us "hobbyists"? I know that some people here are as much pros as Phil Collins or Joseph Beuys but art doesn't seem to be considered work. We have an expression over here: "breadless art". Artists seem to be respected when they're famous and die, never before...


Title: Re: You may be a victim...
Post by: Na on July 20, 2012, 02:22:13 am
I don't think it could be done. The "ordinary Joe" will not respect work. They hardly respect the work of high rated professional artist, so why us "hobbyists"? I know that some people here are as much pros as Phil Collins or Joseph Beuys but art doesn't seem to be considered work. We have an expression over here: "breadless art". Artists seem to be respected when they're famous and die, never before...

Of course it's an uphill battle - which is why we can't simply leave it to sites like eHow to follow through. We need to make sure that other people know about it; talk about it; attempt to prevent it; and educate others.

Which is why even if I won the battle with eHow myself, I'm going to keep harping on about it ;)


Title: Re: You may be a victim...
Post by: Rikka on July 20, 2012, 03:12:53 am
Please be a bard, you'll do a spiffy job! ;)


Title: Re: You may be a victim...
Post by: Na on July 20, 2012, 03:54:23 am
Please be a bard, you'll do a spiffy job! ;)

Sadly, I have no musical talent... :)


Title: Re: You may be a victim...
Post by: Na on July 20, 2012, 04:07:33 am
This is one of the photos I was referring to:
http://www.ehow.com/about_5299315_did-string-puppetry-begin.html (http://www.ehow.com/about_5299315_did-string-puppetry-begin.html)


Title: Re: You may be a victim...
Post by: Rikka on July 20, 2012, 07:17:37 am
What I meant was that you're a great harping talent! ;)


Title: Re: You may be a victim...
Post by: Wheels47130 on August 01, 2012, 10:56:41 pm
Not to be the barer of bad news, however I am a Professional photographer. Image and content theft is a fact of the internet. It's easy for us to reach the world, and it's easy to steal our work. When posting photos always post the lowest quality you can that will work on that site. If you see your stuff or tips on a "forum" type of site make a comment saying you are the original artist and for more info go to your website. By all means tell your friends to leave comments saying the same!
There is really no way to stop it. Just do what you can, however don't let it really bother you. Think of it as flattery. You must be doing it right if others need to steal your stuff. Take it as a compliment and don't let it get you down.


Title: Re: You may be a victim...
Post by: Rikka on August 02, 2012, 02:17:26 am
For those who depend financially on their own contend this is not much of a comfort, I am afraid... But you're probably right. I just heard of design copying again...


Title: Re: You may be a victim...
Post by: Na on August 02, 2012, 05:29:58 am
Not to be the barer of bad news, however I am a Professional photographer. Image and content theft is a fact of the internet. It's easy for us to reach the world, and it's easy to steal our work. When posting photos always post the lowest quality you can that will work on that site. If you see your stuff or tips on a "forum" type of site make a comment saying you are the original artist and for more info go to your website. By all means tell your friends to leave comments saying the same!
There is really no way to stop it. Just do what you can, however don't let it really bother you. Think of it as flattery. You must be doing it right if others need to steal your stuff. Take it as a compliment and don't let it get you down.

Posting low quality pics doesn't help if you're trying to sell a product. Most people will not buy something if the pictures are bad.

I don't consider it flattering when someone steals my car. Why should I be flattered when people break the law?

Just because something is being done, has always been done, doesn't make it right nor not worth fighting.

Eg. "Not to be the bearer of bad news, however I am a Professional farmer. Slavery is a fact of the world. ... There's really no way to stop it".


Title: Re: You may be a victim...
Post by: Rikka on August 02, 2012, 06:15:55 am
Loads of people don't feel they do anything wrong just by copying (in comparism to shoplifting or slavery). The pirate party over here really does argue this way: if one takes contend but you still have it, too, it is not stolen, because you still have it.
I would have no idea how you change this kind of thinking. But if you have an idea, please share it. (I know it worked with slavery, but that did take a few centuries, too)


Title: Re: You may be a victim...
Post by: Na on August 02, 2012, 07:25:11 pm
Loads of people don't feel they do anything wrong just by copying (in comparism to shoplifting or slavery). The pirate party over here really does argue this way: if one takes contend but you still have it, too, it is not stolen, because you still have it.
I would have no idea how you change this kind of thinking. But if you have an idea, please share it. (I know it worked with slavery, but that did take a few centuries, too)

This is true - however "feelings" have nothing to do with the law. If you don't like the law, protest, get involved in government, vote someone in who will change it, or challenge the case law. But until it changes, that's what the law is.

An example: Joe Blow "feels" that it's wrong to get arrested for murder. A bunch of his friends agree with him. Therefore it's ok for them to ignore the law.

You can say "in comparison" all you like, but at the end of the day you can't pick and choose which laws to follow.

How to change this kind of thinking: educate people about what copyright actually is and how it affects real world people. The majority of people I've come across don't care about copyright (or rather don't care about plagiarism) is because they don't think it affects anyone. Which is probably why shoplifting or slavery seem like they're more important.

One can say plagiarism is shoplifting: taking a product without permission or payment.


Title: Re: You may be a victim...
Post by: Rikka on August 03, 2012, 01:46:25 am
I totally agree with you, Na, it is just what I hear over here. It may be quite different in Australia. As I said, people here want to get rid of the copyright laws as they are. Maybe they even will (of course that'll clash with international laws, but we'll have to see how far they'll really go- election is in fall next year).
True, law is law and a feeling will not change a law. But it is darn hard to enforce copyright laws on the internet (if you don't have the odd million to spend on lawyers and even then it is hard- ask MGM, Warner Bros or any of the big guys). Also you said you want to make people respect your right to your own creation (which is only fair in my eyes)- after all, you will not be able to sue everybody and it is technically impossible to avoid this kind of stealing.
I just try to make it clear in my mind what you are getting at:
- technically prevent stealing (not possible)
- enforce copyright laws/ sue violaters (finances will be a hard one)
after all, the laws are there, they are just not as easy to enforce due to the anonymous state of the web.
- change people's minds about taking stuff for free someone has had a hard job to do.
Okay, then we would need to know WHY are people thinking this way? I say they just don't see violating copyrights as a crime (like they would be crimes like stealing or slavery). Many people do not see the stealing part as you still have your original, they only have a copy. And why should they pay for anything you put into the net for free? (I do NOT agree with all these arguments. I just think to change the mind of someone, you need to know how and why he feels this way).
So, if people would pay you it would be less advantageous for them which puts you at odds with them in the beginning. (That's why the whole copyright issue never comes to a stop over here- for copying a movie you can be sued for as much as 50.000,- € and five years prison, they say it in the intro of many DVDs (mostly the older ones. It didn't have that much of an effect) and still: people keep on copying. So you have to apply to their morale (which will not work for everybody. Like Brecht said: "First comes the feeding, then the morale!" (I translated. It is from the three penny opera) or you will have to prove to them, that it is more beneficial for THEM to pay you a bit so that you can keep on doing your stuff. They try this here (for movies and music), but it doesn't seem to get though, so you'd need a very good idea. To get the whole big community of the web to not only recognize you but to agree with you that a bit of a cost for them to you is beneficial to all is a heck of a task. Maybe that's also what Wheels47130 is getting at: it would take a backbreaking effort as even the big music and movie companies could not do it (at least not over here, don't know about other contries).
If it is not between you and the web but between you and ehow (I am not totally sure about which one it is) and you cannot sue you could try to get like thousands friends to google puppetry related keywords and go on your page instead of ehow for a week or a month so they would take a place below you in google. I would be with you for that for sure...


Title: Re: You may be a victim...
Post by: Na on August 03, 2012, 05:11:21 am
I totally agree with you, Na, it is just what I hear over here. It may be quite different in Australia. As I said, people here want to get rid of the copyright laws as they are. Maybe they even will (of course that'll clash with international laws, but we'll have to see how far they'll really go- election is in fall next year).


Well, I don't agree with those people - but certainly if they're lobbying and using the political process to try to change things, that's their right and I support that method. What I don't support is people simply ignoring it or specifically breaking the law because they don't agree with it.

Quote
True, law is law and a feeling will not change a law. But it is darn hard to enforce copyright laws on the internet (if you don't have the odd million to spend on lawyers and even then it is hard- ask MGM, Warner Bros or any of the big guys).


Yes - but there are ways to protect yourself. There are a number of cheap/easy methods to protect your work, including going after the people who steal it. There's of course using publicity to your advantage: using Twitter, Facebook, etc to announce to people to look at copyrights and the plagiarists. Some people you can shame; some people it's a matter of presenting a take-down  notice; etc. Not all methods will work, and I'm not at all suggesting it's easy. You don't actually have to sue people in order to protect your stuff.

It may be hard, but the trick is to get it to be unprofitable for the plagiarists: whether that be by bad publicity or loss of sales, or whatever.

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- technically prevent stealing (not possible)


No, but you can make it harder by adding watermarks, registering copyright, paying attention to copies (sites like Plagium.com check your work against the whole of the net looking for copies - I used it to find a few myself), and then going after the people who do it.

Consider this: shoplifting is a big problem for store owners. Can it be completely gotten rid of? No of course not. But by having security guards, CCTV, electronic scanners, etc, you greatly reduce the chances of it happening to you. Just because getting rid of it entirely is not possible doesn't mean you give up altogether.

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- enforce copyright laws/ sue violaters (finances will be a hard one)


Again, this is not entirely true. I have "enforced copyright laws" by sending take-down notices to those people who plagiarised. All it took was an EMAIL. In order to find the plagiarists, I either happened onto it (ie. by checking my web stats via a *free* stat collecting site) or I used Plagium (that took money, but about $10 USD worth). In one case I have had little luck, and that's only because the info was on a spam site and they have ignored my emails - they use a non-American host which makes it harder to enforce copyright. (American web hosts have to follow the DMCA which means if you report plagiarism to them they have to follow through)

Even if I was going to sue - and there's no point over "small fries" - there are other options than spending money. I don't know about Germany, but here we have community legal services, specifically set up for people of low income. They're usually aimed at providing family law, etc - however they often provide a referral service to more appropriate firms who offer those things. Law firms even offer pro bono - free - services, so there's that too.

If that weren't enough, we're lucky to have the Arts Law Centre of Australia: an organisation specifically set up to provide legal advice to artists. I am currently in contact with them for an unrelated matter, and the advice I receive is 100% free - if you earn less than a certain amount, there is no charge. (I don't know, but I suspect those above that level get charged a small amount, but not the usual fees a lawyer might get)

AND if that were still not enough, there are guys like this:
http://www.plagiarismtoday.com/ (http://www.plagiarismtoday.com/)
Who offer services which deal with plagiarism. They do things like: check your site for plagiarism; check your stuff against others; send take-down notices; legal advice and services; etc. I've chatted to them, and they actually sometimes offer cheaper fees if you're not-for-profit or whatever.

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- change people's minds about taking stuff for free someone has had a hard job to do.


I agree. Which is why we need to talk about it more, instead of just shrugging our shoulders and giving up in defeat.

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Many people do not see the stealing part as you still have your original, they only have a copy.


This is a misunderstanding of how copyright works, as well as the internet. If I say, take a photo, and have the digital copy on my computer - or the film if you're using old cameras - then yes, I suppose I have the "original".

However, that does not work for blog posts. I do not write up blog posts on my computer and then transfer them to the internet. I write directly into my blog hosting program - a database on my web host - and press publish. The "original" is what you see on the website.

Either way: you're still *copying* the content. Just because I have an original doesn't make it ok to copy.

... A real world example: The Mona Lisa is given to a German art gallery as a loan. Whilst there, some arts professor decides to make an exact copy of the painting, oils and all. The Mona Lisa is returned to France. The French still have the original painting, but now the Germans have an exact copy.

You know what happens? The professor is arrested for art fraud.

The problem is that people genuinely think that somehow the internet is different to the real world.

This also hints at a larger misunderstanding, the one where it "doesn't hurt anyone". Take me for instance - I provide an article on a certain puppetry topic. I'm the only one on the internet who has written about this issue, and someone decides to copy this word-for-word. I still have the original: but where they've posted this info is more well-known (ie. eHow) and they have taken credit for my work. Now, I go to apply for a freelance writing job. As part of my application, they ask for samples of my work. I send them a copy of my article. They reply back: No sorry, we won't hire you, you copied *someone else's work* from eHow.

This affects my ability to earn money. Do I have the original? Yes. I even showed it to someone else for a job application. But the problem with plagiarism and fraud in general is that having the originality doesn't really matter. It's the same reason why the movie industry is challenging all the fake DVDs coming out of China; and why the music industry gets annoyed when people post copies of songs on their website to download for free.

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And why should they pay for anything you put into the net for free?


That's not an argument I've ever heard before. Did you mean "why should they pay for something they can get for free somewhere else?"

If so, it goes to what I was saying about people thinking it doesn't hurt someone's bottom line.

If I take the sentence literally, I am not asking for payment for most of my articles. That doesn't mean they can still copy it. Just because something is freely available doesn't mean there's no copyright attached. Again, go back to the Mona Lisa. Entering most galleries is free or cheap. You can wander around, look at the painting, but if you try and take a photograph of the Mona Lisa, you'll be stopped. You walked in and looked at it for free: why shouldn't you be able to take a photo, go home, print off copies, and sell them? You walked in for free: why shouldn't you take a photo, use it to make a copy, and sell it to the highest bidder? Payment to see the original work has nothing to do with it.

 
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I do NOT agree with all these arguments. I just think to change the mind of someone, you need to know how and why he feels this way)


I agree with you.

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They say it in the intro of many DVDs (mostly the older ones. It didn't have that much of an effect) and still: people keep on copying.


Because: it's still profitable to do it and extremely hard to police; and because people often don't understand the true effect it has on average hard-working people.

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That it is more beneficial for THEM to pay you a bit so that you can keep on doing your stuff.


No, you don't have to do that at all. I'm not talking about paying me so I can keep doing what I'm doing. I'm talking about people not using ANY info, whether behind a paywall or not, without permission. Money has nothing to do with it.

Maybe that's the issue here: I'm not asking the "whole big community of the web" to recognise and agree to a PRICE. I'm talking about getting some puppeteers who publish their works on the internet to be more aware of their own rights and to police them, and to put more pressure on the people who do plagiarise. You're right music and movie industries suck at doing it: for the very reason that most people who are doing it look at big name movie/music stars and say "they can afford to lose a million". They don't get that it affects average people, which is what I'm getting at. It's also partly a big sense of entitlement: they feel entitled to have what they want now. I've had this exact argument with people on Yahoo Answers who want an instant 1-2-3 paint-by-numbers pattern of the Potter Puppet Pals. They don't care that the characters are copyrighted, they don't care that the patterns don't exist or that to make them (specifically because there's a market for them) would be illegal, or that it's impossible to recreate a puppet by guesswork only... they just want the puppets, and they want them now. They even complain that it's just for decoration, so why can't someone just give them a pattern? Without thinking that perhaps even if that were true (hard to tell via anonymous internet if what they will really do is latter go and use them to sell on Etsy) that the creators might be offended that people are making patterns/puppets that rip off their hard work.

People tend to see those who sue for copyright infringement as "bad guys", as simply people who want to stifle other people's enjoyment. But let's take FAO Schwarz puppets for instance. If someone out there copied the puppets, and say, gave exact replicas out to people for free (removing the money motive), and Disney sues... "Disney" is the bad guy. All the while people forget that FAO Schwarz employs hard-working people, that Disney hires hard-working and very talented puppet makers. Their financial position is worse off because they have to compete with a plagiarist, and their self-worth is diminished because the general public thinks little of the work. Imagine now if the replicas are badly made. People usually don't bother to check whether an item is legit merchandise or not. Even if they did, let's say the replica-maker is good at fraudulently presenting themselves in marketing, etc as an official merchandiser. A few people buy replicas, but discover the quality is crap. Now they recommend to their friends and family not to buy FAO Schwarz puppets: so now the real puppet makers and salespeople are trying to combat bad marketing and may be out of a job or their hours cut back because less people are buying their products. -- By the way, this is an actual real world example; the only thing I changed is that the replica maker was actually earning money.

So you see, whether someone *pays* or not, it has a real effect on real people. No one has to pay for anything, they just have to *not* copy stuff without permission.

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If it is not between you and the web but between you and ehow (I am not totally sure about which one it is) and you cannot sue you could try to get like thousands friends to google puppetry related keywords and go on your page instead of ehow for a week or a month so they would take a place below you in google. I would be with you for that for sure...


It's both. I've been plagiarised by many people - some spammers, some eHow, and some puppeteers. (Yep, that last one is true!) eHow just makes for a good example since they are continual offenders and often steal other puppeteers' work.

As for trying to get people from ehow to my site, that is not possible. To entirely and completely get people to ignore that site you would have to do many many things:
Teach people that the site is not a reliable resource, which is near impossible given the number of people who believe all sorts of ridiculous things based on internet research and an assumption that what they find is true and correct
Severely convince young people, who don't give a stuff about anything other than having info NOW and FREE, to ignore easily available and extremely simplistic info
Get MILLIONS of visitors daily, as compared to the less than 1000 I get at the moment
Fill my site with unrelated info, because eHow isn't just for puppetry info and therefore attracts a wider audience
Get on the bad side of google and other search engines for obviously trying to use "black hat" methods (ie. bad advertising techniques) in order to shore up interest in my site
...

...
And this is to say nothing of the fact that all of those issues don't actually change the problem, which is that eHow writers/editors don't give a * about copyrights, don't understand them, and don't police their own content. eHow is an ideal example of what's wrong: people don't understand or care that it is illegal and affects real people.

It's far easier to battle the actual problem than to invent new ones with a google war.


Title: Re: You may be a victim...
Post by: Rikka on August 03, 2012, 12:40:51 pm
Well, I did try to verify if I got your point right (something I feel I have failed abysmally at) and I will have to think the whole thing over again. I guess I just don't really get what you're trying to do here (language barrier being a mayor issue again since I also did not make my point to you at all).


Title: Re: You may be a victim...
Post by: Shawn Sorrell on August 03, 2012, 01:26:18 pm
Rikka and Na... Don't get too frustrated. :)  I've been looking at the language files for the forum software and trying to figure out if I can update some of them for the alternative files since many things are not translated.  I was going through Google Translate of course and decided it was just too big a job. I was starting with German since I thought perhaps some of my childhood exposure would help but I was wrong. Did you know that in German the word "Bookmark" is valid but when I tried to figure out the plural for it I came to a stand still. Bookmark = Lesezeichen and so did Bookmarks = Lesezeichen.  :spin


Title: Re: You may be a victim...
Post by: pagestep007 on August 03, 2012, 07:48:00 pm
Na, I really feel for you. Coming from Australia makes it difficult to get your head around theft (of course it is wrong). I'm from NZ so I know that... and here I am in a VERY corrupt country, where piracy and theft is a way of life. The Government steals, the average joe bloggs steals, people make a profession of it, all Cuba's software in the entire country is pirated, because no one is allowd to sell to them... and back to here, thieves work in gangs and clean out whole apartment blocks with trucks and all... even people in church don't think copyright violation is stealing. In fact they willy nilly download from the internet becaue they firmly believe that that is  where all the free stuff is. Anything on the internet is fair game to them... for even church people , everyone else even worse.The software pirates sell on the corner in the computer sector,and the police buy from them. In our neighbourhood you cannot rent a movie. You have to buy the pirated version, and we live with bars on all the windows and skylights...to hopefully keep the thieves out.
    When we started doing TV here, I tried registering our characters with the copyright dept of the govt. I found there is no protection here. Anyone can legally copy Disney stuff, as long as they made it. A character nor idea for a program is not copyright. So anyone is legally entitled to copy your characters and your program idea, as long as they write their own scripts, and produce it themselves. It is shoddy  cutthroat stuff.This all made us think hard when we entered into production. What do we do if we are pirated? Well , while we are small it  is advantagous, as it is free  advertising. when we are big , you can afford lawyers. However, we reasoned that  it is difficult to copy us, because the  flavour of a  group is  intrinsically linked to  the  creatives in the group. No other group does what and how you do it. One guy used our material to try and get a contract. It fell through because he could not produce what we produce. And if he  could, he would be a noteworthy producer, and would start making his  own flavoured stuff, and good luck to him.
   There is a debate about piracy. Some say that  some  big studios even feed to the pirates.. because it is free advertising. There are 4 groups of people concerning piracy. One are those who will never buy pirated goods. They are safe. next are those who might if  they can't get the origonal. They are also a safe market. If you don't supply the product they get it anyway, but will buy it  if you  supply it. ...safe. A third group are the opposite. Those who  will never buy your product , because they usually can't afford it. They are a safe  market also.. you  will never sell to them. But the good part is, they still see your stuff, and  are part of the  groundswell of  support and often buy  merchandising. so you still get something out of them. The  fourth category are the unsafe ones.. they are capable of buying, have the cash, and the product, but they buy  pirated. I am not sure on the statistics of  how bigthat group is. They are the ones who you might lose  money on.. but  you may  get them also  buying  merchandise, and-or still go to the movies even after buying  pirated movies for example. 
   Concerning the internet... you are dealing with cultures all over the globe who are  downright dishonest.. as cultures. It is no sin to them to   copy-steal. You have two options, and your situation as a writer is a hard one. You either do not publish something if you don't want it stolen, or  you become so prolific, that you are the  biggest guru around...and have enough clout to track those stealing your stuff.
   My advice is  swamp EHow.com with your articles... have them pay YOU and not the others. Become the biggest authority on EHow. Granted puppetry is a niche audience , but the good side of that is that if someone goes searching.. your name will pop up as one of the  best.
   People  tell me I should charge for the tutorials I do. I wouldn't know how... and I follow the first rule , If I don't want the idea-product-technique stolen... I don't publish it. What  I do publish.. I accept that it it is open to every man and his dog to do with what they want.

People stealing or copying your stuff still sucks. But that is the big cruel world we live in. Keep educating people. You  may make some difference.


Title: Re: You may be a victim...
Post by: Na on August 04, 2012, 03:49:37 am
Well, I did try to verify if I got your point right (something I feel I have failed abysmally at) and I will have to think the whole thing over again. I guess I just don't really get what you're trying to do here (language barrier being a mayor issue again since I also did not make my point to you at all).

That's ok, I probably haven't expressed myself very well.

My aim: to inform other people that plagiarism is occuring and to make them aware of their rights; to encourage other people to police their own work and by doing so, decrease the likelihood that plagiarists get away with it; and to put public pressure on the plagiarists to change their behaviour.

I'm not asking for money, nor suggesting anyone should be paying me for copies. If my comments are directed towards plagiarists at all, then it is a request that they simply don't copy my work without receiving permission from me first. Or to simply stop doing it at all, and come up with their own work.


Title: Re: You may be a victim...
Post by: Na on August 04, 2012, 04:25:36 am
Na, I really feel for you. Coming from Australia makes it difficult to get your head around theft (of course it is wrong). I'm from NZ so I know that... and here I am in a VERY corrupt country, where piracy and theft is a way of life. The Government steals, the average joe bloggs steals, people make a profession of it, all Cuba's software in the entire country is pirated, because no one is allowd to sell to them... and back to here, thieves work in gangs and clean out whole apartment blocks with trucks and all... even people in church don't think copyright violation is stealing. In fact they willy nilly download from the internet becaue they firmly believe that that is  where all the free stuff is. Anything on the internet is fair game to them... for even church people , everyone else even worse.The software pirates sell on the corner in the computer sector,and the police buy from them. In our neighbourhood you cannot rent a movie. You have to buy the pirated version, and we live with bars on all the windows and skylights...to hopefully keep the thieves out.
    When we started doing TV here, I tried registering our characters with the copyright dept of the govt. I found there is no protection here. Anyone can legally copy Disney stuff, as long as they made it. A character nor idea for a program is not copyright. So anyone is legally entitled to copy your characters and your program idea, as long as they write their own scripts, and produce it themselves. It is shoddy  cutthroat stuff.This all made us think hard when we entered into production. What do we do if we are pirated? Well , while we are small it  is advantagous, as it is free  advertising. when we are big , you can afford lawyers. However, we reasoned that  it is difficult to copy us, because the  flavour of a  group is  intrinsically linked to  the  creatives in the group. No other group does what and how you do it. One guy used our material to try and get a contract. It fell through because he could not produce what we produce. And if he  could, he would be a noteworthy producer, and would start making his  own flavoured stuff, and good luck to him.
   There is a debate about piracy. Some say that  some  big studios even feed to the pirates.. because it is free advertising. There are 4 groups of people concerning piracy. One are those who will never buy pirated goods. They are safe. next are those who might if  they can't get the origonal. They are also a safe market. If you don't supply the product they get it anyway, but will buy it  if you  supply it. ...safe. A third group are the opposite. Those who  will never buy your product , because they usually can't afford it. They are a safe  market also.. you  will never sell to them. But the good part is, they still see your stuff, and  are part of the  groundswell of  support and often buy  merchandising. so you still get something out of them. The  fourth category are the unsafe ones.. they are capable of buying, have the cash, and the product, but they buy  pirated. I am not sure on the statistics of  how bigthat group is. They are the ones who you might lose  money on.. but  you may  get them also  buying  merchandise, and-or still go to the movies even after buying  pirated movies for example.  


Leaving aside the issue that stealing is everywhere...

In copyright law, there is a general consensus that you can't copyright an idea or method. So you can use Henson's method of building puppets, but you can't use Kermit as a character. That to me seems fair, but obviously leaves a rather grey area.

The thing is that copyrights are far more complex an area of law than I make it sound, which is why I'm trying to get people to pay attention to the issue. I can't speak to the plagiarism of someone else's work, only my own.

As for NZ, I'd look into whether or not they're a signatory of the Berne Convention. My guess is you would be, as Australia is. The Convention means that those countries signed up to it have to respect the other countries' copyright law. I highly doubt anyone can actually copy Disney stuff without permission, since that would break US copyright, to which signatories of the Convention would have to respect. I suspect it's more a case of people getting away with it because it's hard to be aware and enforce copyright across international borders. It's also expensive to sue, which means more people get away with it.

Take the issue of music: you must obtain permission (here in Oz) to use music in a performance. Even if it's 10 seconds worth. Many pro and amateur theatres don't bother because they *know* they could get away with it. Who in the audience will notice that nobody got permission? Who will check for permission slips? No one. So they do it anyway. Personally I always felt that if you can't come up with your own music then you're not trying hard enough.

The idea that it's "free advertising" seems like a myth to me. Going back to what I was saying about eHow crediting their own writers for *my* work: if someone sees the article on eHow and thinks it's good work, it's NOT free advertising for me. It's free advertising for the plagiarist.

Also, one of the articles on my site was an original and the most blatantly copied: a tutorial on making a marionette from a teddy bear. eHow has since removed the article and gotten some other puppeteer to do a video tutorial on making stuffed toys into puppets. (Note: I have spoken with that puppeteer and know they weren't plagiarising my work) I know stuffed toys into puppets is not unique, but that particular tutorial was and yet it was stolen by an eHow writer. Uniqueness does not prevent someone from stealing it; and likewise, if no one ever stumbles across your original work, no one knows to compare your style with the stolen work. This is actually one of my biggest points: people on the internet generally don't think to check the quality of information, the reputation or accuracy of the content and the person providing it.

All you have to do is look at how many people believe in conspiracy theories based on Youtube videos. Half of Americans still don't think evolution happens:
http://www.gallup.com/poll/21814/evolution-creationism-intelligent-design.aspx (http://www.gallup.com/poll/21814/evolution-creationism-intelligent-design.aspx)

Let's go back to my example of the Henson replica maker. The reason this person sold puppets in the first place is because they looked so darn good in photos (the customer then gets the replica and realises how shoddy it is) and didn't bother to check whether they were official merchandise. Or if they did, they didn't care. These are the people who are going to bother doing any research to see if the "style" matches someone else's. They just want what they want and they want it now. (Apologies for repetition)

Even then: going back to the Potter Puppet Pals, the people who have posted on YA are always people who love Neil's work, but refuse to support him by buying official merchandise. They don't want the official merchandise because he doesn't sell the puppets (just T-shirts I believe), and if they can't have the puppets, they'll go wherever they can to get them. They recognise they are replicas, but don't give a shit about supporting the person who makes the art they like.

Now here I'll state something I've never said before: I'm guilty of buying a rip-off DVD. I wanted a copy of a TV show, couldn't find it anywhere, asked the producers if they sold it (they didn't), found a DVD seller who offered it, and purchased it. I got a really crappy set of DVDs that were clearly recorded from the TV. I fervently believed when I bought it that it was some person who'd managed to get the rights and the producers merely didn't realise (the person who replies to customer enquiries in a large production company may not know everything). I know better now.

I'm not blaming the innocent people who might not know any better; which is why we need more education on the topic. I am however blaming the people who ought to know better: writers and editors and staff of large organisations who knowingly do it even after being called out on it.

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  Concerning the internet... you are dealing with cultures all over the globe who are  downright dishonest.. as cultures. It is no sin to them to   copy-steal. You have two options, and your situation as a writer is a hard one. You either do not publish something if you don't want it stolen, or  you become so prolific, that you are the  biggest guru around...and have enough clout to track those stealing your stuff.


1. I refuse to not do something because I'm scared that it will be stolen. That is punishing the victim, not the offender.
2. I am already prolific. The whole reason I've been plagiarised so much by eHow (about 20 articles thereabouts, though I haven't actually counted them. Some were plagiarised more than once, others just once) is because when people search for info on puppetry my site comes up more than most. Being prolific only means you come up higher in search results, which only means you're more likely to be plagiarised. Again, this is punishing the victim, not the offender. What needs to happen - and google already does some of this - is for plagiarists/content farms to have less of a presence so less people find their stuff. Again keep in mind that eHow and similar farms produce content on every topic they can come up with, based on search keywords that people use, so I can't outcompete them on say, info about taxes.

Having a well-known profile on eHow is not the same as being known as an authority. There are a number of well-respected puppeteers who post video tutorials on that site; they do so because they already had a well-known name and were approached by eHow to create stuff for them. Besides which, I don't want to be known as a guru. I want to be known as someone who doesn't know everything, but shares what she can. (This idea that I know everything confounds me. I know I make it sound authoritative, but that's only because... I do my research and write after doing lots of learning. If I don't know anything on the topic, I won't write about it.)

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  My advice is  swamp EHow.com with your articles... have them pay YOU and not the others. Become the biggest authority on EHow. Granted puppetry is a niche audience , but the good side of that is that if someone goes searching.. your name will pop up as one of the  best.


1. There's no way I would work for them. They are notorious for treating their writers badly. Half the reason there's so much plagiarism is because the writers are paid very little (a few bucks per article). There's no incentive to do any proper research or original work, which is why they simply google their keywords, read what someone else has posted, rewrite it, and then submit it. To work for them, I'd have to churn out hundreds of crappy articles and I'm not willing to reduce the value or quality of my writing simply to prove they suck.

2. The other part of it is that I don't want to associate myself with a site like that. It diminishes my ability to sell myself as someone who can research and write good quality articles. If I want to work for less than minimum wage, I'd rather take a job at the local supermarket: at least that's good honest work.

Again, the better outcome is to force them to change their policies, not play by their idiotic rules.

(3. It defeats the point of building my own website. Instead of posting articles all over the place, it's far better to put them on one site so that site builds its own profile. They don't have to search for my name, they just have to search for a topic or keyword and my site pops up. It's the same basic premise as eHow except I write quality content - or hope I do - based on what interests me rather than writing five articles with the same title because flooding the internet is all eHow cares about. The site is therefore known for useful content that's in-depth, rather than articles for the sake of high pay-per-view advertising dollars - their business model)
 
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People  tell me I should charge for the tutorials I do. I wouldn't know how... and I follow the first rule , If I don't want the idea-product-technique stolen... I don't publish it. What  I do publish.. I accept that it it is open to every man and his dog to do with what they want.


And that's your prerogative. In all of this, do not forget that copyright is a PERSONAL thing. There are some articles for which I have creative commons; some lie behind a paywall; some are free but copyrighted completely. Australia, like some other countries, also have "fair use" clauses, for satire, educational purposes (schools, etc), or for criticism.

And lastly: I have had people contact me about using my articles for their work (puppeteers/teachers, etc). I have given them permission, WITH NO CHARGE TO THEM, but simply a word of attribution.

I am not against copying so much as I am against copying without permission, and/or taking credit for my work.

I fully understand that people will print copies of my work - in fact I know they do - and see personal use as different than outright plagiarism.

... As for changing people's minds.... I don't know. I have no doubt that to lurkers I'm probably coming across as a ranting loon. ;)


Title: Re: You may be a victim...
Post by: Rikka on August 04, 2012, 06:18:27 am
Philip, you really helped me understand the problem I try to relate. Thank you for that.
Shawn, German will be a tough one. "According to the U.S. State Department who groups languages for the diplomatic service, the "easiest" languages for English speakers, are the ones usually requiring 600 hours of classwork for minimal proficiency. In this case they’re the Latin and Germanic languages group. However, German itself requires more time, 750 hours to be exact, because of its complex grammar." (From mylanguages.org) "Zeichen" (sign) (and also "Lesezeichen" (bookmark) which is deducted from it) happens to be an irregular plural (like sheep in English). If there is any help I can offer, I'd gladly do so!
Na, I think I tackled the misunderstanding (thanks again, Philip!). You are living in a very "lawful good" society (Marc will crack up on this one) and thus you have your admirable view on things. I happen to have run across my share of people who are much less so. I do NOT agree with those people (I agree with you, really), but for me they seem to make up the bulk of users around here. It has nothing to do with copyright infringements being against the law or the Genevra Convention but with the view of the people. Sometimes people think the law is wrong and they will not go punished so they do as they please. And here they may be less common then in Columbia but they really seem to be much more common then in Australia or New Zealand. And they pose a problem to you, I think and I am very sorry for that. How to change it? Beats me.


Title: Re: You may be a victim...
Post by: Na on August 04, 2012, 06:57:54 am
Na, I think I tackled the misunderstanding (thanks again, Philip!). You are living in a very "lawful good" society (Marc will crack up on this one) and thus you have your admirable view on things.

Er, no I'm not. And I never said I was. Maybe I'm one of the "good ones". There's plenty of crime around here, including plagiarism.

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Sometimes people think the law is wrong and they will not go punished so they do as they please. And here they may be less common then in Columbia but they really seem to be much more common then in Australia or New Zealand. And they pose a problem to you, I think and I am very sorry for that. How to change it? Beats me.

And there are people like that here. In the case of plagiarism though I think most people just don't know about copyrights to either care or understand or follow the law.

How to change it? Like most things: educate, educate, educate.


Title: Re: You may be a victim...
Post by: Brian Douglas on April 11, 2018, 03:44:17 pm
This is a great thread.  Reminds me of a thread I created in another forum about downloading pirated videos.

The self-justifications were rather funny.  It has become so common place today that it is considered passe to complain.

Either it is stealing or it's not.  No need to blur the edges with justifications.